Editor’s Note: Each day for a total of ten consecutive weekdays beginning today, Songs of Eretz Poetry Review will be pleased to present “Gateway” by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, our Poet of the Month and this year’s Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest Guest Judge. One part of this beautiful ten-part poem will be presented each day. “Gateway” was previously published in The Midwest Review.
Poet's Notes: “Gateway” is a riff off the Tao Te Ching. Using a translation by Stephen Mitchell, I took lines to use to catapult me into poetry. My friend, the late and great Philip Kimball, used to write what he called “pleasure-isms” – stealing lines from great sources and going to town to see where those lines led him. So maybe this is a pleasure-ism, but for me, it's also a practice in awareness, listening, seeing what words, images and rhythms land, then following them down the road.
Gateway Part 1
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Contest Judge
from the Tao Te Ching
1. Darkness Within Darkness
the stars within stars we can never see.
When the world tilts into this,
what can we know anymore?
I dream I'm holding your hand, absent-mindedly,
as the sidewalk buckles ahead or behind.
I dream you say my name twice, first annoyed, then worried.
The darkness of our origins wheels over.
When we talk on the phone, I hear the easy sun
of your today in the melting snow of my time.
Our willingness, always a gateway, but how
will we speak when our bodies lose more of their
easy agility, when our hearts tatter in the wind?
I don't know, my love, but when I cross
the threshold of the plane, the car door, our home,
I will say anything to show you,
the darkness makes all things possible