Sunday, June 05, 2005

Nellie In the Dark

Nellie in the dark


When she went into the mine,
Nellie hoped of having—a view
Of the deepest place, but once
Down, our girl only saw up.


Rocks don’t matter, in the dark,
For looking. The beneath-your-
Feet has nothing to say. There
Is no down in the blind belly


Of the cave. And in your blind
Belly you’ll know it. The window
Is what matters. The thick light
Pouring, spilling like milk, down.


On Nellie’s face, a smile
Through the darkness, comforted.
Down is only a direction—
Where the up-light comes from.


Nellie, in her pinafore. Nellie,
In search of wonders. Nellie,
Groomed on godly and cleanly
And forever and this and that.


Sweet Little, in the hard belly
Of the earth. Has a window.
Dies with the perfect picture-
Frame. Buried. Alone.


It’s true! It is true that where dark
Is deepest, light is most light.
Deepest hole. Most radiant window.
Lucky Nellie fell, landed.

7 comments:

didi said...

Laurel -

I really like this poem.

d.

anders said...

Wow. It reminds me of the Ophelia death scene in Hamlet, floating down the river in her thick-with-water gown.

Jill said...

excellent poem. enough said.

David said...

i like it. i like it. i think Ms Emily would approve.

i don't know if this is kosher here, but wtf, i had a minor tweak or two to suggest, for the end.

Sweet Little, in the hard belly
Of the earth. Has a window.
Dies with the perfect picture-
Frame. Buried. Alone.

It’s true! It is true that where dark
Is deepest, light is most light.
Deepest hole. Most radiant window.
Lucky Nellie fell, landed in inside of it.


and i say that with the utmost respect for ambiguity, etc.

1. mainly because the tone does not anticipate the appearance of god (at least not so directly)
2. because i think the deepest light would be something different, almost-but-not-quite the same as the normal light we think of. by avoiding the repetition i think you get at that.

enjoyed reading this, my first exposure to your work. thanks!

--D

Laurel said...

Thank you for the comments!!!!!! This is much appreciated!

anders said...

You edit at Killing the Buddha? Wow. That is really cool.

"The tone that does not anticipate the appearance of god." Whoa. That's pretty heavy. I wonder, is the so-called orphic or vatic tone, for example, Sonnets to Orpheus, a tonality of the (impossible) approach of god?

Does the end of western metaphysics prefigure (postfigure?) Buddhism?

These questions are probably too large to ask. I must go to sleep in my confusion.

Pris said...

I just plain love it! It sings.