Poem | Undone | Hiram Larew

What I love about Larew is that he IS the buoyancy and sound of poetry. Read this aloud. He turns vowels back on themselves for fist bumps, and check his “S”s repeating after “S”s, very poetically inceStuous, in a good way. And beneath the bubbles is a philosophical statement that is so serious, he can only make it joyful.    Grace Cavalieri


UNDONE

 

If I unteach my kiss or unwake my morning

And star the days that rise beyond

If I reach back to where the newest lives

And firsts flowed by 

If I undo my done-ings

And near the point of dreaming

Get there and then come back to now

With any gathered loops or straw long gone

If I but ever.

 

If I return to us

And then unteach my kiss or untime my shirt

Or unhum arrows

If I begin again all over

If I act like onions do in Autumn

And want surprise as if it plunked the surface

If I unteach my lips to dwell

And if all that and more becomes my taken for granted

If I unteach my kiss

If I unlearn my every now of you 

To swim.

 


The Power of Poetry

Poetry doesn’t vote.  It can’t rule.  It sits on no juries.  It signs nothing into law.  It runs no companies or houses of worship.  And, it never ever wins an Academy award.  On all of these fronts that matter, poetry is powerless.  And for that very reason, of course, it is incredibly powerful.

Poetry is our trees, our anger, your life, my death.  It’s the birds that stitch air.  It’s the soul of night, the feast of day, and that ever present caution that’s careless.  Poetry doesn’t decide.  It doesn’t provide.  If it answers at all, it does so with questions.  And, to be honest, poetry doesn’t care; it cares as deeply as wells do, yes, but it never brings you water.  It wants nothing from you except wanting – this is probably its most gifting power.

And it soars, when allowed to, over just about anything else we can imagine.  It’s not the clouds themselves so much, but our need for them.   Said all at once, poetry is powerful for what it cannot be, and for the dreams it wants.

If you should ever encounter a poem that makes you jump, ask yourself why.  Most likely, the answer – if there is one – will be from so far-fully inside you that ancestors will wink.

Finally, poetry is really nowhere and so it’s just about everywhere around us.  It lives in the corner of your eye.  It rents most all of your willingness from you.  It aches with whatever is gone.  And, it cheers – even raves – for what may never be.  Thank goodness – and badness – for poetry, and for our never being completely sure how powerfully potent it really is. 

Recently retired from the federal government, Larew is a global food security specialist with courtesy faculty appointments at the University of Georgia, Oregon State University and Montana State University. Larew's work has appeared in many journals, books. His third collection, Utmost, was published by I. Giraffe Press in 2016.  Nominated for four national Pushcart prizes, he’s a member of the Shakespeare Folger Library’s poetry board, and organizes events in the Greater Capitol Region that showcase the diversity of poetic voices in the area 


Recently retired from the federal government, Larew is a global food security specialist with courtesy faculty appointments at the University of Georgia, Oregon State University and Montana State University. Larew's work has appeared in many journals, books. His third collection, Utmost, was published by I. Giraffe Press in 2016.  Nominated for four national Pushcart prizes, he’s a member of the Shakespeare Folger Library’s poetry board, and organizes events in the Greater Capitol Region that showcase the diversity of poetic voices in the area