In The Bookshop

(For James)

bookshop

Bookshelves divide the floor

like oak hedges flowering with poets

I have known and yet to meet. A table and two chairs

catching the window’s fill of light — host our presence upstairs.

The sun cool for September.

 

You sit reading a thinner book than mine.

Intent, Your hand turns the pages, pressing on words

that match the tone of my personal verse. You sway

in a boat of quiet hours — knowing I love water

and a heron bending his head toward the reeds

watching stillness ripple into threads of sudden

movement. A waver of pewter fish, bluing sky. Meanwhile

 

I am lost in the middle of hayfields and church bells,

Slovakia’s bread and song. My fingertips wind

through sentences that whisper or wail , feel rough or refined.

Outside, the city chooses its own poetic sounds,

partitions the scenery with brick and marble.

 

Unpublished as writers, we were showcased there

among the buildings, bookshelves titled with ivy

and shadows of people who walk by, hands clasping

the air, the peal of trolley cars, the shriek of sea gulls.

 

San Francisco gave us her pulse;

we counted many ways to love her and each other.

Our sum stretched toward the bay, water rinsing off time

and smudging words into the dusklit tide. Lights flickered

and votive fire blessed our throats.

 

We kissed, a tall volume placed

between Angel Island and a harp-strung gate.

3 comments

  1. Wendy,

    How this one moves into my heart. Books are a joy and inspiration, and your poem
    ignites the senses.

    “My fingertips wind

    through sentences”

    Joy of joys!

    “Lights flickered

    and votive fire blessed our throats.”

    Poetry that lives and breathes. This is a beauty, Wendy.
    It thrills me in the way a wonderful book does.

    “I am lost in the middle of hayfields and church bells,

    Slovakia’s bread and song.”

    Your bliss becomes the readers’ bliss.

    I love the way I feel when I read poetry like this.

    Thank you!

    Sarah

    Like

  2. Wendy, thank you for taking us along with you, letting us see and feel where you were and how you felt. When you mentioned San Francisco, I was back there in 1989 sitting in a room with tables, discussing the role of literature in the lives of school children. This line: ‘San Francisco gave us her pulse;
    we counted many ways to love her and each other” reminded me of a morning run with a friend, up to where people lived, in houses that looked like they might fall in to the streets. We stopped on the way down for coffee in a café and shared a bagel with jam. ” the peal of trolley cars, the shriek of sea gulls” I remember well. Thank you for words that let my own story remind me.
    ptc

    Like

  3. Dear Sarah

    So glad you enjoyed this poem and could relate to my love for book shops and books. They are amazing! as always your kind words and intuitive consideration are so much appreciated!

    Dear Ptc.

    I am happy this made you recall a special time in San Franscisco! That city is remarkable and I never tire of going back. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your experience. I really appreciate it!

    My Best to you both,
    take care
    Wendy

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s