I have long had a deep affection for the poet/philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. He has been a faithful friend for more decades than I dare to say. His essays have been a wider lens for my world and worlds. I have dog eared my books and still they are companions. This relationship gives me the privilege of calling him by a dear name of Emmy. He much preferred Waldo to anything but that has had a hard time catching on. Many years ago I wrote the following poem. It was a mind duelogue and still is in process.
Dear Emmy. . . . .
When the soul of a poet
comes to ripeness of thought,
Nature will detach my poems and songs
and allow not the weariness of time
to ravage them. . . . and allow them
to lodge within the heart of man.
Do you tell me then
that my words will soar
on the wings of the eagle?
Will the black holes swallow
them whole only to come out
on the other side?
Will I meet them face to face
and say these words speak to me. . .
and I would wish to meet their namer?
And what dear Emmy, will they be?
‘that I saw a butterfly dart into a spider’s web
and lift him up and carried him on high. . .
and I wondered . . . how heavy is a butterfly
on a spider’s web?’
My eyes were made to see this
as my heart was born to wonder.
I hear the words the muses speak
and wonder how the world
can be deaf to these silent shouts.
The rain silently nourishes the surrounding lands
and fills the lakes and clarifies the ponds. . .
as the water fowl speak to one another
and marvel their gratitude to their Maker.
I stand before your words and hear you.
You dumfound me for you speak my thoughts.
But I know there will be few who ponder
their meaning and many who will not
have heard of you.
And yet dear friend, I’ve treasured you
since I found you aeons ago
and held your words fast to my heart.
Keep on writing, I hear you whisper
on the chance that a few words will find a home
in a one and say, aha, that is how it is with me.
And a life will be changed and they will live.
And the muses will continue to speak
to a one who has kept the pipes free of corrosion
and the word kept untarnished
for you will have cared enough.