Thursday, March 10, 2016

Gravity


Gravity

"when I do fall/I'll be glad to go..."
~Jesse Winchester



Gravity
is not a friend
to planets in shards
to mud-sided hills
or its opposite,
frivolity.

It's a cliff-pusher, 
a  shrinker, a compressor
 able to blow every ruffle out
even as it rucks skin into pleats
 and blind alleys, an old sack under
its shuffled foot.

When hunger 
looks out of your eyes
seriously smiling,
there is always a force
behind the aspect
opposing

that works to make
me faceless,
out of nourishment;
one final bounce
of the deflated ball
landing after its long fall.

~March 2016




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Photo: Personal Moonscape, © joyannjones 2015





18 comments:

  1. ah, I was hoping you'd add your voice - and glad you have.

    I've read this aloud 3 times so far. it's so - human - especially with the turn midway thru the 2nd stanza - how you take it from the big to up close (as the image you chose).

    we might choose to oppose gravity - but to what avail? ha - none. it's not frivolous, it's serious, this long fall...

    and yet, as Cohen notes - we seek out that seriousness, don't we? embrace it (for what other choice is there?) ~

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    1. What indeed--the best comedy even is that which draws our attention to the serious. And I'm afraid we're all appearing in a bit of a (tragi-)comedy when all is said in done. Thanks for the inspiration M--always grateful when I'm able to just sit down and write without a dozen revisions.

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  2. Hi Joy--I found your second stanza especially powerful here, as it brings up such strong images of the trampling of the human sack (such as we are) by gravity. The blind alleys seemed almost a throwaway and yet is terribly powerful in the context of skin and bodies.

    The you and me in the last two stanzas are strong characters as well, the me that can't provide seems out of nourishment for its self, but maybe more so in the face of demand. And the deflated ball, long fall, also so suggestive--to me, it seems a fall from grace, and the deflated ball to return a bit to the planets in shards, planets not being so great at bouncing. Thanks as always--glad to see you back. k.

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  3. Your poem caused me to think of the gravity of those who are undernourished...as their beingness succumbs to that type of awful inevitable falling. I know that's probably not what it's about...any way, it's powerful and as M said "so human"...I agree.

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  4. The second paragraph really speaks to me. Gravity is ruthless and will make things conform to its pressure or else.

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  5. I love your tone...and opening quote grabs me. Awesome image of gravity rucking skin into pleats.

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  6. Gravity and time, two things you cannot beat, no matter who or what you are. And you've conveyed this masterfully...

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  7. Gravity (at least as we know it and under the conditions of our own planet) is so very final. I love how your poem suggests that to even think of battling gravity or its effects is not just contrary, but also frivolous (and silly, if you ask me).

    I really love the crossed-arms-raised-eyebrow tone of the first stanza.

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  8. I love the serious weight of this as is falls to its inevitable end.

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  9. That first stanza is flawless.

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  10. there is always a force
    behind the aspect
    opposing

    Hunger is not something to be taken lightly. Survival is a potent force that can impose various issues on those affected.

    Hank

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  11. So much about equilibrium in how gravity keeps everything from just floating up to heaven. How could we appreciate such easy happiness? What gratitude is there in staying sober without the downward haul of dark thirst? What's the bliss of Yes without all those No's? But equilibrium just for equilibrium's sake becomes just the fated falling. No frivolity without gravity, of course, but no hunger without bones to gnaw? Hard indeedy to agree with Rilke in his Tenth Elegy when he declares that a happiness can fall. Unless one has the mind of winter ... and dance with the freeze of it all. Lots of power in that, for sure. Maybe too a delight. ... Anyhoo, there's a bounce to the stanzas, their cognitions, which resolve perfectly in the last line with that deflated ball. What's bounce without deflation? Indeed.

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  12. Especially love how you pull me into your poem in the first stanza, and then use the metaphor of weight thoughout your whole poem...

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  13. Great depth and truth in your words!

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  14. I love the word 'gravity'. It has such weight (no unintended pun) and beauty. You have extrapolated that concept into a poem of fine quality, very human (and how brave to include your personal moonscape) containing both a sense of the force and fall. I know the ease with which your words fall upon the tongue belie the incredible amount of work that goes into making poetry this good.

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    1. Thanks, Kerry. Using a word list is not always the easiest way for me to write, but for some reason this particular grouping seemed to fall like dice shot out of the shaker, which is always a relief as well as a pleasure. I did spend some time agonizing here and there though. ;_)

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  15. That ending is ideal, and conceived as only you can do. A deflated ball, who writes poetry using an image like that? You do. Bless you.

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  16. Gravity...it is nature and the effect people have on others. Somehow we find the resilience to deal with its pull or enjoy those moments when gravity is what it is and the heart builds on it. This is powerful, beautiful..

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