I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

3 March 2008

On Falling Out of Love with a Book Called ‘Howl’

We of the flowers
grew old

cleaned the wind off our hair
scraped the sun from our eyelids
shut the moon in a jar

and left quietly
stepping over our broken bodies on the floor.

in a moment’s mist
we hear

the echo of a roar
tumbling down-wind

old howl of acid truth
quaint and sweet as clothes we used to wear.

The robes fray
the sandals rot
we’ve chopped our long long hair.

to tell you ‘Love’
I hand you tears
not flowers.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 1981

First published Turnstyle


Note: I recently did a quiz which told me that I'm 'a total hippie' – that, even if I no longer use incense or wear sandals, I have the soul of a hippie! I admit it. But it made me remember this piece, written 27 years ago, at which point I was feeling middle-aged and wistful for the past. Why is it that middle-aged felt old, while old age feels so deliciously young? (Btw I never stopped using incense
and if I ever really fell out of love with 'Howl' it was strictly temporary.)

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