Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home

The Heart of All That Is:  Reflections on Home
Edited by Jim Perlman, Deborah Cooper, Mara Hart, Pamela Mittlefehldt

Home is where your heart is.  Home is the underlying theme of literature and at the heart of all our lives.  In this lovely edition several authors and poets contributed their poems and prose surrounding the theme of home.  The book is broken into six parts, based on themes the submitted work had in common.

I loved this book.  Everyday, I read one poem or work of prose.  I met a new authors (their bios are in the back of the book) or I was reminded of why I enjoy the writing of others.  This was one book I looked forwarded to reading everyday.  I found poems to share with my class.  I found poems that made me laugh, cry, think and ponder.  There are so many good things waiting for you in the pages of this book.

I want to share so many of these poems with you.  They are so good.  I am only going to share one and then you need to read the book for yourself, it will touch your heart.  I think this poem is my favorite but I have many favorites, so it is my favorite today.  Let me know what you think.  I love it.

House of Dreams and Stars and Life
by Charlene Langfur

Today the house is like a lotus, singular, afloat, an artist's piece.

Later, deeper in the night, when I'm asleep, it's on the edge of unsettling land.
Part of it is a boat with float to it, a movable vessel,
a safety net in the middle of what I try to imagine
is coming near.  I hear the house in the night. Its voice. How it sounds in the
is different than in the day.
How it holds us in place in an expanding universe,
a touchstone, lone, readied, the spirit's guide.

This willowy fragile house that holds me in it,
house of dreams and stars and life, an ark of wishes,
a shelter to hold ideas in place and warm the body all at once,
decorated with lucky charms, iconic family pictures
a history of mysterious dreams
and lights in the window seen from far away.
How far? Gravity's angel. Earth. The dog hums. Tides magnetize.
Stories and shelters. A roof to keep it.
And this one, my own is dry, clear, plain.
An embrace of space. House.
A universe patched to another.
From the roof of the house in the night, I see each star, markers
holding me in place
like Chinese lanterns in the summer, like charms in the pocket,
totems, tiny lights against an endless dark.

Earth's mantle, yes, Earth's shelter. It is always more.
Doors and windows. The planet's graces. We know
so much and even so still get lost, the love inside the house
disappeared, nearly gone while out for the afternoon.
In what room did it get lost? Turn sideways.
Clouds ascending. Water in the air. But the house is safe.
As I write this, it is. Worlds moving in orbit
and us aboard the vessel's back.

The simple of it keeps us balanced. Earth moves. The head tilts.
The tides rise. The dog's low deep sound, almost an alarm.
I listen, calm as a child, to the low orderly
music of the spheres. The house, not lost in space this day,
no flying off, no house with wings. It is not gone with a magician's snap
of his fingers. Thunder. Moon rise. Surprise bells on the porch in the night.
Stories on the land in the front yard, stories in the pocket.
House of earth dreams. Shelter in the night. Tonight the house is safe.