Patti Sullivan

Moods and Melodies

for Delmira Agustini, Uruguayan poet 1885-1914

The storage room is in shadows
lit up only with pale rays of wintry sunshine
paper wrapped parcels sculpturally stacked as if someone
made you with mystic skill, carved you from foam
books for the library branches, hungry readers in wait
conscious of a love more mysterious than this

the young woman dreams of a writer’s life
like a nightly flower here in the meadow I shall softly open for you
she had been told that there was no
light from the other side of the moon

yet she keeps looking, holding The Nautilus Shell close to her ear
to make the light in others eyes my sun, music in others ears my symphony
ever hopeful, breathing in the sweet sage air 
far away through the blossoming  

she is trying to understand what they told her
it may be that you are not yourself luminous
but you are a conductor of light

turning to home flock of scarlet doves startles then delights
as obstacles melt away, on the trail of the lonesome pine
she heard the river, we shall bear down the opposition, sweep it before us
and there was always the bend in the road.

After the Edson Smith Photo Collection Santa Barbara Public Library

Patti Sullivan‘s chapbooks include For the Day, Not Fade Away, and At the Booth Memorial Home for Unwed Mothers 1966. Other poems appear in Chiron Review, Miramar, Salt, and Spillway. She is an Associate Poetry Editor at Evening Street Press. Her abstract artwork has been widely exhibited and has appeared in several poetry journals.

Notes: Title Mary Eliza Fullerton, Sonnets & Lyrics. Italicized lines from books of that era; Lord Loveland Discovers America , C.N. Williamson & A.M. Williamson; The Nautilus Shell, Mary Eliza Fullerton; A Room With A View, E.M. Forster; Selected Poetry,  Delmira Agustini  The Story of My Life, Helen Keller;  The Hound of the Baskerville, Arthur Conan Doyle; The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, John Fox, Jr; My Brilliant Career, Miles ( Stella Maria Sarah ) Franklin; The Jungle, Upton Sinclair; Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery.