Four Poems from the Pacific
I remember once placing my mind on a big rock in the sea
where waves moved in to surround as if they could drag
that boulder back out to it’s origins. The water pushed
and pulled slowly; cajoling. Then it summoned a force of impact,
bounding high, wrapping arms around with nets of frothy veil.
It made me think of women in Sicily who for half a century
wore black in regard for husbands killed in the war,
sitting in straighback chairs, together tying white threads
to lace with funny bobbins; flowers to cover a wedding bed.
Twenty crows assemble at the edge of the continent
this morning in a near fog; they take advantage of a slight
salt wind, launching into nothing. I was awake at five
and so I rolled my clothes into three bright pistons
and positioned them perpendicularly in my bag. And then
walked out. The cliffs shine a light of neon brown
with alizarin pink and the iris cling and nestle to hills,
opening flat when they bump against the bottom line of sky.
The feeling is one of living, standing (if I have to talk
in words) on an Earth surprisingly free of walls.
Everything eventually must yield out here; even the trees
have migrated inland unless they are hiding under the bunchgrass.
I mean hiding from the sea wind, unstoppable: never stopping.
Even the lifeboat is cocooned away and wary, and the wild oats
have already seeded out in May at just four inches tall.
It’s as if a woman is writing a paragraph and pleased at the speed
of her thoughts and way words stacks and pin in place
(how quickly a single paragraph forms!) but then she turns to create
the next, glances at the clock and sees already the day has passed.
When I say beauty what I mean is the world: the pewter
macadam road and the tiny hiker on the horizon in a red jacket
walking above the steel plate of water, beside
that poor vulnerable, timid, uncertain hillside where
the soil just barely holds on. Personifying place to do what?
Consider myself. When I say beauty, I mean I don’t find here
too much want. There is a constant assessment of materials,
like when the deer move softly away, and the hawk stands
on the road of sky, holding place with the tremor of feather.
I need these wild occasions. And I think I will live
in town for another twenty years.
Guitarist Bill Horvitz left us, way too soon. Husband for nearly half my life, friend and creative partner, loving father of our son. Here’s a sound file for Bill.
NED SAYS (from In the Middle of the Night of the Road of My Life I Found Myself in a Tangled Woods Patti Trimble and Peter Whitehead: out of round records 2014)
Margine di un Altrove, (publication available here) centered on the ancient Greek women protagonists Electra, Alcestis, and Phaedra, in conjunction with 2016 INDA performances in Siracusa’s (Sicily) Ancient Theater, poetry by American poet Patti Trimble and Greek National Poet Titos Patrikios, writing from FILDIS and University Women of Europe, edited by Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlingheri and Katerina Papatheu.
Pensieri are inner thoughts. The poems are pensieri for the tragic heroines. Three actors from L’Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico: Michele Dell’Utri, Doriana la Fauci, Attilia Ierna staged poems in Siracusa and Taormina, Italy.
The queen loosens her hair and chases
an untamed man across river and hill
and why shouldn’t she,
when so much has been made of his beauty
as the very breath of life
and voice of mountain air—
From this well-bred world,
who doesn’t need a corrective?
Who doesn’t ache for innocence,
for a new and lovely someone else,
and wonder who is hunter,
who unfairly chased? Patti Trimble 2016
POEM FOR PHAEDRA: FIVE QUESTIONS
Must we choose between the holy and profane wild?
Can’t we simply watch a play about desire and feel better
Or chant commanding poems about beautiful lunacies\
Isn’t it enough to dream of life essential jailed in a suggestive night?
What if when awaken, we’ve been dreaming all life long
and never have the chance to follow on the scent
and live the wondrous track of feral dreams?
Patti Trimble 2016
From Terra Amata
SAC Contemporary Art Museum, November 2016. Installation: the L’Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico, curated and directed by Michele Dell’Utri with Doriana la Fauci and Attilia Ierna and 40 young actors. A spoken-word collection of places on Earth, carried in memory, based on interviews with immigrants, refugees, tourists, residents of Siracusa, Sicily: A collaged vision of Earth.
This piece is from a Somalian refugee who took a boat from Libya to Sicily:
. . . The boat was crowded, and people divided up, Muslims on one side, Christians on the other side. There was no one father, the sea was so bad. Afterwards, now, we fear the sea, not even wanting to look at it even from far away. I never want to remember the giant waves and the feeling you have in the stomach when you are on top of the wave and are about to fall, you loose all the breath you have in your mouth. We never want to see the sea ever again. But I am talking about this now to you for the first time, and it makes me laugh. The waves were so tall. At the top of the wave, the Muslims were praying “Allah! Allah!” and the Christians were praying “Jesus! Jesus!”. At the bottom of the wave, the Muslims were praying Jesus Jesus, and the Christians where praying “Allah! Allah!”. . ..
Wild Girl and Tame, and Montauk 1984, awarded the “2016 46er Prize” from Adirondack Review. (A ’46er’ has climbed all 46 Adirondak peaks, at least metaphorically) Click here to read, poems and stories in the summer issue.
Listen here to poems from CD: In the Middle of the Night of the Road of My Life I Found Myself in a Tangled Wood. Patti Trimble and Peter Whitehead