Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Buy me happiness

Oh the power to make a rainbow,
to draw cheer into a sullen room,
Beatnik, mother called it.
Black blinds, black music
incense smoke and hash.

Like a collection of happiness, those prisms were,
nondescript stones of glass with such talent
in that Saturnian age, when joy was scarce
and treasured beyond gold.

Over the years, they fell like sisters
given one by one into marriage
with brutish, rough-handed men.

One was woven into a dreamcatcher, twisted
from willow and twine, a gift of peace
from an impoverished mother
to a newborn child.

Some were smashed in an unwanted move
to a place of anger and self-deprivation.
Where was the hope,
where was the beauty in that?

Others were chipped by a depressive musician
who never wanted to be a father,
hiding his unhappy face
as he mopped the bath’s condensation
from the windows
in a battle he’d never win.

Today two, only two remain
from that glorious collection
of suncatchers, and they hang
in the kitchen now
older now, wiser, but still richly infused
with the talent to send their speckled cheer
across the wall.

Cheer that is tinged with remorse.

Rachel Westfall
April 7, 2009

16 comments:

Julie said...

Absolutely beautiful, Rachel. The last line is a powerhouse. Now I'm thinking of all the little trinkets I collected as a teenager. Not many of them have survived, but the few that do are special. You come up with great ideas for poems.

I love the voice in this poem, too. Excellent work!

Char said...

Whether to hold a dream or to catch the rays of sunlight, there are memories to cherish if we keep them close.
Lovely poem. Thanks

Woman in a Window said...

Oh, at least a couple survive. Wish they could shed the remorse though. Why do things grow heavy with age? We should become lighter, you know.

Beautiful imagery, shimmering and still alive.

Rikkij said...

Rach-I've been told by a good friend with impeccable judgement that you're a must read. Said friend is spot on again.
{Over the years, they fell like sisters
given one by one into marriage
with brutish, rough-handed men} really liked that. said so much with so little. glad they've kept their talent. ~Rick

Ghost Dansing said...

i like the poem and i like crystal prisms too.... i'm glad you saved them and yourself and hung them in your kitchen window.....
she hangs brightly

Sometimes Happy said...

Happiness-happiness is what everyone is looking for. Happiness is a gift that we cannot buy.

Rachel: Your word's are alive just like your memory...

*Shine-On*

Linda S. Socha said...

Rachael...Rachael....I wish I knew more about you...this is so richly beautiful. Lovely ...truly
Linda

RachelW said...

Julie, thank you! :) You are always so encouraging. I did a lot of editing after you read it, too! ;) Maybe I should hold off and not post so much in draft form...

Char, beautifully said.

Erin, yeah, I wish things would grow lighter with age, too. This reminded me in a way of your Tokens writings. We are synchronised. :)

Rick, welcome! I was delighted to find your blog; thanks for posting a comment here and thereby leading me to your writings.

Ghost, sweet... it is not fully autobiographical though there are elements of my own lived experience in it. Thank you once again for the music video! You bring me cheer. :)

Sometimes Happy-- let me know if you find it, okay?

Linda, you probably know more about me than I do, if my true self comes through in my writing... Thank you for your kind words.

christopher said...

Rachel, I took your idea. :)

To An Old Love

You crossed my mind on
yet another of your walks,
the ones that lead you
further from my path
as you go your own sure way.

I remember this:
crystals, sun catchers,
the seven you insisted
were yours. You would take
these, you said, just these.
I agreed though my heart broke.
I watched as you left.

Now I weave old souls.
In the warp and weft of things
They shine, inner light.

RachelW said...

Christopher; sad, beautiful. You may take my ideas any time. :)

Selchie said...

Hi Rachel, I really like the shared moments of this, the details, the musician, the weaving of stories. Very lovely.)

Happy day,

Selchie.)

Crafty Green Poet said...

i do like suncatchers and I like this poem too...

Karen said...

"Like a collection of happiness, those prisms were,
nondescript stones of glass with such talent
in that Saturnian age, when joy was scarce
and treasured beyond gold."

I love the way you've unified the disparate images with the suncatchers. Great last lines to pull it all together.

RachelW said...

Thank you, all! I do appreciate your encouragement, so ery much.

Fat Arse said...

Rachel,

Your symbolism is stunning.

RachelW said...

Much appreciated, FA.