What matter if the ditches are impure?  What matter if I live it all once more?  
-- Yeats, from A Dialogue of Self and Soul
                   The Dance, 1856
                W A Bouguereau 1825-1905
                        Evening Mood, 1882
                 W A Bouguereau 1825-1905
      indigence is not always clothed the same way --Bouguereau

   Five Gyres
   Stephanie Pope
 (five May, 2005)
a program is running
in the background of
what appears here
a program of
little affirmations
a code of yeses
the small yeses
hard at work, oui
I know this because

before the hard world
makes a woman
a woman, young & old
a condition exists

where belonging
rests upon its own
unbelonging in time

i discover about the age of
ten a way to earn a nickel when
finding in the gutter
some one else �s soda bottle

(& now i always find it guttered)

times are hard
ly larger than
the stretch of dollar
where it never fills a pan
a bowl, a want in wage
the size of family
forbidden in those years
a family planning
and in those days a black
where i am much too
wee to question lack
the hold it has
& what it wants, oui
that house   

this time
in no time
worked before the woman
the woman, young & old
and she turns a
principle of fixity untold
something still
and living
as if it died in walls each time
that it said yes, yet left
this nothing of itself behind
(and what it left is what re-mains)

remains (and I respect this dead)
because... the living wall
enclosing it round me, the eros
is like a great root-blossomer, a bee
a fountain adding wax to soften space
in times where once upon a knee
in me is bleached and blenched and
stone-bone fed
on triple beauty that in darkness bled
and bled and bled
strands in amethyst, a web
how in my space I often spread
this spirit-home a-part in air
imagining what still lives there

in air and wail in bee
where weir were the we
that never lept in then to here to when
will next in wet meet dry appear (a pier, oui!)
 is how I moist
 again leap, too
 nows chatter

 remembering my
 nickel in the matter                                              



nymphaeum  pool   
    For the story of Aristaeus & the Bees see Virgil, Georgic IV
    For the myth of  Kastalia see Pausanias 10.8.9-10
    For more on Kastalian poetics see my essay, Singing Water,

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