Monday, March 26, 2012

In the Yellow House

In the Yellow House

In the blue room of the sun
in the yellow house, 
behind terracotta walls
a tossed night is pulled from the bed
and thrown on a pile of other nights
wrinkled, indelibly lorn.
The woman hums as her hands stroke
farewell before it goes in the basket,
remembering the voice in the deep,
how she was loved
with words and lost in silence
far from this landlocked yellow boat
on a prairie sea, ribbed by the
bleaching shipwreck of her life, where 
in the front room she hears

the men say, 
is cheap.
It takes money to buy whiskey.

Light’s first nod is still a few miles away
across the grainfed graveyard out the window
where Orion sinks in another 
lightening quicksand sky, one foot
on a scruboak branch, both hands uplifted
to the horizon plummeting hawk sure,
hanging on to the moment
before his last fingertip slips past in the fade, 
drowned till tomorrow in star foam,
floating memories, the breaker crashed
ebb of the voice in her dream
softening away away, murmured in the constant
wind rasped fretting of the wheat, sleepless
as the oblivious sea;
so she knows

no wave is ever really gone
no word ever said wasted
no whiskey bought stronger
than what musics her morning song.

March 2012

Posted for    real toads
Today is Open Link Monday at real toads, and I am using a photo from the Sunday Challenge there, which featured Kat Mortensen, late to the party, as usual.Thanks, Kat!

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Image copyright Kat Mortensen
Used with permission.


  1. oh my! flawless and gripping. I am captivated by your words. You are a brilliant!

  2. wow, so dense with gorgeous words. my favorite is "lorn" and also? it's true that no word ever said is wasted. beautiful!

  3. A vision such as this one requires an intimate knowledge of such women, and what drives them to greet each new day. The stanza which describes the sunlight in personification is some of the best writing I've read. It's up there with Ted Hughes and Dylan Thomas.

    1. Goodness! Thanks, Kerry, for the extremely generous comment--I'm sure I don't deserve such high praise. Thanks also for the continuing challenges at Toads where I'm always motivated to keep working on learning the craft.

  4. A beautiful verse, Hedge! Clever use of words, captivating!


  5. Spectacular writing, Joy. "what musics her morning song".......Loved every glorious line.

  6. An exquisite poem! I've often felt shipwrecked in an ocean of corn and wheat living in the Midwest, and you carried that metaphor through so well. Last stanza is amazing!!

  7. My lord, that third stanza is exquisite.

  8. the descriptions hedge...the cascade of them to open into her intimate moment witht eh tosed night before placing it in the basket with others...really like that scene...and then the end as well...i hope she never loses that song regardless...

  9. I specially the opening stanza...very vivid images of the house and the woman ~ (We used the same picture :-) )

  10. i read it a few times. the first line is my favorite. but in addition to the great writing, like the light stretching, i like how you built a mood with each stanza.

  11. Only you would weave water images into a poem about the prairie, and do it so skillfully. I love the way the nights are made to sound like physical objects in the opening stanza. And then, later, "hawk sure." It's Witch stuff. It's damn good.

  12. I love so many words in this poem! I have to read it touched on so many thoughts inspired by nature's view...just wonderful to read :D

  13. The rhythms and music in this poem, the images of fields and sea interwoven together, the words repeated like an incantation, all these evoke a Neruda lyricism throughout, subtle and yet clear.

  14. This has a Stevens-eque argument at its beginning, an abastract personification of the sun's "blue room" in a "yellow house" amid a prairie field of wheat, ending the night again, again, in that "endless one night stand" between a lover and her beloved place of making, a work the men can get at with their hands, their thirst. But the beat goes on, this reportage from the heartland. Somehow I also got the vibe of Molly Bloom laying abed and dreaming worlds wet and bright and blue in and out of view. (I mean, spoiler alert, "Lost" was simply Hurley's dream, and "The Tempest" Prospero's folly.) Very satisfying read. - Brendan

    1. And I'm sure Poe would add, 'all we see or seem is but etc.' Yes, I'm on one of my tediously recurring themes, dream derived, and star-involved. But this photo really stumped me and intrigued me, so, 'what are ya gonna do?' ;-) Thanks for reading,B.

  15. The sounds, colors and images in this mind-scape landscape captivate lyrically. There is loneliness, but a rich terrain for the poet to draw from: below, on the plain, and from the cosmos. And always from all the senses.

    1. Yes, I think those are the elements from which we draw the most--comfort as well as challenge. Appreciate your input, Ruth.

  16. Ahoy Hedge...
    As a landlubber, that would be my favorite vessel.
    I loved this metaphoric voyage....G

  17. far from this landlocked yellow boat
    on a prairie sea, ribbed by the
    bleaching shipwreck of her life,

    So many wonderful words and images here. I'm thinking it is her dreams, her memories that keep her going... ?

  18. What's left to say but, WOW! Love it!

  19. This is fantastic..I couldn't point out any phrase in particular because it is all so great...your talent always amazes me.

  20. i can almost hear 'her morning song'..this made me dizzy on first read as so many colors, scents and emotions poured into mind..and on second read images of light began to unfold..cascading..'no wave is ever really word ever said wasted'...truly.


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

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