Like the small soft unchanging flower
The words in silence speak;
Obedient to their ancient power
The tear stands on my cheek.
Though our world burns, the small dim words
Stand here in steadfast grace,
And sing, like the indifferent birds,
About a ruined place.
Though the tower fall, the day be done,
The night be drawing near,
Yet still the tearless tune pipes on,
And still evokes the tear.
The tearless tune, wiser than we,
As weak and strong as grass
Or the wild bracken-fern we see
Spring where the palace was.
~Ruth Pitter “On an Old Poem” from Poems 1926-1966
When I write
a poem, sometimes, there is a kind of daze
that lifts, and I can see
what I couldn’t before, as if my mind
was in a fog, a cloud,
and only wanted
a poem to lift it out. I wanted
the rhythm, just the right
word, the crescendo from whisper to loud
celebration, and found them in the days
of trying poems. And I don’t mind
telling you: poetry has brought complacency
When the world is topsy-turvy
and all seems immersed in fog and cobwebs,
it helps to put down images and words
to clarify and highlight.
Daily I need reminding to stay centered,
daily I acknowledge what makes me weep
and what is worth celebration.
It is a new day to illustrate with words and pictures
what is unchanging in my life:
thank God for a new day,