Saturday, January 21, 2012

Harmless



Harmless



Harmless, she is, so they say.
She used to know her name
and write it too,
knew fruit from flame.

Useful she once was
in every way
now harmless is
the highest praise, they say.

The worry came when
she locked herself away
alone in a red-ribbed room one Saturday
all the better to parley and to play 

with what had bordercrossed the air
hungry for her firefly flick'ring care.
The voice that was 
its far fey self declared

within her voice, answered
its sudden, unoccluded prayer
with her mad laugh
her tousled hair;

but she's harmless,
even happy
so they say.

January 2012

Posted for   Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub
where Claudia gives us the prompt today to write of crossing borders, and what we find there. Link in is live till midnight Sunday.


Image removed due to possible copyright issues.

27 comments:

  1. So they say...this one hits me quite hard. I am always happy too! (so the people who have never read what I write think) and I have learned that if you can plaster a decent enough smile on your face, most will leave you alone, content to ignore, because, after all, it's proof that you're okay...right? I have to laugh at your tags, my piece started out being called born to run...Loved the piece as always, Joy...

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    1. i never want to be labeled harmless...smiles...sounds like a descent into madness just a bit...which is a wee bit scary...my mind i never want to fully lose...but a little crazed with play maybe...smiles. nicely done hedge....

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  2. I, too, check out the tags, both for their entertainment value, and for the clues they give to the deeper meanings.

    That opening stanza is priceless...fruit from flame! Either can be forbidden, so they say.

    She's happy? Maybe. That depends upon looking more deeply than "they" are wont to do.

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  3. oh my god..this breaks my heart...is she happy? is harmless what we want? somehow hit me heart in the stomach. you step back here as the narrator, there's quite a distance and there isn't... felt write hedge

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  4. Perfect write of one's decent in madness. Some wonderful images here, Joy.

    Pamela

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  5. Sad poem about people who cross those too easily set boundaries of imagination and reality. Going thru the mirror captures some, never to let go in the land where what could be is but never should be. You wonder how or if people get loose of the hold, or even if they should. But we must always beware that the illusion they live is not indeed a reality that should be real. In the land of the real, we might not always just want to know:

    She used to know her name
    and write it too,
    knew fruit from flame.

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  6. Useful, but not harmless;
    Don't ever care "what they say"...
    and certain not what 'he' do.
    Mad, wild, hair kept...unkempt
    eyes burning with fiery glaze
    Whole body yearning
    for those olden days
    forgotten not, nor left behind,
    This is ME, of course!

    You, writer Hedgewitch, joining with others to make the BIG THREE, IMO!
    Thanks for letting me ramble on your comment page!
    PEACE!

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    1. Any time Steve. Always good to see you here.

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  7. When I finish reading one of your poems I always think, 'I wish I had written that!' And never more than now. This is...amazing. And the image you have with it is amazing too.

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  8. Harmless is the aspiration of many women and that alone can drive one over the boundary of sanity in a society steeped within an oppressive paradigm. Sorry, my feminist high horse is along for the ride today. Regardless of my bias the poem is a tensive look at the borders of relationships and expectations. This woman had to retreat to assert her side of the argument which, not surprisingly, amounts to a fated, doomed withdrawl. Excellent, pointed, frightening, and impressive.

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  9. Very sad, as I think of what she must have once been. It sounds as if people think she is 'mad,' but I think of Alzheimers. I think of my cousin, once a brilliant woman, and can weep. She too, before she passed away, had that 'tousled hair.'

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  10. An evocative piece...it gives you pause to think about all the steps before becoming harmless...so they say...very sad!

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  11. Stellar observations on the transformation of a self into a voice, I think - just a hedge witch, you know, capable of charming poesies -- harmless, I suppose ..Though what we enter in the core three stanzas (2-4) shows there is wolf-fang and mandrake in the mix ("alone in a red-ribbed room" ...with that "sudden, unoccluded prayer") shows that walkers by the hedgerows ought to, um, cross> themselves if a fey breeze comes their way; the magnitude of eternal maternal is just behind it ... So so good, H. - Brendan

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    1. Thanks, B. For the kind words, for reading, and for getting it.

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  12. The whole concept of 'normal' is far, far too narrow.

    Nicely written, thank you.

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  13. Harmless or not, its hard to say. But if she is happy, who is to say she is crazy. I like the picture...it had me flipping up and down along with your words ~

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  14. Wow! That's it. Just WOW. Wish I could come up with something fancy or philosophical to pen but I am just a simple writer. Besides, I think those before me said it all. :o)

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  15. i would send this to my mother but im not sure of the repercussions that would ensure from her unhesitating ability to read way too far into every i say. ;)

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  16. Well, this scares me absolutely to death. There, but for the grace of Big Pharma, go I.

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  17. This is hauntingly beautiful... I love the flow in the first two stanzas, and then there's a shift... makes me think she's possessed.

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  18. Knew fruit from flame is such a telling line. Beautiful. K.

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  19. After re-reading this a few times... I really tried to find the story within the story... this poem really pulled me in deep for some reason... very good write:)

    ~L

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  20. Thanks so much everyone. I truly appreciate the time you've taken to read and comment. I'll be back on the trail tomorrow if I haven't been by yet.

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  21. There's a world of sadness and of worry in those last three little words, all beautifully brought to a head in the lines before. Splendid work.

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  22. You seem to tap almost effortlessly into the psyche, the hidden flaws which are belied by an "I'm okay" exterior. This makes your writing so gripping, as the words fall within the range of shared experiences. Her sadness is palpable.

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  23. I really like this:

    "with her mad laugh
    her tousled hair;


    but she's harmless,
    even happy
    so they say"

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  24. There's a fine line between creativity and madness (so they say). Sometimes I think the ability to cross over and back is what makes us creative.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg