"A poem is not about; it is out of and to. Passionate language in movement."
- Adrienne Rich
Antonia Matthew was born in England in 1938. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Bloomington. She belongs to the group "Five Women Poets" who have put out three chapbooks and one cd. Her play "HomeFront" was performed as a radio play in August 2019.
Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Antonia, what poems have you brought for us today?
These poems sing the unsung.
They come down the street,
in the dark, or light,
waking us with clangor
and incomprehensible yells.
The truck grinds and roars,
some ancient beast
invading the neighborhood
-- clattering crashing splintering,
its armored plates grinding together,
its teeth gnashing.
Today it's warm, the men
in their shirt sleeves.
They grip handles,
heft the bins,
arms high and extended,
then sweeping down
to toss the bins aside.
An urban ballet
They lope on up the street
hollering to each other
running without pause
leaving behind the bones
of their monster's feast
scattered along every block.
I sit in the hall.
The pianist has not yet played,
the audience not yet applauded.
There's a stillness, even as the hall fills up.
Spotlights shine on the stage of polished wood,
the piano and the piano stool,
Dimmed lights, set in the high ceiling
and side balconies, shine on the audience.
The white paint gleams, the lights are clear,
the carpet and plush seats immaculate.
Behind, and above the stage, the organ,
silver-plumed bird, presides, silent wings folded.
Like banners, lengths of red velvet, hang,
rippled, beside high windows.
Everything pristine, in this hushed place
the lights create, hold.
The pianist plays; we listen, applaud,
are in awe. The program is over, but she returns
to renewed clapping. Then it is ended.
Later, quiet fills the hall, the deserted building.
Then they arrive, the setters of the scene,
the backstage artists, to walk the rooms
and concert halls. Bring them forth
that in the muted light they,
with their instruments of Clean
may take a bow to a silent and standing ovation
for hermit crab
I slip you into my own
fleshy shell that aches
to hear not only daily sounds
but far off echoes
of the breaking sea
Between all masses in the universe
It never takes a holiday
It ren1ains constant through
rotations and orbits.
It has "dignity and sobriety,"
giving "weight to physical objects."
Without it, we'd grow taller,
have reduced bone mass
lose our immunity.
It is of "significance and importance"
not a fact but "a consequence."
All things move under its influence
attracted one to another.
Because of it, oceans rise and fall,
mountains are kept entire,
trees remain rooted,
rivers flow within their banks,
and the full spectrum of life
is anchored to this blue green planet.
This poem is brought to you
courtesy of Gravity.
You've been listening to poems by Antonia Matthew on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.