The Poet Takes a Government Post Not uncommon in other lands. And so in China, the man of images and words fell to extracting taxes, saw his subjects as clouds of insects settled into the valley below him, amassed and held tight to the loss of any clarity. He perceived no map of streets laid out there like the grid of electrical relays my father showed to teach me how order works. He often unrolled his blueprints on the oak table, smoothed them. I stared as uncomprehending and trapped as the ancient man of letters. He gazed at no lotus blossom, no gourd of eggshell delicacy nor heard dried seeds pelting music from within. We await, with our crossed purposes, release from this world of ledger books. Poetry "But even the chips of it are invaluable." William Carlos Williams There is no word so I will not say it but I will try overgrown forest concrete steps to crippled trees someone carved his name A Writer's Winter Week by Candlelight My air is redolent of tallow and dollops of wax are everywhere, my hair, my forehead, the countertops, the tablecloths.Huge snowflakes drift down when it is day, cover the ice-broken branches, the shattered crown of the giant elm. Cold hours cruise past with memories of Post-War Scotland, our cold flat, or Bolivia in the Andes, mountain climbing and cold camping trips. Those were shivery but good times, so I shake off and again use the past. I feel virtuous when I re-cycle, and even misery has its uses, both in poetry and in life. For me, they are the same. Written in His Hand Somehow one man, who must have lived an overworked and hectic life with too many children and too much to accomplish, summoned the slow-wheel of human longing and reached out to the ages, sending a quiet gift for the acceptance of another dawn. I choose 4 a.m. to begin the day after nights of pacing, trying out one place or another, one position for rest, a place to out-distance pain. I am ready for some creature comfort: my mini-mocha, a velvety throw. At times I find mind-soothing in music or contact with friends. This morning it reaches out to me from the cover-art on the sheet music for "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," beloved notes I have been practicing anew, though with arthritic, fumbling fingers. The reproduction is black and gray, ancient-looking, a hand-written manuscript, the only legible word scrawled, "Choral." The music in my head rolls like warm waves coming ashore in moonlight, and I think, indeed, in Bach's own hand, a gift of quiet. Somehow one man, who must have lived an overworked and hectic life, reached out to the ages, sent a quiet gift … Through Fog and Forest "...inclined to see sins as phases through which humans pass..." Czeslaw Milosz on William Blake "Through the deep waters" they sing with never a thought that the depths that swallow us whole may dwell within. Does it matter as we stumble and sing and sometimes raise our eyes from the ruts of this half-chosen road?
Carol Hamiltion has recent and upcoming publications in PONTIAC REVIEW, SANSKRIT LITERARY-ARTS MAGAZINE, POET LORE, LIMESTONE, LOUISIANA LITERATURE, OFF THE COAST, PALAVER, SAN PEDRO RIVER REVIEW, HAIGHT ASHBURY LITERARY JOURNAL, HUBBUB, BLUE UNICORN, TWO CITIES REVIEW, POEM, TIPTON POETRY REVIEW, and others. I have published 17 books: children's novels, legends and poetry, most recently, SUCH DEATHS. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated six times for a Pushcart Prize.