Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Down the Mine” by Christopher Hivner

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Down the Mine” by Christopher Hivner.  A brief biography of the poet may be found here: 

Down the Mine
Christopher Hivner 

There was a time
when I thought about her
all day, every day,
mining my memories
with a pick and shovel,
placing the jewels
in cloth
to protect until they
reach the surface,
the sunlight re-attaching their shine.

There was a time
when I thought about him
too often,
sneaking into the chamber
with a candle
to illuminate our past
just enough
so I’d get nicked
on a sharp edge
and bleed.

There came a time
when I tried to think
about nothing,
live in a void
of soft breezes
and esoteric things.
I boarded up the mine,
no more digging
through shards of anger,
no more cuts
too deep to suture
with a thread of deep breaths.

Now the years have passed
without subtlety.
The old helmet still fits,
new batteries in the lamp,
pick and shovel in hand,
I go mining again
searching for the gold
among the rock,
gold amidst the detritus,
gold shining its light,
gold to pay the way
to affirmation.

Poet’s Notes:  Our minds can be places of great joy and equal sadness. I don’t think I’m alone in sometimes dwelling on past mistakes or painful experiences. I was in that state of mind one day while writing, and “Down the Mine” came out. It’s basically a road map of relationships I repeatedly re-visit, then gird myself and say, “no more,” only to return later and dig all over again. The mine was the perfect metaphor for me, because it seems one small thought can lead to going deeper and deeper.

Editor’s Note:  This poem employs a unique (in my experience) and beautifully executed poetic conceit, solid throughout. 

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