Thursday, May 10, 2007

Poem for Poetry Thursday

Happy Poetry Thursday everyone!

I have to admit, after posting a poem every day in April, I've been slow to post anything this month. Also, it's warm outside so my brain is now switching over to spring/summer mode.

Writing this week's poem felt like I was still able to tap into that place I go to create something new. Like exercise, my poetry muscles are in shape now, and fall back into a routine when needed. I did use the new, hip-and-cool Poetry Thursday Randomizer this week. After a few tries, I thought long and hard on the word "shade." The poem still needs work, and I'm not sure about the title.

Looking forward to reading your poetry this week.

Collateral Damage

The forsythia are dying,
as sure as my name is May.
They were goners before my hands
snapped the twigs, leaving nothing
but their jagged edges to bend in the wind.
Such is the life of those
sequestered into hibernation.
After winter’s long silence
there’s a need to possess
this bit of beauty.
Soon the petals will close and shrivel
then the tulips, the daffodils—those bigmouths
rendered speechless under the afternoon shade.
They had to know this was coming,
this change, this grieving.
If you speak to the cardinals,
they’ll tell you to lower your expectations.
But the bees, they’ll confess
it was over before it ever began.


Dave said...

I like this one a lot. "Such is the life" may be a tad too sententious, but otherwise every line rang true for me and the whole held together really well. I particularly liked "bigmouths rendered speechless under the afternoon shade" and the last four lines. The title suggests possible dimensions beyond the particularities of the poem (is the speaker a soldier home on leave, e.g.?), though I suppose some might find it overly melodramatic.

I also really like the poem in your profile, which I hadn't noticed before. (It does have a typo, though: "I put my hands between you pearly teeth")

Gino said...

Like Dave, I really liked this poem and particularly the lines he picked out as well.

January said...

Thanks Gino. Looking forward to visiting your blog.

January said...

Dave, thanks for the comments. I agree with you on all counts. Don't like the title, and the line starting such is the life, but I do like using the words sequestered and hibernation. There's a lot to work with so I'll look to revise it soon.

And thanks for stopping by. I look forward to visiting your blog later today.

gautami tripathy said...

"sequestered into hibernation" this stood out for me. I think the titlesuits this fine...the vaguenes of it works very well here.

paris parfait said...

I like this, January - the combination of beauty and death. I've missed reading your work for the past month, as have been distracted with guests and travel. Am hoping to catch up soon!

jim said...

Okay, I envy how you can play off of your own name, and I also envy the skillful phrasing in the poem, and I would only echo Dave's comments.

About the title, I think you might play off of ideas about possessing, adopting, apropriating beauty.

January said...

Thanks Jim. I saw that you wrote a sestina (show off!). I'll come by later to leave you a thoughtful commentary.

Left-handed Trees... said...

First thing I notice is...your new profile picture--stunning! Okay, now I know I'm supposed to notice the poetry, so here I go. Like those before me, the daffodil big mouths caught my eye as well as the gardener out there snapping twigs. I fell hard for the conversations being had between the cardinals and the bees just as much, though. Muscular writing indeed...

Eric said...

I found some wonderful movement in your piece. You go from the simple and specific "forsythia are dying/as sure as my name is May" to the larger, more universal theme of the ending of life. Well done. I look forward to coming back to read more of your work.

Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

well done jan!

strauss said...

Fabulous fabulous fabulous! I can so relate to that kind of sorrow of spring, those wonderful flowers and the disappointment that presence on my garden is really only fleeting - certainly makes me appreciate them while they bloom.

LJCohen said...


I really liked this! Especially this line:

"After winter’s long silence
there’s a need to possess
this bit of beauty."

Yup. I know that feeling. And cardinals are my favorite birds. Tonight I am sitting on my back deck watching the male feed the female.

Leila said...

this one's interesting. first, i read the first two lines over and over laughing. i don't think you meant a pun on your name - May/January. i like the counterpoint at the end, the cardinals, the bees. oh, and i think you mean "petals". you know, i always find your poetry smarter than you let on. i like this one.

Rob Kistner said...

I enjoyed your piece January, and appreciate the thought you put into this work.

Dave said...

Oh, I just caught another typo - "pedals" for "petals" (line 11). (Sorry, it's the editor in me.)

Becoming Amethyst said...

Oh how I feel these lines ~

'After winter’s long silence
there’s a need to possess
this bit of beauty.'

~ so there was another poem in you after all, January :)

Love the new profile pic too!

January said...

Thanks BB. Since spring is here, I thought it was time to update my photo.

Glad we can both dig deep to find just one more poem!

January said...

Dave, thanks for catching the typos. I've made those corrections.

January said...

Leila, when I wrote the first line, I did catch the pun. What's the use in having a name like January if you can't put it to good use? :)

(Thanks for your comment about the typo, too.)

January said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words! Hope to get to as many blogs as I can.

Catherine said...

I enjoyed this - I came back to read and comment since my first sneak peek was at work - I enjoyed it even more the second time as I gradually absorbed its meaning.
Strange to think of you enjoying spring while here, autumn is well through

chiefbiscuit said...

Love it, love it, love it. You keep getting better and better - that book is not far away January, I feel it in my bones. Your poetry is amazing. you are amazing too.

Beaman said...

The subject and the rhythm were both good. Nicely written.


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