Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dreaming in the Field of Tohoku (Poem)

Dreaming in the Field of Tohoku

Her dream
was in the field

of water
it, too, bleached

ivory
an off-shore snow

of pearls
like beads

tumbling
through sea grit

cycling
scrubbed smooth

as ice sheets
not yet

the spoils
of Tohoku

retracting
erecting

pulling up
raising a wall

of silence
glacial in attitude

white-capped
its jet-speed blast

meant to blind
the count

leave numbers
of bodies

a question mark.

Above
and elsewhere

clouds mass
into a white-out condition

soundless
as birds touching

down
or tears

masking the dazzle
of breath

giving as it's given.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas
_______________________________

This poem is inspired by a dream in the field of white wonder, an artwork by Susan Cornelis in acrylic and collage on glass beads gel surface. Read Susan's own comments on her inspiration for the piece here.

Imagine With Art is Susan's Website.

Share your own thoughts about Japan at When I think of Japan....

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I offer this poem for the One Shot Wednesday event at One Stop Poetry, which each week invites poets to share, read, and comment on each other's work. Be sure to visit the site late Tuesday afternoon and every Wednesday for links to the many contributors' poems.

19 comments:

Louise Gallagher said...

What a beautiful and stirring interpretation of Susan Cornelis' amazing piece of work. You have captured the soul of her painting in your words just as her painting captured her fear of the awe and the awful, creating art to send us all back into the awe.

Thank you

Deborah said...

What strikes me about this poem is how elegantly you've fused stillness and movement.

I love combining art forms, and linking with artists in other media - which you've done so successfully here. My current blog post combines abstract photography and words, if that appeals to you.

S. Etole said...

the combination of the painting and your words ... very powerful

Chris G. said...

Such vision you have, to pull something like this from that bit of art...certainly not what I saw, but my vision was not so deep. Powerful form, elegant for all its brevity, the quick jabs of text prodding out and building up a very fetching interpretation, capturing quite the image. A powerful dedication for Japan.

Maureen said...

My appreciation and thanks for these wonderful comments. Susan's work is impelling; this is the first time I've responded in poetry to something she's painted. I think it's just the start.

Beachanny said...

Her work and her notes were mind expanding full of visions of the serene,the terrible and the fated. Your poem captures all of it perfectly. Beautifully written, Maureen. Your craft is always precise and careful; a work of art.

robkistner said...

This piece was both compelling and sad Maureen, an excellent read -- I did so several times...

...rob kistner
Image & Verse

hedgewitch said...

Calm words inexorably progressing, tension building, and yes, the dazzle...refining from the specific image, which was striking enough, to a larger one, dark within a world of white. Fine writing, as always, Maureen.

Violet said...

These lines:

"soundless
as birds touching

down
or tears

masking the dazzle
of breath"

capture a dream-like quality of that flows through this poem and beautifully dialogues with the art that was its inspiration.

signed...bkm said...

beautiful, delicate in its form and in the sadness conveyed...bkm

Jerry said...

I took a look at the inspiration for this poem. To lay words on top of the piece adds to its depth of beauty. The white water lends to the turbulence of Japans recent troubles.

Ami Mattison said...

Such a careful and delicate rendering, Maureen! I see vividly the association with the picture and with the events in Japan. The poem's lyrical sparsity manages to offer an empathetic and evocative description. Great job!

Ruth said...

The painting is just gorgeous, so is the poem, and the condition when the snow falls so silently, blindingly. Soundless / as birds touching and dazzle / of breath are especially compelling.

Glynn said...

There is a quiet yet urgent sense to this, propelled by the short lines which for some reason make me think of something falling down stairs. Well done, Maureen. Very well done.

Brian Miller said...

it spoke of japan and what happened there...the numbers, bodies question marks stirring in the recent memories...nice play off the picture as well

Corbie said...

A beautiful mixture of interpretation about Japan and the painting. I really enjoyed this portrait that you painted for the readers. Thank you for sharing.

Joanne said...

Your structure captures the glass beads gleaming, with the space between. The pause, the movement, as was commented on before, are the rhythm. Like a series of haiku or another syllabic form. I sense as Corbie said, the underlying current of the Japan tragedy as well. Spot on, as always, Maureen. Thanks!

tolbert said...

i clicked on the link that took me to "a dream in the field of white wonder" and it is amazing how your poem compliments the art and the art has become your poem. a beautiful exchange...

the ending is so visual, clouds congregating and birds fluttering their wings in that second before their feet touch the sand...wonderfully done!

Above
and elsewhere
clouds mass
into a white-out condition
soundless
as birds touching
down
or tears
masking the dazzle
of breath
giving as it's given.

Hannah Stephenson said...

You write so well in these skinny pillars (I think I have said that before)--it shows your command with short lines, with brevity and precision.