The little twerp who used to be part Howler monkey and run around shrieking, using my body as a springboard and jumping off of things has now rounded a corner on the way to -- whatever else is next. Because he honestly couldn't tell you. I say, "So, cool, talking. What's after Talking?"
"I don't know!"
"Well, who decides what's next?"
"I don't know."
Um, yeah. Can't help you there, dude.
The poem I chose today is a paean to earlier days and the urge to madness that still exists within my "little" brother - and in all of us. Hope you find time to run 'til you drop.
Play hard, kids.
When I was five and
undifferentiated energy, animal spirits,
pent-up desire for the unknown built in me
a head of steam I had
no other way to let off, I ran
at top speed back and forth
end to end of the drawingroom,
bay to French window, shouting--
deliberately into the rosewood
desk at one end, the shaken
window-frames at the other, till the fit
wore out or some grownup stopped me.
But when I was six I found better means:
on its merry gallows
of dark-green wood my swing, new-built,
awaited my pleasure, I rushed
out to it, pulled the seat
all the way back to get a good start, and
vigorously pumped it up to the highest arc:
my legs were oars, I was rowing a boat in air--
and then, then from the furthest
forward swing of the ropes
I let go and flew!
At large in the unsustaining air,
flew clear over the lawn across
the breadth of the garden
and fell, Icarian, dazed,
among hollyhocks, snapdragons, love-in-a-mist,
and stood up uninjured, ready
to swing and fly over and over.
The need passed as I grew;
the mind took over, devising
paths for that force in me, and the body curled up,
sedentary, glad to be quiet and read and read,
save once in a while, when it demanded
to leap about or to whirl--or later still
to walk swiftly in wind and rain
long and far and into the dusk,
wanting some absolute, some exhaustion.
- by Denise Levertov, from This Great Unknowing: Last Poems. New York: New Directions Books © 1999.
Do NOT miss the new Nye poems at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, and Kelly's darling original piece to Kid2's first grade teacher -- I hope Mrs. O gets to read this one. The Poetry People are at Wild Rose Reader, hosted by Elaine.