Two Poems: Enlightenment, Phrases Strong and Perfect
By Therése Halscheid
Therése Halscheid has been an itinerant writer for more than two decades, living simply on the road as a house-sitter. She writes, “A nomadic lifestyle has allowed me to connect with the Earth and understand more deeply the interconnectedness between nature and human nature.”
Regarding the lotus,
they have their beginnings in dark places
at the very bottom of things, of lakes and of
shallow rivers, growing from the muck up, a frond
navigating itself, fronds
long and green, leaving the muddy riverbed,
its rocky silences.
Think of the stem
when its murky secret becomes its body’s truth,
think of the bud needing air
to open, needing to struggle without saying
and this is considered pure, this
is the white blossom
becoming light itself, on the surface of water.
Phrases Strong and Perfect
Inupiaq Tribe, White Mountain, Alaska
To the Eskimo, glances are actions. And of actions,
they leave a bright trail to read
so that when two crows hit against the glass window
where Linky was, she said, something has happened!
she said nothing comes here without significance, that
even the wind blows as God’s breath
shaking the willows, taking its leaves. She said
what I said, that even dusk talks in long sentences of color.
Everything that shifts, moves, but not only for itself
like the sun dropping a strong phrase of light
on a child, like the child giving a crow call
the same moment as Linky sights the birds.
This is what the cold has taught. How the world is
of words though no one is speaking
how the days went as this day went,
which has nothing to do with time.
“Enlightenment” first appeared in Tiferet. “Phrases Strong and Perfect” first appeared in Cold Mountain Review. Both poems were published in Therése Halscheid, Frozen Latitudes (Winston-Salem, NC: Press 53, 2014). Read more about the author and Frozen Latitudes here.