Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seedpod





Seedpod





All your cars had names. You could have
called me a knotted whip, waiting
off the Sulphur exit for Argon to pull up, 
blue-green sides mottled with Dallas dust.   

When you showed, we were
strangers till we forgot how
lame things went, laughing around
the farm pond in native tongues. 

You gave me the seedpod of a water-lily,
catacomb of caves on a stick
rattling full with brown-eyed pearls.
They watched me from a vase for twenty years.
 
The day was hot as rooftar in the pot,
the wet air a greasy mop
as we deployed, Argon starting
with reluctance--all your cars

started with reluctance--
disapproving of me there 
in her too small seat.
We drove and talked the sun 

up the noon sky, down its back 
in trickles of salt, sat on rocks 
that felt like clouds by Turner Falls,
talking by touch, by feel, 

by nerve and luck, 
words splashed on dry fields  
dust before and after,
your ribs under the blowing shirt

white as nightlights in the dusk.
Midnight in the tent 
I didn't know how I 
could ever let you go back.

I cursed

what made me fall like water, 
pour out suddenly yes forever, 
cursed what made you fly so high,
the wind that fills the windsock and blows on.

And so, I never found that place again
a quarter mile from the Sulphur on-ramp in the morning,
empty in a nameless car as a lily pod
whose pearls dropped in the mud.



~May 2014







posted for    real toads
Out of Standard: The Poem is a Curse
Isadora Gruye  (The Nice Cage) asks us to write a poem involving a curse. I think. That's what I did, anyway.






Images: Water Lily Seed Pod, Bobbye Wolfe
Windsock via google image search, author unknown.





28 comments:

  1. I really like these sections:

    strangers till we forgot how
    lame things went

    They watched me from a vase for twenty years

    We drove and talked the sun

    down its back
    in trickles of salt

    by nerve and luck

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  2. I can relate to the cars with names, and I'd love to have a seedpod from a water lily.
    And I could feel the heat in these lines as if I'd been there myself:
    "The day was hot as rooftar in the pot,
    the wet air a greasy mop"
    Ouch.
    K

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  3. Hedgy, this one is another poem which is epic in its scope and oddly intimate in its details. I do enjoy the tale of the narrator and the you, and I especially liked the tone, as hot and numb as the landscape. While I did enjoy every line, there were a few call outs I wanted to make here:

    with reluctance--all your cars

    started with reluctance--

    I really liked your choice to place the line break here, as if this were a heartbeat between thoughts, a stumble and recover, whichever you prefer, I liked this so much!

    "the wind that fills the windsock and blows on." this line and a few others are done so well I almost think they are colloquialisms, however I can sense your craftiness a foot! Thanks so much for contributing to the out of standard...this is another masterpiece!!!

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  4. wow. what a piece...love the cars reluctance//its jealousy that you are there...the made you fall like water poured out yes forever...its that you never got back there...but that seed pod, dried out stared at you for twenty years...a constant reminder...that got to me in this...

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  5. Agree with all the commenters-- so many wonderful lines and a great flow of narrative-- I looked up argon which I had heard of but didn't know much a about-- the blue green light etc-- so interesting-- such wonderful segues here, one thing tumbling into another and that sense of youth and loss-- it's wonderful. K .

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    1. No telling how the name came about--it was one of those tuquoise-y VW buses, so I'm thinking the blue-green light is what it was. But it may have been the number 18, or really, anything. Thanks for reading,k.

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  6. I think you turned that challenge on its head - and didn't even concoct a witch's curse! The water lily seedpod is itself such a beautiful image and your love story (if I may call it that) is beautiful too, like a seed's adventure before finally taking root.

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    1. I've written so many witchy curses, Mark--thought I'd come at it from a different angle. There are so many kinds of curses, after all. Thanks.

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  7. Wonderful, I lived the first two-thirds along with you. We even went fishing on her dad's farm pond. Trouble is that her little brother came along. It was a lovely year and a half, my first love. THEN. Her real boy friend came home from being overseas in the Air Force. I let her go, no crying-me-but she did a little, no real regrets nor a curse. Just a little hurt.
    I've lost track of her, no FaceBook, Google, or nothing. Mrs. Jim and I did meet up with her little brother at an Oklahoma visitor center once, she is doing "great". Still no curses, mostly just good memories.
    ..

