Poetry by John Fox and Marianna Cacciatore
An interactive writing poetry event designed for Bread for the Journey Radio
June 21, 2014
She skates boldly onto
the page, tips one vulnerable foot
back and forth slowly, till finally
the edge of a toe
cuts a simple, sharp line
through the world’s cold resistance
and with that plain courage,
a statement of intention begins;
and you can’t turn back any longer
from the weight of feeling and letting go
into the flow that follows.
Poetry is a choice to feel it all,
not all at once but gradually to sink down
within ourselves, to give what fear
we hold behind our knees
to gravity and grace,
to discover what makes
our whole world turn;
the place our necessary weight
lifts to lightened joy.
I remember where I was
when I wrote my first poem—
at the kitchen table
in the second home
I had known.
It was dark outside.
I was supposed to be
Guess I was
The home inside of me.
I wrote the word Time
As a child,
I used to write that word
over and over
My school book covers,
notepads near the telephone,
In the margins of my mimeographed
Is what I wrote like a graffiti tag.
I used to wonder about it.
I knew it had
in a mercurial kind of way.
I could see
The world ran on time
And yet I knew it was illusory.
but not there.
I knew that
then. In 1964.
I knew that.
And one day
one timeless day when the next word and the word
came to me,
the word Time
became the first word of the first poem
I had ever written.
I was ten.
Old enough to recognize a timeless truth,
too young to know what to do
Consider What Happens
Consider what happens
upon hearing a poem
that moves you. The nod
of your head, tucking
your chin close
to your chest, as if
stopping to rest, as if you could cry now
in the middle of a long journey.
Here, whatever you regret having forgotten
even with your aching tiredness
(which you cannot forget) all of a sudden
turns to a surprisingly vibrant sky
as your eyes widen ever-so-slightly
in a recognition that shimmers
under your skin, wells-up
into a calm line-of-sight
that is your own and goes on
Astonished, you walk outside breathing
and slowly stroll in the fresh air
suddenly aware that back in your house
someone new, a stranger you like,
When the fact
of uncertainty and sorrow
without struggle inside me,
everything relaxes and
I can see for miles
forward and back.
I can smell lavender again.
I can reach for your hand.
When forgiveness becomes me
Turn—forgive us all
my walk-about is barefooted
feeling everything as though it is
white sand on a warm beach.
But when the story
in the morning paper breaks my heart
the story of the twelve year old girl
sold into sex slavery
by her auntie.
When the story breaks my heart
I’m stumped again.
What do I do?
What do I do?
I cut flowers from the garden
and fill the vase with my tears.
Place them on a makeshift altar
the coffee table covered
with newsprint and remote control.
I dedicate this moment, right now,
I lay down the rant in my head
May all beings be safe
May all beings be free
May all beings live in peace.
The fragrance of stargazer lilies
fill every room.
I make a cup of tea
for the one I love
and offer it up
for the many I love.
Days of Rain
Open me up to feel due words
I want the losing it all
as when it rains hard.
I want letting it all loose;
to open myself
to the only true opener
of my freer falling feeling.
I want that dense drape of
drenched space to drop
into the entire air,
the atmosphere, the ache, fall
there, drawn, down, drowned
into the lowest ground
of the great and good grieving,
soaked into that low place
of kind green grass
and further then,
into the darker grit that gathers it,
the one who finally gets it:
who becomes exactly what it is,
the one who lets the grieving sound out
again, yet now, wholly held, returns it
to this singular heart-of-mine
that might, may, must
grow greater through love’s loss.
Feelings Are Like The Wind
Here’s the thing about staying:
don’t turn away
but don’t build a brick house either.
Feelings come and go like the wind.
You may join them late in the night,
listen well to their secrets or rantings
but when you sleep
leave the doors and windows open.
No sense in trapping the wind.
Morning you may wake with a thought
to make breakfast for your guests
They left in the night without leaving a note.
Just as well
they’ll be back.
The wind is like that.
God’s hands over my head —
that’s what a roof means!
But when I wake up in Spring light,
The only thing of worth is an open door.
Awakening in the garden
I found myself
in the Royal Court of Iris
And for a liminal instant
I thought to ease my way
and radiate too.
Not finally brought home to God
by those mortals who know
how it all is and organize that
around the edges of words
that make up the towns
and train schedules
of understanding’s itinerary, nor even
by the lovely vibrations that linger
after special evening concerts
of happy angels on tour
through form. Instead
brought home by the wind
coming from way out there,
unknown and holy, beyond the sea cliffs
of solitude, the same wind
that since the beginning of longing
has been embraced to the core
by those who have flung their heart
past the promontory of certainty
out into the open sea: simply to hear
a voice that meets your own
real as a spray of water
full on your face, faithful
as the sun
that sets or rises someplace
on earth always, always the horizon
where the One soul of us all
is waveless and deep,
speaking of Love night and day.
A Seamless Ease of Love
Eric says stand on one leg
while pulling this weighted rope.
my new haircut
is called A Center Balance.
When I say generous
I see self and other
as receivers in a surfboard kind of balancing act.
Gentle, soft, easy friendliness
and for me
in a seamless rhythm.
Look at it this way.
If all we do is breathe out, we’re dead.
Breathe in for yourself,
keep going now for someone you don’t know.
Even deeper now for one you love madly.
Receive every bit of feeling seeded there.
Now, breathe out and give it all away.
It’s all a love prayer, really,
with no beginning or end.
© All poems Copyrighted by John Fox, 2014
© All poems Copyrighted by Marianna Cacciatore, 2014