‘Apprenticeship’ and Other Poetry by Catherine Wald The Society January 21, 2013 Poetry 1 Comment Apprenticeship The poem will prove a stern and daunting master to those who pussyfoot around the truth and, weaving daisy chains from each disaster, still fixate on their gold and glittering youth. If you strive to disguise your fears and faults, pretend that you are not long in the tooth, the poem will take you with a grain of salt, deflate your cozy notion of yourself, and burst the seams of your airtight Gestalt. Poems excavate foundations with cool stealth. Like wrecking balls they swing, faster and faster, destroying ornaments like pride and wealth and turning solid walls to crumbs of plaster. The poem does prove a stern and daunting master. Snowed In It snows and blows and blows and snows. Flakes tumble madly to the ground like children who, once school’s let go, leap free and spin themselves around. What once was sharp and angular is blanketed with soft and kind. Our breath turns calm and regular. A frosty nimbus fills our mind. The weight of white and blank will sink all cherished purposes and plans, as blinding sun will force a blink or whorls of song leave you in trance. But you won’t mourn your lost landmarks. Why should a star bemoan the dark? Joy It’s nothing you imagined. No bells are going to chime. It’s not a noisy pageant It’s more like slowing time It’s less a candelabra than a tiny flick’ring taper. It can’t be caught on camera and it can’t be put on paper. It’s just a slow relaxing into who you really are It’s neither light nor taxing It’s nearer than it’s far. You’ll wreck it if you breathe too hard or tap it – like a house of cards. In the Swim I plunge in water cold and clear to glide as weightless as a fish with fluid motions lithe and sleek, and as I dive I disappear, cut loose from earthly want and wish. To learn anew to see and seek, I slide below mad wave and chop descend beneath slick surfaces, ignoring pulls from shore and pier. There are no stage sets here or props, no boundaries or differences, no tendencies to plan or steer. As currents tug and buoy me, I am a creature quite transformed: a mermaid queen, a siren bold a woman who knows liberty with cooled-down skin but blood still warm whose legends are as yet untold. Catherine Wald’s chapbook, Distant, burned-out stars, was published in June 2011 (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry was awarded Honorable Mention in Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute’s 2011 Gurfein Fellowship Competition and she was received a fellowship from New York Foundation for the Arts Mark 2012. Catherine has published poems in American Journal of Nursing, Chronogram, Friends Journal and Westchester Review and is author of The Resilient Writer (Persea 2004) and a translation of fiction from the French. Articles have appeared in Journal of Creative Nonfiction, Poets & Writers and Writer’s Digest. These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition. Related Post ‘When I Speak of History’ by Leonard Dabydeen When I speak of history I speak well; I leave behind the past where broken bones Lay scattered on blistering sands to tell Of atrocities that are m... Tell the world:FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestRedditLinkedInEmail One Response AJ January 22, 2013 I just love poetry. There’s so much power in it; it’s like a puzzle or a painting – somehow it just works, if done correctly. Literally putting rhyme and reason together is simply amazing. To me, poetry is essence of the soul. Having a soul does not necessarily mean writing poetry, but writing such poetry gives forth proof of the soul. It’s – perfection, in a way. Or maybe it’s just me being cheesy. Either way, I still love poetry. (especially the few above :)) Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.