Have you ever had the feeling that you've done what you were supposed to do in life and everything else is a bonus, a desert of sorts? After publishing some of my most intimate and autobiographical poems in the last few years, I do feel that way. I've left the proof of my existence - on paper, and online - in a portrait of what I really think and who I think I am. It was such a welcome relief from the heavy-duty writing of musicology where I had to dig into other people's lives and thoughts, and play a guessing game about what they were about. Or, worse, as many musicologists do, impose my own theories and ideas onto my subjects, quote the most fashionable experts of the moment, and strive to make myself famous at the expense of those I wrote about. I'm glad I don't have to anything, any more. . . So, in a way, I'm done, no reason to continue.
But wait, there's so much more! Having finished the egocentric trip of describing myself, I still have the whole world to write about, and there's plenty to do! Here's my poem about poetry writing, published last year by Apryl Skiles in her Edgar Allan Poet blog and her guest piece for another journal.
in response to George Jisho Robertson’s essay “Path of Poesis”
It is not like splitting the match in four
or counting devils on its round head –
none of this matters, really
see the sunrise above
and Mount Disappointment shimmer
on the puffy underbelly of summer clouds
be dazed by bright ripples on a shallow canyon stream
shining like scales of a carp waiting to be killed
in a bathtub before Polish Easter
listen to the roosting birds at dusk,
the murder of crows covering tree branches
with angular shapes, dense Xenakis chords,
black clusters, dissonant, intense. They bathe
in the river, sit on a concrete bank with wet wings
outstretched, drooping with water, docile
like tattooed crowds resting, sweating
on sandy beach towels in
, Santa Monica
waiting for a tsunami that will not come
shifting the gaze is important, from the navel
to cosmos – not how we fail in a multitude of ways,
but what graces hide in galaxies
that collide amidsts exploding supernovas,
on thousands of inhabitable planets
we’ll count but never touch –
we’ll touch but never count
the veins on the petals of the rose
shriveling from desert heat, just opened
Not us, then, look around, beyond,
catch what’s already gone, hold it
in your hand – the spark, the passing
catch what’s already gone, hold it
in your hand – the spark, the passing
(c) 2010 by Maja Trochimczyk
Let's focus on what's really far away - all these galaxies and clouds of interstellar dust - and on what's really close and often overlooked - the treasures found on daily walks. The spark of joy seen in someone's eyes. Apryl Skies just made this poem her "Poem of the Day" for April 18, 2013! She previously published it on her blog, at Edgar Allan Poet: http://edgarallanpoet.com/Definition__Writing.html For the National Poetry Month last year, I also wrote an article that she published with the poem. How sweet! http://www.examiner.com/article/majatrochimczyk-poet-laureate-the-passing-of-laurels"
It is good to have friends. It is better to have poets as friends. For the National Poetry Month 2013, I have been invited to three group readings: Westside Women Writers, Village Poets, and Rey Luminarias's Poets and Artists Reading.
The reading by Westside Women Writers was held on April 17 at the Topanga Public Library on 122 N. Topanga Canyon Rd. The reading included individual sections and a group reading of poems inspired by an ancient, Cycladic sculpture of a harp player, from the Getty Villa antiquities permanent collection. The poems were written during the first field trip of Westside Women Writers, organized by Kathi Stafford and held on March 30, 2013 at the Getty Villa, Malibu. The Westside Women Writers, created five years ago by Millicent Borges Accardi, currently include, besides Millicent, Kathi and myself: Georgia Jones-Davis, Susan Rogers, Lois P. Jones, Sonya Sabanac, and Madeleine Butcher.
The Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga will appear at the La Crescenta Library on Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. The library is located at 2809 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, CA 91214, tel. (818) 248-5313 (the parking is in the back). The reading's program includes poetry by Dorothy Skiles, Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, as well as fellow past poets Marlene Hitt, Joe DeCenzo, Maja Trochimczyk, Mari Werner and Beverly M. Collins. In addition to selections by each poet, the reading will include four poems read by a group - Sensations, Remembering, Enrollment, and The Veil, the Weave. More information is posted on the Village Poets blog.
Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga is a group of former Poets Laureate of Sunland Tujunga who organize poetry readings in their community, write poetry, and publish books, making sure that poetry life is rich and vibrant in the foothills. Every two years Village Poets organize a competition for the Poet-Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga and, in order to involve the local community in the selection of its Poet-Laureate, establish a Poetry and Literature Committee of Sunland-Tujunga which selects the next Poet. Dorothy Skiles is the current Poet-Laureate in our community (2012-2014). Another important project of Village Poets is the Monthly Village Poets Reading at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, CA. The next reading, by Neil McCarthy, will be at the McGroarty Arts Center on Saturday, April 27, 2013. The upcoming readings are announced in local "good news" paper - The Voice of the Village.
Reynald Romea Luminarias wrote a beautiful poem for my anthology Chopin with Cherries. I was very happy to include it in the book.
There Is No Other Love
After Chopin’s Etude in E Major, Opus 10, No. 3
November sunlight peers
Between leaf-veins. Oval windows.
Rose petals on velvet. Autumn vines our arms
Glazed with ripeness, steeped in unrestrained embrace.
Tongues stilled; drought-pained mouths this one now-love alone
Can heal. Our Love steers
Unknown universes’ oceans of shadows,
Maps red coral galaxies. Anemone-meteors swarm
Around us, stir hunger’s hull knifing waves, probing abysses.
There is no other love obtains the soul, breaks open steel and stone;
There is no other Love destroys this present, ancient drought, this fall
Stripped bare of songs, deprived of harvest; there is no other Love sees
Through storms of swirling fires; only this love, O this our Love alone:
No other Love ordains, builds up the spirit, breathes life into dry bones.
In return, three years later, he invited me to present some of my poetry at his National Poetry Month celebration at the Pasadena Public Library, Wright Auditorium, April 29 at 6 p.m. The event, entitled "Co-Inspirators: Poets, Artists, Music-Makers" will present interactions between various arts. The Pasadena Library is located at 285 East Walnut Street Pasadena, CA 91101, tel. (626) 744-4066.
Rey invited me to read three poems: "Memory Mirrors" (inspired by Susan Dobay's digital artwork, "Reminiscence" from her "Impression of China"), and "A Study with Cherries," and "How to Make a Mazurka" from the Chopin with Cherries anthology. For the first poem, Rick Wilson will accompany me on a Chinese flute from his exquisite and extensive flute collection. For the Chopin's pieces, celebrating his music as heard in my childhood, at my grandparents house in a Polish village, I will bring two Chopin music boxes... It is going to be a beautiful, beautiful event.
A Summer Rose Dream
~ inspired by Chopin's letter from Nohant
Rose petals float down
Onto the desk covered with music
Pages of notes and ink blots
Chopin looks out the window
A carmine blossom in her black hair
Exotic beauty at the ball
He sees the eglantine roses
The picket fence of long ago
His sister smiling
Fragrance spills on the velvet
Of night, notes scatter
On a canvas of his thoughts
His fingers search for memories
On smooth ivory keys
Roses and nightingales, roses
(c) 2013 by Maja Trochimczyk
Photos from Descanso Gardens, Tujunga Wash, and Roses from my garden.
(C) 2013 by Maja Trochimczyk