Sunday, November 14, 2010



Out here on the celestial equator,
I am Monoceros, a faint constellation
barely visible among the brightest stars
that shine radiantly from the great circle.

I go practically unnoticed - like blood
seeping through the reddest terracotta,
or like minor chords being played slowly,
woefully over an elegiac reading of some
dejected and plaintive poet…

I want to be mapped again by the Dutch.
Instead of a shy unicorn – I want to be a lion,
an eagle, a bear, or a glittery whale
spouting water, like crushed diamonds,
around an imaginary sphere of infinite extent,
tilting and swimming in all directions at once.

I want to be on a different quadrant of an astrolabe,
a fresh copper engraving, pictured in a star atlas -
or just clearly visible on a plastic plansiphere
that rests deep in the pocket of an old woman,
who has designed her days by studying the stars.


Okie Prof said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Okie Prof said... are so deep. I want to say "I'm stunned," but that is inadequate. Your piece on Whitman confirmed that we're kinfolk, but I read in wonder at your creations. All of them move me, waken my senses, make my brain hurt. Bradbury must have been thinking about you when he urged reading poetry because it exercises muscles we don't use. Wish I could paint like you write.

But I have a card in mind--"Poetry--the hard edge of truth against the fog of life, bringing light and color to the world."

Karen said...

You never cease to amaze me. I have absolutely no idea how you know about such things. I had to research after reading this to know anything about Monoceros - and then I see that I knew it already from your poem! Beautiful comparisons and point of view. A faint constellation - great metaphor in itself.

Happy Birthday (soon), archer girl!

trooping with crows said...

I think we have all felt like this at one time or another...this is really a colossal poem! A big theme that can only be such skillfully conquered by my mother.
Glad glittery whale has been immortalized forever in your brilliant writing.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Terry, thank you so much! I love to read your reflections here. Your opinion of my poetry means a great deal to me. :) And...your idea for a "poetry" card is inspired! You have such gorgeous watercolors. Please send me a scan when you create it.

Karen - I would have to tell you my thought process. It all started on Saturday. I was feeling sorry for myself, depressed, and in a bad mood all at the same time. I felt like I was shrinking into the background for some reason. Looking at the stars later that night...I just happened to think - "Yeah, if I were a star I would probably be in the constellation Monoceros - HA! Anyway, thanks a big bunch for your wonderful words, as always. (yeah...another year has come and gone - but, where???) :))))

Merissa, much appreciated! I accept your praise with open arms! Or something like that... lol.

I don't like feeling that way - like I am of no consequence. No one makes me feel that way, but myself. Who knows what prompts the feeling...nothing? everything?
Oh, Yes....that gorgeous glittery whale - I had to honor him somehow! Thanks for your thoughts. They mean so much. Love you.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing poem. Truly. I would say "stellar," but that would be cheap.

Yesterday, I was thinking about how the great, timeless poets are just great because we've decided that they are, then shut the door. In my humble opinion, there is just-as-great poetry written every day. I'd count this one in that group.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Jason, I am flattered by your comment. Thank you very much!

I think that about visual artists. I see many works of art being created today that are masterful, in my humble opinion - and that could hang in important galleries beside the most notable paintings.
Thanks again, you made my day.

Rick said...

Hello, K!

One day I was counting change for french fries in a MacDonald's parking lot in an awkward part of town, obsessed with its desolance. I looked up for a moment and saw the most beautiful fox walking slowly across the parking lot as though deciding whether or not the drive-thru would accomodate him. It was enough to distract me from my change counting, so I looked back down and started counting again.

The disconsance eluded me until later that evening. Wild foxes are not native to asphalf driveways. It occurred to me, though, that if I would have missed an event of beauty that I didn't really deserve to witness.

I was deciding whether to visit blogs tonight or read. I'm so glad I decided to drop in on you, or I would have missed this precious, ethereal work of work of yours that made me see past the music of the spheres to behold the poetry of life.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Rick, I enjoyed reading your comment immensely. What a writer!

It is amazing what we see in a rare moment of time. What a wonderful thing for you to have seen a fox! I live in the "wilds" and I seldom see them here, but in a McParkingLot?! Lucky.

I am happy that you decided to visit tonight. Your thoughts on my poem are so very much appreciated. I like how you wrote: "to behold the poetry of life." <3

Julie said...

Hello, K. You have certainly been a bright shining star in my blog reading! But I do love the poem. I love the unique metaphor and how it is sprinkled with all the beautiful "wishful" similes. And...oh, yes...I get the feeling. I think we all know this feeling of insignificance, which is why the poem speaks to me on a human level.

Your language is so beautiful. As usual, I am in love with the carefully chosen details you use (like the blood seeping through the reddest terracotta). What could be more unnoticed than that? Yet at the same time, the detail is quite noticeable!

And it all leads to that awesome last stanza. Beautiful work! I will remember it always :)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Julie - Thank you so much! I honestly appreciate your thoughts here, and love to read what you have to say about a poem. Thanks for noticing the poem's unnoticed details...or for not noticing the details that are known. er, that is to say....thanks, Jules. *?*

(I had to delete my first comment to you, because when I read it again - it didn't make any sense. I'm not sure this is any less ambiguous.)

Julie said...

Hey, K! Your comment makes perfect sense to me!

I'm going offline for a few days, so...just popping in again to say Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a great time with your family. Wishing you and yours many blessings.

Rick said...

Hi K! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

And let me know if you ever do a public reading. It would be worth the drive for me to attend.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Julie - :D I appreciate that! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Rick - You are such a good friend. Thank you and hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

Rick said...

Hi K. Do you remember Nevine from

She was just plagiarized on the web (left a comment on my new posting explaining it). Would you mind dropping by and offering her a word of support? As another poet, I know your words will do a lot to comfort her.

Also, we're going to start looking around to see if you're being plagiarized. You write so well you're work is as tempting as an exquisite jewel in an open case.

T.R. said...

Oh to walk but for a minute in the world known as your poetry. Incredible. Alive.

Sent here by Okie Prof and can't wait to explore.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

T.R. - Thank you so much for coming by and leaving such a nice message. I hope you will find some poems in the archives that resonate with you, as well. Please visit often. (Terry is such a great supporter of my work.) :)

Vesper said...

Kaye, this is wondrous... starting with the title... I read the others' comments and I don't know how I could say differently how much your poem touches me. So, all of the above and know that these stars, in all their meanings, are very dear to my heart.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Vesper - many thanks for all your words. I always look forward to your visits here.