Just Stillness

Still Still

The cats sleep. The furnace belches
dust and heat. A dying man tries

to breathe. Just a machine, your chest rising
and falling. Bleached leaves flap like wings.

The creek, still still, still solid. The hole
in the oak, abandoned. Frogs dream of life

beneath the ice. The hole longs to be filled.
The concrete angel on the patio sulks.

Last night I dreamed the farmer was reaping
snow, that his harvester was eating me

alive. Husked. Hulled. This morning light fails
to be described. A skein of geese unravels.

Boring, predictable. I glean the field for signs.
A crow ruins the silence. I breathe, ignore it.

–Laurel Dodge, La Chambre d’Ecoute

There is something stark, austere, beautiful, and reminiscent of Zen in this poem. I discovered Laurel’s blog last year. I read it often. (I also visit because I have a huge crush on her cat, Bob, who is featured frequently.) What I find compelling about Laurel is her willingness to dwell on the edge; she converses with death, loss, and grief in a way so intimate it makes me uncomfortable. That is why I visit her — because she explores places I don’t feel brave enough to pursue. Also because Bob is so gorgeous, and she captures his catness in all its variety.

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2 Comments on “Just Stillness”

  1. kat Says:

    thank you for sharing this. it’s lovely.

    i hope you have a wonderful trip!!

  2. Laurel Says:

    I love that storm brewing. God, that made me smile.

    Thanks for posting my poem here on your blog. That made me smile too.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, you are far far braver than I will ever be.