Saturday, July 7, 2012

Undocumented Mist

Day 2: Night Sky



 Undocumented Mist



The night exhales a coolness
that seems foreign after the
hammering heat of the day,
an alien breath wetbacked across
a dangerous border,
speaking another tongue.

So age comes to me running crouched
across the river, buttons missing,
wearing her threadbaring gown,
breathing lines, bending flesh
to slope and flow at gravity's whim,
calling her wares from the rocktop of

a round calcite egg turned silvered stone, 
grit-pocked and bubbled with imperfections,
dirtied in the hard guttered smut of too many
days blown out, all the soft splattering away
from the sun's falling diamond drops.
She's hungry. She's tired as the hour after birth.

I look at last in her eyes, see only another night visitor,
an undocumented gypsy marched thru a hundred
dry gullies carrying her heavy pack, looking for work,
speaking the language of the cool breeze
that mists itself up from the fall
of a too bright day.

July 2012




Posted for   Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub
Prompt: Whatever the Weather
Stu MacPherson is hosting today and has asked us to write a poem in which the weather figures in some way.

If you would like to hear a rather unprofessional reading of this poem by the author, who got tired of re-recording after many tries, click below:






Shared under a Creative Commons License

28 comments:

  1. love how you set the mood with the weather intro...and then the wetbacked alien breath..love also how you describe age with the buttons missing..the meeting and finally looking her in the eye..hungry, tired as the hour after birth... your imagery always blows me away hedge

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  2. You set the scene with the weather , but then took us deep own into a surreal, yet quite reflective journey- it made me think about all those times ive sat on my own on a summers night...just thinking, just reflecting - and in this instance- it was age...or maybe 'the future' that was being confronted....but pleasingly in this poem, age was just another traveller- not yet a companion .... So thoughtful....very much enjoyed

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  3. age, tired as the hour after birth... this is magnificent. breathing lines and bending flesh.
    speaking another tongue wraps back into the language of a cool breeze that mists. I love how this poem screams with clarity.

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  4. Enjoyed your recording Hedge ~ I specially like the second stanza of age coming to you, wearing threadbaring gown ~

    Another stellar write ~

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  5. I don't know about that fallow period of creativity, it definitely is not apparent in this exquisitely beautiful poem. The way that you develop the images, layering depth upon depth of meaning, as you reveal more and more, though the more is mysterious. There's the added layer of political signifiers, which I think you've been exploring lately, which broadens the meaning even more, taking shape in larger contexts than the personal. That aging could be conceived as undocumented, with its connotation of the alien is a very subtle transformation of the language. It asks us to identify the narrator not just as one aging but also as one in solidarity with the dispossessed workers seeking ... what? all that the world could promise.

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  6. I love this, the way you make the language your own, the metaphor unique among the million poems that must have been written around aging.

    So age comes to me running crouched
    across the river, buttons missing,
    wearing her threadbaring gown,...
    (!)

    Your last stanza reminded me of a line Corey (herotomost) wrote once in a comment, something about age being the crueler sister of winter... And I'm thinking now: maybe, but that's before we really get to know her, soul to soul.

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  7. oooooh, 'an alien breath', how wonderful

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  8. yeah, the second stanza does it for me too. but good all around.

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  9. oh wow...great descriptions hedge....love age as the wet back alien slipping across the border....the description of her when she gets to you as well is remarkable...maybe you need a few of these dry spells if this is what comes out of it...smiles.

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  10. I love how you've personified age as a Romany-speaking (or Spanish-speaking) Gypsy, coming in on a misfit breeze, and bringing a change that is troubling but also not all bad. The too-brightness gives way to a cool night, and that's a double edged message I could accept, I think.

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  11. Like Charles I sensed the political amidst the personal and loved it all the more for being able to make both statements at once with such empathy. Beautiful imagery blends with well considered thought to produce stellar poetry.

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  12. I read it twice .. listened to your reading... and I don't see the political but feel the age coming at me with a threadbare gown with a few buttons missing! :) The first paragraph blew me away... How do you do it? I'm in awe.

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  13. I mean, yes, I see the "wetbacks" and over the boarder references, but to me this is what age does... creeps up, unwanted, and remains no matter how hard we try to eradicate it... :)

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  14. ...and with THAT said, I am not making a political statement! ;) I embrace our nationally diverse heritage...

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    Replies
    1. There is a political reference here, intentionally, but it's not a political poem, Margaret, so you're fine. Thanks and glad you got something from it.

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    2. :) I AM getting better. What is funny is watching my husband read these poems... he is very matter of fact and not a "deep" thinker (as he says). But... he does enjoy Heaven's blog... hmm ... wonder why? :)

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  15. Wow. What a great write. What resonated with me most was this sense of being weary with the world and quietly facing age, and realizing it is just another false human construct.

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  16. Tone, texture, temperature married in a fascinating write silvered in a landscape where colors melt to dusk and need is inexorable. Really fine poetry as always.

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  17. powerful evocative. full of character.

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  18. A true realization firmly documented.

    Aging ain't cool. Remember what Neil said, "It's better to burn out ("from the fall of a too bright day") than fade away", but then again "once you're gone you can't come back".

    Anyway, what I'm rambling on about is just that I like this poem and your recitation of it. :)

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  19. One of my favorites- this really captures both the onslaught and the breaks from weather and age and humanity. Maybe I like it because you make age almost a helpful, if bedraggled, figure here--she promises a bit of respite. I'm not sure I believe that, frankly, though your poem is so very persuasive I want to open the window to her. k.

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  20. "The night exhales a coolness
    that seems foreign after the
    hammering heat of the day,
    an alien breath wetbacked across
    a dangerous border,
    speaking another tongue.

    So age comes to me . . ."

    I hear you--another tongue indeed, interpreted by you here as another landscape as tired "as the hour after birth." It hasn't been long. I like the echo of "a two bright day" at the end of the recording.

    Thank you.

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  21. This was another powerful write, your poetry often creates a mythical picture in my mind and it always takes me on a journey. Age coming for you' seems to taunt and lure you in, felt like I was being led into that river with this... Not sure why, maybe to drown in the overwhelming sense of loss?

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  22. So many currents you get caught in the undertow love it

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  23. Especially loved the second stanza and this line too "She's tired as the hour after birth."

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  24. This amazing poem speaks of my experience, too. Age is really the foreign coolness of night speaking another tongue after too hot a day. I love the description of age with buttons missing in a threadbare gown causing flesh to flow at gravity's whim! And surely the hour after birth brings a tiredness like no other. Remember? And don't we go through that again when we fight against this inevitable. But when you look her in the eye, age is a night visitor that seems foreign but speaks the language of coolness after heat. It's gorgeous, it's true. Brava!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you--you really have understood the poem as written, and your comment is much appreciated.

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  25. This is just fabulous, wow. You have captured, perfectly, beautifully, what it feels like to age as a woman. Your words, your poetry, are stellar.

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