Hiya, Sophia

Today's my birthday.  Thinking of kids, & Mom.  Wrote another poem today.  I'm always a sucker for occasional poems, especially if it's an important day like May 29th.  JFK's birthday.  Rhode Island Statehood Day.  Oak-Apple Day (Restoration Day) in England (Charles II's birthday).  The day Constantinople fell, in 1453.

Constantinople was founded on May 11th (3 hundred something) - Phoebe's birthday.  Sophie was born in August, however.  My mother hand-made a wooden bathtub boat for me, when I was 2 or 3 years old - painted blue & white, with "Sophie" inscribed on the bow.  The little boat has turned up in a few poems over the years (I wish I had a photo of that vessel).  Eventually I gave it to Elena Shvarts, the dear Petersburg poet,  & she kept on her windowsill.  Petersburg is a place for boats.  Here's Sophie in a boat, too...

& here's a poem from Ravenna Diagram, which I wrote just before Sophie was born.  So we weave these odd carpets with words... past & future...


Now daughter Phoebe’s salient belly
measures the girth of future
earth... Hiya, Sophia!
She shall be dark, but comely,

I prophesy.  & coming soon,
I reckon.  So the sweep
of Time’s straw broom
swings reaping into sunny bloom

again, again.  Let there be light
& joy, after the pain
that day – O reign,
Sophie, that day – with gentle might!

As when the heir looks out, calmly
from oaken hideaway
like Noah, into hay-
stacks of a cleanswept sea

of waving grain... I pledge allegiance
to the flag of the United
States of a merry, delighted,
omnibenevolent Pacific... O glance

encompassing – your quietude, your
equanimity!  Your rain
that slakes the level plain
of just, unjust... onion & all!

I hear the drone of universal union
peal from bells in Petersburg
& Panama... in Denver, Darling,
& Dhaka... my child... my matryoshka-lion!


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