Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Creating the Magic...
The Magic. With the exception of the line, frigates and kites go flying, the first six lines of this Sestina--written at Mar de Jade, Chacala Beach, Nayarit, Mexico--are taken from comments heard by participants at a week-long dance retreat. Finding and creating magic was the theme of the retreat, led by Danielle Woermann and Monica Welty Walker.
The words that repeat in the next stanzas and ending tercet are magic, wonder, flying, right, fall, and cutters. The goal of the writer/narrator is to write a poem that uses the six words in different ways to create a cohesive poem and maybe one with an overall point as well.
“Where do you find the magic?”
“It’s avocado! No wonder!”
Frigates and kites go flying.
"Your light switch is on the right."
They said, “Don’t run; you’ll fall.”
“Cortaúñas means nail cutters.”
Two teen girls in pain--both are cutters.
They know that’s not the way to find the magic,
but who are we to say what’s right
when so much of our lives is based on wonder
and we see flowers and leaves both grow and fall—
Do your thoughts ever tend toward flying?
Today at Mar de Jade, I watched the flying
as frigates and kites went cutting
through clouds, and it was as if nothing could fall
out of the sky, but was all magic!
It pushed my doubting heart into a sense of wonder
so that for a moment, each breath felt right.
Do we ever really know what’s right?
And are you earthbound, never flying
to that point so high you feel a sense of wonder,
looking down on the gardener with hedge cutters
making topiaries out of green magic?
Or are you afraid you’ll fall?
I try to stay in Summer or Spring, not Fall,
but who is to say what’s right?
We all, I think, have to find our own magic
in whatever makes us feel that flying
sure beats the opposite, those death-driven cutters
who can’t believe they can find the daily wonder!
How does each of us feel—at the heart of it—I wonder,
Living somewhere between stand and fall,
Between the growers and the cutters?
In short, if you’re a cutter, you can’t go flying
And you'll never feel the magic
Until you turn grower, and I know I’m right.
At Mar de Jade, no falling, just flying
And, in and of itself, there’s the magic
And it feels almost right.