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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mystery Poet Strikes Again


Collection of mysterious mail
It has been months since a mystery poem arrived in my post office box. The first one came in February, a second in April, and the third in June, seeming to set an every-other-month pattern. Then no more, and after a while I stopped expecting another. It’s a tribute to our local postmaster that I received these at all, as the address on them did not include a p.o. box number, the official requirement for delivery.

a beautiful old stamp
On Friday, November 30, the post office box held another piece of mail from the anonymous poet, another small piece of lined paper folded to become its own envelope, bearing various stamps, address and enclosed poem typed on a manual typewriter. The stamps this time are five in number: an 8-cent American flag stamp, 6-cent Leif Erikson, 15-cent coral reefs, 15-cent USA Olympics 1980, and—my favorite—a beautiful, deep blue, landscape format 3-cent commemorative depicting the arrival of Lafayette in America in 1777.

But it is the poem inside that is the real prize. 

an exquisite little poem
Previous poems were on the subjects snow, honey, and the firefly. This new one is titled “Tell Me.” It is so lovely it bears repeating:

Tell Me 

who does not dream 
what Night already knew 
how the willows laugh 
when Moon finds the cloud 
where Sun hid her pearls 

8 comments:

Dawn said...

Beautiful. Mysterious. Joyful. All together wonderful.

P. J. Grath said...

Isn't it? A precious anonymous gift, courtesy of the United States Postal Service.

AJ said...

This is delightful through and through! Living poetry. Love it.

Linda H. said...

Cool stamps, nice poem. It's a shame the person remains anonymous.

tim said...

Thought you'd be interested to know that we've been receiving these out in California, too. Found your post by googling a line from this poem. It's a beautiful little poem, even more so because the poet seems to want nothing in return.

P. J. Grath said...

And now a new mystery: how did AJ, Linda, and Tim all find this two-month-old post on the same day? It is a wonderful surprise on this dreary, grey, rainy winter day to be found by a trio of writers I've never heard from before.

Jennifer Swanton Brown said...

Perhaps the poet is thinking about how Emily D. used to send poems to her editor, little poems, half-anon.
I love the stamps. That's the best part.

P. J. Grath said...

I love the stamps, too, Jennifer, but if I opened one of these lovely missives and found tedious doggerel inside, the charm would instantly evaporate. No, the poems are the best part.