The bells are ringing…

The image “https://i1.wp.com/lisaburks.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/02/02/gene_kelly_dancing.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.I love Gene Kelly. I have absolutely everything he’s ever done on VHS, even the really obscure stuff, some where he doesn’t dance, is only the host/narrator, like the video of a production of “Swan Lake”. Did you know he was in an animated musical version of “Jack and the Beanstalk”? Not great, but if it’s got Gene Kelly in it, it can’t be all bad. I miss movie musicals. “Happy Feet” made me very happy.

This has nothing to do with anything — the poem below reminded me of this song (“For Me & My Gal”), so it’s been in my head ever since.

Musicals make me happy. And, in a graceless segue that is perfectly indicative of my 3 years of tap dance lessons in my 20’s, writing makes me happy — and I’ve actually been able to write this week — I’m 18 lines in to a new poem!

I’ve never been especially prolific, so when I do write, usually I’ve been mulling lines and images in my head for some time, so my rough drafts are not all that rough and don’t require heavy revision. So far that seems to be the case with the new one. Which is ideal. I have plenty of time to think, even if sleep-deprivation makes my thinking muddy, but not so much time to write.

So, even though it’s cold & snizzly out, it’s a good day.

Having an infant in the house means we’re running on Baby Standard Time. Sure, patterns, perhaps semblances of a schedule, emerge, but it’s all provisional, subject to change at any moment. That’s why only now am I posting a Valentine’s poem. That’s my excuse, anyway. From Stefanie Marlis’ collection, rife (Sarabande, 1998):

Bells

What if we saw our hearts as if for the first time–
one sitting like a Buddha,
another, shuffling like a man without a home.
Compassion means the heart’s desire, bright or bitter, counts twice–
like a king in checkers. Like a lover’s words
when he touches certain scars;
all these years later the wound’s doubly fierce, doubly
healed, and the morning is a rosy glove
pulled onto your whole body.
You hear the bells from the seminary,
and for as long as they ring, your heart is without a wish.

–Stefanie Marlis

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4 thoughts on “The bells are ringing…

  1. Wow, another Gene Kelly fan! When I was a girl, and everyone was in love with the Beatles, I was watching Kelly’s movies on TV and going to revivals and totally smitten. He was such a powerful dancer. Kinda sad that a star of that stature and versatility didn’t make the kind of money the Tom Cruises of the world make today.

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