Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Beauty Breathes: The Small Kingdom—Part One

Beauty Breathes: The Small Kingdom—Part One

Based on the original story written and performed by GOBEUS.

In my October 3rd post, I said that I wanted to continue telling the story of GOBEUS, the man that Dana and I met in the park the last week during our compassion meditation. This is Part One of a series of poems based on the story that he told us. Each of the upcoming sections will be posted here as unedited first drafts.

The Small Kingdom: Part One


The only son by seven knew full well
twill and tricolette, braft

and balzarine, could tell you which
was madras which was mohair. Mama

worked charmeuse, collected cambresine,
taught him the uses of worsted and whipcord.

He learned young the value of roughness:
Horded dungeree and hopsack, jaconet

and jersey--never for the thing it was,
but for the thing it would become. Not

for baize or brilliantine alone,
but for the luster of its robes, its regal

transformation. No matter its squalor, every
strip was purified, made useful. No matter

its shab or soil, each scrap had a name:
farandine, foulard, merlino or moire.

Mama marched in marabout, sturdy as a needle,
arbitor and exorcist. Mama knew nine patterns.

Mama laid her only son's thin hand on swansdown;
whispered: Let this be made your regimental.

--Kristen McHenry


Dana said...

I love this so much, and even more because I know its source. You could make a whole chapbook by weaving together poems from that conversation with GOBEUS.

Jo-Ann said...

More! More! she cried.

You are weaving a beautiful tapestry of Gobeus.