Monday, April 5, 2010

It's National Poetry Month

"Knowledge is free at libraries, but you have to bring your own container."--Anonymous

Yesterday, a librarian reminded me of that.

I dedicate this scrap from my poem "The Museum of Coincidence" to that librarian and all librarians, including those who work in museums


III.

I went seeking the bats of happiness.

For the longest time I found only air:
baskets filled with air
and stirrups that once might have
balanced a warrior, but now
only air.

A ceremonial vessel shaped like a rhinoceros
full of air
The birthday dress of a tiny daughter
with striped sleeves meaning happiness
full of air

And then I did find
the bats of happiness
in a little hallway leading to the stairs.
Not the same saucer
with red bats and peaches and a small boy,
but another dish of happiness,
five sorts of happiness,
although I remain reluctant to count my blessings.

And I found, too,
a magpie in a plum tree,
which is happiness up to the eyebrows.
If you want happiness beyond that
you may need a hat.
Or you may consider that the Tibetans
find the skull to be a well-made vessel
without any potter’s thumbprint in the clay.

It could be a tea cup
or you could mix paint in it
or you could put extra happiness in it
if it comes to that.
Lucky, you, with a well-made vessel close at hand.


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