Memories of the Kingdom

 

More legends of the earth

were scooped out today,

more trees trampled

like disposable populations,

and I had nothing to say

about it, but I could

watch, the way we watch

stock footage

of battles.

 

How many times have I 

come here to find

that untouchable something

that roams in the wilds

of nothing human,

here,

where all the ingredients

of deep living

are found:

 

the stony path I walked 

like Saint Francis on his

pilgrimage,

but without the stigmata, 

the penitence and shame . . .

 

And after a rain, the bleary swamp—

one black, pondering eye 

for everything blue and green to

slide into, stare for a moment,

then flicker away.

 

Here my body was the body of air

and sifted dawn, red earth and

bark and leaves—

forests above forests, foaming

like fountains, 

throwing down

green light and shadow light, 

breathing light and spirit light . . .

 

so quiet,

 

as patient as we want God 

to be.

 

And here were the neighborhoods

of my sisters and brothers,

both soft and fierce—

it was all here in the anthology

of what was, for a while,

a complete and ancient story. 

 

The bulldozers, the backhoes, 

the chainsaws and chatting men

have left for the day.

 

Love bleeds out on the clawed dust.

 

I want to crawl in the emptiness,

shrink in the dripping sun,

ask the sky 

to take me like that cloud,

all broken and elsewhere,

the one that once 

looked like a dove. 

 

Patricia Joan Jones

 

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Silver_Birch's picture

Poignantly powerful

This poem brings to mind the loss of my favourite wood, Bluebell Wood, which was about a mile from my home when I was a child, a youth and a young man. They bulldozed the whole wood and much of the surrounding area, several decades ago now, to build a section of motorway. I wrote a poem about it in 2015 (not posted here) called "Bluebell Wood. " The destruction of that wood seemed like a sad and sensless act at the time. I still mourn the loss of that beautiful area of unspoilt land. We can't halt progress, of course, but sometimes it comes at too big a price. As Bruce Cockburn said in a song, "If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear?" You have written a powerful and poignant poem here, Patricia!

patriciajj's picture

I would love to read your

I would love to read your poem in memory of Bluebell Wood. England has such enchanting forests, it must have felt like a cruel tragedy to lose something so precious. I feel your pain. Thank you for resonating with this important issue and leaving such comforting feedback. 

Silver_Birch's picture

Poetry, photos and memories

After reading and commenting on your poem, "Memories of the Kingdom," I went straight to my own poetry files to find the poem I wrote on a similar theme. I still think about those days of childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, when I used to walk in and around that beautiful area of natural beauty. I have a photograph my father took of me when I was a teenager, on the very edge of Bluewell Wood. I'll dig out both poem and photo for my next post here. Thank you for sharing your wonderful poetry with us!

patriciajj's picture

Looking forward to it! 

Looking forward to it! 

allets's picture

Wars Of Words

.

No peace during wartime in usa. Vaccine and boys and girls home from war by mid 2021. Citizens sacrifice during war. C-19 Spkes, Colorado  burns. Peace hard to find. I liked lots the cloud dove image. 
.

...a

.

 


...a

 

patriciajj's picture

So true, that peace is hard

So true, that peace is hard to find during the Great War of 2020. Thank you for your wise insights and supportive comment. 

Cascade's picture

This poem reminded me of the

This poem reminded me of the movie Avatar and how I felt when watching that movie and they came with the bulldozers to tare down all that magic. I felt like my inner child died and I was left with a half a heart...an angry adult half a heart. This poem was very emotional for me,  Patricia.  Your way of touching is so deep...sooo penetrating. Even a half a heart could feel fully the " love bleeding out on the clawed dust".  And all the ingredients of deep living are indeed found in the forest, but they are also found in the whole hearted words of an amazing poet.  

 

 

 

 

patriciajj's picture

Thank you for your very

Thank you for your very moving and eloquent reflections and for resonating so deeply with my experience. It means so much. My deepest gratitude. 

saiom's picture

' 'The bulldozers, the

'

'The bulldozers, the backhoes, 

 

the chainsaws and chatting men

 

have left for the day.

