Saturday, February 9, 2008

Poem of the Day

Ms. Manitoba is off having a life (that kinda happens when you have hooman kids - ours are furrybrats, so we just kick their overfed butts outdoors when the weather is good, and we never have to worry about them calling CPS [Cat Protection Services] or future therapists' bills).

So today, we have to hold down La Casa de Los Buitres (did we say that right? We have little Spanish and less Japanese, to paraphrase some famous dead person).

At any rate, Ms. M sent us this poem which is still causing small explosions and ripples through our midsection. Great poetry does that.

Poem: "Vasectomy" by Philip Appleman, from New and Selected Poems, 1956-1996. © University of Arkansas Press, 1996.


After the steaming bodies swept
through the hungry streets of swollen cities;
after the vast pink spawning of family
poisoned the rivers and ravaged the prairies;
after the gamble of latex and
diaphragms and pills;
I invoked the white robes, gleaming blades
ready for blood, and, feeling the scourge
of Increase and Multiply, made
affirmation: Yes, deliver us from
And after the precision of scalpels,
I woke to a landscape of sunshine where
the catbird mates for life and
maps trace out no alibis &mdash stepped
into a morning of naked truth,
where acts mean what they really are:
the purity of loving
for the sake of love.

This poem especially affects us today, as we were planning to post about that little girl who was murdered by her mother and stepfather &mdash Nixzmary Brown. But that's a rant about overpopulation and child abuse for another time.

For today, let us contemplate the power and beauty of poetry instead, that with a few well-chosen words someone we don't even know can bring to mind all these different thoughts and images and feelings that swirl through us and leave us wrung out, shattered, rearranged, changed.

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