Sarah Sadie – Four Poems
The worm has discovered
his sucking bit, the lovely roil
wrapped around a hard stone.
My tart dear we are all recrimination
and accuse, swelled with summer,
plump for the plunge once more
with hands so sticky from harvest
we can’t unclasp from stew and steam,
can hardly begrudge the worm,
deep alone in his pulpy bulb,
mucking in ecstasy. Who
could deny him his sweet small life?
A Bird Is the Shape
A bird is the shape of an egg,
shape of a shoulder or hip,
a tulip bulb or bloom,
whatever fills the palm,
a twinge, a stir, a slip
to possibility once more.
An egg is an open door
and this poem a lyric thing
small song in a brief spring
as earth, insatiable,
rolls over, greening again
seedy with pleasure and pain.
Old girl, though it feels wrong,
the song must be sung,
and spring sprung.
Bachelard Writes of Houses, Bachelard Writes of Miniatures
I’m thinking of miniatures, of Bachelard’s inversion
of perspective, which he writes is either fleeting
or captivating, according to the talent of the narrator,
or the reader’s capacity for dream. (No pressure, though.)
I’m avoiding the novel again, its maps and histories,
its need for explanation, back story, flashback, train ticket
to elsewhere. It’s the last morning before snow.
I’m in the kitchen of a friend’s poem, the last poem
in the last issue of a magazine I published for five years.
Her fruit cobbler just exploded like a gunshot and
she’s cut her foot on the baking dish’s fragments.
Blood and rubies and rhubarb, I’m right at home.
I don’t want to go anywhere today. Snow is coming.
Burnt sugar on the walls, her kitchen a twisted
Faberge egg, is beautiful in shards.
I’m thinking of Bachelard, how his rooms
are always tidy. How I have blindspots too. I pour
another coffee, careful to avoid glass, hot blobs of cobbler
weeping down the walls. We need more messes
like this one, I say to her, to you, strange and dangerous and big.
You can reheat last night’s salty broth
for leftovers, but it will not be the same again.
Today cold rain. Unwashed glassware.
Why does no one write the ordinary courage
it takes, to find a reason to be happy?
Yesterday I sat at an unfamiliar table,
ate oxtail soup, wild rice, fresh bread,
and home pressed cider, sweet.
The talk was of work. The work was of words.
Shared stories. Dreams. The windows obscured
with fog and mist, condensing down the panes.
My friend’s hair bloomed magnificent,
a salt-and-pepper dahlia. My hands
hatched dragonflies as we ate.
A poem is a time machine, that’s all.
Author’s Statement on Beauty
Beauty is not the same as the Sublime, though they are often conflated. The Sublime is one (popular) (easily recognized) (lauded) form of beauty, only. Growing up and living in the Midwest of the United States, where there is a dearth of the sublime but no dearth of beauty, I am aware of how often beauty will be secret, small, wild, fleeting. Even on the surface, plain. The aesthetics of my poetry may be primarily an aesthetics shaped by my geography, but most days I prefer to sidestep the question.
One statement I stand firmly upon: we need beauty as much as or more than ever. We must learn again to value beauty where we find it, in a non-monetized sense of the word value. To slap a pricetag on the idea of beauty, or the beautiful object, or the beautiful exchange, automatically begins its degradation.
I am convinced we cannot live without beauty. We may exist, or survive, but we will not live. And it is entirely possible that beauty may be dependent upon us as well. A tree may exist in the forest without humans there to see it, but it will not be beautiful if its beauty is not perceived.
I admit the possibility that other species may perceive beauty in distinctly non-human terms and ways. So say, maybe, that the deep humanity of the world, and the deep world of our common humanity, depends upon our ability to perceive, cherish, nurture and encourage beauty.
There. I’ve said enough.