Monday, October 5, 2015


 ( From an old Slavic Folktale.)

In the house

there were no furnishings

to seat her,


no ripe fruit or fresh milk

to feed her,


no dry kindling or coal

to heat her.


Only green sticks

that would not burn,


a shawl

unwoven by moths,


a pigeon cage

with two birds who bitched

and would not sing.


So in a scatter

of  bitter words

I told her to leave

and unlocked the door.


Yet, after I closed it

light burned through the frame

on an overcast day;


and for some reason

with her back to the sky,

her hair falling in flame
she lingered.

The title means hope or optimism in Czech or Slavic.
 This kind of hope is almost spiritual, very tenacious and when the physical dwelling as well as the individual's spiritual house becomes bare, lacking sustenance, furnishings, and sheer force of will to endure and uphold the shelter, optimism may be discarded or "shut out". Yet, the spirit of it waits on the door step until it is asked back in. It haunts the owner never relinquishing the chance to resume its role and place in his or her life. It lingers like a burning light, a presence that can be ignored but not forgotten. And even though, people so disillusioned with life may swear at it  out of frustration/anger/shame, it remains both tolerant and merciful. But it is also stubborn and willful, intending to win out. I have taken that concept and personified it  as a feminine entity in this poem, almost angelic like.

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