A Poem: How to Follow a Poem

Watch how the sun rises.
First the tip of the clouds turn pink, and then gold
on a horizon.
Something happens to our hearts,
the leap of expectation.

The birds seem to know to fly
at this time.
Each soaring figure outlined
against the sky
as black ink etched in the vision.

Watch how the branches
of each tree move to the wind’s tune.
How the face of the leaves
catch the hues of a rising sun.
How all of nature appears to bid dawn welcome.

Watch how the rainbow just came and went
before there was a chance to register it.
Before we could trace its colours
against the blue,
how it faded and then exited.

A poem is followed
with the same pattern of observation.
We don’t consider the words in an
individual sense as
respond to the scene as a whole.

Something happens
when we stop trying to understand
but just watch.
The great artist has a brush, and is
painting impressions on our hearts and minds.

We see them with eyes
that feel rather than perceive.
Shapes felt in the hands
as objects in the dark.
Every now and then a shock of recognition.

But mostly just a welcome,
and an indwelling presence.

Ana Lisa de Jong
April 2018

 

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