April 26, 2016

deepening the poet's view in a field of nursing children ................................................................................#NaPoWriMo2016

Käthe Kollwitz, 'Death and the Woman' (Tod und Frau), lithograph, 1910.

Anubis is among us painting life 
ours, a pearl cultured death parade 
toys in bright white noise 
shade shadow language 
poems, trees, what we 
motion home with 
hands for us to follow 

there is no greater surrender 
than when we give in to love / 
this power is wholly 
ours to wield as we will / 
the truest fun 
remembers to
harm none 

poets remember 
it's what they do 
they remember writing 
is a gift to give away 
right at its creative source 

and they remember 
if they align 
themselves with those 
that feed them 
and would be 
inside the words 
then matter to them 
is a thriving house/
sure to follow 

and they remember 
maybe because of 
or despite it, that 
when we all have 
come to know 
each increasing pulsed 
nightmare of today 
no one can say 
why we're all 
thirsty poets, 
dancing the 
husk and begin
or that these 
are the why(s) 
we always think 
to sin for joy 
and dream aloud in 
how we climb skies 
just to fall again 
as rain 
or how any life 
in service 
might endure 
pain of knowledge or
more love without 
guarantee of return 

EJR © 


  1. "there is no greater surrender
    than when we give in to love" ... Here, I see two options: One, we're giving in to love (a force), surrendering to it; another, less blissful option is that we're giving in, to love (a verb). In the case of the literal motherhood scenario you've set up, I think there's a defeat in this notion. They're going to win. They're going to suck me dry, so I might as well just give in and let them have me, trying to offer as much love to them as I can. I'm trying, but it's exhausting. Then, there's all that you have to give up when you give in to letting your family devour you. The "death parade" feels a little too familiar ... day after day of deaths, really. But then I keep waking up again, which is sort of the worst torture of all.

    "poems, trees, what we" ... Exactly. When you're a mother, the poems and trees have to fall by the wayside for the "what-we?" life of surrender. Sir render. Men get to, I think ... keep rendering. Some women too, I suppose. But for others, they are completely deleted when becoming wives and mothers.

    "this power is wholly/holy" ... I suppose this is the reasoning behind it all. In the beginning, at least. But now the ball has already been set in motion, and I've been flattened by it.

    "ours to wield as we will" ... We might as well go ahead and write out our wills when we sign up for this sort of "surrender." I actually read a book just before I got married (this time around) called The Surrendered Wife. I thought it to be the most beautiful way to live. How naive I turned out to be.

    "the truest/true wist (waste?) fun
    remembers t(w)o" Don't forget you're married, girls. The poets do. Remember? Or forget? Remember. I think this is why poets are often enamored of married women. There's no responsibility or requirement there. Every man is a romantic until he gets married. Not true, of course. But some. My husband was a poet once. And still is, somewhere in there. But life can beat it out of you. Still, you remember writing. Having written. Or maybe this means that if you're truly a poet, you never stop. You never forget that you are a poet first. I am not. I am a mother first. One who dabbles in some word play from time to time.

    "is a gift to give away
    right at its creative source" ... I really like this. As close to the soul as possible. Also, "right" suggests rightness in the heart of the writer. I see a purity of intention in your soul when you write, like a mother offering the best she has (her milk) to her babies ... or her healing hands ... or her tender kisses ... In your heart, you want to give the very center of yourself as a gift to others through your poems.

    "and they remember
    if they align (a/line)
    themselves with those
    that feed/feet them
    and would/wood be" ... Lots of little sneakies in here. A is a scarlet letter. In lines. Poems. Or drawing them. Lines. Also, an A-line skirt. Back to mother. Being proper and ladylike. Feminine. The "feet" reference makes me think of a statue and what its feet might be made of. Heavy metal, or air? Music, or pear(l)s? Is there such a thing as pear wine? Pear stomping instead of grape stomping? Probably not. Or probably so. I would like this mother to make something delicious, something quiet but intoxicating. I picture her as nonverbal.

