Poet’s Notes: Utopia is a poem that centers an aged couple having a conversation. The old man reminisces to the times when he and his wife were young, in their prime.
He asks his wife questions about those good old days, trying to see if she remembers them and has cherished those simple times as the years flew by.
He recalls the simplicity and beauty of the environment in the first stanza and likens certain features of the village to bodily features of his wife that interested him and drew him close to her.
In the second stanza, he recalls the brightness of the moon and the refreshing feel of the rain. In this, he compares rainfall to the excitement he and his wife both felt when it was time for grandmother to tell folklore.
He then recalled the times where children played freely in the sand and did not need to worry about anything. Those times were music and dance and laughter was rife and expressed without inhibition.
He also thought of time times when they both would engage in house chores together and give their plants walks in the sun. A reminder of the love he felt then for his wife when he saw her tend to flowers and greenery featured in his thoughts.
The fifth stanza sees the man remembering the times when his wife was a potter and he would sit and admire her as she sang songs while creating art.
The sixth stanza sees the aged man remember those times vividly and express wonder at the stark contrast between those worry-less times and these troubling ones.
The final one-lined conclusion is a question that sees the man express a mountain of regret and oblivion as to the rapid disappearance of those times and the beginnings of these ones.
Enjoy Utopia Upon a Time!
Love, do you remember the old times?
The sun overhead, far above the clotheslines that stretched
through the straight-winding street, the iron poles orange
and fiery red as the blood of the birds perched on the handles
Sand, a contrast to the above, coarse, rough and smooth, too,
like the moles at the base of your throat
lingers, firm to the touch, hard as concrete blocks
for the forts and castles and water that sweep them
into nothing save spots and molecules
Darling, can you recall magic back in our day?
The moon at a standstill, looking down at us
so white, whispering tales of the dials and reflections
and asking if the wolves will howl tonight or if will we become them
Rain, drops of crystals that fall down your face
like diamonds in a hailstorm, premature and unfound
exist silently in the pit of your stomach
to patter as the quickening of feet
right into the town-square for grandmother’s folklores
Sweetheart, do you ever think of it before?
The children playing in the dunes, laughter abound as they
drew with toothpicks boxes in the ground that were small enough
to stand in with a foot and large enough so that they contained our very lives
Music, a language so familiar, the townspeople
with their banjos and drums, plucking strings and hitting
surfaces with rhythms akin to our heartbeats
and the women come out, you first, with backs arched
and their waist-beads and anklets bearing oneness with sacred soil
Honey, have you ever thought of that time?
Fire, reds and yellows and blues, flaring like a surprise as we
put more wood in the stove and fanned with our breaths, the
embers burning subtly into our skins, selcouth and welcoming
Greenery, emblematic of hope, giving sun-walks and drinks
as though they were family when we plucked
and spun coverings with rubber and cotton and paper
and went swimming in the town lake where you petted the
pretty water lilies that reminded me so much of you
Love, do you remember the old times?
You, kneading the clay, top to bottom before the wheel was
brought in and you went on to create pure art and cleaned
the brown off your nails with sharp vegetable stalks
Your lips bringing forth song, smile wide as the Nile, genuine, too
as the herons we see in the canals and ask to give
us white cuticles and golden Shea butter smeared on your
sandy brown skin, to swallow the sun and reverence the moon, where
fire and rain vie for your beauty and greens bore you children
Darling, I remember those times clear as day
When things were simple and we did not worry at all about the
earth blowing her bowels into our faces and the rains breaking our
clay pots and forts and quenching our fire
The sea overflowing, pouring live fish into our mouths, when we were
ever present in dance and laughed without restraint, when the sun
shone through the clouds and smiled upon our children in plant pots
needing nutrition and did not blacken, when the mountains and valleys
and hills stood guard and spoke directly to our spirits
Sweetheart, honey, where have those times gone?
Mama’s Guide to Coping With Sexual Assault: A Sestina
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When things were simple and we did not worry at all!! just wow!!
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