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The day before St. Valentine’s day. Known for Wedding. I figure since I haven’t gotten husbandpants anything for the day, and also I volunteered him to shift-switch tomorrow with a colleague undergoing surgery in his homeland because it is cheaper there, I would write my man a poem.

Love poems. What’s greater than that? You all know how I feel about those. Awhile back my little brother wrote an orchestral piece based on the Pablo Neruda poem “Here I Love You”. Yes, he is more talented than I am. Yes, we are a family of sensitive introverts.  But because I know he would be mortified (great word) if I shared it with you, I’ll just share the Neruda poem:

In the preface to Denise Levertov’s Selected Poems, Robert Creeley writes, “Poets are a company and poetry must finally be a tribal art despite the fierceness of contest, which sometimes preoccupies its persons”.  Thank you, my poem friends, for being my tribe. The fierce contest doesn’t interest me in the least. I’ve been thinking about Denise Levertov a lot today, and Pablo Neruda, which is a great kind of carriage. She wrote, “If we are going to be here, let’s be here now”. That is great sentiment, I think, and one that should carry us through this holiday of love.  My favorite artists shout “Here! I Love  You!”. It is the ultimate presence.

Here, I love you, Husbandpants:

Praise Burning

Praise burning.

Praise hand shadows.

Praise the sinews, those rope paraffins that the spirit names,

binding the turtle’s tenderness to the home shell,

attaching this dumpling heart to butcher’s hands.

Praise the bone plain, this dancing hagiography,

evading the dead floor.

Praise the windows that fix you in my glorious eye,

and praise your bonfire sky despite the cruel frames.

The axe swallows the sounds of the woodgrain,

as it marries the bark.

These are the small round birds of our love.

Every time you lift me from the pond bottom.

Loving too freely is your unknown mercy.

Praise your changing pulse. All my attentions belong to you now.

We speak in the language of weather,

and changed meadows.

In the fires of affliction, we’ll shout in the joy of old tales,

recounting harvests.

How does this gas give up erupting mountains? How do we scoop airy messages into our throbbing diversions?

It is how we praise,

a dew moon and a throat heart,

in big domed notes.

These impatient versions, we have only begun to know.

We entered intact, and emerged in stone-skipping decades,

from an important quarry.

Here I praise you, grasping each cold wound and all the slightest scrapes,

in the risen sun and its

wild pulsing.

Here I love you,

marveling this stranger greying,

stumbling, always together,

to our origins.

************************************

So, well, shoot. Tomorrow I’ll tell HP that I wrote him a poem, and he’ll check the blog, and be confused at this silly wordplay. I have to say, though, that I had a good ole’ time messing around with these sounds and words. Miss you, my poemies. Love you. Happy Valentine’s day, tomorrow. Dude married people he wasn’t supposed to. That deserves a day. xoxo, Anna

Turtle

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