poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Lower Yosemite Falls, after Marilyn Hacker
spaye08

We hike up to the waterfall.
 1
I forgot to pack the trail mix.
 2
You are thinking of Steinbeck. I am
 3
thinking of liquid yellow leaves.
 4
 
 
I forgot to pack the trail mix.
 5
You are the man who dreams
 6
thinking of liquid yellow leaves.
 7
You are the man with open story palms.
 8
 
 
You are the man who dreams.
 9
I am the woman who listens to silence.
 10
You are the man with open story palms.
 11
I am the woman who loses her boot.
 12
 
 
You are the man who listens to silence.
 13
You are the man who hangs up his hammock.
 14
You are the man who looks for my boot
 15
his extended palms with his fingertips glowing.
 16
 
 
I am the woman who sits in your hammock.
 17
You are the man who shouts down below
 18
that my boot has fallen and the dirt is slipping.
 19
I am the woman with a bare foot.
 20
 
 
I am the woman who shouts.
 21
I am the one who is thinking of Steinbeck.
 22
You are the man with a bare foot.
 23
You are the man in the coat of many colors.
 24
 
 
You are the man who is thinking of Steinbeck.
 25
You are the narrative of natives.
 26
You are the man in the coat of many colors
 27
resting in your hammock on a Sunday afternoon.
 28
 
 
You are the narrative of natives.
 29
Hopi could’ve been your tribe,
 30
chanting around the fire pit.
 31
You are the native who believes in timshel.
 32
 
 
Hopi could’ve been your tribe,
 33
the buffalo your brother.
 34
You are the native who believes in timshel
 35
the sunlight follows you.
 36
 
 
The buffalo your brother:
 37
“You are wiser than your teacher.
 38
The sunlight follows you.
 39
What are you looking for now?”
 40
 
 
You are wiser than your teacher
 41
and I am not a foolish woman:
 42
What are you looking for now?
 43
My palms sweat with twilight fatigue,
 44
 
 
and I am not a foolish woman.
 45
You are the man I’m thankful to know;
 46
my palms sweat with twilight fatigue.
 47
You are the heir of warm earth.
 48
 
 
You are the man I’m thankful to know
 49
to a degree that does not matter.
 50
You are the heir of warm earth:
 51
bless your hands in mountain mud.
 52
 
 
To a man, I want to know
 53
men you could turn into,
 54
bless your hands in mountain mud,
 55
make them brown and grainy.
 56
 
 
Men you could turn into
 57
a professor teaching in a city
 58
called house of bread
 59
a place of rest named Belém.
 60
 
 
The professor of hungry students
 61
faces the challenge, the task, to sit at your desk.
 62
You are the Wise Crow Medicine Man, who
 63
was any chief’s oldest son.
 64
 
 
Our friend gives you a sharp knife,
 65
shows how the useful blades cut.
 66
Was any chief’s oldest son
 67
golden and bold as you? You run and
 68
 
 
show how the useful blades cut.
 69
You are thinking of Steinbeck. I am
 70
golden and bold as you. You run and
 71
we hike up to the waterfall.
 72

2 Jun 14


(define the words in this poem)
(32 more poems by this author)



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Comments:

yosemite falls grabbed my attention. i lived there for a bit long ago and miss the place greatly (not so much the people, just the place)

i would shorten this piece, but i do love 'liquid yellow leaves and steinbeck'
 — mandolyn

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 — ylq

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