Sunday, August 4, 2013

Wishing In One Hand


Wishing in One Hand



I wish I had the ruby ring
round the hummingbird's throat,
the hail and promise that sings
to a mate with a scarab green float

and not the rooster's red wattle
that won't even keep the pot full.

I wish I had the filling cup
so lovingly brimmed up
with honey wine and ginger root
and not the rubber boot

from which the piss is poured
of cowboys drunk and bored

before the Leper King
claims that artificial skin
to slog his warty way
through unspeakable muck all day.

I wish most I had the rainbow after the storm,
where hope uncovers the heart and gives it form.



~August 2013








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Challenge: The Poetry of Sara Teasdale
Kerry O'Connor brings the work and style of  the August-born poet, Sara Teasdale, to our attention, and asks for a poem inspired by "the words of this remarkable woman."










Image: Cattleya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds, by Martin Johnson Heade.
1871.  Public domain via wikipaintings.org

20 comments:

  1. wow...what a progression in this...a hard reality yet still you end on the hope of the rainbow, even if just a wish that was what you had...over the rubber boot the cowboys piss pours out of...ick, there is an image for sure...

    smiles

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  2. Oh this is wonderful poetry, both wistful and witty in turns. Your take on form is always spot on and I love the colourful rainbow of images and ideas you have spun within the lines.

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    1. Thank you, Kerry. And thanks for the introduction to Teasdale.

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  3. My word, what a turnaround from the cup to the rubber boot. Though your work is often a mix of the tenderly hopeful and the unstoppably harsh, you write them both with infinite care.

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  4. PS--sly title. I just caught that.

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  5. gosh, i want the rainbow too, not that darn rubber boot.

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  6. Fabulous, especially the first two lines and the last two.
    K

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  7. From the title on . . . this is so clever and wry. Love this, Hedge.

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  8. This is just terrific. A new favorite even. You've got that Teasdale - kind of sound - I think of it as kind of Victorian/Edwardian - and even nostalgia -but take it to your own (grim) places so creatively and vividly. The Leper King took me aback, not only because such an intense image, but a bit un-PC but you are not unsympathetic to him, in fact, seem to be him. Very beautiful close. k.

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    1. Yes, I think there's a political parallel with Baldwin, his complicated, and largely gallant life amid crisis and war, and his iron will, the example of which we (speaking in generalities now) as liberals could benefit from.The body politic is consumed with leprosy, and the right arm is lost...Baldwin fought all the battles he could with his sword in his left hand.

      I have borrowed him here a bit melodramatically, of course. ;_) Thanks for reading, k--glad you liked.

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    2. Well, I didn't know much about him till I wrote this poem and found him in a weird search I was doing...(being King of Jerusalem was no walk in the park, apparently, even without being a leper)and I agree Teasdale has that Victorian-Edwardian-WWI ring to her meter and even subject material.Thanks again for reading.

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  9. I wish most I had the rainbow after the storm,
    where hope uncovers the heart and gives it form.

    I love Teasdale and I really love this poem, thank you.

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  10. Yes...
    And we know which one will fill up first don't we?
    You are a cut above the rest my friend.

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  11. This is a wonderful construct of humor, clever wit, and --hope? A most unpredictable poem, you kept me at attention. The leper king has got me feeling itchy. Really juicy sense-inspired write.

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    1. Thanks, Jane. I get tired of being nothing but gloom and doom ;_) --life isn't, and poetry shouldn't be either, at least *all* the time.

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  12. Oh, wow! Hedge! This is Teasdale with a witch-y twist and I LOVE it!! So many beautiful lines woven with so many bitingly harsh ones...the balance and contrast is great fun.

    The last two lines are the perfect ending...co complete. :)

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  13. the filling cup, leper king, pissed poured, i read it as a journey to an authentic place of wishing for hope, as if it's found because the last couple lines was the thing that really made it sing. wanting hope is a human accomplishment, as other moods may also fill the cup. i see inside jokes in your work here and there, like seeds. love to take a walk with your words...

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  14. Hhaaw...ever git so drunk ya don't remember if you poured beer in yer boot or if you peed in it? A shame to waste good beer, so it comes down to Dirty Harry's question: "Are ya feelin' lucky?"

    (Greetings from cowboy country!)

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  15. i enjoyed how you started with the hummingbird and ended with the rainbow

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