Thursday, July 13, 2006

Poetry Break: "This Warmth I Feel"

(Glorified at R.S. McCain's The Art of Being a Redhead)

In the sultry heat of a Seoul summer, the poem below might feel inapt, but I wrote it in a chilly Berkeley during the autumn of 1985. I had just met a Russian Jewish woman with flaming-red hair and intellectual brilliance -- and found her passionately attractive.

Nothing came of that other than this poem.

For which ... I am immensely grateful. Otherwise, I might not have met my good-lovin' Sun-Ae (선애), who provides plenty of warmth and brilliance.
This Warmth I Feel

This smoldering passion that you bear,
Though hidden by your verbal grace,
Erupts by virtue of your hair,
Whose flames offset your sculpted face.

This warmth I feel beneath your skin
With every pulse originates
In racing fires that burn within,
And soft suggests your inner traits.

. . .

The chill night air has shivered me.
This cold, damp fog has swirled around
And in its vortex circled free
By stealth to steal what warmth it's found

That yet remains within my limbs.
My breath engages with the mist --
Ensnared, it's merged into that film,
Which heavy, finds itself condensed

To cool still more what heat has stayed.
I'm closer drawn to warm my bones
Beside the fires you generate,
Much better than to rub alone

My palms, or arms, against the cold.
Draw closer then, dispel this chill,
Lean close yourself within my fold
To share with me the warmth you feel—

You'll feel that I can smolder too,
Through passion radiate desire,
And shine with brilliance just for you,
Engendered by your burning fire.
Sounds enticing, doesn't it, but fire burns, even to ashes, as this other poem warns ... or also entices?

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At 3:29 PM, Blogger Wonderdog said...

Nice lines, Jeffery. I might wonder, though, if they were initially inspired, at least in part, by Tonya Bassham and the bus stop and that purple cow...

At 6:19 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Only to the extent that the Purple Cow poem awakened my early interest in poetry.

I've been ruminating on the stuff ever since...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:21 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

P.S. Stewdog will hate the lack of a perfect rhyme scheme, but I can just blame that on my imperfect digestion.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Or ... is it you, Wonderdog, who's so strict about rhyme scheme?

It's these damned dog days of summer -- I can't keep anything straight.

Jeffery Hodges

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