Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dogwood and Flowering Judas (Poem)

Dogwood and Flowering Judas

Youth is drunk with sense of touch, 
gives not a thought to vanities 

and ambitions supple and impudent. 

The heart of an old man shuttles
with confusions of age and memory

— of whispers fathered by passion
rekindled in the dark, of warm hands

driven to caressing when craving has
not reached closer conclusion.

Dreaming is the profit of sleep dispensed
with, the atoms of attention fractured

and divided into tears of forgiveness
made wonders of rain.

Too soon a word blistered in salt
springs terror of refusal, cunning

contrived to dull the head now weak
at the sight of dogwood — beauty the sign

of a tree of feathers white as snow,
the flowering Judas poking at the door.

© 2014 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem is from a manuscript-in-progress, tentatively titled "The Found Poems of T.S. Eliot"; the individual words are all found in the text of Eliot's poem "Gerontion".


Kathleen said...

What a project! Evocative poem, in so many ways.

Peggy Rosenthal said...

Fascinating project, Maureen. I picture you literally cutting up "Gerontion" into individual words, then putting them all on the floor and moving them around like Scrabble pieces!

I'm intrigued by how different your poem is from "Gerontion" -- though your words are from there. It makes me wonder what words are, how their meanings come only through connections with one another and with contexts where we've heard them.

Maureen said...

I have about 10 poems so far. I hope to create a chapbook.

Peggy, your description is apt, though the cutting-up is somewhat virtual.

Thank you!