constellations #42: because i love a burning thing

Hi again.

Two poems today, in honor of a virtual writing workshop I went to last week. It was about the ocean.

The workshop was hosted by two writers, Pam Grossman and Janaka Stucky. The first poem is one that Janaka read during the workshop, and the second one is a poem of his that I love. Hope you like them.

Sonnet XXXIV

Pablo Neruda

You are the daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin.
Swimmer, your body is pure as the water;
cook, your blood is quick as the soil.
Everything you do is full of flowers, rich with the earth.

Your eyes go out toward the water, and the waves rise;
your hands go out to the earth and the seeds swell;
you know the deep essence of water and the earth,
conjoined in you like a formula for clay.

Naiad: cut your body into turquoise pieces,
they will bloom resurrected in the kitchen.
This is how you become everything that lives.

And so at last, you sleep, in the circle of my arms
that push back the shadows so that you can rest-
vegetables, seaweed, herbs: the foam of your dreams.

The Art of Loss is a Lost Art

Janaka Stucky

Because I love a burning thing
I made my heart a field of fire

In this way I own nothing
Can lose nothing

The moon cake you fed me remains 
A ghost upon my tongue

Immortal wasp
Tiny white flame I have never touched

The truth is
We are perfect

Hours unspent like diamonds
In the invisible now

Without each other
Still    we are perfect

I make with my mouth
The hour of your arrival

Again and again
In my indefinite sleep

See you soon.


(P.S. Thank you to Madeline, for inviting me to the workshop, and to Matt, for the ocean photo.)