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  8. As Macbeth observed, curses return to "scotch" their inventors (someone in AA one said a resentment was drinking poison and wishing someone else would die), and down the story line back where the roads fork there is that seething seedpod of a heart with so many possibilities for love. The rival, of course, is Argon, strange name for a car (what ever happened to Lucille or Christine?), so close to thousand-eyed Argos and, somewhere behind that, the poisoned gaze of the Medusa. Was it Argon's fault that the Sulphur on-ramp was lost forever? Could be, though you go easy enough on breezy boys in cars and heap the blame on the Mame in the mirror. But whattayagonnado? I was curious to see what a Hedge might brew for a curse challenge. There's much art both in and to the humility. - B

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    Replies
    1. Argon, the road, the wife, the job,the mistress,the Mission,the music--there are always as many rivals as there are stars in the sky. I believe the name was color-related--his car before that was named Ruby(red, of course) but who knows. Argos and Medusa, indeed. AFA the Mame thing--yes plenty of blame to spread around, but when you curse what makes things work even in a half-assed way, you have to accept the results. As I said to Mark above, I have already written so many witch poems, spells, incantations and curses, I was looking for a different angle. Thanks B, for your insight and for reading.

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  9. I love everything about this poem - you use such gorgeous images and words!

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  10. This brought back memories of an ex who used to name all his cars too. The brown-eyed pearls really touched me and I love your use of the lily seedpod.

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  11. I think this one has just become my favorite of your poems.

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    1. Thanks Teresa. Hope all is well on the farm.

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  12. A story poem ~ for the ages.

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  13. When life is going along just fine, comes the curse of love and how many lives are affected by the ripples radiating outward from that intimate moment, and how many years does one spend counting the cost?

    This is superb from conception to completion.

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  14. Oh, that last image is haunting. Beautiful poem. When I read "The day was hot as rooftar in the pot" I saw "The day was a hat on a rooftop pod" - which would make an interesting collage! Cheers.

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  15. I just finished reading your collaborative book, "Gemini/Scorpio/Capricorn." First, congratulations to you, Shay and Kelli!

    Your voice is so distinct that when I read this poem, I could have guessed that it is yours but perhaps because I just finished reading the book with your poems fresh in my mind.

    Some of my favorites: "Morning Coffee at the End of the Day", "Scapegoat", "Red Shoes", and "The jazzman gets the blues", my favorite. It's so hard to describe why one chooses over the others; poetry, the arts, are so subjective. But I so enjoyed the world you created for your jazz man. It's as sultry as jazz and seductively sad. The visuals are outstanding. It has the singer's Sixto Rodriguez feel to it. Hauntingly and disturbingly real.

    Again, Joy, congratulations on beautiful writing!

    Petra :))

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    1. Thank you so much, Petra--glad you enjoyed our book, and those poems. 'Morning Coffee' is a personal favorite.

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  16. How on earth did you hit on using a water lily seed pod as a metaphor? It's perfect, but...how?

    This section, to me, is a microcosm of what you do so well:

    " by nerve and luck,
    words splashed on dry fields
    dust before and after,
    your ribs under the blowing shirt

    white as nightlights in the dusk."

    Both the sounds of the words--all those r's and s's--and their meaning are superbly arranged to please the ear *and* the emotions. To me, those twisty consonants are the best language for the twisty journey you're describing here.

    Loved it.

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  17. Love can certainly screw things up when it goes sour. I have been married forever, but once upon a time I remember a four door Oldsmobile drove away with my heart.

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  18. I just love how you weave the organic with your story of passion and loss...it's truly riveting, Hedge. Excellent writing...as always. :)

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  19. I love how you use metaphor to describe your deep emotions ~ Nothing is lackluster here, just gems to read again & again ~ Cheers ~

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  20. dazzling.

    this is my favorite piece: can see it -

    We drove and talked the sun

    up the noon sky, down its back

    I'll see if I can rustle something up for the 55. been dry of late... ~

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    1. Know the feeling, M. though what I've read of yours lately has seem pretty well-irrigated to me. Thanks for reading.

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