Monday, August 15, 2011

The Way of Love -- a found poem

This poem was written in 2002 for Emily and Ian,  in memory of
P.L. Travers… and her friend, Mary Poppins.

This posting is a bit late, but I was out of town on August 9th, the birth date of P.L. Travers (1899-1996). If anyone knows who she is, it is because of Mary Poppins, the magical character that she created. Most people know this character through the Disney film; lovely thought that is, it is a saccharine representation of this character who flits through time, is a mythological being, and has known many other mythological beings. Travers was a lifelong enthusiast of mythology and mysticism. Later in her life, after Mary Poppins brought her fame, her lecture series given at Scripps was turned into the book, In Search of the Hero: The Continuing Relevance of Myth and Fairy Tale (1970), and she published a full-length study on myth and symbolism What the Bee Knows: Reflections on Myth, Symbol and Story(1989) at the age of 90. She was also a regular contributor to Parabola magazine.

          "Oh!" breathed Jane, touching the hair that the wind had curled. 
          "How very small and sweet.  Like a star.  Where did you come from, Annabel?"

          Very pleased to be asked, Annabel began her story again.

         "I came from the Dark--" she recited softly.

          Jane laughed.  "Such funny little sounds!" she cried. "I wish she could talk and tell us." 

          Annabel stared. " But I am telling you," she protested, kicking.
                      -- P.L. Travers, from "Mary Poppins Comes Back," Chapter V

Open your eyes,
said Sunlight to the little ones,
and they stirred lightly from their sleep,
opening their eyes onto the new world
for Sun to put its bright shine upon.
Breeze dropped lightly into their cradles,
warmly stirring the cozy covers and,
feathering their hair into each its permanent lifewave,
fluttered over to sit with Sun on the window sill.

Please, tell us your story,
said warm Breeze and Sunlight,
settling in for tea and a biscuit,
if you aren't tired from your  journey.

We are earth and air and fire and water,
We are come from the dark,
from which all Being comes,
into the light;
We are of the sea and the tides;
We are of the sky and the stars;
We are of the sun and its brightness; and
We are of all that is green upon the earth.

Slowly, from within a sleeping and a dreaming,
Slowly, from inner-world to outer-world,
Slowly we moved, alone and together,
Slowly, remembering all that we had been,
Remembering all that we might yet be.

When we had dreamed our dreams,
we wove them together tightly for the voyage,
then we woke from our dream-sleep and
quickly came to Be.

Along the way, the stars were singing,
wings were carrying us far and away,
through deep, dark waters and thick jungles,
across the desert plains and through rocky clefts,
over the mountains and through the air,
until we reached our Home.

That is the way of love,
sighed Sun and Breeze, remembering their own journeys,
that is the way of love for us all
it is the perpetual song of life.

© 2011 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen

1 comment:

  1. That is so beautiful. Capturing the awe of new lives emerging alone and together. Just beautiful.