* sparkling easily with Linda Gregg

Continuing on the theme of “can’t-believe-I-haven’t-shared-this-yet,” this week’s poem by Linda Gregg is one whose lessons I am still learning.

I know that I am still learning – which is to say I have much yet to learn (and let this always be so) – because I found notes!

In my notes on this poem from a journal circa 2009, I wrote that what moves me is Gregg’s ability to sneak in a bit of the metaphysical into a poem rich with narrative detail. It does so in the following specific lines:

 Love is not less because of the spirit.
Delight does not make the heart childish…

Let the spirit marry the heart…

These three lines – free of concrete description – hold the philosophical heart of the poem.

Alone, they make an small abstract poem.

Alongside the rest of the poem, these lines “sparkle easily.”

* white oleanders, yo *
* white oleanders, yo *

Glistening – Linda Gregg

As I pull the bucket from the crude well,
the water changes from dark to a light
more silver than the sun. When I pour it
over my body that is standing in the dust
by the oleander bush, it sparkles easily
in the sunlight with an earnestness like
the spirit close up. The water magnifies
the sun all along the length of it.
Love is not less because of the spirit.
Delight does not make the heart childish.
We thought the blood thinned, our weight
lessened, that our substance was reduced
by simple happiness. The oleander is thick
with leaves and flowers because of spilled
water. Let the spirit marry the heart.
When I return naked to the stone porch,
there is no one to see me glistening.
But I look at the almond tree with its husks
cracking open in the heat. I look down
the whole mountain to the sea. Goats bleating
faintly and sometimes bells. I stand there
a long time with the sun and the quiet,
the earth moving slowly as I dry in the light.

***

Happy drying!

Jose

* painting found here.

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2 thoughts on “* sparkling easily with Linda Gregg

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