I’m not sure where this poem came from. It just happened. I was thinking about the sad loss of butterflies this summer and what that might mean to our environment, our gardens, our enjoyment of nature. Somehow, from that line of thought to the poem…well, how does one explain where things are born? I hope you enjoy this poem.
An audio of me reading this poem is available at the link below. Give it a few seconds to begin.
When a Heart Breaks
Did you ever consider a heart is like a chrysalis? Perfectly wrapped round and round, silken strands layered one upon the other, locked together in a solid embrace of fragile fibers.
This is what the heart is.
When a heart breaks, no one picks through the fibers trying to separate the strands. Yet it can be undone so easily.
Words can unravel it so quickly that it spins like a frenzied top, leaving behind a trail of weakened strings, no longer useful to anyone.
September was ready to slip into October
and autumn skies were filled with color
Clusters of clouds
and let the sun peer through
I imagined you as Icarus taking a risk
and trying to fly high above your depression,
gliding for a while like a broad-winged hawk,
the cool air making you unaware
of just how close
to the sun
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The story of Icarus has always fascinated me. I think as long as people have lived, some have always wished they could fly like the birds. There are so many beautiful paintings and drawings of this classic myth, but in my mind’s eye I see only the simple picture of water with a feather floating on it—a reminder of how easily a dream and a life can come to an end. My Icarus poems were written when…
Yes, this is the second time you’ve seen this picture in my blog. It was posted with a poem, Daybreak, in late August and now it reappears to accompany a second poem it also inspired, Daybreak II. A single picture on paper, on the screen or in the memory has a powerful, persuasive control of our imagination. This beautiful photo by my friend and photographer, Yolanda Litton, has done just that.
Early Morning at Bagnegrole (Photograph by Yolanda Litton)
I’ve included an audio clip of me reading the poem. Click on the link below and wait a few seconds.
Waking up in at daybreak in the south of France
Is as if I were stepping into someone else’s life.
So far from my own home, this wistful morning fog
Rises slowly to reveal a house of soft honeyed stone.
The slope of a sharply pitched roof holds a tall chimney
Where the swifts are now resting after a long evening hunt.
Somewhere a rooster crows with the energy that only
The young can bring to a new day. Out of nowhere,
A soft gray cat tip-toes by, looks up at me and blinks
Its eyes in that inscrutable feline way and disappears.
I stand here leaning on the windowsill, wondering
What my life would be like had I been born here.
The smell of freshly brewed coffee wafts up from
The kitchen below. One lone church bell rings
Calling its faithful to prayer. But nature’s beauty
Is my religion, my serenity, my salvation, my Eden.