Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lead Balloon

Lead Balloon

Zeppelin among
red balloons
in a whip cream sky,

buffoon baboon among
soft-eyed lemurs

graffiti’d wall above

puddled jellyfish
on the white beach

she knows

no one looks at
her face
she knows

fat girls
have to put out
she knows

all she has
is between her legs
or in her purse 

she knows 

it doesn’t matter

in the ten minute funhouse
mirror of their eyes
she can see

bent, elongated, fuzzy

what she could have been
if she were real.

December 2011

Posted for    Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub
Brian's hosting a prompt this weekend featuring the graphic art of  Tera Zajack
Come join us.

Image provided by Tera Zajack
Used with permission


  1. damn. how sad to think all she is is what is between her legs and in her purse...this gave me a feel kinda like the head cheer leader in HS you all the contrasts...the graphiti wall, jelly fish...all that...nice...

  2. dark, seems real of her.
    lovely way to describe your character.

  3. Such a dark poem. I had an old one that isn't really like this but has some things in common that I was going to post, but somehow couldn't bear to go there! Your stanza breaks are especially strong. K.

  4. It's interesting to see that people are finding the bits o' dark I had hidden/not so hidden in my pictures.
    This is heavy and powerful. Very nice.


  5. You had me at Zeppelin. Funny that I used the word baffoon in mine too. It goes nice with the word balloon I guess. :)

  6. This is such an insightful poem, which forces the reader to look deeply into preconceived ideas and reassess what we think we know about character and art. I love everything about it.

  7. oh dang hedge...this gave me chills and made me so sad.. but it's all too real for so many girls... the strongest part for me is when she sees herself in the funhouse mirror of their eyes - bent...ouch..hurt almost physically..a fine write..

  8. Wow, I don't know whether to laugh or cry, lament or be glad. I'll settle for being glad that I read this fabulous poem. I like it's gritty honesty and the darkness which doesn't quite hide the light I think I see peeping through.

  9. Wowee. How many many girls would hang onto this poem, letting it take their minds on a soaring trip above the fray, above their sad reality, aiming its returning trajectory as a red balloon-popping missile.

  10. An amazing twist to see herself in their eyes as she might have been. Reality and perception are such odd things, the mind and feeling more powerful than we can stomach or seem able to change. Great deep and sensitive write.

  11. Perfect setup in the first stanza for this odd duck of misfit chile who is then so perfectly nailed in of the next three stanzas, so woefully ill-adapted in the fallen grownup world. Of course we love this unbeloved, pierced as she is with strange relation, that "bent, elongated, fuzzy" Kaleidoscope-O-Rama funhouse of the imagination. Nothing on the surface, oceans underneath: why do any of us turn inward, becoming mothers and fathers, lovers and voyagers of ourselves? I'll board that submarinal zeppelin, please. Sharp smart poem. - Brendan

  12. This has such a compelling arc: the first few stanzas with the contrasting images, then the description of the subject (which stopped me dead in my reading) and then the last few lines seeing herself differently. A roller coaster for the reader...this really takes hold of you. I'm remembering the lines very vividly as I write this, and I'm sure I will for a while...

  13. All she has.. is in between her legs or her purse. In reality this is not a bad combination.
    Intelligence talent and a nice personality
    pales in comparison on the road to success the society way.

  14. God, what a sad piece. Brutally honest, Hedge, and damn good.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. I almost missed this, then recalled that you had mentioned it to my cotton batting brain last night. How you got all this out of that picture is beyond me. This is so brutally sad and forthright. There have been times in my life when I felt exactly this way, and it's a bad place to be. It took an unflinching eye to observe and to write this.

    pardon the carnival of typos that preceded this.

  17. i like how this ends up in front of the fun house mirror

  18. Thanks all for reading. This is another one that just descended on me.

    @Ruth: We all look for validation in the fun house mirror of that Other's eye, but more so, I think, in this case.

    @B: Yes, it's that inner trip the balloon leaves for every day--working up the courage to get on it is the hard part.But it's a far far better place to be than the funhouse, or the monkeyhouse. ;_)

    @FB: Thanks and same here--you could even get the blues there.

  19. I enjoyed your interpretation of this photo.
    The words:

    " red balloons
    in a whip cream sky,"
    are delightful
    "all she has
    is between her legs
    or in her purse "
    a precise way of
    expressing a truism of
    what many girls think"
    and many boys believe,
    as I think, any way.

    Siggi in Downeast Maine

  20. Love, love, love this:

    in a whip cream sky"

    Great message too.


  21. Powerful verse!

    And thanks so much for your fun Limerick-Off contributions!

  22. Sadly some little girls have to put up with realities. Clever verse!



"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

Comment Moderation Has Been Enabled