There are books I read every few years. Do you have such books? I circle slowly back around to them like the orbit of Neptune because I’ve noticed interesting change between the first and second, and subsequent, readings.
Some books, read again, reflected back a new (older) reader with different responses. That helped me know my mind and sense of language better, as well as opening the vista a good piece of Art is.
Sometimes I return to writing of my own with the changed perspective of time. I understand them differently. Even the way I want specific words to communicate has changed
This poem started with a round burn on my hand got not long after noticing a small, dark rose in falling snow; it bloomed late, into a tight knot of petals, ready to face winter. The poem slid around on those two images, sort of a narrative about my own observations.
Buddhism likes to say…well, Buddha said….the world is burning. Our senses are burning. This simple, complex statement has to do with the nature of the world and our attachments to things. It’s a wake-up call about how easily we make ourselves suffer. It’s also now a new layer of the word “burn” for me, and there it is.
So what happens when I go back to this poem? The actual hand burn once got lifted into something higher through the image of the rose. Now my hand provides the poem with the metaphorical Buddhist burning the real rose can’t escape. Once the burn “bloomed” like the rose, and now the rose is burning. (If I’m not careful, I will justify the false impression that exists in the world that Buddhism is a real downer.)
The poem before was imagining connections, and I feel as if now it’s reporting a real connection I finally paid attention to. I have another “thinky” poem that is struggling to go in exactly the opposite direction and soak its reporting in imagination, to revel in imagined connections. My smile at this knowledge of my own tangled Creativity is both wry and satisfied.
Burn The stove’s sharp blue heat invaded the pot handle you grasped without attention. The burn asserts itself like the red fist of a rose opened late, defying snowfall. Take note. The earth insists. The undulation of your palm has always resembled a drift, snow crept upon by claws of sunset, bloody hue under bare branches. There have always been things on fire. The body burns to say it. So your same grasping hand sets it down, sears white paper darker.