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Mar 05th
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The Poems of Dian Duchin Reed

ae_poetryEditor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Dian Duchin Reed, the author of “Medusa Discovers Styling Gel” (Finishing Line Press, 2009). Recent poems appear in “Prairie Schooner,” “Poet Lore” and “Poetry East.” She has been the recipient of a Sundberg Family grant for literary criticism, the Mel Tuohey Award for writing excellence, and the Mary Lonnberg Smith Award in Poetry.

Suspension
Not of disbelief, but animation,
like this dun-colored spider that’s been waiting—
pensive, anxious, oblivious?—
in the navel of an orange in the refrigerator

for a week. With only my own thirst
in mind, I brought down the knife
and the spider, stumbling in amazed relief
across the counter, re-entered

the scene of its sweet and humble life.
Meanwhile, it’s March, and delicate white petals
unfurl on the cherry tree outside. 

Who wouldn’t want to stick around
until the fruit ripens, eager to enter
the mouth of the future, which always hangs open.

Dazzled
The meek can’t keep from oiling gears,
a ceaseless feat that amuses the proponents
of provocation, whose wheels were
clearly meant to squeak, like the teens

last night who filled the dark and carless
parking lot across the street
with screams of fuck you; no, fuck you,
their curses ping-ponging across hours

of howls, a stormy performance amplified
for their audience: neighbors and parents
and the teachers about to greet them
on the first day of school, which

happens to be today, and maybe
that’s the root of all the ruckus—
the dread déjà-vu of a rusty old trap
about to snap its jaws, implying

their legs are as good as shackled
already—nothing for them to do
but greet fate with a blare of rage
and alert the entire population of heaven

earth and hell that they don’t intend
to go down quietly, bringing to mind
Lucifer’s reaction to his own dizzying
descent, the kind of cosmic crash

that lovers of commotion might
consider dazzling, a word the meek
cache to praise the sun’s daily glissade
to music that’s so subtle, it’s silent.

The Map-Maker Muses
Eliza Colles (1776-1799) was the first
female map engraver in America.

Mornings, I wonder
if the earth isn’t a shadow
love has cast behind itself.

Above me, the thin place
hovers like a veil,
untraceable on any chart

produced by head, not heart.
Yet every map moves me
from metaphor to mystery,

my own town shrunk down
to a dot, all spheres turned to
a series of concentric circles.

Evenings, the swish and crash
of sea on shore reminds me
of cymbals, of the hopeless

hope of symbols. I need
no flowers, my only rose
the compass rose

in whose petalled points
I lose myself
to better show the way.

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It is a week of many different festivals along with a full moon, all occurring simultaneously. Thursday Chinese New Year celebrations end with the Lantern Festival (at full moon). Thursday is also the Pisces Solar festival (full moon), Purim (Jewish Festival) and Holi (Hindu New Year Festival). Sunday, March 8, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. The festival of Purim celebrates the freedom of the Hebrew people from the cruel Haman (a magistrate) seeking to destroy them. Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was secretly Jewish, saved her people from death. The sweet cookie hamentaschen celebrates this festival. Friday, March 6, is Holi, the Hindu Spring Festival celebrated after the March full moon. Bonfires are lit the night before, warding off evil. Holi, the Festival of Colors, is the most colorful festival in the world. It is also the Festival of Love—of Radha for Krishna (the blue-colored God). It is a spring festival with singing, dancing, carnivals, food and bhang, a drink made of cannabis leaves. Holi signifies good over evil, ridding oneself of past errors, ending conflicts through rapprochement (returning to each other). It is a day of forgiveness, including debts. Holi also marks the beginning of New Year. At the Pisces Solar festival we recite the seed thought, “We leave the Father’s home and, turning back, we save.” Great Teachers remain on Earth until all of humanity is enlightened. The New Group of World Servers is called to this task and sacrifice. Sacrifice (from the heart) is the first Law of the Soul, the heart of which is Love. This sacrifice saves the world.

 

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