Susan Powers Bourne
Bangalore was the latest city in India
to have its name changed.
Renaming coincided with celebrations:
Bombay became Mumbai;
Madras changed to Chennai;
Calcutta to Kolkata; Poona to Pune;
Trivandrum to Thiruvananthapuram;
Pondicherry to Puducherry;
Orissa to Odisha. Belgaum became
Belagavi -- before renaming cities
was mooted, put on the back burner
--even as demands cropped up,
addressed names changing again.
Oh, Saint Thomas of the Virgin Islands
How might I find passage to thy heart?
Yet, dread, not to find one hero more.
And in this favor find immortal light,
safely found in humbler harborsides.
Books, pictures, statues here we find --
but chiefly found is this choice of you.
But oh! what arms shall e’er I find now,
as author of these lines you’ll find weak.
Choicely portrayed in nobleness unfound,
culture improves souls -- no less we find.
Custom, in this small article, we still find
retinues of poets, bounded by fools aplenty.
For, if we find they value naught but coin,
that they yet expect to find us only yielding,
Then we may indeed be well-pleased to find
more precocious pity alive, above and below.
Thus, in this, we finally find endless peace
that interweaves through time -- and space.
Years Upon Years
About how many years ago?
A secret many years unseen.
Some spend years at the spring;
Many come and go: generations.
Lions, worn with length of years,
So many years of fights forgotten.
Yes, so many parti-coloured years,
When unruly youths may yet ripen.
Years have gathered grayly though:
Years, years ago when dreams lived.
Years grow and gather -- each a gem:
Sparks whose years are not yet come.
Grecian bards, two thousand years ago,
Did render lines of lullabies for infancy.
Braces of mimes performed in later years.
Fields left fallow some few years, will yield.
A fox, worn out with years, so weak, so poor;
For years it vainly saught the good light grass.
Years upon years, coarse as clouds that thicken:
Years of the modern -- years of the unperformed!
Yes, years rise and fall in darkness -- or in shadow.
Yet, dearest friend! Mulish years, how fast they fly!
Not long ago, it was too violent to live many years --
Then, thousands of boots smited women’s children.
Millions have labored for years -- without satisfaction;
Now, years after silent plights, the pleasing task is ours.
Canada’s Famous Five --
still present in the park
sometimes hot or cold,
depending on the season.
Outdoor dream studios
for women of Ottawa --
each sculpted woman
-- making history.
The sense of being
a weather front --
with time to paddle
to Ottawa and back.
Jars are rigid, cylindrical
with wide mouths
sealed against spilling:
bell jars, cookie jars, pickle
jars, ginger jars --
apothecary specimen jars;
economy, paragon, French
squares, spice jars,
fruit-canning Mason jars;
Kilners with rubber seals,
without their own necks;
Amphoras are large, while
Pithos jars reach
heights as tall as a person.
Some feckless creatures
war with spirits
held captive inside jars.
But, keep this essence jar
filled to the brim
with eternal summer light.
And remember, there are
always jar openers --
hand-held or mechanical.
Susan Powers Bourne is a Vermont poet, artist, herstorian, lifelong learner, and elder yogini who creates pieces of haiku, found art, found poetry, vignettes of women born, and daily explorations of color, form, texture, and sound. Samples of Bourne’s ongoing visual and verbal works may be found at susanpowersbourne.net.