Poetic Memory

By Stu Whitley

I’ve been thinking lately about the poetry I write; the poetry I write for you
while joyful, is more than chirrup (I hope), with only a touch of elegy
more, it tries to plumb the mystery of apperception, and
the discernment of the uncommon qualities in the common things
that mark our quotidian ways: an arm-linked walk
a mug of hot tea at day’s end—these are the liturgies that shore
what always needs reinforcing; love cannot survive unilaterally

what stays in the mind’s reliquary is truly a wonder
the significance of which may not realize until the completed arc
of a time’s certain passage; but poetry, if what I write
is deserving of the word, fixes you, and the memories of you
in the firmament of my imagination, forever

for the truth of it is that the past is in its special realm outside ourselves
and wholly beyond our senses, enduring only in the living things
and fragile artifacts and special places we knew and know that resonate
with words and deeds of bygone moments

and this is the gift of poetry, for it recalls to us the essential
the precious and the joyful, and why it remains so

© 2007 Stuart James Whitley. All rights reserved.