Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Poems for Lovers

I loved Ariel's post on Monday, about risks and dangers. Is it possible to pry into subjects "forbidden" in Christian publishing?

I think so. And I believe that sometimes the less said, the more intriguing.
With that in mind, I offer you what are in my mind four of the most sensuous poems I have ever written.

NILE

Its source:

The hidden trees, the lost lakes


Shrouded in perpetual snows;

Remotest peaks unseen by human eyes

Swathed in cirrus and cumulus


(The distant roar of

A thousand, thousand cataracts)


And as it rushes toward an infinite sea

Just its overflow is gift,

Is life


And am I not

Your Egypt,

The numberless humming chants

Of incense-wreathed priests

The shake of the sistrum, the breath of

Papyrus bloom;

The still-heard echo of those

Thousand, thousand years?



LAST NIGHT THE HORSES

Last night again I saw the horses

Outlined gray against a charcoal sky,

Their manes flying behind them,

Their hooves spark-stricken on black rocks.


When they slowed to drink

At a spring of shimmering water

Their sides heaved and glistened.

I can't say I caught them unawares.

From the corners of their eyes they saw me approach.

But the water was so cool and satisfying

That they drank, and drank, and drank.


Now they are refreshed, and I--

I ride close to them

Bent against the velocity

On a collision course with forever.



JOURNEY

Though I have traveled away from,

My heart turns toward


There remains no name in my soul's lexicon

For this ache;

A hurting that is dulled only by

The constant mining of the

Riches of memory.


The baring of myself continues

And reproduces itself like mindless amoeba.

It cannot exist without

Its own confession of itself

To you, the object of all,

The point of my nakedness.


What I have traveled away from,

My heart turns toward;

I am breaking all the rules of

My childhood's dearly-held autonomy;

Giving you that which could not be

Bought or beaten from me before.


In anguish, I traveled away from.

Now, my heart turns toward

You:

Your eyes, my mecca,

Your touch, my home.




LOVER


You are the mellow-muted sounds

Of a deep-throated clarinet

Playing alone

In a resonant hall


My young-girl ears heard the melody

So long ago

I dared not believe in

The coming crescendo

Because the music was so distant

And I,

So unworthy.


And yet

When I heard it again

I knew it


As if time had never passed:


You alone are the concert

That satisfies my soul

21 comments:

Dina Sleiman said...

Gorgeous, Latayne. Believe it or not, I'm talking about poetry today over at Seekerville, and how poetic techniques can strengthen your fiction writing.

A few months ago, I wanted to see if anyone was following our poetry page on my group blog. So I put a really sexual poem about how the union between man and woman represents our relationship with God and then opened up the comment section. Since no one complained, I safely assumed no one was reading it. LOL.

Latayne C Scott said...

Yes, Dina, I wonder if most Christians would be shocked if they really sat down and digested the Song of Solomon. Whoa. Hands dripping with myrrh on the handle of the lock.......

Ashten said...

Latayne...gifted poet you truly are. Just beautiful!
Song of Solomon...I thought of this the whole time I was reading your words...
I love loved the "Last Night With the Horses"...such an image of strength and beauty it gave. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful, bold, and tasteful.

Latayne C Scott said...

Thank you, Ashten.

I tell you what the "test" of tastefulness is: I once read "Last Night the Horses" as a guest speaker in one of my daughter's college classes.

Later, when she got married, she had the minister, who performed the wedding, read "Lover" as part of the ceremony.

susiefinkbeiner said...

I love that you shared your sensuous poetry today. I wonder what some Christians would think of calling God our "Lover"...I think it's beautiful. But who knows what some would think! Yikes!

Speaking of subjects that many Christians think shouldn't be touched in our fiction...well, my blog has a doozy today. I put out a challenge and friends gave me ideas. One of the ideas made me sweat and feel sick to my stomach and made me so afraid as a Christian who writes. It's a dangerous topic. I wrote it. It's on my blog today. And I'm a little afraid I'll be banned from the CBA for the rest of my natural life.

{breathe, Susie, breathe}

Dina Sleiman said...

LOL to Susie and Latayne. I guess it's probably a good thing that certain people "don't get" poetry.

