Call Me a Thief

One of those coincidental moments unfolded itself recently: Brendan stepped downstairs pulling his Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear by one of his back legs, the bear’s head bumping against the carpeted stairs behind the small boy. Brendan echoing the text without yet knowing the full story—
And then: I fear the inevitable question from my son about his adoption. There will be a moment when we all must sit down and explain how complex the world is, how much of a knot society becomes; nothing is simple. Nothing has a simple process of being.
The cat lies nearby cleaning herself in a typical, methodical fashion.

Poetry is an act of theft. Lifting threads off a stranger's coat.
Her purrs vibrate the warm room, entire as she pretends to ignore my presence and my witnessing the ritual of her bath. Every few moments she pauses, tilts her head slightly, then resumes the task at hand.
Today I am looking for focus.In a few minutes I will grade short assignments lingering from the university. Which in a sense sets the structure for the rest of the day. Later, perhaps, time will provide a better sense of connection to creative projects—my brain lingers in a doped-up limbo from the cold medicine I took last night. Yet, in this now moment, I hear Ricky and Brendan in the kitchen making cookies, dropping blueberries into a cobbler mix,shuffling items in the oven and stove-top. The sounds break my concentration from the school papers—
Call me a thief. I steal poetry from personal events. Darkly-personal happenings. Blunt honesty. Poetry is an act of theft. Lifting threads off a stranger's coat. From a phrase overheard on a train. From the mumblings of a character in a dream. Even the falling of a phrase from memory. These threads of casual statements often braid into a greater "knot" of existence.


  1. And yet it's true, isn't it, that it is sometimes in the most complicated of those knots that we are given a glimpse into the most powerful and transcending singularity - it's always uplifting - full of awe. We live. We are all connected. Part of that mythical tree of life. Returning to Heaney and my own favourite:

    Lie down
    in the word-hoard, burrow
    the coil and gleam
    of your furrowed brain.

    Compose in darkness.
    Expect aurora borealis
    in the long foray
    but no cascade of light.

    Keep your eye clear
    as the bleb of the icicle,
    trust the feel of what nubbed treasure
    your hands have known.

  2. I love his phonetics! It is amazing how we all use a different voice, yet (for the most part) juggle all the same words in our heads.


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