Sunday, November 15, 2009

THE EXTENT OF THINGS


THE EXTENT OF THINGS


here’s what
brought us to this -


that cold steel
that sought me out
and blood and bone
I suffered alone…


you kept vigil over me
in my troubled times
on the mountain
and you let me see
your beating heart,
however faint


your voice behind me
in a hush of love,
assuring me of eternity


and youth – transitory,
like any other thing
that is here for a
moment and gone,
was hidden away
under old forest trees
where the only light
shone from our eyes


one sweet day
after another
sweet day,
each longer
than a year,
and that special
grace holding off
imminent sadness


how many nights
did we confess our
sins but were never
absolved
we never needed
forgiveness
I know that now


we put our
heads together
and changed
the universe -


stars from
different galaxies
exploding into
a billion shards -
still traveling
through a dark
and endless space.

28 comments:

Margaret said...

How solid and powerful love is!

We can overcome "that cold steel" if we have that someone beside us during our troubled times.

Karen said...

The whole story, its essence, told so beautifully with so much reverence and love - it IS the extent of things, the only thing, in the end.

I love so much of this, but these lines really catch me and pull me back:

"and youth – transitory,
like any other thing
that is here for a
moment and gone,
was hidden away
under old forest trees
where the only light
shone from our eyes"

and these:
"your voice behind me
in a hush of love,
assuring me of eternity"

This is a beautiful testimony of love and a deep reflection on the passage of time, getting from here to there "one sweet day after another sweet day" with that "special grace".

Your time away from blogging was certainly productive, Kaye. When I come here, I am reminded ,"Oh, yes. THIS is poetry."

Vesper said...

Kaye, this is so filled with overwhelming beauty, and quiet sadness that it makes me sigh...

I keep reading it, unable and unwilling to free myself of its spell...

your voice behind me
in a hush of love,
assuring me of eternity

and youth – transitory,
like any other thing
that is here for a
moment and gone,
was hidden away
under old forest trees
where the only light
shone from our eyes


You have a great talent, my friend.

jason evans said...

Sounds like a touch of greatness. Maybe more than a touch. What a gift to live it.

Once again, you capture amazing things.

Aniket said...

Okay, I saw 2012 yesterday and that had enough exploding to keep me content till 2012! Just kidding. There's always room for a bit more.

Especially, when its about such passionate love. Karen already picked my fav. lines:

"your voice behind me
in a hush of love,
assuring me of eternity"

What else could one want!

Mairi said...

What a great lead in - "here's what brought us to this" - leaving the reader guessing, all through a love story told in a voice that somehow puts the tale in the past in spite of its claim on eternity, where "this" is. Beautifully told.

Gel said...

"we put our
heads together
and changed
the universe -"

Wonderful tapestry of emerging, enduring, eternal love

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Margaret, we can overcome anything with the power of love. Thanks so much for your perceptive insights, friend.


Karen - I appreciate your careful study and sensitive comments. I am sure, at this moment in time, you are reflecting quietly on life and relationships, sweet little Juliet, and all the things that have brought YOU to "this". Thank you so much for the compliment! I do appreciate it. <3


Vesper - If I was able to capture your imagination with this poem, then I feel gratified. Thank you for your lovely words. I treasure them.


Jason, what a wonderful comment and compliment! Yes, a gift...how very right you are.


LOL - Aniket, you are funny!
Thanks a million for your very thoughtful remarks. I do always appreciate your funny side and your serious side! :)


Mairi - I was hoping it might serve as a good opening line. That is just how this poem came to me - so I wrote it down just that way. Yes, leaving the reader to wonder, "What has happened?" - something? nothing? everything? Good observation. Thanks for receiving this so well.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hi Gel - much appreciated! I love the way you put that. It captures the essence of the poem.

namingconstellations said...

Dang... you know I love those astronomical poems, but this one just bursts with feeling. I'm going to go watch the meteor shower in a little bit, and I'll probably have this drifting through my mind with every one I see...

Sarah Hina said...

I saw their trajectory as the shooting star, burning through the atmosphere, yet giving off the most beautiful of light.

Every line is perfect here, I can't dissect them away. They're all a part of an arc that builds, a universe sustained by the communion of two hearts in rare and imperfect sympathy.

I just loved this one, Kaye. Words fail me sometimes when it comes to your poetry.

Rick said...

Our beloved friend Mr. Whitman smiles with you again, K., and I quite agree with Vesper.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joseph - A lot of emotion went into this poem, so I feel validated that it "bursts with feeling." Thanks so much! I got up early enough to see the meteor shower, but alas, it was cloudy!


