Life With Horace

poetry & essays

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Things I didn’t know I loved

I didn’t know I loved the spirit in soil
deep under reed marshes
connected to it through my bones
a vision of roiling life

I didn’t know I loved to sing
that song could make me cry
joy a quick moment on the backs of notes
voices together light to dark

I didn’t know that I loved sense of place
color memories until they were gone
layered goodbyes in dim sunlight
dusty motes on gray air

I didn’t know I still loved touch
thought it dried and done but not forgotten
only to find a fire so ready lit my blood sang
even as I would cry aloud

I didn’t know that I loved words
that they would fill every empty place
pull me with them words from my eyes
words from unheard thought

I didn’t know how much I loved my life
sweet along with sharp and hard
rushing in over tidal flats escaping just as fast
that I could cherish it not just live it

This list poem came out of a short poetry workshop taught in 2015 by the poet Doug Anderson. We read Things I Didn’t Know I Loved by the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet, and were prompted to write our own list poem by the same title. This is the revised version.

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all eyes and
single voices
this great body
balanced on
a razor thin
tipping point
we sing
full throat
to ecstasy
the music stops
I fall into
the abyss of silence
tears flowing

the moment after the end of a great piece. for Cailin Marcel Manson, who took us there.

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Dark voice in silence

There is quiet now
where rich color
had been heard,
deep and sensuous
His turning notes
of fluted california
honky tonk remain
a potent legacy
Rest easy
we will hear
your echo.

day 6 of NaPoWriMo. RIP Merle Haggard, who left us today. Singer, brilliant songwriter, early voice of Bakersfield.

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sitting in

walking into warmth and welcome
with a close held friend,
we find a solid place,
crafted lovingly
of wood, and glass, and hope,
the love of neighbor,
dignified by quiet repetition,
faith made real,
seen in face and heart,
heard in voices raised in song,
those who come once more
to hear a gifted preacher’s words,
sharing his belief in purpose
and God’s love,
of the journey into faith.
all this I see, from number 31,
(an alto seat), gladly sitting in,
sending up my hymn with theirs,
in deep appreciation
for the gift of wisdom,
ours that day to
keep and savor

for Tom Atkins, the preacher Deborah Rahalski and I heard that day, our friend and fellow creative spirit, on the occasion of his birthday.

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joy renewed

we are ready, we think,
for tomorrow, making music
shared among ourselves,
for strangers, and those
who populate our lives.

we have but to erase
details, orts left of grander
chores, now simple ticks.
as we began, rich notes
brought tears of joy
burst out of souls and eyes.

but tied to knowledge,
certainty arrived as well,
so flat in effect that
to be on stage
seemed almost afterthought.

tonight will tick away,
and tomorrow we will gather,
drinking swiftly, deeply from
Cecilia’s well, knowing
blessed energy will flow
in us with the first downbeat.

poem copyright 2014 KH Rantilla. all rights reserved.