Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little House Book and a Poem


Today I pass the time reading
a favorite haiku,
saying the few words over and over.

It feels like eating
the same small, perfect grape
again and again.

I walk through the house reciting it 
and leave its letters falling
through the air of every room.

I stand by the big silence of the piano and say it.
I say it in front of a painting of the sea.
I tap out its rhythm on an empty shelf.

I listen to myself saying it,
then I say it without listening, 
then I hear it without saying it.

And when the dog looks up at me,
I kneel down on the floor 
and whisper it into each of his long white ears.

It's the one about the one-ton
temple bell
with the moth sleeping on its surface,

and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating
pressure of the moth 
on the surface of the iron bell.
When I say it at the window,
the bell is the world
and I am the moth resting there.

When I say it into the mirror,
I am the heavy bell
and the moth is life with its papery wings.

And later, when I say it to you in the dark,
you are the bell,
and I am the tongue of the bell, ringing you,

and the moth has flown
from its line
and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.

Billie Collins, Sailing Alone Around the Room


  1. Irene,
    BEautiful poem here...I love your little house paintings, the house shape resonates deeply with me. I often use it as a form to house little paintings as well.


  2. Irene! This is stunning! You could post some of your many, many old journals. I loved looking at them in Orly's class and I know other folks would as well! They are sooo inspiring.