Sarah - Your comment is so eloquent. I appreciate your understanding of this poem and feel humbled at your very thoughtful remarks. It means so much to me.


Rick, You know just what to say to make me sigh.....*sigh* I always appreciate it! <3 Now...why aren't you and Miss White Kitty hard at work, writing about Rasputin as a werewolf??? Love the new post about the Idea Factory.

joaquin carvel said...

i probably overuse the word "amazing" - but that's what this is. a look back, a look around, a look ahead - there is a calm and quietness about this that radiates - a power - that's simply beautiful.

and i love finding that the "extent" is "endless space" - that "this" is finite and infinite - which is dizzying. wow.

Rick said...

K., we are hard at work this very moment! Another midnight come and gone writing the night away.

jack sender said...

i read “bleating heart”
and “assuring me of Kentucky”,
and, “we put our beds together”.
and changed the universe.

next time I’ll read your blog
before I write
.
keep up the good work.

Annie said...

Hi Kaye,
Your poem is beautiful. "...and you let me see your beating heart, however faint, your voice behind me in a hush of love..." There is a quiet grace, and like many commenters have said, a sense of time- present, past, and future in a continuum. "Stars from different galaxies, changing the universe..." And the relationship continues, ever stronger.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joaquin - I LOVE the word amazing...thank you so much. When we examine what things have brought us to a certain point, it is wonderful to know that we can depend on them to take us farther, as well. This poem has been writing itself for the last 40 years. I didn't compose the poem, so much, as I am living it. I always appreciate your very pensive remarks.


Rick - I, for one, appreciate ya'lls dire suffering for the arts!!
(don't forget to feed the cat)
<.><.>


Jack - what were you reading? A salacious pulp fiction?? lol ;O
Thank you for making me smile, friend.


Annie - Thank you for that very sincere comment. I am glad the poem established a sense of past, present, & future, for that is what I fully intended. I am grateful for your keen eye.

Julie said...

Your words are beautiful, Kaye. The voice is simultaneously quiet, lovely, and powerful all at once. Again this week, I'm in love with your title. It's the perfect one.

Then I was instantly hooked by that awesome intro. I love that style, and it stopped me in my tracks. I could see an entire scene. I could hear an entire conversation (what even came before the intro). And as a reader, I'm getting a front row seat with just six words. Yes!!

Having "cold steel" and "blood and bone" all in the same stanza is a wonderful contrast. The ending is powerful and leaves me feeling exactly the way the poem intends. The small phrases that say so much are fantastic, like "still traveling." Still! Yep.

And I love how the final stanza points back to the "assurance of eternity." Beautiful, Kaye. I'm not kidding when I say I get inspired when I visit your blog.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Julie - I thank you, most humbly, for the wonderful comment. Glad you liked the title. Sometimes, a title eludes me and I settle for something, but this one came to me quickly.

If I inspire you, then I feel completely validated as a poet. I think we all inspire each other, greatly, here in Blogland. Thank you, so very much, for that generous compliment. I shall treasure your words for a long time to come.

Bob said...

Kaye, it was great catching up on your work this morning... sorry for not being around much, my mind's been floating some... your words, the beautiful pictures made my morning... and how great to finally see a picture of you up here! Nice to put a face to the writer... take care :)

Calli said...

There is just so much to admire in this poem. It is both inspiring and sad, as is life. Beautiful work!

I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit.

Thank you~
Calli

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hi Bob, I am always glad when you stop in. I know you are busy with your music and writing. Thank you for the sweet words, as always - they stay in my heart.


Calli - Welcome. I am happy you said, "first visit". That means you plan on coming here again. ;) Thanks for the great comment.

Lydia said...

Came to visit via aestheticflow. This poem really hits me deep. How beautiful and sentimental!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Lydia - I'm glad this resonated with you in a special way. Poetry is our universal language, allowing us to relate to someone else's poems on a personal level. I appreciate your kind comment. Glad you stopped by. Please come again when you can.

Catvibe said...

This reminds me of my own past, that innocent time when I really believed in love. Not that I don't now. But there was something in youth before all that came after to harden things. This poem brings back the soft intensity of young love in a way that just moves me. Beautiful.

BTW: I love your new avatar pic! K. revealed!

Elk Lighting said...

Very Nice, really made me stop and ponder.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hi Elk, thanks so much for leaving a nice comment. Hope you will stop in again soon. ;)