with kind permission of Adam Dickinson, I'm posting his poem 'Sleep Begins in the Mouth' from his collection Cartography and Walking (which you can get hold of here). I stumbled over it again yesterday, and it resonates with all this breath and bone stuff from the 'Freeing The Poet's Voice' course I've been posting about.
Now I think of it, I think I remember learning this poem while I waited at the bus stop nearest the New Westminster Public Library, and I seem to think it played a part in pressing 'Paternoster' out of me...something in the imagery and shape and rhythm...
Anyway, I love it.
Sleep Begins in the Mouth
We've discussed this half-asleep;
our tongues like piled cottonwood
in the dry, open field.
It's hard to know how to give
yourself to someone.
It's the astonished snow
that returns in May as cherry blossoms;
how for weeks the branches had committed
to a brown indolence.
It's the baritone groan of river ice,
a decision without warning to disband,
to dash its bones.
When you let your eyes droop,
the air comes into you
like into a grassland deep in the neck.
Here the horses eat from your hand.
The lump in your throat is flowering grain.