to Annie's World, in Poetry
Creative writing is one thing to do when we are by ourselves. Annie never thought of poetry as a career, so she was free to write as she wished. She started writing poems in High School but did not pursue it as a hobby until a friend offered to teach her later in life. That type of tuition is custom-made. As with her photos, Annie eventually sought like-minded people, joined workshop groups, and learned from them.
Philosophical, sort of...
CHAMBERS OF THE HEART -
(First published in The Poet's Domain Vol. 35, November 2021; Revised version published in PSV Centennial Anthology, 2023)
A coiling many-chambered human heart –
a nautilus – in death it breaks apart;
its form deforming under stilling sand,
unless recaptured by a human hand.
By pearl and silk, or dirt and rags rebuilt,
a shell grants someone brilliance or guilt.
So, was he soaring to creative life;
or shellfish, butchered by convention’s knife?
That person whom we loved – a man or saint?
The one derided – villain? Oddly quaint?
What author walks the beach to pick it up –
our spiral shell – and see its heart lit up?
Its owner breathed and moved in sandy bed;
we might have known him there; not raised him, dead.
Let’s make him once-more living – give him style –
avoiding hasty judgment without trial.
How lies the light upon the sand today?
Who walks with us, about the salted bay?
Alas, a different shell entices on,
while waves envelop this; its moment gone.
(First published in The Poet's Domain Vol. 35, November 2021)
Whatever! Does it matter
how someone sees the world?
Is there objective truth
out there, in here, or curled?
Are there opinions only
that must be reconciled?
Or might we find a place
where truth is domiciled?
A dreamer, sometime student,
thinks Einstein was mistaken –
ignoring human will
and what it might awaken.
I tell this man he’s wrong –
it’s not the human role
that Einstein’s math ignored –
it’s every living soul.
Together, we agree,
the Universe is growing.
It’s fashioned by the mind
and we say where it’s going.
(First published in Poets Domain 2015)
To a Child
It stands, strange misty globe, above the green.
With round eyes beamed to it, you kneel beside
the perfect, star-filled sphere. In time you lean,
bewitched, to touch its gentle, giving side.
It's gone. Look, there's another--downy grey--
a tiny techno-sculpture, sun-suffused.
It waits for breaths of wind to lift away
a dainty cargo, seeds--like cat hairs--loosed
at last, to sail the cloudscape, light as thought.
Let's help the breeze. Hold carefully, and blow
to see the fairies gambol and cavort.
You watch in awe, your second spring, although
someday there'll be no mystery at all--
you'll romp here and ignore the fluffy ball.
Anne Emerson, March 1995
Leaving the Land
(Revised; first published in NoVA Bards 2019)
Why might we move?
Dazzling lights; derided farms?
Glamor, grit, or glory?
Threading throngs too many for sidewalks,
buses carry riders on roofs,
hanging from windows,
filling rear platforms – feet within,
swaying outward from the crowd,
one hand holding on.
Who wants to be one grain of sand among millions?
On the sidewalk, a woman lying –
eyes crusted white;
black rags hanging over
bones protruding, barely wrapped in flesh;
two small coins in a cup beside her.
Passers-by step over and around her.
Who cares to be this broken branch or these blind ones?
Amid dry and dusty desert dunes,
arriving at the pyramids, a taxi slows.
Many hands slap and stick onto its windows –
hands of teenaged boys:
“Buy mine! Buy mine!”
They surround and breathe on tourists
exiting the taxi.
What sorrow sends young people to hustle school?
Maps of human flows give hints:
migrants pour into cities from cities
as much as from farms.
Movers choose city or oil field
over farm or empty desert.
Why? Does the land lack a living?
Would a drought end it all?
Swollen bellies; mournful eyes –
who wants these?
Why do cities grow and give work,
but land does not?
On a Beach Far from Home
(Not previously published)
Where ripples send a dancing light
to sand-soft sea-bed while I swim;
where mild sea-breezes play on sleeve-free arms
deep into jasmine-scented dusks;
and where traditionists throw stones at youth
for dancing on the shelves
of a Roman amphitheater;
yes, there, far from safe and chilly England,
a youthful charmer once contrived
to befriend me.
He loved to finger-spin a beach ball,
or zing a goal at Bar-B-Foot –
two steps ahead of any challenger –
and to laugh because it was so easy.
Did he say to me, about a woman –
as night closed in, one dreamy evening
while we sat together in the sand –
“Je l’ai violé”?
Was I lucky that my French
was not so good?
Some small violence, I told myself –
and when they met again, he said, “Elle a rit.”
He told me this, in part, as to a friend –
we still were young and did not know
that people laugh
in the face of calamity;
then he sat, with mouth half-open and eyes –
thinking eyes, learning eyes, (watching eyes?) –
echoing his incredulity.
It seemed that his expression sprang
from those same roots whence leapt his joy
that he could master spinning balls
and opposition, with his hands
as no-one else could do.
Did he intend to play a little cat-and-mouse with me,
enjoy the game, and laugh at winning –
believing that a woman is no different from a ball?
Or that the game is fair?
“J’ai voulu profiter de toi,
mais je t’ai trouvé comme ça,
et j’ai pas pu.”
(First published in Poets Domain, 2016)
He's three years old.
His mother thinks I'm playing with him
to get a laugh for a photograph.
But he has learned to toss the ball
as I move side to side and back for it.
retrieve the ball,
and think, "He's misbehaving. Take him home."
I introduce the lettered blocks.
His mother dotes:
aware of me, she asks of him,
"What letter's this?"
"Of course he knows; he's smart,"