Saturday, February 2, 2008

In the Empty Room of Perfection

Opened my eyes to the amulets
Of trees--
Green leaves, falling miracles,
Falling, one by one,
On the street. In Japan we bought

White porcelain tipped into palm-eyes
And icicles, pots shaped like
Peach stones and glazed in sky blue.
We touched the rims of the world's glaze
But arrived without anything. Then

You gave me my own room without old things,
Without decorations, without paintings
That hang on the walls
Only to become new walls themselves, without
Shapes that interfere
With what I must be.

My dreams were unshaped and unpainted. I
Lived with the fantasy of the sea -- shaped
Always on the verge of words. You--
Looked for emptiness the way lovers seek sleep,
Burned currencies
And seeds of your own beginnings. How easy
For us to change into fire-birds, fly
Past history, oceans, striking against the sky
With our own new wings. Now--

Shall we return where we came from?
You be the brush that strikes.
And, burning inside, still burning, I'll
Live as the flaming kiln that shapes the pot.

-- Sandra Hochman, "Love Letters from Asia," Viking, 1968

(for poetry day)


  1. I love the poem:)
    happy imbolc

  2. This is so beautiful, and so right that you would love it. Reading it I feel all my self-imposed restrictions and self-judgments evaporating into thin air. Wow. Thank you!

  3. My dreams were unshaped and unpainted.

    I love this poem. I too chose a woman poet for today's poem.

  4. I think I love poetry day! I posted one myself...

  5. wonderful poem. thank you so much. so many layers......

    this poetry slam is great fun!

  6. Your photo is great, too.

  7. wonderful! a poem and a poet new to me. Thank you...I'm kind of dizzy from the poetry, but it a good feeling!

  8. this is lovely steve.

    still burning, the kiln that shapes the pot - beautiful.

    and your photo is beautiful too

  9. Dennis posted a poem.