Friday, August 21, 2015

Poem of the Day: “I Forget Why” by Carol Hamilton, Poet of the Month

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “I Forget Why” by Carol Hamilton, Poet of the Month.  Ms. Hamilton will also be serving as the guest judge for the Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest, which will run from September 1 to October 15, 2015.  A detailed biography of Ms. Hamilton may be found here:  The contest guidelines may be previewed here:

I Forget Why
Carol Hamilton

The clematis lifts its open blossoms
to the sky and insects,
nods with the wind’s moods.
Profuse with purple, each flower
a plate held aloft by a deft waiter.
I see how some wiry little green stems
pull this trick off, make the act
look easy. I once was a waitress.
A one-night stand. I dreamed
adroit moves but found weight
on a tray too shifty for my maneuverings
to be safe. This was small-town
dinner theater, and I was good
with smiles and service, so my lack
of technical skill did not matter.
And that vine has practiced
for a few million years. I was inspired
by the amazing waitress
in the Rockies truck stop who never wrote
the orders down, never forgot. I always
aspire to what I have not earned.
Sometimes I don’t remember why
I made this yard, a place to sit
and do nothing. This is the practice
I must be diligent in. This chair
is the eye of the needle.

Poet’s Notes:  How one thought leads to another! I work in my garden and am often delighted and intrigued with what plants can do, like the clematis flower’s balancing trick. I always want to perfect arts I see others proficient in, and of course, I am being foolish to try to get everything just right, trying to be able to do everything perfectly. My dream garden is the place I would sit every evening, quietly enjoying. In reality, I am usually trying to avoid weed-invasion and so rarely make time to live there. But when I do find those lovely evenings, usually with friends or grandchildren, I do manage to reach my goal for a change.

Editor’s Note:  I enjoy the clematis metaphors here, having never before thought of part of a plant as a “waitress.”  I also like the comparison of the climbing clematis to the aspiring speaker.  The conceit here is interesting, too, with its comparison of the waitressing skills of plant and speaker.  I Forget Why” was originally published in Potpourri.

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