all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

alliance




















“You have to make an alliance with your anguish,” he said,
“not wage war against it.” And I thought of all the fists
I had shaken at misfortune: games lost
because the shot clock ran out,
a good meal scorched in a forgotten oven,
money dropped on a dress worn only once,
the bully in 6th grade, the math test in 9th,
the wrong outfit at Halloween.
But of course, this isn’t what he meant.

If I were brave enough, I’d tell you how my heart
has raged for love, stretched thin as a high wire.
If I were brave enough, I’d tell you
how my body has been fighting to stay upright
on every precipitous downhill the city
throws at it. If I were brave enough,
I’d climb into your lap and weep with longing.
All I can say is that any attempt at beauty and hope
is land-mined with failure.
And so the perilous track-making begins.
Wending our way through,
there are possible clutches at sunlight, at windows, at yes.
We are each of us inches from death.
We are each of us inches from life.
We are each of us inches from one another.

12 comments:

gamefaced said...

'there are possible clutches at sunlight, at windows, at yes.'

love this line much.

wenda said...

this is such a perfect fit for me today... thanks!

Maxine Dangerous said...

Beautiful! :)

squarepegperson said...

Found you through Twitter - if there was nothing else I'd used Twitter for/got from it - this would be enough! Wow!

MB said...

this is so raw and true
"All I can say is that any attempt at beauty and hope
is land-mined with failure"

ditto what squarepeg above said

A true blessing to have found you

Annette said...

Ditto Squarepegperson.

I am stunned. After I read this, I looked up to see who wrote it, and realized you are the artist who wrote How to Climb a Mountain, a powerful poem for me.

Found you now from Jen Lee reference. I will now read every post you've written. Then I'll close my eyes and fly, hopefully long enough so that I land on another of your poems. Or maybe I'll have the windspeed and faith to flap my own wings.

Thank you for sharing your gift!

Ren said...

Absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful.

Calliope said...

Found you via Twitter also, and am so glad I did. This is so powerful and well-written. Truly wonderful. I will remember this poem.

Anonymous said...

So pleased I found you and your work! Good old twitter! Nicky.

Joanna Young said...

This is a wonderful poem - it's been rolling around my mind, my heart, ever since you posted it. Thank you so much.

Dale said...

Ah. Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I shared this months ago with my girlfriend...she just shared it back with me and I am as struck by it as I was the first time I read it. Beautifully heart wrenching and perfect for where I am.