Monday, March 3, 2014

Blue Beads



Blue Beads






On the nightstand
a string of blue beads--
my spectacle leash, lazy
lanyard of the lenses now
an arabesque abstraction arcing
in its fall, Picasso-blue shadowed sinew
curled like a snake of glass, its antic form
elastic, never quick but still skin-warm.

I wore blue beads once,
blue beads I strung myself,
cobalt, cornflower, azure as a fjord,
seed beads from machines, trade beads,
flamework beads all berried on a cord.
Each globe or tube felt like a cerule bit
of some far kindred lake-blue kelpie's spit.

I wore blue beads once
I strung myself, around my throat;
I took a needle up and ran it through
each heart-tunnel. Each centered hollowness
opened to the string to kill its separateness.
I joined them piece by piece to make one thing,
one winding measured entity of blue.

I wore blue beads once
across my cooling breast, shortly after
the work of forming the heart was done.
Their order mocked its pinkly freckled white
and mimicked its blue veins, its baby sun
all lampwork  and capillaried lace,
each rivulet seeking, hot and uncongealed,
a cracked vessel that had never been annealed.


~March 2014


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Process notes: Flamework is another name for lampwork, a technique by which the designs on some glass beads are produced. Annealing is the process of cooling down formed glass gradually to resolve internal stresses so the piece will have structural integrity and endure.




Photo: Blue Beads, copyright joyannjones 2014
All Rights Reserved.


29 comments:

  1. These blue beads are almost a rosary for love -- almost, in the way of the heart's imperfections, properly joined here, added, consumed, though never quite united in the manner they were intended for. Jewelry - costume or couture - can perfect that yearning, but it can't complete it; it's like an opened door with history on one side and mystery on the other. At least, it's worn that way, though on the nightstand of memory it's probably the other way around. There's a playful cadence here, toying with the rhymes, not strict but idly iterating; to poem is beholden to both making and forsaking, which is probably what those blue beads have come to be. An annealing. Nicely crafted, Hedge.

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    1. Thanks, B. Jung says one of the symbols of self--intrinsically whole, enduring--are stones. Here they also partake of the functionality of craft, round things complete in themselves, but made from all kinds of other things and by different processes, then transformed yet again by being combined and arranged.. Our best designs often come through heat and painstaking application, only to scatter back to individual atoms if the string is snapped. Maybe my fascination here is with the infinite ways they can be restrung. Thanks for your insights, as always.

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  2. With the people I love most, I always see them both as they are and as they have been, according to what I know of them and their story, because isn't that what we all are? A person of the present standing on layers of layers of who we were, the former person who is still there in many ways? Only knowing who someone is *now* is a little like walking into a movie an hour late.

    Your device of the blue beads and how you morph them from a chain for eyeglasses back through time to jewelry or even hippie love beads is extremely clever and effective. Each bead loses its separateness to become part of a larger whole (interesting that you use the word "kill"), and human beings try to do the same, but we are always and ever separate at the heart of it. So why do our very vulnerable hearts yearn so strongly for connection? It's a set-up, I say. Or something. What a beautiful blue poem, Joy.

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  3. Beads can be a fascination, worn for the occasion. What after having strung it oneself! There's the satisfaction! Nicely Joy!

    Hank

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  4. Joy, A wonderful composition, each stanza is measured, understated, transparent--the blue beads reflecting something of you in each of them, different, but unified. This has great beauty and style. An instant favorite for me. Well done.
    Steve K.

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    1. Thank you Steve--one of those middle of the night poems.

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  5. joy, love how you use the beads in this...and in their making, pushing the needle through the heart of them...it all becomes evocative and a fine extended metaphor as well...connection is important...i dont think we have to lose our uniqueness in it...and we become something more in joining...

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  6. "Picasso-blue shadowed sinew
    curled like a snake of glass" beautiful line.

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  7. On train but wanted to say that it is wonderful that the beads are now attached to glasses -- a mature way of seeing the world-- and that my favorite lines are the entire last stanza probably-- the outlines upon the white freckled skin and imitating the veins and the congeal- anneal rhyme. Out of reception any mo. K.

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  8. This is flawless, Hedge. The alliteration in the first stanza, the word choices in the second, the progression of the entire piece. I see this as one of your best.

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  9. lazy lanyard of the lenses...
    One of many superb examples of alliteration in this poem. The gorgeous language spills over the page like the beads themselves bright and eye-catching.

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  10. "berried on a cord"--Luscious! I like the lanyard linking these beads and the past ones through Ls and As and Picasso's Blue period. I like the parallel of beaded neck-lace and heart. Love beads. Such innocence and hope.

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  11. I read in awe of the fine wordplay in the first stanza, and the growing metaphor of beads to a life lived......such a beautiful blue poem, full of wonders. I like Blueoran's likening of the beads to a rosary of love. That is what it feels like to me, too.

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  12. One of my favorite aspects here is how you circle back to the skin in the last stanza. I also reflect on how different a necklace is from a string of beads, how the making of something begets a deeper understanding of that which is made.

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  13. So musically written...about beading...so passionate....I've been doing macrame with beads for couple years...know, how one can be addicted to these colors, shapes, textures....~ exclusive poem.

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  14. Each centered hollowness
    opened to the string to kill its separateness.
    I joined them piece by piece to make one thing,


    The dreams one has of being taken care of this much, of being loved this much to be made whole.

    Love it.

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  15. Art within art here. Fabulous!

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  16. This pen also reminds me of the lazy blue of a river, a current both above and below, and you carry us along until shooting us over the rapids in that 3rd stanza - to kill the separateness - what a smart image. Loved this ~

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    1. Well read, M. I actually almost used the word river up there in the fjord line, but was distracted by rhyme, and also had those rivulets going on at the end and it got awkward. Thanks for the kind words.

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  17. I thoroughly enjoyed this and ditto the comments to you.

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  18. love the selflessness of losing individuality and becoming a united whole....

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  19. Blue Beads...And nothing else?

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  20. This is a wonderful piece. I love the alliteration, and the repetition holds it together like the beads you've strung together.

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  21. Love the last stanza especially, the beautiful contrast between jewelry and skin. There's something cruel about the objects we make, it's in the way their beauty not only persists in time but sometimes deepens, while the maker decays. Mama Zen is right - this is beautiful poetry.

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    1. Thank you Mark. Yes, that is the contrast, indeed.

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  22. I wrote a bit of a funny homage about real poets writing words like blue beads--only meant in positive ways--I don't think anyone would get but for this comment--and probably won't see it anyway. But you might notice so acknowledging head on. k.

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    1. I tried to read your poem, K, but have had a thumping head all day and I know I am not appreciating it the way it should be(--also, the c-word is not one of my faves), so not commenting till in the morning when hopefully I am feeling less jaundiced. If you wrote those words before reading this poem, then no acknowledgement is needed, of course. If you wrote those words referencing this poem, than an acknowledgement would be appreciated, though of course, as you say, no one will probably even notice. But that is what I do when I (knowingly)reference someone else's words in my own stuff--just manners, and sometimes it even helps things make sense. Which this comment probably isn't, because things are not working well above the neck atm. Thanks, anyway, and always glad if anything I write is ever helpful.

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