Giving Time

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Giving Time

The supplicant’s desire:

mornings sliced into perfect pieces, afternoons
dipped in honey, evenings freed.

A gift of absence.

To gather and bear, shaping
the resultant minutes,

she takes yeast from the air, adds
flour, water and salt.

Matched with the ripening

hour and the sweetened bitter taste,
I recall how blood
seeped through the towel, and

observe on the table the
cheese, plums, the harvested day.

* * *
This originally appeared on Bonnie Mcclellan’s International Poetry Month website. A recording is also available there: https://bonniemcclellan.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/giving-time-by-robert-okaji/

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24 thoughts on “Giving Time

  1. I have translated the poem into Chinese:
    用心

    懇求者之願望:
    早晨裁成恰好的片段
    下午蘸蜜糖,黃昏無事
    一份不存在的禮物
    收集,承擔,創作
    利用所得的片刻
    她用天賜的酵母
    麵粉,水 和 鹽
    配上夠促熟的時段
    和變甜了的苦味
    我記得那血怎樣
    滲透毛巾,又
    看到擺在桌上的
    奶酪,李子,
    收穫成的一天

    (c) Mary Tang

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Robert, there’s a lot to piece together here, not the least of which is the fascinating enjambment. I also put myself in the place of the supplicant, rather than some dispassionate observer/reader. As always, wow.

    Liked by 1 person

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