Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mimosa Afterburn



Mimosa Afterburn



After thought after hope
after pink and blue divide,
after the rain, after the slide,
twilight remains
light washed from the sky,
a grey tide dyed. Curled

in leaf and branch,
unbutterflied,
alone,  heads bent,
mimosas finely drawn,
pulled as purse strings,
gather dawn; autumn

bagged in a crumpled
Escher sketch.
Mimosas, like the old
already feel the cold;
chilled closed as yellow
bedsheets

in a house about to fold.
There used to be a paper made
for typing when I was young,
crinkled, nubbled, stiff,
translucent, easily torn; now that's
my skin, not parchment

made from sheep, 
but the overworked
soft detritus
of trees.


~October 2013






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Weekend Mini-Challenge: Denise Levertov
 Kerry O'Connor has given us the poetry of Denise Levertov, born in October, to work with today. This is not particulalrly written in her style, as I'm fairly sure she seldom if ever used rhyme, but comes from the mood she left me after reading several of her poems, linked above.




Photo: mimosa yellow,  © joyannjones 2013


20 comments:

  1. I especially love the link between the mimosa and the yellow bedsheets - I would be immensely happy to sleep wrapped in the scent and colour of mimosa. Aside from her more political pieces, Levertov shows an abiding love and appreciation of nature, and you share in that, both in life and poetry.

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    1. Our mimosas here have pink blooms, but they do smell wonderfully--right now, as the weather gets cooler, the leaves are just slightly tinging yellow, but I know there are many varieties of this tree, and the photos I've seen of the yellow ones are just gorgeous. Thank you, Kerry.

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    2. Oooh! Pink mimosa! Sounds divine.

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  2. Are you referencing onionskin paper here? I hadn't thought of that in decades, but my father used to keep a sheaf of it in his desk drawer, the very desk I am using as I type this. What a blast from the past. That and carbon copies and fountain pens.

    The mood of this piece is so soft and autumnal. Yes, it's less vibrant and colorful than high summer, but it has its calm beauty, too. In any case, as you seem to be saying, it's reality no matter if we like it or don't, so we may as well accept and ease into it. Go with the flow, we used to say, not really understanding how affected by that flow we would one day be.

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    1. Yes, onionskin. For some reason (totally non-age related, I'm sure---) the exact word escaped me when writing this. Thanks, Shay.

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  3. I like the drawing of mimosas to autumn season ~ I can feel those cold yellow bedsheets ~ Fine work Hedge ~

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  4. nice...i really like the turn to personal in the end joy...the house about to fold, the cold bed sheets....the seasons of nature and the seasons of life...all coming back to the trees...smiled at the escher ref as well...

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  5. I love your language. You're one of the most musical poets I know. That endless folding over the "old" sound is very pleasurable here. I used to like Levertov a lot, but haven't read her in years. Will go to the Toads link when I get a chance.

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    1. Thank you, Mark. I also hadn't read her in years--she is quite worth the reconnect.

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  6. Hey Joy--this poem has such music --the rhymes and assonance work to create a feeling of folding in upon itself in that Escheresque manner or in the loops of the flower--loops isn't the right word, but that type of tight petaling--I love the opening -- the description (to me) of sunset-or day closing with the pink and blue divide, and the grey tide dyed--so clever--but not precious.

    Also, the thought of even the flower getting old, feeling cold, makes it seem so human, and of course, moving on to onion skin skin-- it is very nice not to be from sheep -- (vellum, is it?) but to be from the detritus of trees-- there's that feeling of independence there, and loneliness-- At least to my mind, a tree, even in forest, feels more on its own than a sheep!

    It's a beautiful poem. There's a wonderful poem by Billy Collins that it made me think of--you may know it--about the sheep that are going to be made into the vellum for the King James Version of the bible -- Matthew Tindall? --I'm going to look it up--it doesn't so much relate to this, but there is always something so interesting to me when a poet writes about the page--here your page is part of your landscape--and even the metaphoric time of day--very nice. k.

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    1. Here's link--it's not really at all like your poem--none of the music and you have a different kind of searching quality--but you might enjoy as it is kind of funny--Flock--

      http://inwardboundpoetry.blogspot.com/2006/06/131-flock-billy-collins.html-- you may know already--sorry. k.

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  7. No, I hadn't read that one. It is rather amusing, though maybe not for the sheep! I almost always disagree with Collins, so find him frustrating to read, though he has a very distinctive style and great talent in expressing it.

    Thanks for reading this one--it's been so long since I wrote one that was easy, I'm not sure how good it is, but glad to hear you find some good things in it--you have definitely grasped the points I was trying to convey. Your own Ode to the Great Pumpkin was delightful.

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    1. PS That was a very cool blog you linked to--not far above the Collins was a Levertov, and just a whole wide variety of others. I bookmarked it. Thanks!

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    2. First, thanks re pumpkin. I often think easy is itself a sign of good, as is also for me, memorability--if I can remember some lines afterwards or even say the poem to myself, I usually feel like it has been a good one. (Not that this happens that frequently.) All of your work is wonderful--this has a special music. (Some other poems have it too--it is a great strength of yours.) What is a especially nice here--different maybe--is a kind of intimacy--not being sure of the name of the paper--whether or not you knew it, it works so well--

      I actually think this was a super hard prompt. I have heard of Levertov but never really read any that I was conscious of or remembered--I think it is very difficult. I am not a huge fan of the Black Mountain School--the ones I do know--maybe because Creeley seems always to me to be a very male poet--at least he's the kind that men I've known like and maybe that's why I have a bit of resentment! I do like a couple he wrote about his wife. Agh. Anyway--good job. (I did not know the blog--so will have to check it out.) k.

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    3. PS - not to say she--Denise Levertov--isn't really great. I'm plenty impressed. But hard to write from as a prompt! k.

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    4. I agree--I sometimes do write in a poet's style, but usually as a pastiche--so I wasn't really focusing on that aspect of the prompt, which totally is not easy. I don't know much about the Black Mountain School--I'm pretty sure my readings of Levertov were all anthologized political stuff back in the day. I so know what you mean about the aggressively male poets! There is one I have real problems with but can't recall his name atm. Thanks so much for your words of support and encouragement, k. I think we all feel we are writing in a vacuum at times--helps a lot to hear your feedback.

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  8. vellum, onion, and the sheer near-terror of tearing our skins, Hedge, yet subdued and patient, and reminiscent, with the rhyme, of the patterns and bounces as we bound or tumble to the close.

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  9. Tried but just could not compress-- making me more admiring of your simplicity here-- just could not! I don't know. Maybe more time needed, or less. My first version was simpler but felt rather hackneyed. So more admiration for easy! K.

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  10. After thought after hope
    after pink and blue divide,
    after the rain, after the slide,
    twilight remains

    Lovely (cool) autumnal feel to this poem

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  11. There's so much of transition in this for me--twilight sky, branches loosing vestiges of color, the bare tree bracing for the coming cold season, and the final two stanzas, so objective and (almost) detached in describing not only the writer, but the very medium of writing-the paper- as the final life-form of some tree. At first this seems understated, but as the end nears, the emotional impact comes forward. Excellent from first to last.
    Steve (no need to visit back--nothing posted on my blog this week.)

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