Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stone


Stone






I know I'll be measured
by the thing I couldn't help,

ruled by an epitaph:
'all-my-fault' on a headstone

completely unneeded; stone enough I've been.
Set upright in light with bloodshed and pain

to show 
there's no safety in darkness,

still, still 
I cover my eyes.


 ~August 2014




posted for     real toads


Challenge: Words Count with Mama Zen
That woman of few words, Mama Zen (Another Damn Poetry Blog) asks us to examine if --and how--we are weird. Not far to look for me. Words have been hard to find of late, but I did manage to drag out 46.







Image: Unidentified standing stone between Millstreet and Ballinagree, County Cork, Ireland
Public Domain via wikimedia commons





27 comments:

  1. Damn. This just sliced me to ribbons. That first couplet is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  2. This breaks my heart, Joy. It's fearless (covered eyes or not), painful, honest and raw. Wow.

    I would have gone with being a gibbon, but that's just me?

    ReplyDelete
  3. there is def plenty that is out of our control...that we will take the fall for...
    the unplanned, unexpected...and yet...we earn our stones in the end
    with all our bumps and bruises along the way....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  4. There is something to be said for owning one's mistakes - takes away the need to live an apologetic life. One of those stones will do for me too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What I like about this poem is that it works so well on a visceral level--we all respond to the pain and self-denigration--and feel it--but you also underscore the meanings with a lot of word play--maybe play isn't the right word--ha! But you know what I mean--in the first couplet, the idea of being measured by the thing I couldn't help--relates to the idea of fault, but also of being measured by that which one fails to do--the thing that one didn't assist, as it were, the shortfall of act as well as ability--For me, when I think of ruled by an epitaph, I also think of being made to fit into the lines--ruled as on a blank page--and of course, it is like a ruling--to be made to fit into those few short lines (or these)--

    Love your punctuation attaching "completely unneeded" to the headstone, but the words also have that weight about them that one feels when unable to help the the one thing (or one's self), although "all my fault" says it all pretty much--

    Finally--and I'm running out of battery--love the play of light and dark--and the two stills, the ongoing and the stationary--agh--I sound so pedantic--ha! Little does anyone know! No, but my point is that you get a lot out of your few words. Thanks. k.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, k. I almost came back and made it 'rolled by an epitaph,' but I liked your reading here better, so left it. Thanks so much for always tearing into the works of what i write and finding so much there that I don;t even think about writing it. And congratulations again on Nice finally making it out of the birthing canal.

      Delete
    2. You are welcome. I am amazed always at the unconscious layers that are held in the words one chooses, and often I miss my own and, of course, others. Language is such a rich chameleon-like thing. I am having some cramps with the after birth, but trying not to worry too much. Thanks again. k.

      Delete
  6. I like the economy of the opening couplet, its double meaning hanging on the unsatisfactory word, "thing": person, task, all-important-moment--all reduced to that "thing". But stones can't cry. There's tremendous pain behind this. Be good to yourself today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mark. For a short poem this took a lot of editing, and that couplet started out much more specific, but I found the vagueness you describe to work better, or just feel better to me in the end. All is well here--life is a trial--and a nice ambiguous term that can be too--but all is well.

      Delete
  7. This broke my heart... honest and open and raw. So well done in so few words.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Every mother will relate to this. I am clocking 47 years now of all-my-faults - there is no mercy even for the aged. Smiles.

    ReplyDelete
  9. OW! I, too, have had enough of stone. Write nothing if I must have a head stone ... and isn't it odd? I too squeeze my eyes shut against an inside dark. Outside, even at night, is rarely that bereft of Light.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  10. The day I eliminate "all my fault" from my psyche ~ well that will be THE day!

    ReplyDelete
  11. …sure you weren't raised Catholic? I imagine every lost kitten or dog you cross is safe with you - or you at least try and help it. Obviously you have a tender heart. It made me laugh a bit at first, but then my heart sank as I understand…

    ReplyDelete
  12. "completely unneeded; stone enough I've been."

    Love that line. It makes me think that our lives--mistakes and all--are the "stones" we live behind. Completely us from beginning to end... so telling.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! I think that "all my fault" epitaph haunted me for a while. Fantastic piece!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Urgh, I feel like that some times, 'all my fault'...

    ReplyDelete
  15. solid, earnest, why does it have to be somebody's fault? sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rarely do we get to write our own epitaph (I love the headstone in New England that reads, "I told you I was sick") -- but it is our one and only life, and when we're gone our remainders will be squandered or forgotten or lost or written or, heaven forfend, edited for length and foreign policy inaccuracies. There's snow man in this rock, this ogham poem: a span of endurance in which little mercy was afforded except for tender small ones. Lots of bleeding and not even darkness to staunch it. Stones have had to suffer the entire wrenching earth story, maybe even the cosmos story (who knows which fell here); hard witness, but whatelsearewegonnado casting these bone ruins about? Of course it's our fault. We live(d).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, B. Laughin @ 'I told you I was sick' I think that one's a lot better than the one I chose years ago--but the point is moot, since it will be a (modernized) Viking funeral for me anyway. Stones seem so forever-hard, but they do struggle, they do face forces of dissolution perhaps more frightening because of how slowly but inevitably they win.The quakes here are getting under my skin, too--I wish I could write about that--maybe one will come. Thanks again for reading, and for getting it.

      Delete
  17. Holy cow (as we say in Wisconsin when we read something amazing). I feel like I've been hit up side the head with that rock. Talk about packing a punch... Stanza 2 did it for me, and your closing lines finished me off.

    ReplyDelete
  18. first, I may, or may not be a gibbon (or the guy who documented the fall of Rome).
    second, I have nothing original to add (which is rather often the case) but wish to say you've weighted each word, and levitated them too. brilliant. ~

    ReplyDelete

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