Susie, have you read Michelle Sutton's novel Never Without Hope? If she hasn't been banned from CBA, I think we're all safe here in Mermaid Land.

Latayne C Scott said...

Wow, Susie. I read today's post and indeed it did make me squirm. But-- how can we as writers help people with such urges if we cannot address them?

You won't be banned from CBA. I hope.

Dina, tell us about Michelle's new novel, please, or give us an excerpt.

Dina Sleiman said...

Latayne, I'd give you an excerpt, but it would make even me blush. LOL. It's about an unfaithful wife. There is some pretty harsh language, especially when the other wife finds out.

What I found most interesting was that in the early stages of the affair, Michelle glosses over any details and has most of the physical stuff off screen. But as the protagonist starts falling in love with the man, there are some fairly explicit details in the sex scenes. I thought it was pretty smart to handle it that way.

All the while, the character is a Christian, and we take an emotional journey with her through the entire process and experience the ways the Lord is dealing with her. I wouldn't necessarily say that this is a "beautiful" novel, but it's powerful and very brave. I'm not sure that the publisher was technically "CBA," but they are obviously Christian.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Okay here goes...My husband and I love being together! Yep, I wrote it and I believe God's thrilled that we do.

Next...

Loved this line "On a collision course with forever."

I will come back to read this poetry again.
~ Wendy

Patti Hill said...

Oh my. So beautiful. Yes, sensual. Human and divine. Thanks, Latayne.

susiefinkbeiner said...

Latayne and Dina, thanks for the encouragement. It truly means a lot to me. I love all my Novel Matters friends!

And, Wendy, you're right. God rejoices in our righteous "knowing" of our husbands. A strong marriage can be great fruit in our lives.

Henrietta Frankensee said...

Thank you so much for the poetry! "My whole being is satisfied as with marrow and fatness." Ps 63:5
The literal world has turned 'virtual' into something bland and blatant while the literary world holds fast to the suggestive...and seductive.
And worry thyself not, I go back in 6 months.

Latayne C Scott said...

Dina, thank you for that description. What a powerful way to deal with the concept of adultery.

Wendy and Susie and Henrietta, you are dears. I kiss you right on the forehead.

Patti, I kiss you twice. Because I know you better.

Henrietta, I understand the wait and see diagnoses. I am praying for you.

Nicole said...

Mmmm. Journey and Lover resonate. Beautiful.

Bonnie Grove said...

Dina: I wonder if the Seekerville poetry corner is deserted in part because as children we were taught poetry criticism rather than appreciation, and now, as adults we fear that reading poetry is a covert IQ test, something we don't really 'fail', but that might reveal we are flying with clipped wings.

Or, in the newly dubbed Mermaidland: swimming with half a tail.

Dina Sleiman said...

Ugh, Bonnie. I definitely had that teacher in highschool. Thankfully my creative writing classes cured me and taught me to love poetry.

Oh, and the poetry page was actually on Inkwell Inspirations, although I'm a guest on Seekerville today. We gave the page a gallant try. I'm sure I'll stay stick some poetry in my posts on a occasion.

Kathleen Popa said...

Latayne, thank you, thank you for these. They are beautiful. Nile, I think, is my favorite. It makes me think of how little we know about each other, or even ourselves, how little we understand the sacredness of even those closest to us. We get the overflow. And that is a gift.

Latayne C Scott said...

Nicole, I love it....

Bonnie and Dina, I think we were taught to dread poetry in school by people who didn't understand it and used it as a weapon. Really.

Katy, I kinda like Nile too. :)

Donn Taylor said...

Fine poems, Latayne. You have the true gift. My favorite among them is whichever one I just finished reading.

Latayne C Scott said...

Whoa! That is quite a compliment coming from Donn Taylor who is the go-to poetry guy at a lot of Christian writing conferences.

I asked him, and his next two workshops are at the East Texas Christian Writers Conference at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, TX, on October 28 and 29, 2011; and at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (BRMCWC) at Ridgecrest, NC, on May 20-24, 2012.

In addition, he blogs on poetry each third Friday on the Christian Authors Network blog, http://canblog.typepad.com/

So, thank you, Donn!

Cynthia Davis said...

The poems are lovely, Latayne. I esp. like Journey