Thursday, February 22, 2007
The Body Knows
Forgive me for posting a brand new first draft for this week's Poetry Thursday Challenge, but this was my first opportunity to write on this topic. So I thought I'd post it anyway. Hope that's OK:
The Body Knows
Paths through the forest so faint
that the imagination only hints at perception. Twists
and turns through thickets of prickers, the safe berm between swamp
and marsh, the ridge then rising and falling away to the sides where
deer have beat a narrow path between the hemlocks. The body
knows. The body turns and glides, stepping so lightly among
tangles of lichens it almost seems to float. It knows where the cliff
drops away into darkness to rocks and water. Knows the quicksand
seepages. Where to step on rocks and hummocks to keep from sinking,
and where to find a log across the slough to the island-peninsula.
The pleasure of wind on skin, of night air, sharp, cool and full
of swamp smells, inflating city-tired lungs. Owlsong and coyote howl.
The body knows. Bare feet on still warm sand, water lapping
at the edge of toes and then up ankles and calves. The shock of immersion.
Long strokes out into the bay, the bump bump of night fish
and swimming turtles. The way the wind feels again on now wet skin,
icing into dryness. The way moonlight off the water feels on the retina
and in the heart, catching hungry there. The body knows the way hands feel,
and skin and lips, when late, late, late it returns home to the warm smell
of its lover between sweet sleepy sheets.
Mary Stebbins Taitt
1st draft 2-22-07
here is another poem I wrote earlier on this same topic: Almost Invisible (The Guide Replies)
I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats