Wednesday, June 13, 2012

a way of breathing

L O O K I N G,  W A L K I N G,   B E I N G 

by Denise Levertov

"The World is not something to
look at, it is something to be in."

~ Mark Rudman

I look and look.
Looking's a way of being: one becomes,
sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.
Walking wherever looking takes one.

The eyes
dig and burrow into the world.
They touch
fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor.
World and the past of it,
not only
visible present, solid and shadow
that looks at one looking.

And language? Rhythms
of echo and interruption?
a way of breathing.

breathing to sustain
walking and looking,
through the world,
in it.

The peonies, again, which lasted upwards of two weeks.  Finally, here, the breath going out of them.  When we got them they were tightly unblossomed, eyes closed.  And then, the opening, one at at time. Each a deep, exhilarating breath. After that they soar for a while, above the table top.  Then you see them weary, fall into exhaustion.  Droop and dwindle.  But how gorgeously they go into their long faint.  Peonies are like silent film stars, I wrote in a long ago poem.  

Finally, this morning, I let them go. 

Immediately began craving flowers for the white vase to hold.  


  1. It is hard to believe when they are tight balls like marbles, crawling with big ol red ants that one day they will unfurl in to lacy, pompoms of air and color! You definitely need to refill that vase.

  2. I love peonies and can never experience them here - too hot, so it is a gift to see yours and also always, always your words, which are thoughts written in such beautiful poetry. I have especially appreciated your blog this summer because it has met me often where I am and other times where I want to be. Thanks so very much.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...