Saturday, April 7, 2012

What's Here

What’s Here



What’s really here in this sky
besides the opaque mask on possibility
where three birds call and fly
counterpoint to emptiness of eye?

What’s really here in this wood
besides the spines the brambles
the dark night rambles off a cliff
hiding under shadow's sly leaved hood?

What’s really here behind those
headlights turned on me
besides a need to kiss the lens
and ever always be

brighter better, going on 
to something with more glitter?
Don’t write that one line letter
because I don’t want to know.




April 2012


Posted for    Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub

Brian is hosting at the pub today, and has snagged photographer Tracey Grumbach of Nine Acres Design to share her work with us.









Image by Tracey Grumbach
Used with permission

38 comments:

  1. there's almost always more behind all the things we see...and often we're really not aware of it..just sense it running underneath reality like a hidden stream...or we just don't want to see...but anyway...comes to the surface in unexpected moments..fine write hedge..

    ReplyDelete
  2. i love the questions. good questions are the heart of life, since so few answers we have. the wise hardly look for answers, but allow them to arrive on their own. i get that sense how you closed this. so very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  3. what's going on here...that is a huge question and we only have our lens to filter it by and there are so many factors playing into what is really going on...no one line letters for you hedge...smiles..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm lucky if I can write a one *page* letter. ;-)

      Delete
  4. This really makes one think... I really like the progression of the poem and the opaque mask on possibility, one line letter.

    ReplyDelete
  5. imagine if birds could write in the sky and let us know what they are thinking (it would not be good, we are ruining their air) then again, we leave them a lot of garbage to eat

    black tailed fliers

    ReplyDelete
  6. Presence and absence is the weave and vibe for me here, the "opaque mask on possibility" which emptiness stares at us through. The heart is ever Charlie Brown taking one more crack at kicking the football Fate Lucy keeps yanking away from us, running off laughing and leaving us scowling in despair once again in the dirt. Like those little girls who played I'll Show Me Mine if You'll Show Me Yours with me and my buddy in the woods during recess in first grade; flashing us a fast peek at panty paradise while we shivered there with our shorts down round our ankles. Dang you, Fates! Lookin' for love in all the wrong places (read everywhere) is like that, too. And getting close but never quite to the grail castle. The meter is sure, the rhyme scheme perplexing, as presence and absence are wont -- perhaps fated -- to go. - Brendan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, some of that flavor gets into everything, doesn't it, like ants at a picnic? I'm laughin at Lucy flippin up her skirt instead of pulling away the football--probably a more realistic, if X-rated, portrayal of childhood. Sometimes you just have to ask those questions, though, even when the only answer is a one line 'see ya-wouldn't want to be ya.' Thanks for reading, B.

      Delete
  7. I don't know, but this has an indefinable quality that I pretty much envy. So much is suggested yet nailing down a meaning or one-dimensional talking point is impossible. I like the fact of all of that. What struck me about the poem is suggested meanings around possibility, presence, and an absence of emptiness. Or is that the missing link that holds it all together? The suggestion of an all consuming emptiness, though there's also the presence of emotions that border on anger - or so it seems to me. Here, for example:

    What’s really here behind those
    headlights turned on me,
    besides a need to kiss the lens
    and ever always be

    But that's also where I got the idea that you were talking about the need for presence, the being that will always be and not accept some undefined extinction. I've maintained there are several kinds of silence, as I think there are several kinds of nothingness. Perhaps this is a nothingness, a possibility, that poses a presence of something best left undone.

    But... these are vultures flying in the sky, aren't they. in that picture? Perhaps, then, that is message, the deathly scent that hangs in the air and draws vultures. That is another kind of nothingness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the long insightful look at this Charles. I was seeing ravens, but then there's not a lot of difference in that range of black feathers--and yes, emptiness, absence, the nature of substance, pretense, the false face that some are able to wear even when they look in the mirror.Yet we're compelled to search into the emptiness because we can't accept/conceive of the concept of nothing, I think.

      Delete
  8. Thee is always a story beyond what we see...love how you captured that thought so eloquently

    ReplyDelete
  9. There is poetry to be found in the space between the wings, and questions as well. Wonderful play with the prompt...as it always is...and the depth of the conversation is a depth I am not worthy of! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sometimes it is not asking what it is we see, but who it is looking, ourselves. The us in what we see; the kiss of an oncoming headlight. To me, this wasn't just about what we see, but how we see those things in us. And stay away from headlights by the way. Very intriguing write. I really liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You see that sky as eery, or even slightly evil, don't you?
    I know these raptors probably are not the harmless red kites that I have around, which are friendly creatures flying over my head as if part of a corps de ballet. Can't quite tell if the tails are forked or not. But we build our interpretation on our own experiences I suppose.
    Your piano playing video a few posts back, enticed me into making an audio file, and even getting some speakers after all these years.
    I wonder if you'd be kind enough to test it and let me know whether or not it works on your browser.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not evil at all--just empty. Beige-green is not a normal sky color--it suggested a mask to me. Do you mean the Billie Holiday clip from you tube? I'm glad it inspired you--I've tried twenty times to make an audio file and so far no luck. It was nice hearing your poem read. Thanks for visiting, and for giving yourself a name beyond the three asterisks.

