Thursday, November 19, 2015

Walking Summer



Walking Summer





I've been here before
too long ago, too short a time--
encircled by this walking summer, 
where song is never done, where walls
are built from air and touch, where invisible
love strolls in, the unexpected fragrance
of mimosa thrown like gauze across her face,
pollened with invincible yesterdays,
intricate and insubstantial as
the manual labor of a rose.

I know this place
so clean, so far, so obvious--
this moving room where nothing
was ever allowed to stay, yet a
wayward welcome whistles in the
nag of wind that blows my steps this way
to thin path's end, where sun is made
and broken in a day,
a dropped brick like me, once high,
ruined in a cobble of clouds.

These skewered eyes
so still, so heart's-desired when
I stole them from the chimera,
open starry wide at last
to blink up the mist, the mazed
particulate of missing pieces that
mortar so well with tears the
pressed-together whole, and I 
wonder if there soon could be 
a granting of what's needful;

for I only hope to find the lost--
the tilted corners of a child's smile
the absence of regret, the cost
of walking summer that clings
like mimosa gauze to
the shifting faces of my ghosts.




~November 2015









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Photos:  Mimosa, © joyannjones 2014 
Rosa 'Nearly Wild,' © joyannjones 2015



28 comments:

  1. I could just weep. It would be more than easy to rhapsodize about the mastery of craft that it took to produce this, but that wouldn't capture a damn thing. This makes you ache inside, and that is purely a gift.

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    1. Thanks MZ--any time you can give me several whole sentences I know I have done my job. ;_)

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  2. I love a poem that allows me to walk the path of the poet and experience the wonders as they unfold, all the while marveling at the skillful way words have taken me there.

    A few of your phrases, have me in raptures of 'why didn't I think of this?' envy:
    the manual labor of a rose

    ruined in a cobble of clouds

    the mazed
    particulate of missing pieces

    This was a wonderful reading experience.

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    1. Thank you Kerry. Your words are much appreciated--and your sonnet was, as well.

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  3. Wow, Joy, no one writes like you: "a cobble of clouds", "the absence of regret" (oh that is my wish, too!), the "shifting faces of my ghosts". Sigh. Beautiful.

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  4. the cost
    of walking summer that clings
    like mimosa gauze to
    the shifting faces of my ghosts.....wow, this is gorgeous!

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  5. I read that you haven't been writing much. I am so glad that you started again! Very true poetry!

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  6. I wonder if there soon could be
    a granting of what's needful;
    for I only hope to find the lost...

    Great lines Joy! One can only wonder and hope. These are what that keep things going. Going beyond may get things moving faster if only one is certain enough, otherwise it takes the normal run of things.

    Hank

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  7. Joy, am on the train and can't write easily here but agree with all the above comments and especially love the phrases Kerry mentions. It is wonderful to read you in a more discursive mode yet with a great intensity too. Will comment more coherently tomorrow. K.

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  8. I didn't read yours until after i had posted mine. It seems we were kind of on the same wavelength. The opening stanza brought me to tears, and the rest is just as good. I see i must wait until I am AT LEAST *THIS* TALL in order to reach the bar you keep raising. Excellent, excellent writing, full of soul and heart.

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  9. As Mama Zen sd., there are themes your craft intensifies to the highest magnitude; this is perfect all the way through. It sings in that almost nursery-rhyme-wistful mood, a child's garden fragrant with every promise the heart desired. (Elizabeth Bishop's wistfulness here). However, the tapestry blows at the window of that "moving room where nothing / was allowed to stay" -- shadows apleny of the real, the letdown of every empty Christmas stocking. Yet nothing can diminish that invocative power of that enhanting, endearing, never-meant-to-endure place, and so the tapestry hangs on in the kitchen as that thing "that clings like mimosa gauze to / the shifting faces of my ghosts." Bravo, Hedge.

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    1. Tir na Nog?--or possibly just a small lump of brain cells somewhere we have yet to adequately define...thanks B--my son is coming up for Thanksgiving tomorrow, so in many ways, I am being granted at least that portion of my heart's desire, and it is good even if that place is one in perpetual motion--my thanks for reading, and thanks as well for the way your poetry resonates most for those most in need of it.

