Monday, April 1, 2013

The Whiteness of Doves, Part I

A black bird with snow covered red hills~Georgia O'Keefe

The Whiteness of Doves

Part I
A Sonnet of sorts

Slippery on the branch, one white dove sleeps

near seven fog grey sisters' nodding beaks
while blackbirds gurgle, bubbling at her feet,
formation fly, knitting in stormcloud sweeps
a ruffled skirt that covers and uncovers
the chilblained ankles of winter's frozen lovers.

One white dove is fluttering like my heart.
By bending to the snow she stands apart.
She watches from her bright carnelian eyes
until the blackbirds call her and she flies.
The others never miss her white on white;
they only fuse and flap a scarf of fright

as Shadow passes endlessly above,
famished as the memory of love.

~April 2013

Part II will post tomorrow, in the spirit of a poem a day for April, as long as I can stand it.

Image may be under copyright. All copyright belongs to the copyright holders.


  1. One of the things I love best about your poetry is the sheer beauty of how the language sounds. One of those famous actresses who do the talking books should read each one, because they just sound so good.

    Another thing I love is that you never resort to the predictable, tired image. No, you come up with "the chilblained ankles of winter's frozen lovers".

    That last line is just so heartbreaking.

  2. You know how much I love a sonnet that breaks its own mold. This is so well-woven with your own subtle rhyme scheme and divisions, and speaks of love, differences and continuity in a way I can only admire and envy.

  3. oy...famished as the memory of love...what a close on this...i like the bird play up front hedge...but chilblained ankles of winter's frozen lovers steels the show for me...the fluttering like my heart is emotive as well...

  4. Ah, lovely. I love all the sorts here - White, fog grey, black - carnelian - and what a great word that is to use with the memory of love shadowing overhead. Carnal gone to a shade. Really lovely.

    I just somehow can't think of doing a poem a day this year - I've done it for the last three I think or four I don't know, and they were great exercises, and I will have plenty to write about. Will see, I guess. The sonnet form works well for you. k.

  5. Are you kidding me? The chilblained ankles of winter's frozen lovers is an astounding line. And famished as the memory of love is another that spins my head and heart and rings so true. Your language is gorgeous and the thought of a poem a day from you makes me swoon.

  6. I responded to the same two lines as Fireblossom. The last line is riveting, and I admire the chilblained ankles very much. As Shay says, you never reach for the easy or the obvious, you always pull out something completely unexpected. Fantastic work.

  7. Love the contrasts and colors presented in such a sonorous and melodious way.

  8. famished as the memory of love....
    just fantastic!

  9. Beautiful Joy. I frequently feel like I'm reading archetypal myth when I read your posts - including this one.

  10. this is like breathing, especially her white on white. and with shadow passing, I feel time pass. In all other respects the beating of the moment is present in nodding beaks, formation flying, and ruffling skirt. this is a feast for my heart senses.


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