Friday, April 24, 2015

The Shell


The Shell







It feels safe
inside the shell,
playing the still unhatched
whose soft pink mouth will
nurse forever at the sweetest root,
the chick who someday will rise
when time and wing lift high
to test the membrane of the sky;

but the shell has been shaped 
to your greatest 
strength, your smallest breath;

can you,
a  blob whose bones
make a brittle wee house
with only one room,
grow large enough
to leave it?





~April 2015








posted for


Anticipating Mayhem

Write a poem that lets us glimpse into how you ready yourself before facing known troubles, and what you do to cope once mayhem has done its thing.
 
 


Poem 25 for April







Images: Cosmic Egg, 1966, by Vandel Naumovski
Fair Use via wikiart.org
The Egg, 1885, by Odilon Redon
Public domain

20 comments:

  1. I think you are not alone in using this method to cope. Be safe in your little shell and grow gently XXX

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  2. That seems like a good way to handle mayhem. This is a such a good image, even though you take a little poetic license with the aves and mammals, lol. I absolutely love the lines:

    when time and wing lift high
    to test the membrane of the sky;

    and that membrane of sky, linking to the membrane of the egg...good stuff, Hedge!

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    1. Well, I was thinking of an insect, gnawing at the root, Mary, but I don't mind mixing it up. ;_) Thanks.

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  3. Wonderful meditation on the house we must exceed to endure. The mewl of color nestled deep within is all that must do something more with white -- like the white of a next page where begins the next poem ...

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    1. Thanks, B--great poem from you this morning. I am flagging in the April poetic heat. ;_)

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    2. Also this: that there is pink inside that dead white shell makes forward and reverse both true--birth and dying have a pink latency that draws us forward, stretching new wings ...

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    3. Pink is a color with a lot of conflicting associations--sexual, as in your poem, and of course, floral a-plenty, fruit, and the pinkness of the newborn thing--death, I don't feel, wears much pink, unless perhaps in a very sinister, tumorous way, as here my insect mouth may also imply, though, too the bug-baby is enjoying its larval safety just as sweetly as the chick....and inside many a seashell, there is the same pink as dawn. So yes, latency leading us on and outward.

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  4. The transformation from blob to chick is an amazing one. I suppose it is rather cozy in the egg, especially when it has no concept of the world outside the shell.

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  5. Last stanza is my favorite and the little picture goes along with it perfectly. Nice write. :-)

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  6. This speaks to something that lies deep within all of us. The courage of greeting every dawn...always, we find a way to break through.

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  7. I think we all should have the strength of mind to understand when we should take a few steps back, and return to the shell for a while; the recoup, regenerate, lick our wounds... get some moments to think. Life can get so big sometimes... that it helps to go back to being little--in a way--and then breaking the shell with all our growth.

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  8. I found this very inspirational! A tale of safety, yet the need to step outside for real growth to happen. I always love your lines!

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  9. Ah, I love this question. So often in life we must leave what feels safe and/or comfortable in order to grow. I second Brendan's comment too. Just saw a headline stating the obvious: study shows that practicing an art keeps one vigorous as one ages.

    On your poem "Mirror Dream': I did indeed read the narrative as you intended it. I think I was over-thinking the dream imagery of melding the couples to the aquatic elements. And by the way, thanks for directing me to the Fearing poem 'Old Men'--I hadn't seen that one.

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    1. There's quite a good collection of his poems at Poetry Foundation--I read several, but that one resonated the most for me. Thanks Mark--and yes, we do have to outgrow and leave---always difficult and frightening as much as exciting and rewarding. I also wanted to thank you for mentioning that Stevens poem Long and Sluggish Lines--very appropriate for me right now, and helped me write that Old Woman/Love poem.

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    2. Now that I've reread your poem 'What the Old Woman Said' I can see what you mean. And by the way, 'Nomad Exquisite' is one I've admired for a long time. I've been looking into Stevens because I know you (and another writer I follow) admire him so much, and the experience keeps getting deeper. And thanks for pointing out the trove of Fearing material.

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    3. Stevens is an acquired taste. He used to totally infuriate and perplex me as much as he made roman candles go off in my brain, but now I find I am capable of understanding a bit more than when I first started reading him in my twenties. I think he repays the effort he forces one to make.

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  10. This is so different, Hedge. Just really cool.

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  11. Hey Joy! A very interesting cool poem. The idea of playing at the unhatched is a very compelling one, and the reader can readily relate to the idea of a shell that one forms around one's self that is both protective and limiting. What I especially like is the way that you combine naturalism with these ideas--describing the sky in terms of the membrane, and the sucked on root--This makes the metaphor so "sticky"--so tactile--and the blob--oh dear! Could be my brain! Or maybe anyone's. Thanks. k.

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    1. Could most definitely be *my* brain--especially after 26 days of this. ;_) Thank you so much, k, for finding the time to read in detail.

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  12. i'm still trying to answer that question, which probably means, no. ~

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