      Delete
    2. I needed thinking- time :-)
      Maybe it was a different blog with the piano playing video.Not Billie Holiday. It seemed home made video and at the time I had no head phones.

      Delete
  12. Opaque mask on possibility...

    That grabbed me and stuck with me. I feel like that is the beauty of poetry and photography. The artist offers the work to the world, but each viewer/reader makes the art by seeing it through their own lens and making it their own.

    Thank you for using my image as inspiration. It was an honor to read your words and visit your home here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome. Thanks for allowing us the chance to write from your work, and for your kind comment.

      Delete
  13. For some reason this makes me think of the Tori Amos song that says "Can't stop what's coming/ Can't stop what is on its way". And yet we hope we can. Anyway, that's the vibe I get, here. Something on its way, largely obscured but there, and the speaker calling it and dreading it all at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, when you know that dear john letter is inside the envelope without opening it, because you can just feel it--always on the mark, my dear. Thanks.

      Delete
  14. Hi Joy--the one line letter sounds extremely ominous. (I hate that kind of letter!) It definitely leads one to put an opaque mask on possibility. You just put your hand/pen to everything so well. (And I know that's not a very good sentence.)

    I appreciate the commas. I don't know if you need it after me, but after better is helpful (for this me.) K .

    PS Thanks for Haddam! I think the beginning of that poem a bit topheavy but won't fix until I've got a little time to let it all sink in. Your summer sounded interesting! I once spent a week in Monte Carlo (not in casinos.) Somehow it comes to mind. K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good, I'll take the one out after me. I'm on the same page about letting things sit awhile before revising--and if your summer in Monte Carlo was idle, interesting and full of gorgeous doses of ocean, then it has a lot in common with mine--plus that air of affluence that Connecticut has, like its all a well groomed park.Thanks for reading K, and for writing such a neat poem patterned on my poetic idol.

      Delete
  15. Love these, Hedge:

    "besides the spines the brambles"
    "hiding under shadow's sly leaved hood"

    ReplyDelete
  16. "...the opaque mask of possibility".....great writing, Joy!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I specially like the first stanza - emptiness of the eye grabs me.

    Fine writing Joy ~

    ReplyDelete
  18. Fabulous writing - the mysteries are ever-present - I really loved the first two stanzas that left the questions wide open

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm always getting Dear John letters and I send them right back, cuz my name ain't John.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree the one line letter sounds terribly ominous and the narcissistic void underpinning the sky frightening. I won't posit a meaning as my brain’s playing grief tricks on me this week but will again say you have a gift that is like the pleasure of viewing sea dragons for the first time. Awe struck that they exist and are so exquisite.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You have a way of writing where I really would like to have known, seek, search for what is here. Good work
    http://leah-jamielynn.typepad.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yes, what are there that may spring surprises, Hedge! The happenings that are apparent may well hide dangers ahead. We ought to be wary. Good wise words and great verse!

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, what is really here? Do we not all have our own personal view of reality? What is in the space between spaces? There are so many questions, but without something to discover, humanity is lost, I loved reading and re-reading your poem.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I like this, both the thought and the craft of it, the magic behind the facade.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Somehow the arguments you present in the poem recall to mind that philosophical question about the observer and the observed: "If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around, does it make a sound?" The questions you pose are as profound, and the answers may be just as far-reaching.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love the wry bitterness of the ending, after all those philosophical "What's really here?" questions, as though the speaker in fact senses the answers but, being human, wants to retain some hold on innocence. Beautifully done. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The picture you write about can be seen as empty or full of meaning depending on how you look at it. The poem that you have penned ask this same question about everything we see. We all have our individual perspectives, we all see things differently, what you are asking of us here is to try and see everything and in doing so ask questions of ourselves ...deep and thought provoking...oh...and fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  28. So...I'm just cruising through...quickly reading with my eyelids half open; but dang, they flew open with those last two lines about a one line letter. This has such a crisp air/matter-of-fact write to it. I dig how you had us up; in nature; then, smack, up against the harsh light of urban existence. Yep, enjoyed very much ~

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm just blown away by the flawless beat and pause of that second stanza. Wow!

    ReplyDelete

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