Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Across time: Carol Lee Sanchez

Last winter, a friend gave me a book of poetry, From Spirit to Matter by carol lee sanchez. The book was a thrift store find by a local poet. As I delved into the book’s first poems, I was enchanted. sanchez’s verses transported my mind to that reflective, creative sanctuary that can only be reached between the lines of beautiful poems. My friend and I, both delighted and inspired by the discovery of such a brilliant mind in our corner of the world, began to discuss visiting the poet. After all, she lived in Hughesville. I went to school there as a teen. I often drive past the town on my country cruises.

But when I wandered online to learn more, I discovered Ms. Sanchez had died the previous year. A small, undoubtedly selfish, corner of my heart broke.

Reading Sanchez’s poetry blessed my life like reading Millay blessed my life. “Symbols” moved my mind like “The Eolian Harp” moved my mind.

For a few bright hours I thought I would be able to say thank you.

In the author’s note, sanchez writes, “these poems then are what I ‘bring’ into hard copy, from spirit to matter, my ‘messages’ from where I am here to where you are -- there. I look forward to hearing from you through the pages of time.”

Our times missed a beat and never crossed, though I love to imagine we watched the same corner of the sky turn gold and shopped at the same grocery stores.

Thank you.

symbols - by carol lee sanchez

symbols release energy
move from mind to matter
matter very much
become stored knowledge
precious entities
collected as beads or bytes
restored on recycled tree

somewhere long ago
on an ordinary day
a human mind perceived
nature’s random paintings
as recorded reflections of
familiar things

wind prints on sand or
water marks on rocks
holding line and shape
together to form: animal
fish fowl tree branch leaf
human faces human bodies

somewhere on earth
on an ordinary day
a human hand understood
the magic transcription
used stick stone and bone
to etch symbols from her mind
into wood sand and stone

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