Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Unlikely Summer



Phone Struck by Lightning



The Unlikely Summer




It was
an unusual summer.
The heat left town, embarrassed
after a bad opening night.
Sparrows and hummingbirds broke
union rules and danced in the same line-up,
decorating spotlight sunflowers like seeds of glass.
At night, significant rabbits with pocketwatches
came to the back door in top hat and tails, asking
the way to wonderland, but time jumped
upstream wild and fast as salmon in a silver river
and they were ~ always ~ late.

I dialed the broken wheel on the landline
till my digits calloused, to speak long distance to
the empty place where you had been ~  always ~
I got the machine ~ always ~ noncommittally polite
and willing to take a message, but
I knew I'd never hear back, even though
every flower in my garden bloomed
out loud for you in that
unusual summer
where secret thunder on the east
met the lightning climbing out of bowls
of blue cloud, hollow, vast and tortured with swell.

Everything rained and turned to tatters.
I opened my heart to the storm
and it came in,
like Jesus filling a canvas tent,
and the blur and the flicker
fell into my fingers until I became
~all ways ~
dangerous, until
I wasn't safe for birds or rabbits, until
I could touch nothing
alive,
nothing at all.

~July 2013






posted for     real toads
Challenge: Friday Night Raw
Corey Rowley (Herotomost) asks us to dig deep into our toolbox as writers and use technique, different devices and styles to engage the reader, to access and convey the intensity of our emotions. He also mentions some bat guano. I think I got that part down. 



This is also posted for my friend Karin Gustafson's prompt 'a body or bodies of water,' at      
dverse poets 

(She said a rain drop was acceptable, so...)

Optional Musical Accompaniment



Images from Fick'r Creative Commons. Hover mouse for attribution, or click on pic to go to the photographer's flick'r page.



29 comments:

  1. Geeze - such a wonderful poem. This is a new favorite for me, even though it's not as lyrical in terms of rhyme and direct music as some of the later ones - the imagery is so direct, however, and absolutely easy to relate to--universal--though very particular and unique and unusual. The phone --the messages--though honestly - the description of the sky and clouds is probably what most bowled me over and the swell of anger. The Alice in wonderland stuff great, as one often has that feeling in very difficult but important relationships -- that nothing is as it purports to be or as it should be - and what anger and sadness and dearth that brings about--you've got it all here but with a colloquial deftness of touch that makes it terribly easy to follow even as it has these very singular qualities, and deeper layers of meaning. (PS - rain is good enough for me, if you want to do double=duty! Ha! But honestly, the fun is in doing yet another new great poem. For us to read too.) k.

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    1. Thanks, k. Glad you liked, and I will bear that in mind. I have to go brood for awhile I think.

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  2. Flowers blooming out loud, sparrows and hummingbirds breaking union rules ~ wonderland indeed! Amazing poetry, Ms. Hedgewitch.

    ** One of my all time faves Mr. Chester Burnett ~ I have many Howlin' Wolf CD's. What a talent and larger than life guy he was!

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    1. Nobody could howl like the Wolf, Helen. Thanks for reading.

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  3. I love the way you use personification - it serves you well in creating an 'aliveness' in the environments you describe. There is a palpable heatwave at work in these lines too. And you have written many great pieces inspired by Summer heat this month. Here the season seems to force an abundance from the garden, and blooming becomes a sensory torture.

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  4. "I opened my heart to the storm
    and it came in,
    like Jesus filling a canvas tent"

    Damn.

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  5. first, i love the personification in the opening...heat leaving town, hummingbird breaking union rules...that last stanza thoughletting the storm in your heart like jesus...that is a killer stanza....wicked good joy...

    thanks for sharing at dverse as well...

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    1. Just got it linked back, bri. Thanks to K, for letting me bend the rules.

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    2. ah no rules bent...if a glass of water counts then surely....a storm does...all that pent up water ready to burst forth...
      always a blessing to have you grace the pub door...smiles.

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  6. Love the beautiful words and optional unique music from the past...you tube is such a wonderful gift allowing us to fit all the songs in one. Love Ya love it.

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  7. Just magical, superb, the whole poem.

    "I opened my heart to the storm
    and it came in,
    like Jesus filling a canvas tent"

    Like Mama Zen I loved these lines in particular.

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  8. What a fabulous response to the prompt. I loved the refrain "always" "all ways" and kept going back to re-read.

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  9. The opening lines and the closing ones, Joy — amazing! And I love the photo of the old phone for calling someone who is never there anyway.
    Great stuff.
    K

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  10. Remind me not to make you angry, Hedge; this piece really sings, and it zings as it swings from personification to fantasy to the lovelorn; feels, sounds like a Joni Mitchell ballad. It is a keeper, and it slaps the cheeks of each reader, before it touches the heart.

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  11. Wow...its always surprise me how we can pick up the same words, images when channeling creative ideas...I'm totally with you in all this summer show...phone with messages makes it dramatically real...ths for pleasure

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  12. I, too, love the personification. Wonderful write, so many great lines throughout. :)

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  13. Beautifully written Hedge ~ Opening lines are stellar, setting the stage for the unusual summer ~ The poignancy in the second one is sharp, and I like the play on always to all ways ~

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  14. You really take me into wonderland from the beginning. I throughly enjoy imagining the noncommittally polite message leading to a thunderstorm. There is a profound feeling at the end when touching nothing alive becomes more than a bodily death, I read it as a sort of letting go....relief for the calloused digits of the gardener. this is beautifully complex work!

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  15. "I dialed the broken wheel on the landline
    till my digits calloused, to speak long distance to
    the empty place where you had been" Love it. So much in this to love. Awesome write! Howlin' Wolf, love him. I even have a t-shirt with him on it! I got it in Memphis, of course. :)

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  16. Everything rained and turned to tatters.
    I opened my heart to the storm
    and it came in

    Such is the beauty of sincerity and openness. When things are not coming our way somehow things open up. Something in poetic justice is working here! Beautiful take, Joy!

    Hank

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  17. "to speak long distance to
    the empty place where you had been.."

    This one spoke to me the most. The poem is filled with moments we all can relate to. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. i love the rabbits with pocketwatches asking for the way...the dialing the broken wheel of the landline..then ugh...the not hearing back...rain...the falling..opening the heart to the storm....dang...and the not being able to touch anything alive...so thick with emotions...dang it...like thunder and lightning...

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  19. You really build the momentum in this in such a solid way. Drawing me in initially with the wit in the first part and slowly adding depth and intensity up until a very powerful end. Such great storytelling here!

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  20. This starts off playfully, with significant rabbits and birds with union rules, but it doesn't stay that way. Pretty soon there is lightning climbing out of bowls of blue cloud (LOVE that) and like lightning, there is charge and sudden dangerous light, but nothing a girl could hold on to. The heart on auto-dial, with prejudice.

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  21. Oh, I love the tip to Wonderland, then you blow me away in S2 with calling, " to speak long distance to/ the empty place where you had been" and then you destroy me in the closing lines! Wow, so powerful!

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  22. That is a novel.....the beginning of a novel, the middle of a novel or the end, it matters not. You nailed the feeling and tone with a couple of lines and everything that came after was merely another knot in the rope that is securely attached to the ring in my nose. (I put that ring there for you and a few others...you all seem to like dragging myself and hundreds of others to the precipice and daring us to jump). The musical accompaniment was perfect as well. I ask myself all the time, "how is it that I get to correspond with a handful of writers who should otherwise be inaccessible to me or anyone else on this kind of basis." The answer, "is I am just lucky i guess." I love it when you write at my prompts....you have one hell of head on your shoulders and a golden pen. Thanks Joy.

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  23. Hedge, when you dig into that toolbox, you dig! This poem is such a delight to read, to revel in the senses. Flowers blooming out loud, sparrows and hummingbirds breaking union rules by dancing together... so on and so on. Beautiful, with just the right touch of pathos (because what is a poem without it, without longing?)

    And this almost opening line:
    " The heat left town, embarrassed
    after a bad opening night."

    I do so wish I had said that ;)

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  24. Passages of time! wonderful expressions here

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