April Poetry Month (Day 8): Nancy Rafal #npm17 #wppoets

Nancy RafalNancy Rafal was one of two recipients of the 2016 Woodland Pattern Gala Honorees. The award has place of honor above her writing desk. She is also a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, Wisconsin Writers Association, and Friends of Lorine Niedecker. 

 

 

 

 

 

Everywoman Goes Down to the Water

She steps into its coolness and bathes
…………It is the Ganges, the Yangtse, the Amazon,
She wears skins, sarong, serape, shawl

Everywoman goes down to the water
She bends and fills her bucket, her granite pail, her goatskin bladder
She drinks, cooks, washes clothes, nourished plants, bathes babies,
…………anoints, cleanses

Everywoman goes down to the water
She paddles canoe, kayak, rows skiff, poles punt, floats raft
She journeys to the next village, spawning grounds, bear den, ice floe

Everywoman goes down to the water
…………River, stream, ocean, lake, creek,
…………dew on desert plant, primed pump,
…………gentle rain, steam distilled

Everywoman goes down to the water
…………She sees algae, phosphorus foam, dead birds
…………She smells gasoline, decay, pollution
…………She feels radiation, burning, oiliness

Everywoman goes down to the water
…………It courses through her veins, through her heart
…………through a thousand thousand everywomen

Everywoman weeps


Typewriter Man
Christopher Latham Sholes 1819-1890

We walk Milwaukee city streets………. he in an earlier time
He earned his livelihood in black and white newspapers his trade
He strove for more and by handiwork invented
a machine which wrote akin to human hand…… a literary piano
a feat tried earlier by Italians, Germans, French, and Americans alike
QWERTY is his lasting mark
Printers cap no longer worn
He desired to bring his typewriter to the masses
to quicken the snail pace of the pen
No caps key, no tab, no carriage return, a cross between a piano and a
kitchen table
He thought it smelled like money, green and crisp
Sold the patent for $12,000. His former partner became a millionaire!
Typewriter man forgotten until Milwaukee brought him back


Beginnings

I’d forgotten sunrises, stars blinking you awake, geese
rising in unison over the lake
twenty two years living in the woods will do that

The new home is smaller, won’t hold
our countless books, but the spacious backyard is
clear of utility poles and wires, and provides
a seasonal water view and an occasional deer

The real miracle is that eight years ago
when the house was rented out
a baby was birthed here
in the space I’ve placed my writing desk


Published in 2018 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar
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