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The Poems of C.J. Sage

AE_poet1Editor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of C. J. Sage who lives in Rio Del Mar. She is a realtor, and the editor of The National Poetry Review. Her poems appear in Antioch Review, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, Threepenny Review, etc.  These poems are from her new book, “The San Simeon Zebras” (Salmon Poetry).

Landscapes with Elephant Seals and Umbrellas

In the water solitary creatures,

the elephant seals gather close on land

to mate and molt. They slough their skin,


then off they go again into the sea

alone. Upon the sand one wonders

why they huddle together so.


In the city I once saw a herd

of quick umbrellas open all at once—

all the owners purposely not touching—


and scuttle down the street en masse,

the black nylon and the taupe nylon

and all the rest bumped and bounced


off each other in the rain, like the rain

bounding off umbrellas, like molecules.

Like molecules every contact was followed,


as every contact must be, by estrangement.

There was once a man and woman

whose ribs collided—


neither one was ever seen again.

When the seals accidentally touch they bellow

and fuss, they throw their heads to the sky,


they wave and writhe and moan

the other away until again each feels

itself owner of the shoreline.


To either side of the rows they make

lined up along each other there is a mile

of empty beach. Only a child makes use of it.


What kind of creature dares to stretch itself,

naked and warm-skinned, where no one else

has been? Only a child. Only a brilliant child.


A man I met, he was on the bus and humming

to himself, turned to me and said You look familiar.

Between his ribs and arm, a closed umbrella


AE_poet2licked his clothes with rain. He moved

a little closer to make a place for another.

I tell you, the ride was short!


There is a family entering the beach,

verily against the rules. There is a ranger,

she is kind, who moves to shoo them off.


Down the road there is a dune where scores

of nudes may paint themselves with sun.

Rarely, one of them brushes another.


Sea Canaries

The small white whales in packs of pods

keep their pacts with us, the fated beasts.

They wail their songs and the water wavers,

and we who signed them waive our rights

to have them. Here is where they belong,

all right, and here is where I leave them:

their pale, bountiful bodies to the sea.

I see a pail of fish and I would rather

feed on palm wood than palm one up

to shed it to those seabirds. To bate the brink

of bygone beauty, I bring no bait. A thatch shed

on the shore would keep me closer. O idol

of the gulls and wingèd seagirls and idle guitar

players, paddle deep and far off from my kind

who peddle our wares like love-me-kindly petals.

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Janet Caldwell, August 03, 2010
Well, it's really good to read a blast from your past. Excellent. x

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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