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Christina V. Pacosz was born and raised in Detroit. She has a number of books and chapbooks of poetry published. I asked my self : why couldn't I bring her poetry in editor's choice section earlier? and answer is that she is so close to me that I could not see her. She has worked for kritya, whenever I needed help in proof reading or editing. spite of her bad health she is helping me for a long. Not only this, she is a very fine poet. I am presenting her 3 poems which talks to our heart. These three poems are taken from her book  "Some Winded, Wild Beast," Black and Red, Detroit, 1985. She says that she was younger  and juicier at that time



Some Winded, Wild Beast


“You work hard, madame,” said a man
near her. “Yes”, answered Madame DeFarge,
“I have a great deal to do.”

“What do you make, madame?” “Many things.”

“For instance — “ “For instance,”
returned Madame DeFarge, composedly,
“shrouds.”
A Tcile of Two Cities, Charles Dickens


Sorrow and Grief are the names
of two animals prowling inside me,
breathing my breath, devouring
my food. They are grateful
when I lap cold water or plunge
this body we share into the icy salt
of the bay. Then they preen in the sun,
sleek bodies pressed with mine
against the hot sand.

They scale the cliff
when eagle comes hunting,
when osprey hovers above the surf,
when sand chooses the serpent’s shape.
Grief and Sorrow leap
from my mouth when loon calls
and seal beckons. They snuffle
delight at heron’s outraged
flight and their cramped legs twitch
with longing when deer leaps.
When raven calls, they howl and remember
wolf who stalked this forest.
When grey whale rubs its barnacled back
on the sandbar, then Grief and Sorrow
shudder.

What we know of Sorrow fills
the whole world. What we know
of Grief runs a deep river
underground. At any step
we could drown.

Teach me to knit, Madame. Make room
on the bench in the sun, or by the fire
when it rains. Make me useful.
Then when Sorrow and Grief
batter my throat, my hands will know
what to do, and the click-click of needles
will lull the beasts to sleep,
to dream.

When Sorrow dreams, she builds a new world,
and every shroud writhes.

When Grief dreams, the skies fill
with a million mourning cloaks,
bright wings breathing.

 
Death Is a Door

“I thought the earth remembered
me, she took me back so tenderly...”
“Sleeping in the Forest,”
Twelve Moons, Mary Oliver



1.

This is a dream.

It takes place in an elegant house,
wood floors, dark
oak furniture, the odor
of polish. It is
a big house. I can feel
an immensity of space,
many rooms billowing
out around me, though
in this dream I am not
taking time to explore.

Not rooms, anyway. No,
I am walking a hallway,
turning a corner
and there
is a deer, a buck
with a huge rack.

He is standing,
white chest thrust out,
gazing at himself
in a large mirror.
There is a bright
silver haze careening
off the mirror,
and the buck is steeped
in light. There is also
the cool, dim shadow
of the light. The shadow
and the light go together,

like the buck and the mirror,
the horned beast, the opaque
glass, and the way
the light is received
by the retina, bright
and dark simultaneously,
with a tinge of blue. Yes,
blue.

The buck knows himself
in the mirrored surface.
Watching him watch
himself, this knowing,
this watching is a foundation,
laid with fieldstone, gathered
like eggs in the morning, only
heavier. Or maybe
this knowing, this
watching is a river rock,
many river rocks, for they, too,
know themselves
in a perpetual
mirror of moving
water.

None of this takes
more than a minute,
and I am still
watching the buck
who is still
watching himself
when I realize:

I love the buck.

He is a vision
in a lightning bolt.
Who could not
love him?

2

This is no dream.

The doe, who is most surely
a sure-footed creature, makes
a mistake, takes a mis-step
and plummets
to the beach below, landing
with her heavy body, back
broken, legs twisted,
thrust up
into the sky
she’d just dove through,
wedged between two logs
and dying when the dog
finds her.

I stroke the rough fur
of her neck and look
into her eyes. Her eyes
are far away, staring,
not at herself, like the buck,
but inward.

Looking at her,
I realize I love
the doe. More
than that I cannot
say.

Except it took two weeks
for the coyotes to find her,
and when the wild ones
gutted her, then the dog
crunched her bones.
I watched
and had to turn
away.

Her carcass slumped into the rocks,
between the grey thighs
of the logs and it looked
like she was being born. Yes,
being born.

The ocean came
with a storm and high tide,
lifted her out and sailed
her away. Nothing left, not
a bone, not a remnant
of fur, just the logs
and the bluff.

 
To Be a Fish With Blind Eyes

“Batter my heart, three-personed God; for You
As yet but knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.”
John Donne, “Holy Sonnet 14”

1.


I waited for you, primed by early
years of dogma, months of special
preparation, the praise of your holy
name on female lips, the daily
practice, the prayers,
I firmly believe I have received
The Body and Blood

What else could I do but tremble, waiting
in white for you to enter me, a young
virgin, expecting to feel myself
full with your light and nothing,
nothing happened at all.

That was the first doubt, gnawing
at faith, a solitary hunger
in a midnight cupboard. I told no one.

I turned to other books, secretly
studying the ways of the flesh. Maybe
light was in the lying down,
the spread thighs, the penis rising.
Here was body. Here was blood.
I trembled; sure I would be filled
with light at last.

Nothing. Until he touched his lips,
brushed his mouth against
the place where darkness
begins. I held his head
between my thighs, crying:
more light, more light!

The cave exploded
an incandescence so bright
my second doubt spawned
a third.

2.

Those three doubts kept
me good company.
I learned to trust
the contours of the cave.
To remember what it is
to be a fish with blind eyes.

3.

I learned the darkest cave
is a red flower, pulsing
like a heart.

The deepest dark hides
a blue bolt of lightning,
patiently waiting
since before the earth
began.

I learned to pluck
the bloom, grasp
the bolt

and make myself new.


 


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