Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Poem - Fire by Melissa Green

Following on from last week's Water, Melissa's Fire. . . (thank you for permission to post these here, M - and, in time, your Earth and Air, too.) -

                      v Fire

                      Father, I'm dizzy in shimmering August, rising new
                      As summer's mistress from a field of corn. She now
                      Is married to the heat-swept grain. Her ripening breast
                      Is a thicket, bright with blood-berries, her body dressed
                      In flame. The red god of the salamander sandals her foot,
                      A monarch touches her lip, her coppery hands fit
                      Petals in a chain. She knows she has chosen to burn
                      At noon, as nature intends. The thrust maize, unborn,
                      Has made her heavy and drugged as a bee. A tawny wood-
                      Dove sleepily croons what her tongue cannot: the subtle wound
                      That too much plenty makes. She doesn't know that winter
                      Ravages, that grief and habitual wind will tint her
                      Skin and break the tender stalk of her body. She stands
                      Impaled by arrows of afternoon light until thunder stuns
                      Her - she slips like smoke into shade, behind the burning stones.

                      Melissa Green 
                      from The Squanicook Eclogues - pg 15. (W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 1987)


For more Tuesday Poems please click on the quill -

This week's editor is NZ N. Island poet Renee Laing with the poem Gaudeamus Igitur
by John Stone. 


I typed up Melissa's poem on the plane between Dunedin and Christchurch, scheduling it to post while I'm in the air between Singapore and Frankfurt. I am en-route to Spain, will have three days in Barcelona (Gaudi - at last) before crossing the sea to Santa Eulalia Des Rui, a small village on the island of Ibiza (one of the Baleriacs). For the first time ever, I've felt a wee bit nervous about traveling alone - probably because I don't speak a word of Catalan or Spanish and I don't expect my years of Latin are likely to help one bit. . . I'll be fine once I'm there, I'm sure. It makes me appreciate my children's intrepidness (is there such a word?) when it comes to foreign travel. My daughter has been giving me lots of encouragements. So begins another chapter of what will inevitably be a significant and altering time. . . 

Books I have in my hand luggage? Mr g by Alan Lightman.  Also his book of essays titled A Sense of The Mysterious - Science And The Human Spirit, Finuala Dowling's Homemaking For The Down At Heart (a wonderfully eclectic and eccentric cast of characters - i.e the title is, I think, misleading as the book is not nearly as domestic as it suggests; it's set in Kalk Bay, Cape Town, the fishing village I spent a chunk of time in when I returned to SA over Christmas) and the Rough Guide to Barcelona. 

More from me once I've landed. . .  

PS. John B - I am playing with a post on Venus and the traps. . . ; )


  1. I really like the last lines of this. Have a great time in Spain.

  2. Beautifully descriptive poem.

    Best wishes on your journey.

  3. Lovely poem - happy travelling Claire. Thanks so much for linking me to A Vast Scale. x

  4. Thank you, Melissa for this stunningly visceral poem, and how apt it seems (somehow) that it should be posted as you travel to Spain, Claire