Still Hands (Cento)



Still Hands (Cento)

I let it burn, rooted as it is. Now
nothing else keeps my eyes

in the cloud – get close to a star,
and there you are, in the sun.

What about all the little stones,
sitting alone in the moonlight?

Silence complicates despair.
I have believed so long in the magic

of names and poems,
and I know that you would take

the still hands to dryness and
loose rocks, where the light

re-immerses itself. It’s not the story
I want. We cannot live on that.


* * *

Sharon Wevill, Julia de Burgos, Francis Ponge, Mary Oliver,
Alberto de Lacerda, Robert Hass, HD, Jacques Dupin, Francesca Abbate, George Oppen.


8 thoughts on “Still Hands (Cento)

  1. Love that entire ending: “where the light / re-immerses itself. It’s not the story / I want. We cannot live on that.” The imagery of light, which is beautiful and abstract, directly next to the line about stories, their significance in people’s lives—an existential question, and also perhaps beautiful and abstract. Powerful lines.
    Very effective use of the cento poetic form, too, as you are using other people’s *stories* to write this. That lends a nice layer of dual-meaning to the entire poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lola. I enjoy the challenge of using another’s line to express something I feel or want to evoke. I rely on feeling rather than intent, and hope that the gathered words will work well together. It’s always a struggle, but one well worth attempting.

      Liked by 1 person

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