Tuesday, March 14, 2017

National Women's Month: Viola Weinberg's "Dear Pablo Neruda no. 335"

 You’ve always said to face your fears
            to charge forward
            to see them as they are
You said that about fascists
You said that about phobias
You said that about death, Pablo

Some battles cannot be won, you know
But today, sitting on the edge of the pool
            where lately I have tried to
            grow comfortable in the water
            my fear suddenly surrendered
I listened to the great ebb and flow of it

One boundless organism that shimmied at the surface
I saw the oneness of it, the unified field of it
I saw the allure and rapture of it, I saw it all
            and felt something new, pleasure
            with the prism of it, delight in its mighty wave
I let go of the side and dropped, wanting to be covered in it

Once in, I saw a thousand other things
            and heard the songs the sirens sing
I understood fish and salamanders and swimmers
            for the first time
I observed the eddies, ridges and swells
            of water’s immense lens

I saw the rings of motion in a swimmer’s arm
            lifted in unconscious sync
            turning like Buddha himself spun the wheels
            around and around in cataleptic flow
            fingers poised and elegant, heads turning
The swimmers took their miraculous, measured breath

I slipped under lane lines, I went to the middle
I saw my own ripple in the ever-growing circles
            still holding my head high, I sighed
            and fell into something mystical and greater
            I found my purpose— to go nowhere and everywhere
I felt my lungs open and relax, my hands unknot
As I did, you moved under me, moving me
            to your beautiful island
            graceful on your course
And I, unapologetic and full of idiot grace
            moved my legs like a frog
            and chased the water’s ruffled lace

© 2017 Viola Weinberg

 Viola Weinberg was the first Poet Laureate of Sacramento, CA (2000-2002). She was named Glenna Luschei Distinguished Poet at the 2008 San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival. Published in everything from prayer flags to the internet, she has four books of poetry, including the traditionally styled Japanese "Enso" with Mario Uribe. Viola Weinberg lives in rural Sonoma County with her husband, photographer Peter Spencer.

1 comment:

  1. "I found my purpose— to go nowhere and everywhere"...gorgeous line from an expansive and thought-provoking gem. Beautiful.