Linda Pastan

  • Sep. 22nd, 2012 at 11:50 PM
beth_shulman: (Default)
Another autumn, the dogwoods turning first,
their hard berries bright as drops of blood
in the oak woods where a wild fox limped past
just yesterday - a harsher bleeding, and the sound of hounds
came faint as a scent on the wind, barred I had thought
from this wilderness of suburbs. I looked out
my kitchen window this morning and saw a deer,
tame as some neighbor's dog, eating the rhododendrons,
and I listened for the small thunder of shotguns
to stop that beautiful, omnivorous mouth.

The cold will come on fast now. Last week
I emptied the closet of its summer dresses;
draped over my arm they were pale
and insubstantial as last spring's flowers,
and the wool sweaters and skirts I hung in their place
depressed me with their heaviness, their dull, nut colors.
This is the true start of the year; the Jewish calendar
knows it, the school calendar too. maybe that's why
our old dreams come back to taunt us, hanging
before our faces like condensed breath on this chilly air.

Another Autumn

Linda Pastan

  • Apr. 29th, 2012 at 9:02 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: black and white tree scene)
Why are your poems so dark?

Isn't the moon dark too,   
most of the time?   

And doesn't the white page   
seem unfinished   

without the dark stain   
of alphabets?   

When God demanded light,   
he didn't banish darkness.   

Instead he invented   
ebony and crows   

and that small mole   
on your left cheekbone.   

Or did you mean to ask   
"Why are you sad so often?"   

Ask the moon.   
Ask what it has witnessed.

Linda Pastan

  • Aug. 22nd, 2011 at 10:03 PM
beth_shulman: (Default)
When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.

(To a Daughter Leaving Home)

Linda Pastan

  • Jul. 10th, 2011 at 3:50 PM
beth_shulman: (Default)
Finding a new poet
is like finding a new wildflower
out in the woods. You don't see

its name in the flower books, and
nobody you tell believes
in its odd color or the way

its leaves grow in splayed rows
down the whole length of the page. In fact
the very page smells of spilled

red wine and the mustiness of the sea
on a foggy day - the odor of truth
and of lying.

And the words are so familiar,
so strangely new, words
you almost wrote yourself, if only

in your dreams there had been a pencil
or a pen or even a paintbrush,
if only there had been a flower.

(A New Poet)

Linda Pastan

  • May. 4th, 2011 at 9:48 PM
beth_shulman: (Default)
I want to write you
a love poem as headlong
as our creek
after thaw
when we stand
on its dangerous
banks and watch it carry
with it every twig
every dry leaf and branch
in its path
every scruple
when we see it
so swollen
with runoff
that even as we watch
we must grab
each other
and step back
we must grab each
other or
get our shoes
soaked we must
grab each other

(love poem)

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