Tuesday 5 August 2014

4 Poems by Joneve McCormick

Beginnings and Endings

Thor's fist and forearm, archetypal hammer,
tall diaphanous maidens glide by;
a voice on my left whispers
'Those aren't born of Reasoning'
Thor and the maidens signal no endings

People sublimate to build a nation
and realize a vision;
when their wills become feeble
they make hammers with alloys
and built-in obsolescence

Choosing  to be true
Garcia Lorca was shot dead,
Joan of Arc chose death by fire;
opting out of life in prison
both signaled the fall of fixed opinions
about what matters

Innocence and freedom are reclaimed with truth
whether one keeps his mere body or not;
Garcia Lorca’s voice lives on,
his laurel wreath glowing in eternal light
and Joan of Arc communes with her God


I've looked at moonless waters, treading them
burned and frightened,
and I've looked from high places
in the light where love rules.

I listen to the still voice within
which knows without thinking,
correct myself as needed,
pay attention.

The King of Siam

My betta fish is emerald blue
with a mouth wide as his head
and great thin billowy fins

When I come close
he darts to the top of his world to dance,
hungry or not

and expands like a haiku
far beyond his lines
in a space now named Siam

I turn into an ancient warrior
under his spell
- wild, cold, artful -

listening for the first sounds ever made
beyond ocean floors
and glittering stars

My teacher
(for Minoru Kawabata)

He taught painting in Manhattan,
a wisp of a man, almost transparent,
who knew his world within
and what he intended came about
but he didn’t seem to know
or care that he was famous.

He showed us what is possible,
finding living seeds of promise
on each student’s canvas
and ways to coax forth their powers;
in his care we grew as artists.

Beyond wisdom, missing nothing,
he found exact gestures and words
to calm the space and lift our spirits.
Though he spoke little English,
he touched our hearts with such elegance
that we outdid ourselves.


Joneve McCormick’s poems have been published in a wide variety of hard copy and online literary and art periodicals, in several poetry anthologies and two solo collections.  She hosts the international online poetry journals, <a href="http://www.theperegrinemuse.com/PoetsInternational/">Poets International</a>, <a href="http://www.theperegrinemuse.com/poetrysoultosoul/">Poetry Soul to Soul</a> and <a href="http://www.theperegrinemuse.com/Whos_here.html">The Peregrine Muse</a>.

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