Sunday, September 29, 2013

Naomi Shihab Nye: "Breaking the Fast"


Japanese teacher says:
At first light, rise.
Don’t hover between
sleep and waking,
this makes you heavy,
puts a stone inside your heart.

The minute you drift back to shore,
anchor. Breathe.
Remember your deepest name.


Sometimes objects stun me,
bamboo strainer, gray mug,
sitting exactly where
they were left.

They have not slept
or dreamt of lost faces.

I touch them carefully,
saying, tell me what you know.


Cup of waves,
strawberry balanced
in a seashell.

In morning the water seems
clear to the bottom.

No fish blocks my view.

"Breaking the Fast" by Naomi Shihab Nye, from Red Suitcase. © BOA Editions, 1994.

Image credit: "Waking Up," acrylic on canvas, by Douglas Simonson (originally color).

1 comment :

  1. What a beautiful poem, with a beautiful tight structure, and the aquatic imagery works incredibly well!


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