Monday, February 16, 2009

Ok, A Poem

Here is a poem I just wrote for my thesis. It's still in its first draft phase, so it's likely to change. I wrote it when I was feeling really sad about my grandfather and then that turned into thinking about everyone who ever died and friends I had who died young.
If you don't like it, don't worry. Poetry won't be a regular feature on here, I swear.

Lanterns Hanging From the Bridge

A man I know nearly drowned at the beach,
but was revived. For years he couldn’t stand
the taste of salt. He told me
the dead are underwater, that every death
is a drowning. There is a light at the surface
and we are all pulling toward it.

He made me think the dead lived beneath the sea,
sleeping in the dark, deep ocean trenches,
that at night they rose – the mist streaming
from hot rocks. I believed they gathered,
inches from the breaking waves,
to reach toward the full moon.

Often I cross the inlet bridge,
where on winter nights the shrimpers
crouch on jetties with dip nets,
flashlights. I imagine hanging
a bright lantern into the water, that the spirits
of everyone I ever lost rush toward it
like brine shrimp hauled forward
on incoming tides; that I am the light
that called them back.

20 comments:

Wanderjenn said...

This is incredible and I am not at all surprised that it is so different from your prose. I talk *about* writing poetry with my friends, but I rarely share the poetry itself.

FreeDragon said...

Wow. That's very good. It reminds me of 'Lord of the Rings' where the bodies in the swampy water reach for the light.

Robin in Ohio said...

Wow! This poem is deep. I like it very much. Please post more when you have a chance.

Kymber said...

Wow. I have now completed several reads of your poem...trying to look at it from many different angles. Wow. The layering of the imagery is really, really interesting. Wow. The thoughts and feelings it provokes is astounding. I will be thinking about this all night.

Holy crap - post some more of these!

Kymber

CC said...

Wow. I don't know much about poetry or the technicalities of it, but I really liked how this poem sounded and what it said. Thank you for sharing it.

Dayna said...

Gosh when you said your poems were nothing like the stuff you write on here, I envisioned some kind of deep dark satanic formal english gothic style poetry. I thought I would be afraid of your poetry, but I am not. I thought it was very good.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this a lot. Thank you for posting it!

Anonymous said...

This is perfect and beautiful.

Girl,,,you are deeply, seriously talented.

Anonymous said...

That was wonderful. I don't know anything about poetry but I liked that very much. Thank you for sharing.

Amanda

FreshHell said...

That's lovely. Really.

Anonymous said...

Love it.

Amblus said...

Really wonderful and vivid. When I read it to myself I could see the images you created with the words and when I read it out loud, I loved the way the words you chose fit together and sounded together. Very nicely done.

MtnMama said...

love, love, love it.

yes, I'm an English major, so there is that... but good god, woman, don't put your poetry down. It rocks.

and btw, thank you so much for your kind words!

Eric said...

snap! snap! snap!

Kirsten B said...

I love it! Very evocative. I'd love to read some more...

Anonymous said...

Wow, I liked it. A lot. And I'm one of those people who reflexively state "I hate poetry" when the subject comes up. But that's mostly because so much poetry is bad and so much of what's good is so difficult it's easier to go read a novel. Your's is both good and readable.

BTW, if you are looking for a less disturbing visualization to get into poet mode, think of a poem as a bonsai version of a story. Your job is to snip, snip, snip with tiny shears until only the essence is left.

- lowwall

Laurie said...

I can't tell you how much I loved your poem. The ocean is the most comforting place on earth to me, and I love the idea of everyone I love being so close, even if that wasn't your intent. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

starsimplified said...

Deeply moving. I hope you share more of your poetry from time to time. Loved it!

gmarievaughn said...

this is wonderful :)

LegalMist said...

Excellent "first draft." (I'd have thought it was finished, actually). Will you post it again in finished form so we can see the transformation?

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