Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Emeralds For Breakfast


Emeralds For Breakfast





Once you gave me
emeralds for breakfast,
moonstones in the afternoons.
You set gold rings into each ear
each one a twist of  jade-apple sun
summer, inhaled from the calyx chalice
to the hot noise of bee-breached flowers.

Somehow the bright green
spilled; the gilt light dulled
gives way to silver
in the cold-hag's time
when earth sleeps brown
and billowing in surrender
and  there is only winter

staggering to me
my lost lamb, her snow
thin and matted, pulled sleet-grey
lean with a gift of famine,
delicate ice diamonds shivering
cold, cold, around her neck
begging for the garland
of  even my
freezing  arms.



~December 2014









Image: Angelina stonecrop (Sedum rupestre 'Angelina')
Ice Blossoms
copyright joyannjones, 2013, 2014


22 comments:

  1. Such gorgeous imagery! So beautiful, Hedge.

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    1. Thank you Sherry. This is more a word picture than anything else.

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  2. Oh dear--this is a rather sad grim poem, with even winter herself, the poor lamb, freezing--I love the use of the imagery--the garland of the arms especially poignant, and the description of the jangled ice and the little matts of snow==and too the transformation from green to gilt - (always a double-edged word) to silver to really, well, grey. Very well done and it reads a bit like a slide of light or water--everyone is going to like the moonstone afternoons--and those are wonderful --but for me its the noise of the bee-breached flowers that is most evocative. Their color does hum and here especially. Thanks. k.

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    1. Really a lovely rush/onslaught of sounds and images through out. Wonderful read aloud. I have one punctuation thought, which I'll keep to myself. k.

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    2. You certainly are always welcome to share your deeply seated punctuation needs, k. ;_) I admit, this one is very minimally edited or altered from the unpunctuated mess that is my initial work--sometimes I just can't seem to find the right mix of discipline and formality of thought that punctuating requires--and I am still a bit groggy. I'm glad you found some interest in the images--this was a very visual one, and not sure if it does much of anything but capture a winter mood. Speaking of which, hope you are not being frozen out in the wilds.

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    3. I am in the City right now, so it's a bit warmer, thanks. My punctuation point and it is a question as I like the way you've done it, but was a trip of the tongue for me initially, is the semi-colon in the second line of the second verse. The trip for me is that you use the first spilled as a true verb and the second dulled as an adjective. (I think.) And I think that works very well--it is interesting to use them in these alternative ways as the words have something in common, so you get a kind of double-edge there in the trip. But at first, I did find it a little confusing. Now I like it, and am not sure that you should change it, as you probably like the ambiguity, but one of my thoughts was to use a period instead of the semi-colon--that would make the different usages very clear--the second thought is, if you did not want the spilled to be a verb, to use a comma.

      On the other hand, as I've said the ambiguity is interesting too and I can understand it better looking at it more closely. Anyway--that's my punctuation thought, but I'm not actually making a suggestion. k.

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    4. Yes, your reading of verb/adjective is the one I had in mind. I am trying for some transitioning there that is not in my mind a full stop. I am probably something of an abuser of the semi-colon--it used to be the dash, until I decided my poetry is not flamboyant enough for dashes most times. Thanks for the feedback, k. It's always instructive.

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    5. YOu are welcome. I think the little trip that comes from the verb/adjective is interesting and brings a re-focus-- I do like dashes though! But they are much overused I think, whereas semi-colons are rather lonely somehow. (Ha.) k.

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  3. Maybe we're most homesick for the place buried under Christmas, at the far end of the rainbow from the manger ... deadly and dreadful and cold but there's never a chance to something of ourselves -- another bleeding? Comforting our lonely cold winter waif, of course. Who else will? A garland is still a garland, cold supper still a meal. Still, a little emeralding in the mix would be nice instead of those ice diamonds.

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    1. Yes, there's something very orphaning about winter, unless you take it in and feed it and warm it at your breast, and then of course, you have to be some kind of Snow Person. I do miss my green. Thanks for reading, B, and apologies for not being too on the ball of late--getting over a bug and forced into the X-mess follies, which can't end soon enough for me. ;_)

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  4. emerald - a frozen green, a hardened memory - truly precious in the way that diamonds, in their fabulated scarcity, are not - and that thin garland. fantastic imagery ~

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    1. I've never liked diamonds much--they seem like stones turned to ice water, or maybe vice versa. Now they are making 'candy-colored' ones though, and somehow that seems even worse. Thanks, M. Appreciate the read, and hope you are getting some respite from the long work hours.

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    2. Oh, the hours were for the event. Back to more or less normal, whatever that means, until next week, when we ramp up for the Rose Bowl week of sales. Sorry to learn you killed the starter. :( But it sounds like your patient husband will just start anew, and soon you'll again inhale that scent. As for candy color diamonds... oy. ~

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    3. I know! It's so obviously bogus, plus it encourages that strain of childish greed and acquisitiveness and prolonged immaturity that consumerism these days has made its goal--no difference between that twenty-five cent chocolate you wanted as a kid and that pink-purple-and -turquoise necklace that costs twenty-five grand.. I'm glad to hear you are not forced to work like that all the time--much easier if there is respite. In the nursery industry(um, plants, not children) we have what is called the Hundred Days of Hell--from the first glimmerings of the end of winter til May or so, when everyone wants to plant flowers which most of them will later kill. Knowing it will end is all that makes it possible to go to work.

      PS Yes, the new starter is coming along nicely, and gave my husband an excuse to buy some more starter-making accoutrements, so all is well. thanks for looking in, M.

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    4. I wouldn't actually mind working like that more. Could use the, ahem, dough.

      As for those 100 days, I was a frequent contributor to your fellow nursery-folk's woes last year. And, yes, mostly croaked.

      Here's to the solstice, and to more light. ~

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  5. You've covered the cold emotions in a most fantastic way...

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  6. We witness the morph of life into non-life with each turn of the seasons and it never ceases to fascinate. At least we may retain the memory of emerald through the grey months, and open our arms to share warmth. Such a lovely poem.

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    1. Thank you, Kerry. So good to have you back.

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  7. heh...and intriguing step through the seasons in your story of life...some really cool touches along the way...the garland of your arms...and the gift of famine, two parts that jumped out at me....

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  8. The lamb and the freezing arms as a wreath really hit me. Wow.

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  9. This begins with riches and devolves into ice and tattered remnants. Poor lamb, what an image. It makes my heart ache.

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  10. Is it odd that I find such hope and light in these dark lines? There is something under the surface here, something I can't quite pin but that gets my blood flowing. (Much of your work brings this flutter-beat out, I must say!).

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