The Washington, DC area is the subject of the recently released anthology of poetry Full Moon on K Street edited by fellow poet and friend Kim Roberts.
Now given that we are literally thawing out of over 2 feet of snow–3 feet in some areas–I say, make that: Full Sun on K Street.
The anthology has numerous well known poets from the area but the works that caught my attention on this snow-thawing day were the following.
The Cervantes Prize-winning Mexican poet José Emilio Pacheco, who teaches at the University of Maryland at College Park, gives us a poem Dos Poemas de Sligo Creek (translation Two Poems from Sligo Creek by Cynthia Steele) that speaks to the transformations that take place in this area (not unlike others, of course, but it\’s about our area):
No hay belleza como la de una hoja a punto de secarse y caer al suelo, para que la tierra en donde sus restos van a ser vida sea fecundada por la nieve.
–No beauty can match the leaf as it withers and falls to the earth, so the soil, where its carcass turns to life, is made fertile by the snows.
Yes, with so much snow upon us at the present time, let the soil become fertile so spring will burst with its blossoms, its daffodils and tulips.
And how best to melt some of that snow? I hear the area received tons of salt from Latin America to help us melt the snow. But Richard Peabody\’s poem I\’m in Love with the Morton Salt Girl is just the treatment we need:
I want to pour salt in her hair and watch her dance. I want to walk with her through the salt rain and pretend that it is water. I want to get lost in the Washington Cathedral and follow her salt trail to freedom.
Boy, do we need salt to help us melt this snow, just don\’t allow it to cause too much flooding.
With the desire for the spreading of salt, add the desire for a rain to wash it all clean as Belle Waring describes in Storm Crossing Key Bridge: Seventy-five feet over the water, what stops you still as the rivets in the bridge\’s arch is thunderheads bellowing on the horizon, under the bridge the swallows darting home, winds riffing you with their pregnant smell of rain coming, scent of a storm…
In the middle of the week\’s blizzard, I looked up at the sky and only saw white. Now we need a wash so that we can hope for the sun to come.
Rebecca Villarreal calls the sun forth in After the Rains:
… oh the celebration of sun preparation for Folklife Festival…
so that we can join the tourists and laugh again instead of watch out the window in a state of panic.
So that we can do what Venus Thrash reminds us of in Thicker Than Water:
We have been here before, our brown bodies laid bare, embraced in the warmth
of this ancient sun.
So, yes, let\’s make that Full Sun on K Street, but let us not overlook the history, culture, politics, and the poetics that Full Moon on K Street has laid out for us to enjoy, albeit in snowy days, knowing that sunny days are coming our way.
For more information about the anthology, click on the link below: Full Moon on K Street