Sunday, February 27, 2011


after the past few days of sylvia's incisive and insightful words i feel a compulsion to return to the soft comfy down bedspread that e.e. cummings threw across the bed of my emerging self at the age of seventeen when i first received the revelation that it was very alright to crack the hardened spine of the book of poetry.
i was writing my own at the time and harbouring wishes to become famous and read by everyone and most especially to be one of the black mountain poets who were being read by the cool english teachers to their students and the even more famous writers who were signing record contracts and who of course
were always surrounded by long haired sweet-eyed girls!

now my wish is much simpler and then also much greater in its scope.
to bring goodness through whatever means i can in whatever time i am given to as many as i am intended to.

i am a little church (no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying) children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope, and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church (far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring, i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

e.e. cummings

verdell primeaux and johnny mike cathedral


Terresa said...

Spectacular post, love this ee cummings poem, perhaps, best of all of his works. Reading it, however many times, enlightens. Thank you for it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love e e cummings, steven. I first discovered him when I was in my thirties and what an excitement to find a 'new' poet to read. Like your new header.

Reya Mellicker said...

I know you have no pretentions about fame and fortune, but really Steven if people read your poetry every day this world would be a better place. It would.

I'm a better person because of your poetry. Seriously.

hope said...

Yep, you are my daily moment of zen...peace and quiet from the craziness of the world.

Have a great week!

Bonnie said...

I love your cathedral steven. It is ever welcoming, inspiring, uplifting and always soft and comfy! :)

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

I love seeing a bit of autobio from a friend who I feel I have the pleasure of seeing share the poetry of his life every day. A beautiful melding of cummings, music and steven.

aguja said...

Wonderful imagery in this ee cummings poem. I have not encountered the work before, so thank you for opening it up. I love the contrast of the little church against the image of the cathedral - I suspect that most of us are 'small churches'.

Pauline said...

You ARE poetry, Steven and your life one long song of praise. That you share it just makes it better.

Valerianna said...

A wonderful offering today, Steven, thanks. I agree with Lorenzo, I like the little bit of autobio.

steven said...

terresa thankyou for your kind comment. i love the space cummings creates - well-suited to the topic. steven

steven said...

weaver - i really enjoy the riches that blogging brings, chief among which is the awareness of the existence of so many talented and creative people who bring such goodness into the world. steven

steven said...

reya - thankyou so much for your generous words. it astonishes me that i might affect your life in some good way! steven

steven said...

hope - this is a quiet place . . . most of the time!!! steven

steven said...

bonnie - i like the idea of being the propietor of a comfy cathedral!!! steven

steven said...

lorenzo - i'm circumspect about my life as it was. little bits do occasionally trickle out through the spaces between the twigs of my nest.thankyou for your kind comment. steven

steven said...

aguja - yes each of us are little sacred spaces. steven

steven said...

hello pauline - thankyou so much for your generous estimation of me. i'll try very hard to live to those words. steven

steven said...

valerianna - there's so much more but then there's even more outside of myself and for now that's my comfort zone! steven

Jo said...

Steven, your wish as you express it is really your mission here, and you have done much more than most of us to fulfill your mission.

In addition to that, you could definitely be one of the poets "being read by the cool English teachers..." and in fact, probably are already!

Golden West said...

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