Loomings by Barbara Mossberg

Kiss the joy as it flies, William Blake

Deus ex machina is not going to happen. I am too fat. Hefty, to be heaved and cranked by pulleys, rescue engines of reprieve and flight. I so yearned to be cast as the witch and do my heh heh heh then shriek my little priteee (gleeful snarl you and your pesky little dog). Yet sometimes I feel a hoist, so lifted it is alarming. Yes the headache that grounds me, but I’m making green tea, morning has spilled sun all over this cottage, it is messy with light. For some reason, for no good reason, I am feeling too good, a quiver from the inside out. It feels slightly dangerous to feel so well. I had not planned anything special with this day, I am in faded lifeguard shorts and T-shirt, writing, and not going anywhere. I rise to make more tea and it should not feel this good to be alive, Paul Bunyan enough to feel this planetary heave within me, interior lakes where my boots fall, witch enough for brew and glee, Monet enough to paint the day the water lilies in my core, William O. Douglas enough to do justice to this spacy conviction of sky, of tree—the pine outside the window in the wind, how it is to me just now, enough: I stand Bunyan, swoop with my witch’s broom, my breath is Monet’s brush, I am of Douglas’ opinion: let the trees decide. Maybe not feeling so well because there is the headache and backache so maybe it is happiness. This whatever it is. And I’m kissing the joy as it flies, you can’t put it down, you have it give it to somebody, a ceremony. Some cause to celebrate, a you: so I’m here holding happiness and maybe feeling good or not and wondering if I am up to this size of being, a little intimidated at the largess of epic life, this whatever I can give you, and so I go back to my chair and write these lines, not epic, but some internal Iliad is about to happen, some myth breaking free of tragedy right in me, and I hear wings beating, I tremble, already more than mortal, and ready, when gods consort with us—making a mess of day—the holy chaos of a glimpse of pine against a western September sky—

Dr. Mossberg, President Emerita Goddard College, Poet in Residence Pacific Grove (CA), humanities activist, dramaturg, playwright, actor, literary critic, and professor (California State University and University of Oregon), founded and hosts weekly Poetry Slow Down (podcast BarbaraMossberg.com) and lectures worldwide on poetry, including as Fulbrighter and former U.S. Scholar in Residence (USIA).