POETRY
To the Lady and Her Poet
Naomi Lowinsky

Photo by Alex Hockett on Unsplash

Photo by Alex Hockett on Unsplash

All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
                —“Sunday Morning”


1.
Oracular    the filtered light of oak
through her peignoir     She comes to me as though
her spell was never broken     I’m still twenty
I can smell     those pungent oranges in the sun
Did I get lost?    Did I forget?    Her music
is a river long gone underground     The lady dreams me
as a girl     seated in an oak     enraptured
by the “chaos of the sun”

2.
Did I forget?   Did I get lost     in “the dark
encroachment of that old catastrophe?”
The river flows from forest into cave
Listen     “the ancient hush of holy sacrifice”
There was a shattering     The old gods severed
by stroke of axe     The shadows brood
about the gone     the lost     The waters
wander on     into the “chaos of the sun”

3.
Sun and drops of rain after a long drought
The lady speaks for birds     and for the alphabet
of trees     Remember    one midsummer     a door
opened?    You found yourself with me
beneath the hazel tree?    Nine branches
each one a muse     We gathered seeds
to feed the salmon    Your thoughts were wings
amidst “the chaos of the sun”

4.
Seated in the same old chair     that held me
when first I met    my lady’s gaze
Did I get lost?     Did I forget?     Her musings
are my own “green wings”     What use the smell
of oranges     the memory of oak invoked peignoir
when years wheel to the thirteenth tree     the elder
the tree of death?     How does a poet of the old enchantment
sing us through     this shattering
                                                       into the “chaos of the sun”?


Naomi Lowinsky's poems have been widely published, most recently in Serving House Journal, Ginosko and Stickman. Her poem “Madelyn Dunham, Passing On” won first prize in the Obama Millennium Contest. She has also won the Blue Light Poetry Chapbook Contest.