When I was a nightingale, I sang.
When I was a serpent, I swallowed.
My voice, spume blown from a wave,
a sound too thin for earthworms.
In my body of skin, of moss, of clover,
I touch fingers with fingers
lips with lips
the exposed tip of the heart.
With memories older than Prometheus,
I remember the time when time was birthed,
the sky appeared,
sudden light velvet feathery,
the wind and water
where blind valves closed
on a single grain of sand.
Seed work sun work earth work.
If pansies are for thoughts,
pick them early in the morning
so they last.
Lake-summer days I climb the hill,
drink the sky and pose like Millet's peasant
listening to an invisible lark.
With a pocketful of seeds, I sit
peeling an orange under a static sun,
attentive to the sound of pine cones clicking open.
The child sleeps in my shadow
and walks beside me
following from birth and
moving as I move.
We cling together like small animals trembling
and the well is dry the cup empty
and gravity's a long way down.
Ruth Daigon was for twenty years the editor ofPoets On: Her work has been
published in many print and online journals including Southern Poetry
Review, Shenandoah, Atlanta Quarterly, Web del Sol and Alsop Review, and has won a number of awards for her own poetry, including The Ann Stanford Poetry Awardand the "Eve of St. Agnes Award" from Negative Capability. Her most recent book of poems, Between One Future and the Next, was released in 1995 by
Papier-Mache Press. Pudding House Publications has selected her as part of their gold book series consisting of poets whose work has been well-published, used, referred to,
remembered, anthologized.... Each poet chooses 12 of their "greatest hits"
representing the span of their careers and the history and lives of the
poems as well. This series will be part of the American Literary landscape offered to a small, select group of poets for nationwide distribution.
In December 1999, Newton's Baby released The Moon Inside, a new book of