Regaining the Muse

With gratitude to the Muse, who has granted me, in the last two months, the greatest burst of new poems and revisions...

Silent this voice for more than a year!
My head now bowed with other laurels,
I am back to poetry and its finer lyre.
Time and this book alone
shall tell if I am stronger now —
or if the shining, word-wise daemon,
whose gaze and beckoning
I shunned and spurned
like the advances of a rasping crone,
shall now return to guide my pen.

Muse! come to the window I deck as of old
with that solitary flame that you alone can see!
Here the paper, here the pale blue lines,
the furrows I plow again with fountain pen;
bones, rock & root the silences
I move away to plant a newer crop:
sonnets to scrape the bellies of clouds,
elegies whose solemn tears
tap roots into the strata of dinosaurs,
lyric sprouts that will contain whole languages.
Beware my harvest, for dragon's teeth
lurk in the words I plant today!

The Muse will take me back.
Have I not given everything
to consecrate myself to her? Like all
who serve poetry I gave my youth,
heedless of age’s hunger and need.
I gave her blood, though she in turn
could never give me bread! Look at me:
the scribbling thing I am,
addict of adverb and adjective,
drunkard of Orphic utterance,
I am what she made me.


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