By Luci Shaw

Poems for Contemplation: "The Slow Pleasures"

This summer The Well is featuring a series of poems by women. Ruth Goring invites you to approach them curiously and meditatively

The Slow Pleasures

by Luci Shaw

So, the words come slowly, like
the minutes in an hour, or even
the hours in a day — one by one.

In the cave of your mouth they taste
like oranges, green melons. Each offers its own
tang, its own unhurried flush that glazes

your tongue. A delicious vowel flourishes
there, rounding, a flame struck by the match of
a fricative, a plosive, a sibilant — C, V, P, S, T, Z.

Each mouth sound knows this is not its end;
that even after being swallowed,
mated, subsumed, essences persist.

For now, let them re-echo in porcelain,
crimson, onion, ivory, ovary, zither.
Allow each the slow pleasure of being.


This poem can be found in Sea Glass by Luci Shaw.

Photo by Dan Gold from StockSnap.

About the Author

Luci Shaw was born in London, England in 1928. A poet and essayist, since 1986 she has been Writer in Residence at Regent College, Vancouver. Author of over thirty-seven books of poetry and creative non-fiction, her writing has appeared in numerous literary and religious journals. In 2013 she received the 10th annual Denise Levertov Award for Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University.  Her most recent collection, Eye of the Beholder, was released by Paraclete Press in 2018.

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