A poem, its inspiration (as epigraph), and a link to the poetic source of those words.
by Roy Beckemeyer
In my latest poetry book, The Currency of His Light (Turning Plow Press, 2023), the theme of the collection as you might suspect, is light and how it expresses itself, by its presence or its absence, in our lyrics and our lives.
In this book, as in my previous four books of poems, there are many poems inspired by quotes, by the words of other poets and authors, which I find just as inspiring as images or as how light shines into one’s soul. With such poems I always present the quote as an epigraph, laying out the source of my inspiration.
Here is my poem, “Bedrock and Deluge,” which explores how in one person both stability and chaos can be present, simmering or boiling over, as circumstances change. It found its inspiration in a phrase from a lovely poem, “How to Swallow a River,” by Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi, which appeared in the Volume 86, No. 4, Summer 2020 issue of New Letters. Her poem in its entirety can be found at the New Letters site: https://www.newletters.org/two-poems-by-ines-p-rivera-prosdocimi/?fbclid=IwAR1LcSYZ_Az6LgTZQX2Ylfw3DitSxRLAP2a4Y8clsKRayr3-eVvNWkx8qp4. The phrase I used as epigraph appears on the second last line of the first page of the poem.
Bedrock and Deluge
“Pack your throat with the stones a river depends on…”
—Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi, “How to Swallow a River”
You are stone, I believe,
inexpressibly alone even though embedded
in the gravelly stream bed of your ancestry,
continuously withstanding the sinuous
deconstruction of history’s meandering ways.
Yet again, you are the evocation of a deluge,
water swallowing earth embankments,
the chaos of spate and surge dislodging
stone and stability simultaneously.
You are the beguiling yin-ness
and yang-ness of mythology’s shape changer,
shedding the stolid worker’s bedrock steadiness
at shift-change to become River, voraciously
gnawing at every bound in sight.
This poem by Roy Beckemeyer appears on p. 21 of The Currency of His Light (Turning Plow Press, 2023).
Thanks for pausing to read this, and, I hope, to read Prosdocimi’s poem as well.
I hope this sample tickles your fancy for more from The Currency of His Light.
Roy, a lovely depiction of our bedrock and our chaos, constantly being shaped, worn, and renewed by the river of life. Blessings.
Thank you, Ruth!