THERESA RODRIGUEZ - POEMS
The Rise of Fall
There were such pretty flowers in the spring:
The fragrant colors of a verdant time;
Such fresh potentiality, sublime
In all the loveliness that they did bring.
Then summer issued forth a deep wellspring,
Maturely ripening, where vines would climb
And trees begin to bulge. This is the prime
Of life when growth will dance, and sway, and sing.
But autumn is the time of now. I stand
Amid the harvests and the fruit. The change
Between the then and now, it leaves me jaded;
I barely have the bearings to withstand
This person of today. Indeed, how strange,
How much the beauty of the past has faded.
I thought I had forgotten you by now,
But I have not. Must I go again
Into this place of torment? Tell me how
To get rid of this leech that suckles when
I try to free it. How I can I walk on
When I am chained? I bury you inside,
Outside, within, withal, whereon, be gone!
Be dead! But in the casket you abide,
Alive but molded, withered; rotten worm
That will not die, though I had thought you dead!
I lunge forth and away but you hold firm
With prongs embedded in my bones and head.
Oh, you have held a place within too long,
Too undeserved, too late to right the wrong.
You say that you are grey, but do you know
How shades of grey are complementary
To russet, red, maroon, or crimson's flow,
And other hues of blood that bleed from me?
You admix, so you say, of black and white;
But did you notice how the dawn of grey
Will burst with yellow purples, pinks and light
When face to face confronted with the day?
Then you are every color and are none:
For black absorbs and white reflects; yet free
In alchemy the rigid comes undone,
And then my spectrum you more clearly see.
For grey to dwell alone is grey indeed
When colors yearn to contrast, blend, and bleed.
Sonnet of the Hardened Heart
Care less, I warn myself; bother no more
With inner crevices: prying the shell
Like scabs (rough, oozing, sore), which crust, but tell
Of tumults against the psychic seabed floor;
It is in vain. Swollen and hard around
The meat (like newborn skin, or the vaginal flower),
The protection, obdurate, damns me. Damn the mound
Which buries my soul and suffocates what little power
My will may afford. That meat, that flower, that skin
(A pulsing pinkish mass) is thus entombed;
And yet, for her to exist at all, the wound
Must needs be sealed by this guardian within.
She lives within her shell; perhaps she dies
As well, because it makes and mutes her cries.
I once was sharp as blades
I once was sharp as blades, as honed as steel,
And I could slice raw words within my mind
And then put them to paper, thus consigned
To publish all I think, believe, and feel.
I was as bright as day, and was as real
As sunlight which can make the viewer blind:
So sharp and light did become intertwined,
And beauties from within to all reveal.
But now I am as dull as rotten wool;
My thoughts are nothing if not addlepated;
My acumen seems gone into a pile
Of sweet, soft nothing. Once so strong and full
Of clarity, but now deteriorated,
I wonder how my efforts are worthwhile.