Wednesday, August 26, 2009


While straightening up for dinner guests, I came across a binder of my poems. I paused to read a couple. Their luminosity surprised me.

I like to think that all of my moments are lived lucid and present, but they are not. Today I am reminded what a gift it is when someone--anyone with the capacity to do so, in whatever form--forges a luminous moment into matter that can be seen and touched. Even five years later, the sterling clarity I channeled into Wakefield (see also "Beginning(s): The Story") virtually hums from the page in my hands, vibrating its chord again in me. Before I know it I am returned to the equipoise I knew in the moments of its rendering. What an amazing experience it is to be taken like this by surprise, to be unexpectedly and instantly reawakened by a rendering of one's own prior awakening.

I remember a poet-teacher years ago telling us, her workshop participants, "Be glad you're a writer. You'll always know who you are. You'll never have to agonize over 'finding yourself'." Her statement rang true at the time, but the extent of its wisdom continues to reveal itself even twenty years later. I would not have predicted then that following this metier would bring me here: to writing a love letter of sorts to myself, speaking my gratitude to the "Muse" and to the poet who showed up for Her. What a gift is this clear, deep reservoir I can sip from, when parched, to restore, to refresh. I offer the poem to you on the chance that you might find some refreshment in it as well.


Of course I would find you here
where the jewel wing damsel flies, where
cardinal flower arrests the eye and
joe pye ranks high among weeds.

Where tender leggy birches
egrets of the arbor
cannot get enough of this place
and stars too proliferate, tumble in
winking like some sinful sweet
where I will sleep. Here

where white pine volunteer
in ridiculous numbers with
no designs on rank or rule,
on sovereignty. No
here, trees lie down—bend,
break, even to their death—
and never cry,
never worry for self or kin.

And if there is hunger
I cannot find it. And
if there is harm,
I cannot see it on Horn Pond where
kingfishers sure of their catch today
their each-and-every-day today
are proof: the earth’s relentless,
unequivocal, let’s say, in its forgiveness.
And Providence requires
not word nor confidence.
It is not holy, wholly whole, but rather is
and were I to say happily so, I would be
adding that. To think
we put ourselves in as though
we could be added
as though they were possible,
enhancement, amendment.

To think
I have hunted down purpose
like game I blithely promised not to kill,
fretted over little, lack—well,
I have called it that.
Lamented absence evidenced
in empty hand, arms, bed.
Grown in disillusionment
when those three magic little words
were taken back. How crass:
to think we think we can
add ourselves
to what gives rise to us
what unremittingly conducts
stream and tide and wind.
To think I thought
I could be missed, as if
you, I guess, or this
stream of sunny fishes
got my share. To think
I have thought myself distinct and you
apart and far from here. But now
for the life of me
I cannot tell you why, my dear.

~Kathryn Deputat, © 2004


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