Ah, today’s prompt transported me to the world of Sylvia Plath. I spent some time reading her and loving her, amazed by the depth and the intensity of feeling evoked by her words. Truly masterful were her combinations of sounds and phrasing. Sometimes as I read them aloud the words became percussive in my ears. For this penultimate day of NaPoWriMo 2018 I chose Plath’s Poem “Elm” as the starting point for my poem.
Here are the first three tercets of Plath’s poem. I just love them.
I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root:
It is what you fear.
I do not fear it: I have been there.
Is it the sea you hear in me,
Or the voice of nothing, that was your madness?
Love is a shadow.
How you lie and cry after it
Listen: these are its hooves: it has gone off, like a horse.
And now here you go with today’s poem:
I know the bliss of realization, she says. I know it with my greatest summit.
It is what you dream of.
I do not dream it: I live there.
Is it the galaxy you taste in me,
Or the embodiment of forever, that was your serenity?
Love is pure light.
How you move and sing with it
Feel: these are its wings: it rests with you, like an angel.
The responsibility of privilege is absolute integrity.
Sources of inspiration coalesce,
sending me the same message
until it reaches in
and takes root.
they’re all saying the same thing:
Open, grow, let it flow.
So I open.
I open more.
And the changes come slowly at first,
but then more quickly over time.
I see my responsibility
in opening to possibility
and how the only one ever
holding me back was, well,
Now, this, this is power:
realizing that the failure was mine,
but now so is the success.
And I get to choose.
I was walking across a parking lot today
when movement up above caught my eye.
Looking up into the bright blue,
cold, clear autumn sky
I saw a gorgeous hawk
circling slowly overhead.
Transfixed, I stopped,
struck by the graceful
stretch of wings
and the way the bird
was allowing itself to float
on invisible circles of air.
What if we could do that?
I asked myself.
Don’t we all have to stretch
before we can fly?
I wondered what would happen
if I stretched myself like this,
and allowed myself
to be buoyed up
by the invisible forces
that constantly move me.
if you’re feeling depleted
to experience abundance:
Consider that whenever you’re experiencing abundance
you’re also having the experience of being fully alive.
Breathing sustains the physical and emotional
experience of being fully alive
by reinforcing the perception
that life is movement,
a constant transition from
fullness to emptiness.
Try breathing slowly and deeply a few times.
Even if your mind doesn’t,
your body will understand
exactly what I mean.
Healing isn’t something we do,
it’s something that we allow,
once we have dissolved the blocks
to its natural unfolding.
And the blocks are always inside us.
What stories are you telling?
What beliefs have you cherished for so long?
What identity have you been feeding
at the expense of your deepest, truest self?
When we decide to heal, we will,
and it doesn’t matter what needs to be healed.
Cultivate self-love, an appreciation of your soul,
stoke the fire within you that gives rise
to your vibrant, beautiful expression in the world.
All this and more becomes your way of life
when you choose to heal from the inside.
The magic is here.
Open your eyes.
Can you see it?
Heavenly fragrance everywhere.
Can you smell it?
The music is being played.
Can you hear it?
The rhythm is flowing.
Let your body move.
Can you feel it?
The sweet water cascades upon you.
Open your mouth.
Can you taste it?
You are alive.
Did you know it?