Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Morning Poetry

Advice to Myself 

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons 
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.
                                  ~ by Louise Erdrich, 
                                  from Original Fire: Selected and New Poems. © Harper Collins Publishers, 2003


alexa said...

I have never come across this before and am delighted to read it ( several times!).

m.e (Cathie) said...

i just wanted to pop by and say hello and thank you for the sweet emails you sent me a while ago.
sending you many hugs lovely friend x

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

YES YES YES. This is the kind of poetry I love, the kind that speaks to the every day person, that uses language that is accessible, that breathes. Oh Relyn, that was a great share. AND thank you for coming to visit and I agree; this is a magnificent world and it's even better when we stop to observe it, celebrate it and each other, in peace. LOVE! Anita

S. Etole said...

Wonderful footprints in the sand and diamonds on the water.

amelia said...

I do love it when water sparkles. Sigh.

And thanks for the poem. It was one I had to read a couple times to let it all soak in . . .

heather kathleen said...


Lisa Gordon said...

Such beautiful words, and an equally beautiful photograph, Relyn.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

Oh my, Relyn! I can't even tell you how much I love this...and Erdrich. Thank you for this. Happy November to you. Xoxo

Sandy K. said...

This is a wonderful reminder, as well (just finished your most recent post). The footprints, sand and water are a perfect illustration for this ode to the important things in life:)

Oldies, but Goodies