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Here you will find the writings of the poet Theodore Waterfield

Putting the Garden to Bed

I am overworked
putting the garden to bed.
Gathering the roughage of leaves,
sacking limbs and twigs
from the bushes.
Opening the kimono
of Japanese Anemones,
and tidying their roots.
The harmonies of space and time
closing the pages of summer.

Loathing the cold,
loving snow and virginal kismet.
Things will happen.
What was spoiled become new,
a prophesy of seeds and bulbs.
The throaty calls of spring,
as catastrophes change
in the serenade of seasons,
and the faith of infinities.

A Kind of Truth

What is more true?
A poem?
A story
from a diary?
I would choose a poem,
telling how things flowed,
how tears fell,
whose veins
appear upon the page.
Why they wept
or shouted,
and embedded in their song
the kind of truth
a stranger tells
in the nakedness of a glance,
that changes one forever.

A Piece of Cake

What would the world taste like
all thrown together?
Trees, stones, planets,
belching volcanos,
the perfume of flowers.
Diamonds faceted,
sugarcane fields.
Politicians, Popes, girls,
lecherous men.
Kneaded together with ostrich eggs,
wheat fields,
the broth of lemon
and milk of cows,
into a mix of multi-scented
bread and yeast.

Rising and falling
with pieces of lightning going off,
until we have a batter,
so smooth,
it leaves a white hole,
where light slides off
and fingers grope for a grasp.
And comets stop, confused,
sliding back upon themselves.
Then into the oven at 400 degrees.
A pinch of salt from the bluest sea,
powdered cinnamon,
and frosting,
made from the ice cone of a glacier.
Then served to anyone
in love with life,
who from experience
will tell you,
life’s a piece of cake.

Valentine’s Day

It is a day of cherries,
children sharing cards,
paint and lace.
No one without a valentine,
a word of love!
I watch women gaze at cards,
men hesitating,
choosing fragile verse.
Words confusing in the life of work,
but lifting the heart
with a valentine’s delight.

Can I be yours?
Would you be mine?
Who loves me most,
or now,
or will?
Does she hear?
Will he call?
I love you best
dear sweet valentine.

The girl that loves the boy,
the boy that shyly draws with crayon
a heart,
with a name inside.
A day when everyone
seeks someone else,
and longs to have a song
sung to them.

If this were all that mankind does,
it would be enough,
chocolates and hearts,
notes and signs,
in all the world,
there is no pain that can’t be lifted,
no grief go uncured,
no hunger that bites into the soul,
that a valentine won’t cure,
saying with all the world’s love,
be mine!

Where I Came From

A part of me
is now asleep forever.
To remember water
one must deal with the desert.
The past is dry and gone.
But among the stones,
the brambles
that cover the gravel,
I find the quartz
that twinkles like a star.
The bark of old dogs,
trails becoming highways
made by shovels and footsteps.
I know where I came from.

This is how the world began.
Not in Eden,
but among the apples of summer,
the vegetables of a garden,
a grape arbor
festooned with fruit.
Where my hair grew dark,
my eyes shone
with the pale blue of youth.

What wakes me now?
I don’t know.
I shift among shoes of the day,
pull on my pants,
and feel like a stranger
among people
unaware I love them,
and those
who can never be wakened
by shouts and kisses again.

When I Grow Up

The wind orates poems.
Rooms sing with secrets.
Puddles return escaped moonlight.
Stars dissolve,
and where they go
I have no inkling.
I am perhaps a throwback,
a wildling.
When I grow up,
I will be wise, I said.
But the circumference of the sky
grew faster than I could.

There was no answer,
to anything I asked.
The world filled my hands
with agates, ice, rain, tears,
wings and spiders.
That’s all I have, it seemed to say,
except you,
and mysteries involving black holes
and outer space,
and children shaped
out of an energy called joy.

Sick for a Day

I walked in rocky places.
The old
talk about their illness,
the young
about their hearts.
I value all of it.
In the end
I should like to fall
from the sky,
with blue wings.
A full man,
and have my mother come
and tell me,
you imagine too much
my imaginal child.
You do not know
how to be old,
or die.
Go play in your dreams
with my love.

Dissecting Poetry

I am confused by critics
who dissect poetry.
It is,
simply what it is,
air among feathers,
flurries in the night,
the blanket of a kiss.

Poets are peeled like oranges,
their juice dripping on the floor
like blood,
wanting only to have been eaten,
not taken apart like machinery.

As if the working of the parts
are the shadows
that fill a machine,
and make it move.
I am an anti-soul,

Fill me with heat,
green grass,
green eyes,
green sea.
Cups of dissolving stars,
love, undisciplined,
given freely,
accepted with immensity.

I want all the depths
the universe creates,
all the heights
thrown into emptiness,
all the blue ready to rain down,
all the hands I can possibly touch,

And given the few words I have
woven into poetry,
a bouquet for bare places,
nothing recondite,
Just the portion of the world
left behind inside me,
and the rest racing ahead
playing hide and seek.

Old War

Old war came back last night.
There was no truce.
I fought the old battle.
My native inferiority and gentleness
fighting the unscrupulous,
the survivors,
the cold hearts of cold people.
I played blind-man’s bluff,
told lies,
promised cruelties
worse than any they could do,
but in the end,
I did nothing.
I could not harm,
I had no appetite for blood,
felt anger more like grief,
but I won.

Often I won
because I am an actor,
a pretender,
with nothing else but illusion,
and the world backed off.
The cruel gave me respect,
the dishonest counted me
as one of their own.
Why then,
do they come back in dreams?
Do I want revenge?
Am I afraid?
Or does the war continue
in one form or another,
for one who weeps for creation gone wrong?

The Heat

It’s been a week of heat.
So little rain.
The moon orange with age.
Mist hugging the walls,
a sarcophagus August.
Vanishing roads
with no destination,
no coming or going.
I bury despair in the pillow.

This will pass.
A meteor fell last night.
I saw its trail of light,
a wavering feather,
a warning
that the sky can fall,
a world perish,
time leave its bottle
and wash everything