Log Cabin Chronicles

Emily Seeks Her Savior

WARD KELLEY

I am not skeptical of bread . . .
this is something I can touch
and knead into what I require;
it has a fueling substance.

And I’m not skeptical of my words . . .
these go wild-stitching to the paper,
my fingers obsessed beyond food,
the poundations of my simple heart.

Yet when I think to love you . . .
when I need your gentle eyes
in my room, your forgiving smile,
I find you hiding worse than I.

I reach out to the ephemeral,
and I feel a presence there,
I feel many there, many souls
and many fates . . . yet I do not feel you.

Where did you go?
How may I touch you
when you’re so obscured
behind all these other faces?

I fear I have to die
to find the entire fact;
I fear the peace
I possess on this side

is the peace I knead myself.

[Auhor's Note: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), New England poet, is one of the country’s greatest poets. Spending nearly all of her life in Amherst, Massachusetts, the last half in relative seclusion, Emily came to be known as eccentric. Besides rare contacts with people outside her immediate family, she wore only white dresses and sometimes referred to herself as a wayward nun. Regarding her poems – only eleven of 1,775 poems were published during her lifetime – she advocated the "propounded word." Her word for herself as a poet was "gnome," and the poems themselves she called, "bulletins from Immortality." Her last communication was written the day before her death, a short letter sent to young relatives: "Little cousins, -- Called back. Emily."]


a poem about Joan of Arc


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