Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Hand Has Its Uses (Poem)

A Hand Has Its Uses

Raised up, palm out, emptied of all but the visible gestures
     of lines gone unread, a hand agrees to truth-tell.

Back and forth in a wave of white, a hand makes busy
     giving in.

With fingers curled tight, nails dug in, the fist a mechanical
     pump raised or lowered in the air unseen, a hand works out

     its angers, or claims its jubilations.

Pierced, a hand bleeds from the center out, its red line like water
     flowing, a run to the wrist, the path an arm's length made.

Turned in and fitted close, near where the heart paces its rhythms
     heard in pin-drop silence, a hand swears allegiance.

Reaching out, away from me to you, a hand accepts what friendship
     would seal.

Joined one to one not your own, bound by words said aloud
     from a book ancient and black, a hand pledges love eternal.

Fingers threading fingers twisting, a hand in another gives motion
     to worry.

Tip to tip pressed, no space but the space where the light shines
     in, two hands together hold more than prayers.

Lowered to the head, so gentle the touch, a hand a blessing gives,
     releasing song on lips and words, later shushed by hand

     to mouth, make whole again.

Lay hands one upon another, as Elizabeth to Mary did, as Mary
     a helping hand gave, and retell the story from its beginning,

     the miracle in this world with its right side up,

replaying once more the homecoming illuminated
     after the waiting, in the greetings with hands from an open door.

© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas
____________________________________

I offer this poem for One Stop Poetry's weekly One Shot Wednesday event. Be sure to visit the site late Tuesday afternoon and evening and every Wednesday for links to the many contributors' "one shot" poems.

28 comments:

jen revved said...

An honor to be the first to say...absolutely beautiful-- searing, unified-- a blessing unto itself..xxxj

nance marie said...

i gotta "hand" it to ya ...

this is good.

Susanne Barrett said...

Brillant.

Michael Perkins said...

after the waiting...

very beautiful.

signed...bkm said...

wonderful maureen...my hands applaud you on this thoughtful piece of symbolism made visible...thank you...bkm

poemblaze said...

Magical phrases. Love how well you describe the motions and the underlying emotions.

LauraX said...

so beautifully crafted...words woven into delicate cloth.

marousia said...

Nicely crafted. I especially liked: "Tip to tip pressed, no space but the space where the light shines
in, two hands together hold more than prayers."

Kathleen Overby said...

Maureen, this is fine, fine, fine, 800 count Egyptian cotton weave. Words of gold in a silver setting. This is now my official favorite. The other one got bumped as this is moved to first place. (I did a photo shoot of Loverby's hands last night. Hands tell so much.)

Steve Isaak said...

Detail-obsessive, solid work.

Laura said...

I like how you say, "...a hand works out..." that says so much. And the way you have ordered this--gave me a sort of anticipation. So lovely, Maureen.

Brian Miller said...

there is so much to be said of hands...they create they destroy...and yet you said all the more...

Neva Flores said...

Brilliant!

Glynn said...

It's like you're describing the many personalities of a hand -- or the personality of many hands. Well done, Maureen.

hedgewitch said...

I really enjoy the work you've been doing with spaces between long single lines or couplets. They make your poems breathe. This one is full of very expressive single thoughts to purpose, each bound to the whole. A complex look at a taken-for-granted appendage.

Beachanny said...

Every line written true, every way of being written new, the style and manner freshened the meaning and improved the read and at the end flowered (as something so carefully cultivated does) into outstanding beauty!Kudos.

DeLi said...

yes,you hand it down so well!

S. Etole said...

hands of healing ...

I almost missed this excellent poem.

Eric Alder said...

This is why they didn't invent sign language using feet.

Nice One Shot, Maureen!

Desert Rose said...

AWESOME write Maureen,to me hands always say much more then words sometimes..i even wrote about it in one of my poems.."his hands" ..:) loved how you handled it here..really EXCELLENT LINES..:)

Claudia said...

i clap my hands for this maureen - a beautiful ode to what hands are and do - my fav was ..Raised up, palm out, emptied of all..
a good place to be from time to time..

Alegria Imperial said...

Deeper than any prayer I've been mumbling! A meditation that sprouts in wings. Lines like a constant upwind that carry the heart to where it must roost. Thank you, Maureen for this timely terrific poem.

lukepraterswordsalad said...

Well-crafted piece, Maureen. Who'd have thought a poem on hands could be so interesting? You make us realise how important and special they are... and that we take them for granted. Kudos

Warmest Salad

Luke @ WordSalad

Kodjo Deynoo said...

Oh yes a hand has it uses, as I type my appreciation for this poem with mine..

Cor said...

Maureen, a great poem! So many uses for Hands! I loved it. Thank you for sharing.

Terresa said...

Beautiful poem & One Shot, Maureen. Loved reading through your insight and variations on a hand.

dustus said...

Hands down, a wonderful poem, as well as an expression of deep faith. "two hands together hold more than prayers." That lines sheds an interesting bright light on the Biblical references that follow it. You always make theological speculations seem more concrete and accessible through your poetic lines. Cheers.

L.L. Barkat said...

"after the waiting, in the greetings with hands from an open door."

So satisfying.

And your hands. Making poems to greet us. :)