Shifting the Sun by Diana Der-Hovanessian

When your father dies, say the Irish,
you lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Welsh,
you sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Canadians,
you run out of excuses.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the French,
you become your own father.
May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Indians,
he comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Russians,
he takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the English,
you join his club you vowed you wouldn’t.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Armenians,
your sun shifts forever.
And you walk in his light.

“Shifting the Sun” by Diana Der-Hovanessian, from Selected Poems. © Sheep Meadow Press, 1994.

I have been looking for this for 2 months. Finally found it today. A friend sent it to me via FB messenger right after my dad died. I thought I had stashed it somewhere easy to find. That as pretty silly of me.

It will probably make you cry a little. It made me tear up, again. But, it helps my heart, too.

Tomorrow is my parents 56th wedding anniversary.

_____________________

Ded said “Garrison Keillor read that on The Writer’s Almanac the day before my dad died. I was alone in the office in the very early morning, which was a good thing, because I knew my dad was dying, and I ended up sobbing. I also knew it was a gift, and I worked to find a copy of it (this was 1996, before you could find anything on the interwebs) to be read at his funeral. On the first anniversary of my dad’s death, Garrison Keillor read it on The Writer’s Almanac again. Since then I have always shared it with friends when their dad’s pass, and it was read at the funeral of my children’s father. It means a great deal to me; I’m glad it means a great deal to you too.”

dna

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The Dead by the Side of the Road

THE DEAD BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

How did a great Red-tailed Hawk
come to lie—all stiff and dry—
on the shoulder of
Interstate 5?

Her wings for dance fans

Zac skinned a skunk with a crushed head
washed the pelt in gas; it hangs,
tanned, in his tent

Fawn stew on Hallowe’en
hit by a truck on highway forty-nine
offer cornmeal by the mouth;
skin it out.

Log trucks run on fossil fuel

I never saw a Ringtail til I found one in the road:
case-skinned it with the toenails
footpads, nose, and whiskers on;
it soaks in salt and water
sulphuric acid pickle;

she will be a pouch for magic tools.

The Doe was apparently shot
lengthwise and through the side—
shoulder and out the flank
belly full of blood

Can save the other shoulder maybe,
if she didn’t lie too long—
Pray to their spirits. Ask them to bless us:
our ancient sisters’ trails
the roads were laid across and kill them:
night-shining eyes

The dead by the side of the road.

~Gary Snyder
    Turtle Island

 

Bone Wind

Found on Tumblr this morning by following #ordinary things.  I”m saving it here because I really like the poem and want to remember it in December.

http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/woodspriestess/bonewind-s-return.html

Bone wind has returned b2ap3_thumbnail_February-2015-117.JPG
    mother of winter’s chill
    sweeping through bare branches
    and rattling dusty leaves.

    The remnants of summer
    have completely faded
    and the doorway to the new year
    has cracked open.

    With the skeletal swirl of frost and freeze
    I see the hint
    of new things
    waiting to burst from behind the door.

    Hibernating now perhaps
    hunkered down to wait it out
    resting, biding time, percolating
    nestled in darkness
    but, oh so ready, to grow.

    It is only on the surfaceb2ap3_thumbnail_February-2015-122.JPG
    that the world prepares to take a long nap
    underneath the crust
    change boils
    life bubbles
    new ideas gestate
    and time crowns anew
    with the promise and potential of birth
    held in cupped hands.

    The flame of fresh ideas flickers
    and catches
    until the blaze of possibility
    envelopes the cold.

Emily and Elvis

My friend, Caitlyn, turned me on to this poet via Tumblr. I love both of these.

Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven, by Hans Ostrom

They call each other E. Elvis picks
wildflowers near the river and brings
them to Emily. She explains half-rhymes to him.In heaven Emily wears her hair long, sports
Levis and western blouses with rhinestones.
Elvis is lean again, wears baggy trousers

and T-shirts, a letterman’s jacket from Tupelo High.
They take long walks and often hold hands.
She prefers they remain just friends. Forever.

Emily’s poems now contain naugahyde, Cadillacs,
Electricity, jets, TV, Little Richard and Richard
Nixon. The rock-a-billy rhythm makes her smile.

Elvis likes himself with style. This afternoon
he will play guitar and sing “I Taste a Liquor
Never Brewed” to the tune of “Love Me Tender.”

Emily will clap and harmonize. Alone
in their cabins later, they’ll listen to the river
and nap. They will not think of Amherst

or Las Vegas. They know why God made them
roommates. It’s because America
was their hometown. It’s because

God is a thing
without feathers. It’s because
God wears blue suede shoes.

—————————————————————————–
With All Due RespectEmily Dickinson fell in love with women


And Elvis got his licks from Black folk.
Respectfully, if there is a God
(and only one God)
The fuck would It need shoes for?
If there is a Heaven, undoubtedly Emily is one of its queens
Blissfully happy
With Kate, or maybe Sue.
She is not sexless; she has desires
And now there is more than poetry she can do with them.
When she does receive company
She probably hangs out with Gertrude Stein
Sits out on the porch with Alice B. Toklas
And Sylvia Rivera.

In any idea of Heaven I care for
The music is played by anyone who loves it
But crowds flock to the people who made it
Not to the people who marketed it best
The acceptable white face (if not hips) of blues.

By the end I imagine Elvis probably just wanted to be left alone for a while anyway.

Someday he will emerge, and maybe he won’t be thin and young
Maybe he’ll still be fat and wearing that godawful jumpsuit
Because he liked jumpsuits
And nobody will care.

Because if a God is running around like some kind of heavenly bookings agent
Finding people cabins and shit to live in
If It exists
I prefer Heaven not be exclusively populated

By de-sexed bisexuals, white bluesmen,
And a God who has to wear shoes to get around.

And maybe someday their hometown will be as safe
For fat dudes in rhinestones,
Black musicians
Queer people
Poor people
Maybe even people who don’t believe in God
But not without a little more breadth of imagination
When it comes to picturing Heaven.

Same as it ever was

I have loved this for decades.

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful
wife
And you may ask yourself-Well…How did I get here?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!
Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…

Water dissolving…and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may tell yourself
MY GOD!…WHAT HAVE I DONE?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…

(http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/talkingheads/onceinalifetime.html)