Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Poem of the Week: Susan Brennan

Poets Against the War

We stand at the Capitol

seized in snapshots

of curious tourists

our rumpled posters reflect

in an officer's shades as he speaks

so softly it surprises me

asking us to step off the sidewalk

his voice as a shepherd beckons

his flock, his accent sunned in Southern

syllables. Maybe "sheep" is not the most

desirable metaphor for human protestors

but clumped with the others I let go

of my small life to be a cluster

warmed by fellow shoulders

our faces a brief constellation of togetherness.

In the February chill as the Capitol

glows lunar behind us, our silence

mushrooms into a vortex

a great ear hinged to the cold skull of the sky.

Poets, watchers, news camera, officers,

residents hurrying by on their cells, callers

on the other end of those phones -- pinched

together in an irrevocable clay.

From the far end of Lafayette Park a drove

of starlings twists and wheels

silver flash under wings, black top feathers

sweep the space between us and the sun

as if to clean the sky

of blood and bone wind-born.

I'm not listening to the birds now clamped

to a single tree top, chattering whether

to stay or move on; I'm not listening to the listening,

the fruit of silence; I'm not listening to the deaf bell

stamping its hard thick notes to the downward wind --

I'm listening to the war. To its silence.

It sounds like peace, it sounds like rest;

but it is hollow, it is the whole endless groan

of mothers who have lost their motherhood.

- Susan Brennan

Used by permission.

Susan Brennan's poems appear in various publications. Her manuscript, Sweet Demons has been nominated as a finalist for several book awards. Vegas,a film she co-wrote, premiered in competition at the Venice and Tribeca Film Festivals.Her script for the web series Verse, a poetry murder mystery was awarded first place at the LA Webfest for dramatic script. She received her MFA in Poetry at NYU and is a yoga teacher. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Ed.

Brennan was on the panels The Yogic Path to Poetry and Off the Page and Into the Streets - Reports From the Field at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2008 and attended 2010.

Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!

Split This Rock

No comments: