Poems for Brigid

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The City of Silence
by William Matthews

As far as a sound wave rings out
before it’s heard,
that’s where the city limits are.

I keep the place clean.
Anything you worship
will let you be its priest.

If I open my mouth
a word falls in.
Gods avoid their shrines.

The streets are paved with streets.
Sleep is my radio and all
its news is true.


Then Call It Swimming
by Ellen Bass

you are concerned. your writings
are not poems — there are no line breaks
sentences wind like coils of a pot

they are not stories — no beginning
middle end, characters
are not developed
the action is a child
in green chiffon

you apologize: I
don’t know what to call it
you want a name

then call it swimming. the water passes over you
the smoothness
the liquid
the smoothness more enveloping than making love
your arm, arching in the sun
lit drops, crystals, falling

or call it walking, the air
cold in your nostrils
the ground soft with rotting leaves
the green is too bright

     some are mushrooms, some maize
     some take long as persimmon to fruit
     some leave neatly
     they are the black pearl droppings of deer
     some are overgrown pups
     they hang on your tit, you cannot
     shake them off

call it
coming home, returning
by a different route

call it a sandwich in waxed paper
we will give it to our children

call it an antidote
to what we have been taught

call it rubble, what remains
through pyres, altars, ovens, electricity

call it what comes in place of sleep
what we ask to know

a tribute to redwood pods, they
burst within fire, seeding
young groves

2 thoughts on “Poems for Brigid

  1. Reya Mellicker

    Thanks, Anne. The poetry experiment was crazy. I had over 200 emails from everywhere, many links especially from the knitting bloggers in pandora’s circle, and a ton of others from everywhere. I’m so sorry it took so long to find yours. it’s been overwhelming. THank you! Hope you are well.

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