Showing posts from July, 2007

Primary Wonder

by Denise Levertov Days pass when I forget the mystery. Problems insoluble and problems offering their own ignored solutions jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber along with a host of diversions, my courtiers, wearing their colored clothes, cap and bells. And then once more the quiet mystery is present to me, the throng’s clamor recedes: the mystery that there is anything, anything at all, let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything, rather than void: and that, O Lord, Creator, Hallowed One, You still, hour by hour sustain it. from Sands of the Well (1996)


by Sophie Katz She wrote this poem in memory of her mother, Chaya Esther Perelman, who died on Novemb er 22, 19 47. When Sophie died on June 10, 2007, Joel Katz, found among her papers a famous Japanese wood block of Nicherin claming the seas on his way into exile. Yes, as the sutra says, being born of a good mother helps a son find the dharma, My mother died. We opened up her bedside table Just before the auction. Pills For migraine, cough drops, a dusty comb, Old pens that didn't work. Scraps of cloth from old dresses, A dozen paperbacks, high sounding titles On poetry, metaphysics, But mostly never read. And papers Hundreds of papers Like leaves in an autumn storm, and just as ragged. Old bills with lines of poetry -- Her disembodied souls come into being With no before or after. Ten-cent notebooks The home of daring thoughts on women's needs Before Friedan or Greer. Health diary of the children, and in the back, A list of topics that would someday m