Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Cloistered Nuns (Versus the Realm of Realism)

The cloistered nuns are furious,
 a man has bought the land
 next to their convent
 for his new office building
 with third story windows.
 Their convent garden wall
 is only two stories high. 
"We try to understand progress,"
says an old nun speaking with an outsider
for the first time in decades,
"but this development would ruin us." 
"I am not unreasonable,"
the businessman insists,
"but stopping this project
is beyond the realm of realism. 
Does the realm of nuns tending flowers
exist outside of their garden?
Is there a useful balm from Gilead
in the compassion of their wordless prayers? 
"This land is too valuable to stay vacant,"
the businessman explains.  
"Our dead are buried here,
we can’t move," says the nun.

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Another one of my older poems I think has improved with age. I tinkered with it a lot, but the major decision was the voice I would use breaking into the poem in the 4th stanza, as if to say, "Let's get some emotion in here" before returning to flat pronouncement of the last two stanzas. Plus the 6, 4, 4, 4, 2 ,2 structure, it a playful poem underneath.
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