Poetry reveals our hidden roots and connections. Isn’t that cool? Look what I just found. This brings me so much joy…
The Light of the House
by Louise Imogen Guiney (published in Happy Ending: The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney, 1909)
Beyond the cheat of Time, here where you died, you live;
You pace the garden walk, secure and sensitive;
You linger on the stair: Love’s lonely pulses leap!
The harpsichord is shaken, the dogs look up from sleep.
Here, after all the years, you keep the heirdom still;
The youth and joy in you achieve their olden will,
Unbidden, undeterred, with waking sense adored;
And still the house is happy that hath so dear a lord.
To every inmate heart, confirmed in cheer you brought,
Your name is as a spell midway of speech and thought,
And to a wonted guest (not awestruck heretofore),
The sunshine that was you floods all the open door.
The Sun at Your House
by Lori Kane (published in Unshaken Wonder: Becoming Playful Elders Together, 2018)
Warm sun pools and shines more brightly
in your home. Why is that?
Worn, beckoning rugs and life-soft chairs
a sentinel portrait at the door
rich green and red dirt-colored artifacts
nestled within white walls of recent pain.
Witness the dancing dust across sunbeams upstairs,
the bird in the kitchen
your crazy dogs at play in the yard.
Most fairies here are somber, yet there is heart
in all those faces and those fucking
cool guitars, Jesus,
and the tools, and the found things,
and the workshop, and the garage, and
in the art, art everywhere: things far too content to be clutter
far more useful than things designed only for use.
The love here isn’t just palpable. It knocks you down.
It feels like a missing tooth and bloody face
shining out from pure bliss: a sweet, well-caught ball
by a kid at the fence.
Windows and doors shift widely open for the souls here.
The one still walking the dogs, still finding community
creating art here in person and the one
moving only in sunlight now
guiding your strong gentle hands
then shifting to starlight to stroke your cheek
in the too-dark night.
That’s the thing about the sun at your house.
She’s still with you in grief and at 4:00 A.M.
That’s the thing about your art. It’s still with me
here in grief and at 4:00 A.M
as I whisper, “Thank you” to stars in the darkness—
uncertain, still, about who it is, I mean…
Which who is it
that I’m thanking?