Three Poems by Carol Weston

BOMB 41 Fall 1992
Issue 41 041  Fall 1992

Individual Beast

Individual beast,
you derive, like all of us,
from Eosphaera (and her kind)
neither plant nor animal,
male nor female,
eye of first life in the waves
floating 3½ billion years ago
north of Lake Superior.

Individual beast,
I, Minister of the Interior
in charge of Earth & Outer Space,
defend you.

The Cliff

The way I grow
is where you do not see me.

The underwear
that you laid out for me this morning
no longer fits.

The stilts you prepared
for my walk into heaven
are so far below me
I cannot reach them.

Your voice echoes
up the stone cliff after me,
“You will fall. You will fall,”
& my hypnotized feet
grow weak.

Until I sing so loud
I cannot hear

& then I climb.

from Peace Fire

I am in this race.
I am a slow beginner
& when I mount the podium
the stars
will come in whirlwinds …

I walk fire-footed
among the bands of children
& only their voices
breathe with my heart
& their hands
understand my toys
for the first touch of our hands on seashells
must be maintained
till death.

The found stick
on the sidewalk
is our amulet
& the found light
on the stage of time
is the blues
of the inner wolf
of our being
releasing breath
long caught
under the volcanoes
of the earth
& we
are the instruments
through which it blows,
our breasts
the volcanoes
out of which it pours …

We start
from mouse size
with a nose
for candy
& we rise
to god size
with a hand
for truth.

We start
in dust
that wraps
our light.

We are the nude light
that does not dare undress …
& what comes to us
is our own
& the spoon of plated silver
found on the beach rocks
of our childhood
can feed us
eternity …

the brightest images on earth
are falling through
the ground
never to emerge …

There is no pearl-like slug in grass
or stinking gingko seed
or broken insect wing
that doesn’t matter
on the glistening soil.

There is no deep iron sunset
on the quahog shell
that does not matter;
no whorled black whelk
that does not play
the music of the spheres.

I cannot hide.

I cannot sleep.
Some force propels
my hand to write.

How can I thank God
that I have been given a voice
while most of those who doubted
their right to speak
have died
along the road.
Their corpses
make a music
that propels
my legs to dance.
I bear their secrets
& their amulets
are in my pockets
as I walk
toward the edge
of the world
where there is no more
space for me to walk …

Is there a world
where there is room
for everyone
to speak?
Is there a world
where there is room
for everyone
to dance?
Is there a world
with room
for everyone
to eat
the fruit
of ripened dream
that drops
the upheld hand?

The truth
is what propels us
to disrobe.

The language of the wolves
is singing through us …

Houses shall be cleaned
by the entrance of a piano
with sympathetic vibrations
to put into their places
the spirits
of all inanimate things

& a tree shall guide them
& a crescent moon of quartz
imbedded in a sea rock
from the beach
shall pull them …

& the houses shall be conducted
by the plants that rule them
& the knives & forks & spoons shall follow
in their dance …

Carol Weston lives in Chestnut Hill, Mass. She is the author of Spirals, Whorls, Sutures, Septa (Stone Soup Poetry, 1978).

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Originally published in

BOMB 41, Fall 1992

Featuring interviews with Richard Tuttle, Television, Anna Deveare Smith, Jessica Stockholder, YoYo, Donna Tartt, Gregg Araki, Ron Vawter, Lillian Lee, Fabian Marcaccio, and Robbie McCauley.

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Issue 41 041  Fall 1992