Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Friends

I have the best friends in the world. Every day, they give me little pieces of themselves in dozens of big and little ways. I would not be here, or anywhere realy, without them. They make each day mean something, and some days that's much more than I can do for myself

For instance, Lisa sent me this poem a few days ago and it's been pinging around in my head - and propping me up - ever since.

The Mystery of Meteors
by Eleanor Lerman

I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through
a meager park
Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like
blind white birds
Two days in a row I have not seen the meteors
though the radio news says they are overhead
Leonid's brimstones are barred by clouds; I cannot read
the signs in heaven, I cannot see night rendered into fire

And yet I do believe a net of glitter is above me
You would not think I still knew these things:
I get on the train, I buy the food, I sweep, discuss,
consider gloves or boots, and in the summer,
open windows, find beads to string with pearls
You would not think that I had survived
anything but the life you see me living now

In the darkness, the dog stops and sniffs the air
She has been alone, she has known danger,
and so now she watches for it always
and I agree, with the conviction of my mistakes.
But in the second part of my life, slowly, slowly,
I begin to counsel bravery. Slowly, slowly,
I begin to feel the planets turning, and I am turning
toward the crackling shower of their sparks

These are the mysteries I could not approach when
I was younger:
the boulevards, the meteors, the deep desires that
split the sky
Walking down the paths of the cold park
I remember myself, the one who can wait out anything
So I caution the dog to go silently, to bear with me
the burden of knowing what spins on and on above our heads

For this is our reward:Come Armageddon, come fire or flood,
come love, not love, millennia of portents--
there is a future in which the dog and I are laughing
Born into it, the mystery, I know we will be saved


Eleanor Lerman said...

Dear Debi: This is my poem and I am deeply touched by the fact that it resonated with you. Both loss and hope are, indeed, laced through every line--I was writing about the end of one kind of life and the beginning of another, and very much feeling the long-ago death of my mother which has echoed through almost forty years of my life--so I just thought I'd say hello to you. And thank you for using the poem the way this kind of work should always be used: to pass along tiny clues about the great mystery we are born into and then, eventually, depart from. Lots of love to you.
Eleanor Lerman

Debi said...

Eleanor, thank you very much for your sweet words. Your poem is so lovely and means a great deal to me on many levels. What a gift to hear from you personally. Truly. Thank you.

Lisa said...

See, this is why I love the internet so much sometimes. (OK, most of the time.) I found a poem of Eleanor's called Starfish and it just knocked me out, so I googled her and found "The Mystery of Meteors," which reached out to me in the way that's the whole reason I love poetry (bad sentence, but). I copied it out for myself and sent it to a few friends, including Debi, and now here we are having this conversation in the ether. It's an amazing thing.

Eleanor, thank you so much for responding. That just made my day.

Greg Hyduke said...

Very touching exchange here. Which is a good metaphor for what magically happens when the earth passes a piece of something else from somewhere else in space. The whole topic fascinates me. It's amazing how many poets and writers through the centuries have been so inspired (personally thinking of Dylan's "Shooting Star", from 'Oh, Mercy' (1985), which I can't listen to without melting)). We think of them as falling, or burning out, or somehow fleeting, only because we tend to see everything from our perspective. But it's only our glimpse of them that is brief. In truth, they have been travelling a long time, and, like souls, as some believe, continue travelling after we can no longer see them. And we don't actually see them, either, most no bigger than a grain of sand. Only the glow they give off in our presence.