“The New Experience” by Suzanne Buffam

I was ready for a new experience.
All the old ones had burned out.

They lay in little ashy heaps along the roadside
And blew in drifts across the fairgrounds and fields.

From a distance some appeared to be smoldering
But when I approached with my hat in my hands

They let out small puffs of smoke and expired.
Through the windows of houses I saw lives lit up

With the otherworldly glow of TV
And these were smoking a little bit too.

I flew to Rome. I flew to Greece.
I sat on a rock in the shade of the Acropolis

And conjured dusky columns in the clouds.
I watched waves lap the crumbling coast.

I heard wind strip the woods.
I saw the last living snow leopard

Pacing in the dirt. Experience taught me
That nothing worth doing is worth doing

For the sake of experience alone.
I bit into an apple that tasted sweetly of time.

The sun came out. It was the old sun
With only a few billion years left to shine.

Suzanne Buffam, “The New Experience” from The Irrationalist. (Canarium Books, 2010). Copyright © 2010 by Suzanne Buffam.

4 thoughts on ““The New Experience” by Suzanne Buffam

  1. Will Grimes

    My wife and I celebrate our 46th anniversary today. The experience of celebration is not new, any more than watching waves lap a crumbling coast, as Ms. Buffam knows. But there can be a sweetness each time the celebration arrives, even if we don’t have a few billion years left to shine. In the poem I created for my wife for this anniversary I wrote;

    Our Anniversary
    (for Sue)

    It’s been a while
    Let’s stop and think
    We’ve been wedded
    Forty-six years –
    Longer than that
    If you count time
    Before the banns –

    Every year now
    I find myself
    Standing again
    In that small church
    Looking at you
    Just next to me
    As I did then

    Wondering if
    I could love you
    More than I do
    And my answer is
    Always the same
    Let’s wait and see
    Like newlyweds

    Will Grimes, August 07, 2017

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Grimes! 46 years, huh? The year you married was the same year Walt Disney World opened in Florida. A good year for magical adventures, indeed. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂 1971 was also the year Intel releases the world’s first microprocessor, which allowed, 45 years later, our paths to cross.

      Ms. Buffam writes:
      Experience taught me
      That nothing worth doing is worth doing

      For the sake of experience alone.

      It is not the experience, but rather the sharing, that bears significance. 46 years of sharing is a good start. ❤

      * I'll plan to share your poem with our readers tomorrow. It's too beautiful not to. Thank you for sharing your special day with us. -Christy


  2. Sue Hay

    Storm King
    At the gate
    We watched
    The quiet Calder
    In tall native grass
    Columns of time
    So beautifully spent
    With you
    In the big vista
    Stick man
    Through every acre
    The ground swelled
    Buddha stood on his head
    Walked on a roof
    The old stone wall
    Every day
    In place
    By its own two hands

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is beautiful, Sue, thank you. Something about it has a very soothing and calming quality, like taking in a deep breath, and slowly exhaling.

      I’m happy you provided a link. I’ve not heard of Storm King Art Center before. Thank you for putting it on my radar. ❤️


Comments are closed.