Tim Myers’ collection Dear Beast Loveliness: Poems of the Body, is a collection about the soul and the senses. Published by BlazeVox Press, these poems range from dark and shielded, to open and lively, they include love, lust, tragedy, struggle, all of the emotions that poems are meant to contain and reveal. Below I am happy to share a sample:
To My Sibling, Miscarried 1956
Catching a fragrance of nectarines
from the basket on the table,
I feel how strange it is
that you’re not here,
find myself wondering who you might have been.
At my grade school, well-meaning nuns
gave us their strange perfunctory tale
of unborn babies drifting in Limbo.
But I was born, and have come to fruit,
my sons on the floor here
giggling and bucking like horses,
as if five short years ago
neither was compounded our of infinite nothingness.
Now that the mystery of Me is a bit clearer
in the mystery of Them,
I think of You who never came from our mother,
you who are less now than
a fragrance of nectarines
in a breeze from the window so slight
only my new-shaven face can feel it.
This poem strikes me because my own mother miscarried and there are days I wonder what it would have been like to have siblings much closer in age than my only sibling, my sister who is twelve years younger. I was always envious of my friends who had siblings close to their age growing up—built in adventurous companions through the trials of early grade school--and I can understand this poet observing his children and drifting into thoughts of who his sibling might have been. The smallest sensation: that of the smell of nectarines, brings to light how the essence of someone’s absence or presence can be felt. I think it’s a beautiful poem that many can relate to either through experiencing the pain of miscarriage or the knowledge that they might have had more siblings and will never know the essence of that person.
I saw a boy jerking along the street,
a palsied boy who walked as a stutterer stutters,
misfired genes like a great hand having
squeezed and twisted the living mud of him.
His arms joined in tight v’s, limp hands skyward,
so he almost seemed to flap them as he came,
legs crooked to a perpetual stagger.
But as I passed him in my car,
a fiddle tune came over the radio, fiddler
drawing that sweet commotion out of nowhere
onto his instrument, guitar strings
chiming intricately behind, so that
one’s heart like a child of Hamelin must rise and follow,
one’s body like some Odysseus strains to pursue
whatever sirens live in the sea of music—
and then I saw
how the boy’s twisted steps fell perfectly, inexplicably,
against the pavement with the music. This was
strange. But with sudden grace I understood. How great, how
vast the world is, rhythm-driven, all that is
flowing like notes along countless strings—
and one more dancer dancing.
Every living thing has movement and dance to them, dance is a great love in my life and so this poem trapped my heart. I love watching people as they move through a space, however they are able to move, and there is always a song or piece of music that will fit them. I love that the poet witnessed this Zen-like moment of his own music matching another’s rhythm, especially since that boy’s rhythm may have not been seen as rhythmic at all in the beginning. Haven’t we all had those pure moments of music matching our steps or watching someone else’s movements match the music in our headphones?
Song to Be Sung by a Happy Skeleton
The shy white beast you never see
for when beloved flesh is fled,
I too am dead.
I am the stilts life gave you; I will
I dearly hold within my arms
who holds his lover. A deeper I
a part of all his Is,
Gaze long into his eyes and you
will see how true
I am, his deeper Other,
An animal beneath, I spring
in every moment mutely to rejoice.
If I am death, then death
makes living free.
I am the hidden, white, and dancing
This poem makes me smile. How can the title not draw you in? I also love that Myers refers to the skeleton as “the stilts life gave you” which creates a fabulous mental picture. As a collector of Dia De Los Muertos skeletons, this poem is a guilty pleasure for me. The skeleton as the remaining essence of our flesh long after we’re gone, our “dancing/tree” is a great tribute to the bones we sometimes take for granted every day.
I hope you enjoyed this sample as much as I enjoy the entire collection. To purchase a copy of Tim Myers’ Dear Beast Loveliness: Poems of the Body, for $16.00, please visit:
To learn more about Tim Myers who is a songwriter and also writes children’s books, fiction, and nonfiction in addition to poetry, check out his website. I have to say I love his opening quote by Rilke because I am all about it. Please visit:
Thanks always for reading, please drop in again soon…