"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2016 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw.


Polly Alice

Friday, April 29, 2016

Dream House

Working on adding some of my favorite poems to artwork.

Here is one from a dream. I've done a lot of dreamwork on this dream, but writing a poem was my favorite part. Then when I made the painting I had so much input on the dreams meaning for my life at this time I was overwhelmed. I still like the dream because of it's imagery. I've learned since then that the house is the dream symbol for the self, the ego. The poem can also be a metaphor for dreaming itself. Dreams within dreams.



Here is the poem: Paper House

My house is humming,
fans are running,
I think it will take flight--
lift silently its honeycomb walls
and float away into the night.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

thistle say what you want

I'm embarrassed too even
write the word thistle in a poem
it rhymes with whistle--
it's a weed...

Shouldn't poetry be about
big things. Things
that would break your heart.
Big save-the-world-things, political
things and noteworthy events we've
all heard about--

Shouldn't poetry suggest
an answer, to all the
questions in the world, the
cries of those enslaved,
the sick, the lost?

Shouldn't poetry have something
to say to them, a word, a rally cry for
us to shout in the cities,
a bit of banter for us
to quote as we pass one another
on the street?

Or is poetry more like a thistle--
growing by the side of the road--
numerous, slightly pretty, but
only useful to birds and jackasses
who eat it happily thinking
it tastes somewhat of pepper
and the dusky sun they
go on and on about each morning
as if they'd never seen it before.

Is poetry that annoying thing, that sticks
to your shoe lace, your sock, the back of your
legs. It won't let go. That overabundance
that fills pages of your journal
and the notebooks of old ladies, ministers,
punked out teens, lovers, and
angry girls dressed in goth?

Is poetry more like a thistle, something
that looks beautiful from afar, but
don't get to close-- it stings. It's
hard to grab ahold of. It's local, regional,
personal, stubborn, impossible, even
dangerous.

Someone told me I would be able
say whatever the heck
I want --if only I'd
accept mediocrity and the
fact that nothing lasts forever.

Maybe that is what a thistle is.
It's mediocre for a flower, surely--
it only lasts the summer,
but it says something loud
and sure with it's purple pop
of coif and it's spikes from
head to root.

How humble is a flower
who cannot be picked or
plucked, will not join
a bouquet--but feeds the
yellow chickadees
day after day, from fall
to winter, she stores a germ
of sunshine in her hidden
hand. When they sing--
she reveals her secret
beauty, a song.


lay out a fleece

when i fold the wool comforter
done with it's afternoon sun--hung
on the back porch to dry
it smells like fresh rain, ivy, no like
ivory linens in the old chest--
saved for a special occasion.

safe like when we all came
here, each running from
something we couldn't name.
you, you couldn't remember
who you were sometimes.
you had seven names, friends
as light as air, friends
i didn't want to see and couldn't
save you from.

the old comforter we
pulled out the closet. we lay it
out like a fleece, over you.
you slept for days, days and
weeks and even months. good
sleep I hoped would wash those
waking night mares away--
your sleeping face wore a small smile

rock away lttle baby in the cradle,
when they first brought
you home i stood by staring
in at your sleeping face--then
never took the time to find
out who you really were inside

No comfort to me when you were
missing. But this comforter-- it's four
inches thick.-red like grandma's chimney
red like the apples she used to bake,
red like love on a faded paper heart
hung in the window. heavy
like those real hugs she used to give
when we'd been gone away too long--

you were gone for too long
when we found you and
brought you home--
we laid that fleece
laid it out over you and
prayed to God for a miracle.

grandma she told me once--
when she was a girl she had a lamb.
a real honest to god lamb. It wasn't
going to make it on its own so
she raised it on milk
from a bottle warmed in the oven.

that lamb she took it in. and
there was nothing i wanted more
than to see you raise up like that
lamb,  like Lazarus, laughing and saying
"got you" i'm fine.

a fine girl on the farm with flashing
brown eyes like yours. hard to think
of grandma, just a girl
who wouldn't take crap from
no one. that little lamb
grew up--it's wool saved each spring
guess who kept the wool,
carded it clean and straight,
and made the soft comforter.

i don't know how often she used
it in that little house with gabled roof.
sent it to me one winter when I was
cold and far away from home--
probably saved my life then too--

i guess i'd like to think that
fabric over time could hold
the weft of a story, hold the love
of a small girl who wanted to
save something lost--

maybe because I'm not a doctor
nor ever could be. I'm just a maker
of small cloths. someone who wants
to share comfort--
someone who was lost but is
slowly being reshaped day by
day in this safe place
with a warm kitchen
where you get up and make
coffee and go study
calculus and the fabled
path of warm suns.

as I fold
up the comforter and put it
away for the summer
I smell rain coming