 

 

 

Love bleeds out on the clawed dust.'

 

100 years it grows.. a few minutes to bulldoze

 



 

 

patriciajj's picture

Such a brilliant and quotable

Such a brilliant and quotable comment . . .so sadly true. Thank you, dear poet. 

Starward's picture

This poem is soooooo

This poem is soooooo symphonic that it would set Shostakovich to radical spams of envious admiration.  In this poem there is a counterpoint of several voices:  there is the dissonance of the voices that are destroying sacred ground (which, as I read it, could be anywhere) and this is played by the brasses, especially led by trumpeters; there is the cosmic tone of the Poet's voice, playing by a gentle combination of woodwinds and strings, explaining to us what the value of that sacred site(s) really means; and there is the Poet's personal voice, aghast and nostalgic and sorrowful, registering the sadness of the situation----and this voice is played by a single celesta, and the key is a delicate minor.  All of this sound is brought to bear, in this poem of few words, by postpoems' Greatest and Most Profound Poet.  I have never in twenty online years offered thanks to the Lord for the internet; but I have done so tonight, for the privilege of seeing Patruciajj's work and this poem in particular.  As a young man, starting life, I had the privilege of studying with great scholars who taught me about the greatest poetry in the Western Canon.  As an old man, who daily feels the life declining out of me, I am even more privileged to watch, before my own eyes, the cosmic coalescence of a body of work which is UNPRECEDENTED at postpoems, or anywhere else of which I know.

  Two further comments:

  1) just to make a facetious metaphor to extend my point:  if I were a science fiction nut, I would imagine that Patriciajj has a line of communication to the very stars themselves; and that those stars call her and ask,"What colors should we shine tonight, and where should we place them."  I could easily imagine the stars themselves taking their irridescent cues from her Poetic talent.

   2)  I issue this challenge to some reader in the future, perphaps a graduate student doing his, or her, or its (there's that science fiction again, lol) dissertation on her poetry:  write your disseration as a fully orchestrated symphony, in a single movement, like the Sibelius seventh, and orchestrare it as I have suggested above (for the blare of tarnished brass, especially the "trump"ets, just have one of your fellow history grads tell you about the miseries of 2017-2020, during the reign of DingDong the Last), and play it in the finest orchestral venue you can find.  Her words, set to your music, will sing to the stars.  Her words, set to your music, will not only make your dissertation successful, you will surely also get offers to be a composer in residence at some swank school.

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I want to say two last things.  I feel privileged to read any poem Patriciajj posts. And I will glibly steal a remark made by Pound, in 1965, about T. S. Eliot, and I will say it more than once, right here:  READ HER READ HER READ HER READ HER READ HER READ HER READ HER READ HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Starward

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patriciajj's picture

"DingDong the Last" Laughing.

"DingDong the Last" Laughing. It's  interesting that you mentioned his regime because the destruction I witnessed was the direct result of this administration's rewriting of the federal wetlands protection laws which were put in place, not only to protect valuable land and wildlife, but our own water supply. When we build on saturated land, even land that appears dry on the surface most of the time, wastes, chemicals and a wide range of pollutants make their way into the groundwater and eventually the water we drink, clean and cook with. There's a reason for regulations! 

 

So where are all the words when "thank you" is not enough?

 

Although my understanding of music is limited and I've offended many ears with what I called singing,  I was overwhelmed and stunned by your sublime interpretation of my expression using musical references. Like your wondrous poetry, your comments are a gift, but here offering not only literary spellwork and devastating wit,  but encouragement that drives me forward to explore new terrains in language. 

 

For this, there are perhaps no words, only the intangible light of heartfelt gratitude that will reach far beyond the page, the computer screen and this fleeting life itself. 

Starward's picture

Thanks for the reply.  Your

Thanks for the reply.  Your response reaches out to me and helps me to keep going.  I am starting to get very tired, it's time for my afternoon nap, so this is short despite my best intention.  My eyes are trying to close even as I type this.  Lol.  But thanks for the reply.


Starward

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