1.
Last night, a flurry of selves.

2.
I was revealing my naked face to people I trust to take care of these truths.

3.
Sometimes even I’m surprised at my deep capacity to be vulnerable. It’s terrifying.

4.
The world chafes, for all its beauty.

Detail
Eamon Grennan

I was watching a robin fly after a finch — the smaller bird
chirping with excitement, the bigger, its breast blazing, silent
in light-winged earnest chase — when, out of nowhere
over the chimneys and the shivering front gardens,
flashes a sparrowhawk headlong, a light brown burn
scorching the air from which it simply plucks
like a ripe fruit the stopped robin, whose two or three
cheeps of terminal surprise twinkle in the silence
closing over the empty street when the birds have gone
about their own business, and I began to understand
how a poem can happen: you have your eye on a small
elusive detail, pursuing its music, when a terrible truth
strikes and your heart cries out, being carried off.

This is from Still Life with Waterfall: Poems by Eamon Grennan, published by Graywolf Press, 2002.

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In love with a poem, like I haven’t been every day of my life.

Opposing Forces
Eamon Grennan

Even in this sharp weather there are lovers everywhere
holding onto each other, hands in one another’s pockets
for warmth, for the sense of I’m yours, the tender claim
it keeps making—one couple stopping in the chill
to stand there, faces pressed together, arms around
jacketed shoulders so I can see bare hands grapple
with padding, see the rosy redness of cold fingers
as they shift a little, trying to register through fold
after fold, This is my flesh feeling you you’re feeling.

It must be some contrary instinct in the blood
that sets itself against the weather like this, brings
lovers out like early buds, like the silver-grey catkins
I saw this morning polished to brightness
by ice overnight. Geese, too: more and more couples
voyaging north, great high-spirited congregations
taking the freezing air in and letting it out
as song, as if this frigid enterprise were all joy,
nothing to be afraid of.