Saturday, April 14, 2018



you were
close to me as flesh to bones
light to day
moon to dream
flies to honey.

Not really you, was it
that amber heart
glittered across my dark,
that voice, that breath
offering perplexing comfort

but just a sprite of you
ungrasped like a child's balloon
sent out to sail to
disappointing freedom--a popped prop,
bright red scraps, then dead-forgot

yet here I stay
bud-eyes to the sky
immutable twisted root
hosting the symbiotic 
froth of fungi, the frozen nymphs,
underground and secretly


flailing out a tendril, celebrating a twig,
rediscovering my wedding
of  worms, finalized at last
after a long engagement.

Old balloons still may sail 
on paper;
I stay here 
everspent but evergreen.

~April 2018

for Magaly's  Thirteen

the 13 words: 
flesh bones alter amber paper flies frozen breath voice comfort perplex memory rediscover

Image: The eye like a balloon sails to infinity, 1898, Odilon Redon      
Public Domain


  1. This is an incredibly fulfilling read, Joy. I would have come out for this image alone:
    I stay
    bud-eyes to the sky
    immutable twisted root
    hosting the symbiotic
    froth of fungi

    But you have given your faithful readers so many more ways than one to unlock the inner eye.
    Thank you.

  2. Ohhhh DAMN! *the bar goes spinning off into the unknown* At first, I planned to say how much like "perplexing comfort", but then you simply floored it, doing what you can do when you're blowing everybody else's doors off. You've taken an idea that is very hard to even take in, let alone write about: that one can love a vestige, a boomerang on its outer arc, a flimsy lighter-than-air pseudo-approximation of someone, and that that shadow, that shiny object can seem so real, and full and nourishing to a hungry heart that we mourn it and it remains part of us when it's gone. What we've made it is more tangible than what it was. And so, you've processed all of that, and then written about it in language so illustrative and poetic and just startlingly right, that I'm agog. SO well done,

  3. One of my closest friendships is between me and a person disliked by almost everyone else. Even I have found numerous things to dislike, but... there is... something I've always admired about this individual, something that makes me feel that I was be me a bit less if I were to lose it... something that makes this soul and me an us that can offer the world something better than we could apart. I feel that in your poem. That, and so much more.

  4. You did so well here...loved the flow.

  5. Wonderful imagery!

    In a particular experience of my own, I think the sprite IS the whole person, and maybe that's why I cling to the memory (lovely things, sprites). But all the same, better to be tree.

  6. This prompt was so well suited for your style. The metaphors are delicately devastating, conjuring up perfect imagery.

  7. This is so jaw-droppingly rich, full, a broth - I've been sitting with it for days, I keep coming back - stop and read - walk away, read again - and literally just soak it all up, like a moss sponge.

    You've pulled such an essence, like a silk thread, from the core, - that "sprite" - that ... oh, a red filigree satin lace "string" - that is at the heart of someone, who ends up affecting you in such a profound, deeply stirring way, whose essences, the masked, and the shed-skin of it, end up haunting you - for.ever. Especially when it's not necessarily a long-lasting anything. As if there is a fracture- a slice of them that resonates and catches you fast - and then you literally, wordlessly, break into something/someone new - never understanding how, or why. It's like they awaken some mirror part of yourself, it literally unnerves every inch and fiber of your being.

    And I can't explain it. Not even close. But you know you know and have extracted the vanilla - sweet yet bitter.

    And I just won't do an injustice in pulling specific images, or metaphors, they are far too full in their truths and beauty. I am just drawn to this piece - like a moth to a flame.

  8. Too good for me to find adequate words, Joy. Just stellar.

  9. clear as a Valkyrie's blue eye ~

  10. Sorry I missed this -- All the praise heaped so far for this is more than well-deserved, it holds a fleeting, fleeing feeling and puts the needle right into the heart of it, letting go AND letting die. The aetheric buoyancy of a sprite -- an imagined, spiritual, effervescent, fleeting thing -- is countered finely by the rooted, worm-coiling, dark and composting nature of the heart which knows it cannot follow what it mostly dreamed. Or something. Anyway, it's terrific work.


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

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