Porch with a View (in a Valley)



by Jason Martin (watercolor on paper)

Porch with a View (In a Valley)

The pollen slips like dance wax
on a porch that has seen many
waxed dances, more
than I remember
and I remember enough.

If I could cast sadness as a weed,
maybe I could root it out.
But it’s one of those stones
that comes to earth’s surface,
no matter how we clear it,
with every till,
every until,
every single then here now.

The trick is to dance over it.
So, I tell myself.
Or maybe the trick
is simply to stand still,
or, more simply, to still–
to let the sadness dance over,
understanding that stones in the mind
weigh about as much
as the dust of dandelions and lilacs alike–

Oh, the slippery mind–
how it wants
to hold things in
its palms; how it wants
to have palms–this perch
at the side of a mountain, these
straitened planks–

This is very much of a draft poem.  I am particularly uncertain of the last two stanzas, and have contemplated (long) ending at the end of the second stanza.  But here I am, with extra lines.  I  am posting it now to move on from it a bit.  The painting is by Jason Martin, and is also used as the cover of my poetry book. Going on Somewhere.   (Check it out!  Along with my other books, Nice, Nose Dive and 1 Mississippi.)

Have a nice weekend. 


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8 Comments on “Porch with a View (in a Valley)”

  1. Mama Zen Says:

    Beautiful, K. Really beautiful.

  2. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    That second stanza really captured my imagination – something we can all wish for, the rooting out of sadness. I like your advice to dance over it!

    PS. I have added your collection of poems to the Imaginary Garden Bookshelf.

  3. X Says:

    I like the comparisons to grass and to stone, and I was thinking of the rock that gets into ones shoe and wears at you – this is sadness too, at times. It is an emotion, neither good nor bad, so i say let it have its way at times, learn to dance with it.

  4. hedgewitch Says:

    The metaphors here are homely and gentle, but the pervading mood has a cutting edge to it–that word, if, seems to be the one the poem turns on, yet every alternative has a sense of ending to it, of resignation, really, I suppose. We take the rocks we turn up in our fields and either leave them to stumble over ot build–better a dancing floor than a wall, I think, even if sadness is the only thing waltzing. I like the uncertain feel of the ending stanza–very Stevens-y to me, or modernist, anyway, and it leaves a myriad of possibilities.

  5. M Says:

    and see, I really like the last two stanzas. ~

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