    I like what you did with "matter" ... two meanings. When you release your poems as gifts, when mothers release themselves as gifts, aren't both given physical substance, even as it is taken away? Also, both begin to matter to somebody when they give, all they have, away.

  2. Effective use of slashes to draw out extra meanings. "Houses" becomes "Who says?" or "How's es?" or "Is 'A' thriving houses?" Have you ever heard the expression that there's no happier wife than one with a boyfriend? That's what I see here. Houses thriving because spouses are getting a little side action. ... Now I see that I misread the whole thing. It wasn't "houses" but rather "house." Singular. So none of the above applies. But it's still interesting. Not at all platitudinal.

    sure to follow" ... I love the idea of a "time-play soul." Maybe "sure to fallow." Or F-allow. Who can ever say, really?

    "and they re-member
    maybe be caws soft
    or de/spite it, that
    when we all half
    come to no"

    "each sin, creasing pull's ed
    night/mare of two day" ... Wouldn't that be cool if there were two days inside of every one (day)? Two lives. One other-worldly and magical. The other, all responsible-like and good-mommy-life-ish. Lie-fish. Lye fish.

    "no one can say
    why we're all" ... no one can say why we real/reel/re-eel ... no one can say why we're real ... What makes us real, anyway? Going outside, I think. Communing with nature.

    "why we're all
    thirsty poets" ... also "why we're all thirsty pots" ... plants, you know; houseplants are at the mercy of their owners; it's kind of cruel, really ... indoor seed slavery ... which could also be the subject matter of a porno. Also Indian whore see-d s-lavery. La very. VA Larry.

    "dancing the
    pomegranate" ... This is my favorite part. Because it's just gorgeous. But it also says "dancing thee, poem granite." Granite is beautiful, but also heavy. "Granite" is a "grey night," inside.

    "husk and begin" ... "busk and he gin" ... He is. You are.

    "or that these" ... tee hees ... I feel like I've forgotten how to laugh, which is not like me at all.

    "and dream a/loud in" ... Love this line. Dream a loud IN. I do.

    "how we climb skies" ... sea-limb ... This is when an ocean creature climbs the sky. I think this is what a poet is. Someone who looks at the whole world and all its inhabitants as if words must be invented to describe them ... as if he/she has no prior knowledge ... like your alien poem yesterday. Looking at the world from desperate-to-describe eyes, pressing themselves against things they've never before encountered. That's you. Every day.

    "just to fall again
    as rain" ... just to fail again, as rain ... That's how I feel. Like a failure at being rain.

    "or how any life
    in serve ice
    might end your
    pain" ... It doesn't. You are so right. It only makes it worse. Whether you're talking about being cold to people, or literally serving drinks.

    "pain of know/ledge" ... but never just jumping

    out" ... This, to me, is about loving in a more moral way, while spending more time outside.

    "guarantee of return" ... gee, you are aunty of ret(ina)-urn :)

    "more love without" ... Really, that is one of the deepest sorrows of life. Living without love. Or worse, loving, but still going without.

    1. So I tried to find a comparative tone
      between failing at or not wanting to be
      a parent with my own feelings
      of being rejected or not
      wanted as a child myself

      I wanted to put the poet
      through the paces
      of all three roles
      or masks presented
      in the poem :
      the ringer of death
      a child's innocent hunger
      and the echo to emptying
      arms of a woman
      and the dark fertile
      seemingingly endless
      provisions of her womb

      using them
      as construct
      and illusion
      to contrast
      and silhouette
      flickering images
      that leave the brushstrokes
      mostly to the reader

      not sure I fully succeeded
      in portraying the sorrows
      and joys sown
      into the fields
      humanity tills
      itself with
      need to be growing
      into itself
      and always repeating
      in cycles ...e.g. rain trees what have you

      I guess the internal drama or question
      of the poem is : is there a point of no return
      when we give to live and love in the eyes of another

      but I do enjoy
      when folks can play
      and romp s you do
      be it a sand box
      or this poem full of words ...

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.