Olly Olly Oxen Free

Old Age
November 15, 2021
A Dry Season
November 15, 2021

Olly Olly Oxen Free

(upon reading Ferlinghetti again)

Written by Nita Penfold

Why can’t you paint a poem, the light seeping

from the words like the split skirt of the bleeding heart blossom?

Why can’t you follow the great poet into his sun,

the one who wrenched your soul open at fourteen

with a “Coney Island of the Mind,” his sharp verse

touching you in places you never knew you had

poking holes in your mind, your thoughts, the light

leaking out and in and out exposing the ragged way

to the soul.  Why can’t you harness the light that shoots

from your hands like fireworks and lightning and

shooting stars?  You can see it, young children can too…

one light walking amid other lights, their eyes bright with it,

they smile the secret-keeping smile as if it is all some grand

game we play ‘til we all come home.

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