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  10. "These skewered eyes
    so still, so heart's-desired when
    I stole them from the chimera"

    There are a million and one stories to be birthed out of those lines. The "skewered eyes" that had to be stabbed (killed) before they could be had. How they were so wanted at the taking, but the speaker is not so sure her or she wants them... after they are "wide" open and half dead. The quoted words make me think of the sacrifices we make believing that we must, that they are the only way... but then time and experience carves the scars of our folly all over our faces...

    So many "regrets"... so many "ghosts" wearing each and every one of the mistakes we made... And we too old and too Knowing to claim ignorance.

    This one, my dear Hedge, doesn't just tug at the heartstrings... it rips them.

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    1. Thanks Magaly--I love the way your mind works, and how it caught that phrase , which is one of those that just dropped out of the blue into my poem, and what you made of it--the stories are there, waiting for us to breathe them alive, aren't they? Thanks so much dor your generous reading.

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  11. The build up to that gentle wish is filled with wonderful images.. It's like sepia in words, like thumbing through a picture album of what's lost, I love how you tie back to the mimosa in the end, almost making the wish feel true.

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  12. Like an unending summer...your words are so beautiful and emotive, Hedge!

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  13. This is a very beautiful poem, full of mysteries and longing, infused with a melancholic fragrance, like an old song that makes one sad because it brings memories equal parts sweet and heartbreaking. Love what you do with that gauze, and how even masonry and air are suspended there.

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    1. Thanks, Mark. Always good to see you here, and always appreciate your thoughts.

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  14. Every once in a while I stumble, like a staggering dervish, into/onto some real poetry; my God, Joy, as noted by the folks ahead of me, this wistful, romantic, incredible piece belongs on a plaque, or a tapestry in a royal chamber; absolutely fabulous. I re-read it, & the depths increase, the emotion heightens. Many of your words & phrases, nearly the whole poem, has been highlighted by others, but the lines /a dropped brick like me, once high/in a cobble of clouds/ just knock my ass out; smile.

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  15. Hi Joy--

    The idea of the moving room encircled by the walking summer reminds me very much of one of those Japanese movies somehow--I don't know which one, but where there is some magical place, both good and bad that moves through a similarly magicked landscape--this has such beautiful and subtle word play--it is nice that it is there, but not intrusive--the brick the cobbled clouds, the mazed mortar, the pressed particulate--not really word play--but it is very layered--walking summer itself a kind of play as one wonders whether it is really summer that walks, or a summer that one walked-- but you capture well that kind of longing and nostalgia and grief that comes from being encircled by invincible yesterdays--they really are--and where walls built by air and touch are still unscalable--at least by us inside not able to get through all the maze of the particulates of who we are. We know it's out there--but how to get back to it or ever to it--is probably a more accurate way to put it. The photo is beautiful. Oh yes--and my favorite line probably--the part about the manual labor of the rose--which feels to me to be about how difficult it is to just be fully ourselves--a huge amount of labor--which flowers manage, and they also to be beautiful.

    I'm not so sure I get back to what's lost as not sure I actually had it! Even in the midst, was looking out. Anyway, a wonderfully complex poem, but expressed beautifully enough that I'm not sure one needs to dig through layers to be moved by it, and to get a drift. k.

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  16. The title of your poem 'sang' to me .. from that point, it became a full blown opera.

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  17. Could there be? Could there be? This leaves me with a glimmer of optimism for which I am grateful.

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  18. This is so beautiful...I am in tears. I needed to read this. I am struggling with some inner darkness. I can't gush enough about your talent.

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  19. Hedge, I can't tell you how proud I am of not t only your writing, but of you in general. Not sure I can ever review your writing and say anything new. This is so much quality that I don't feel qualified to say anything but, holy shit, this is a small miracle. I am also just as proud of you as a person, never met you, but I know from Toads and Facebook that your heart is in the right place. Thanks for your support and thanks for for praticipating. Your writing is as good as anything these days are and eyes have ever experienced.

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  20. ah.

    a gem, polished by you, and glimmering even more by those commenting before me.

    perhaps why I don't write so much any more is the recognition that I want what words I spew to matter. not that my little sea-ditty for Shay's do (just a reaction to the first line of the pen, really; a guffaw; a footprint on pavement.)

    but this... you matter, what you write matters. and I have no wish to sully reader's eyes when they can read pens like this...

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  21. I had to come back and read this again. Mercy, Hedge, this is what poetry should be--it rewards the reader on every level, and if one loves poetry, this poem is a feast.

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