North Dakota Roots

A view from up here (46.9 N Latitude). Poetry, musings, and an occasional blurt

In the noise and busyness of the season, here are a few from Kay Ryan, who boasted about living a quiet life and having a blank history. She says, “My poems talk about that palpable silence – a creamy, latexy kind of silence, that when we’re experiencing it, is as a dream luxury.”

SPIDERWEB

From other
angles the
fibers look
fragile, but
not from the
spider’s, always
hauling coarse
ropes, hitching
lines to the
best posts
possible. It’s
heavy work
everyplace,
fighting sag,
winching up
give. It
isn’t ever
delicate
to live.

 

THAT WILL TO DIVEST

Action creates
a taste
for itself.
Meaning: once
you’ve swept
the shelves
of spoons
and plates
you kept
for guests,
it gets harder
not to also
simplify the larder,
not to dismiss
rooms, not to
divest yourself
of all the chairs
but one, not
to test what
singleness can bear,
once you’ve begun.

 

THINGS SHOULDN’T BE SO HARD  (about her mother -from whom Kay inherited her need for silence and a quiet life)

A life should leave
deep tracks:
ruts where she
went out and back
to get the mail
or move the hose
around the yard;
where she used to
stand before the sink,
a worn-out place;
beneath her hand
the china knobs
rubbed down to
white pastilles;
the switch she
used to feel for
in the dark
almost erased.
Her things should
keep her marks.
The passage
of a life should show;
it should abrade.
And when life stops,
a certain space—
however small—
should be left scarred
by the grand and
damaging parade.
Things shouldn’t
be so hard.

 

THE LIGHT OF INTERIORS

The light of interiors
is the admixture
of who knows how many
doors ajar, windows
casually curtained,
unblinded or opened,
oculi set into ceilings,
wells, ports, shafts,
loose fits, leaks,
and other breaches
of surface. But, in
any case, the light,
once in, bounces
toward the interior,
glancing off glassy
enamels and polishes,
softened by the scuffed
and often-handled, muffled
in carpet and toweling,
buffeted down hallways,
baffled equally
by scatter and order
to an ideal and now
sourceless texture which,
when mixed with silence,
makes of a simple
table with flowers
an island.

2 thoughts on “Favorite Poems by Kay Ryan

  1. Katherine Cram says:

    Poetry. Could not be a better way to start the day – thoughts reaching my emotional depths. Thanks, Bonnie, for your gift.

  2. DIANE BRENNER says:

    All beautiful. I’ve now read your book, Destiny Manifested, cover to cover 8 times and truly love it. Can’t pick out a favorite piece though. Do you have one? Bravo, Bon. So proud of you…. xxoo

    >

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