“Trying to Pray” James Wright

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Quick Wrights (in the Key of James)

flour

Sometimes James Wright in Eastern mode is all you need by way of meditative start to your day. Like “Trying to Pray”:

Trying to Pray
by James Wright

This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
In its dark thorns.
Still,
There are good things in this world.
It is dusk.
It is the good darkness
Of women’s hands that touch loaves.
The spirit of a tree begins to move.
I touch leaves.
I close my eyes, and think of water.

Restorative, no? Thinking of good things in the world (which we sometimes forget, especially if we read front pages of newspapers). Thinking of “good” darkness (which we often assume as inherently “bad”). But mostly thinking of women’s hands touching loaves. Simple. Nice. With the powder of flour tracing the wrinkles.

Here’s another quick Wright:

In the Cold House
by James Wright

I slept a few minutes ago,
Even though the stove has been out for hours.
I am growing old.
A bird cries in bare elder trees.

Very Li Po, that. The nature image at the end, reflecting back on his personal situation as a sleepy man in a cold house. Wonderful metaphor for old age, I think. And somehow, in both cases, good warm-up poems to read before you write your own.

…which I think I’ll do now.

 

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