“The Phoenix Again” by May Sarton (on “Simply Beginning Again” by Christy)

On the ashes of this nest
Love wove with deathly fire
The phoenix takes its rest
Forgetting all desire.

After the flame, a pause,
After the pain, rebirth.
Obeying nature’s laws
The phoenix goes to earth.

You cannot call it old
You cannot call it young.
No phoenix can be told,
This is the end of the song.

It struggles now alone
Against death and self-doubt,
But underneath the bone
The wings are pushing out.

And one cold starry night
Whatever your belief
The phoenix will take flight
Over the seas of grief

To sing her thrilling song
To stars and waves and sky
For neither old nor young
The phoenix does not die.

~ May Sarton via Poetry (December 1987)


It struggles now alone
Against death and self-doubt,
But underneath the bone
The wings are pushing out.

 

I’ve had this poem saved for quite some time. This concept of death and rebirth, of flying above grief, of returning to ground–burned and naked and alone, of nature’s laws, of beginning again . . . even when you know what inevitably lies ahead. The cycle and natural order of everything. Nothing is permanent, yet everything is cyclical, everything returns again, just not exactly the same as it was in the past. The warm nest of inertia, yet the tingling tickling of wings prickling and pushing out.

It was never a question of if I would return. I knew I would. But who would I be when I came back? Exactly who I am supposed to be, right? I knew from my past extended break that I needed poetry in my life, but I also knew that I couldn’t force it or feel guilted into it. It would happen when it was supposed to happen.

I got some bad news in April 2018 and it was enough to snuff my candle for a while. I tried to keep the poetry coming, and I did until July, but I had lost the spark. My heart just wasn’t in it. So I chose to refocus my energy. And then as I settled into a new normal of sorts, my old mistress Poetry came calling… I told her I was done with her, and she said . . . . well, you know. So here we go again, always we begin again.

And one cold starry night
Whatever your belief
The phoenix will take flight
Over the seas of grief

Here’s to taking flight.
Here’s to simply beginning again.
With love, Christy


“Fledgling” by Blues Traveler from Save His Soul 

The earth
Is far below you
Once its prisoner now do you fly
Once just a fledgling now
Do you fly

 

20 thoughts on ““The Phoenix Again” by May Sarton (on “Simply Beginning Again” by Christy)

  1. Mike Mirarchi

    I love this poem, Christy! Having gone through more than one spiritual death and rebirth in my life, I can relate. I’m sorry you got some bad news in April, and that it was enough to snuff out your candle for awhile. That makes me sad. I’m so glad that you answered your old mistress’s call and that you’re beginning again. Welcome back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Onward. 🤞🏻

        2018 was the most difficult year for me too. But at times if you found someone visited your site and read twenty old poems- it was me, sitting in my sunny California balcony with a cup of chai( my very own ginger, cardamom milk tea) opening wordsfortheyear.com on my browser one page every minute. I wish you a happy and healthy 2019. ♥️ I wish us more poems and more words.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! I love that!
        I love the image of you sitting cozy with tea and clicking through random poems. I often do the same! In fact I’m having some chai now at my dining room table with a doting dog at my feet while I think of you and smile.
        Today feels good.
        And right now, good feels pretty succulent.
        😘

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Elizabeth

    There was an absence nagging these last months, where were Christy’s poems? Had I unsubscribed by mistake? Also a wake up call, that I had grown to lean on someone’s generosity and gifts and never said thank you
    And then today, sitting in my eyrie with a coffee and watching the birds fly over the treetops, your mail arrives. I felt heartened and moved by both the Sarton and your personal words. Which made me think of Hopkins: ‘blue-bleak embers fall, themselves, and gash gold vermillion’
    Glad you are back.
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elizabeth,
      Your words warm my heart, thank you.
      I have recently begun to meditate—about which I hope to write soon—but your words had the same calming effect as any mindful moment I could strive for.
      Thank you for taking a moment to share.
      (Are you a poet? If not, I encourage you. I sense a gift of words in you.)
      With love, Christy

      Like

      1. Elizabeth

        Thank you Christy! That was lovely to read Not a poet But poems pop up sometimes Look forward to reading you thoughts on/experience of meditation. Which I don’t do. Though I ringfence time to kind of sit and window stare …

        Like

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