Monday, February 15, 2016

Struck Dumb

Struck dumb
longer than Zechariah:
to write, to sing, to pray --
for four bleak years

no benedictus comes;
instead, at best,
a stunted lament:

a scratch on silence
(not speech, not song);
forced, discordant note
cracking the voice

that once could much but now
can nothing do


  1. Oh, wow, this hurts (because it expresses the experience so well). "A scratch on silence"--what a great image!

    (I forgot this blog was where you post most of your poems. I'll have to come here more often!)

    1. Thank you, Elena!

      This poem was my first attempt at verse after a four-year drought. It is, as you say, a painful poem, but it did mark the very tentative beginning of the resuscitation. One September day in 2007, I basically forced myself to write! Then, the following July, I felt brave enough to try a ballade -- a very tottery jerrybuilt ballade, but soon enough, with practice (making scores of abysmal pentameters!) writing became part of my life again.

      Please forgive this long backstory!

  2. I'm glad you shared the back story. It sounds like quite a journey. Isn't it wonderful when things don't stay as dark as they seem?

    1. Indeed, it is. The journey has been difficult, arduous even, through many a dark time and place which my memory doesn't like to revisit, but I am beyond grateful that I'm able to enjoy poetry -- and life! -- once again.

  3. So glad you (and your poems) are with us.

    1. Thank you, Jeff! It is really a joy to be able to write and to get feedback and encouragement from sagacious and discerning readers such as yourself, and from the poets that I meet at workshops. Sometimes I'm guilty of blogging an inchoate early draft, but it's very much out of a sense of amazement and gratitude that I'm writing at all! Thank you again.


Reading William Stafford

Hearing Stafford's tone of voice, catching his peculiar song, like a murmur solitary, far removed from mob and throng --- but th...