Thursday, February 05, 2009

In which I attempt to write a poem

On Brown, Green, and White

there is a book called
snow falling on cedars
i do not know the book’s whole story because
much to my old english teacher’s chagrin
i never finished it

but, while i do not know the story of snow falling on cedars
i do know what it is like to see





and also white pine
and fir
and spruce
and aspen

i may not know the story of the pages
but i do know the story of creation
i know what it is like to listen to the silence
and to feel
as much as see

the calm




snow is like a prickly rose
containing all at once
so much beauty
and so much painful ugliness

piles of oily sludge on the side of the road
treacherous driving canceling concerts and meals
snow down my boots
kids tracking in wet mud

and also the death of a man
beneath an overpass
with no blanket
and no soup

but through all those things
the snow remains on the cedars and the pine and the birch
still and majestic, a blanket painting everything the same
no more ugly trees, no more sore spots
bigger than us, wiser than us
older than us, younger than us
far from what we have wrought
all white and all right
an equalizer
a beauty for all, inaccessible to none

a beauty we had perhaps forgotten about in the summer
and one we may not remember in the spring
but one we are glad to be given now


James said...

Much better than the inaugural poem! I like this, Nathan.

Glamourbrain said...

I stumbled across your blog inadvertently, and wanted to tell you that I think this is really lovely - and, for what it's worth, I'm a much-published writer, a writing teacher, and a published poet.
And, though I don't share your faith (I'm Jewish), I do share your sense of the transcendence of beauty, and am moved by the way you express it.
Thank you for bringing your words to my day.

the cajun said...

You done good, my friend.

It's beautiful and I cry easily.

Nathan Empsall said...

Wow. I don't read much poetry so don't know how to analyze it, and can't tell if my own is any good - thank you, everybody! Especially Glamourbrain! :)

Dogwalkmusings said...

Nathan, check out this site. I think you'll get a kick out of it!

Cany said...

VERY nice Nathan!

Nathan Empsall said...

Thanks, Dogwalk.

This is, btw, the first poem I have ever written, at least since elementary school assignments.

nic said...

I agree with James... Now for the real reason I'm here - I gave your blog an award. Check it out:

Nathan Empsall said...

Wow, triple thanks, Nic! :D It's really good to hear someone describe me as "not interested in self-aggrandizement." I do have to intentionally run from arrogance.