Saturday, March 9, 2013

Open-Armed, Gathering Sky (Pantoum)

Open-Armed, Gathering Sky (Pantoum)

Open-armed, gathering sky,
the wind talks into ears like blue jays
bidding for ruffled feathers. Fiery cardinal
flowers spark a set-to among hummingbirds.

The wind talks into ears like blue jays
miming mouths full of gossip.
Flowers spark a set-to among hummingbirds.
Stems bend, their clusters of flaming red spires their love charms.

Miming mouths full of gossip,
old women rock away the hours, their legs thin
stems bent, their clusters of flaming red spires their love's charms:
lockets of hair their keepsakes of time.

Old women rock away the hours. Their legs thin
from disuse. Their hands grow stiff, fingering heart-shaped
lockets of hair. Their keepsakes of time
counter days spent silvering alone.

From disuse, their hands grow stiff. Fingering heart-shaped
pendants, they tell each other stories too,
countering days spent silvering alone,
open-armed, gathering sky.

© 2013 Maureen E. Doallas
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The pantoum is the theme this month at TweetSpeakPoetry (see "Pant, Pant, 'Ou-Ou-Oum' (A Goat Song Pantoum Poetry Prompt)"). Like numerous contemporary poems written in the form, mine does not use rhyme; it does, however, use the signature quatrain and make the second and fourth lines of each stanza the first and third lines of the stanza that follows. Some use the repeated lines exactly as they first appear; I have chosen here to follow a practice of slightly revising some lines.

You'll find some examples of pantoums here.

4 comments:

Kathleen said...

I love the folding repetition and your freedom to change things in a contemporary pantoum. I love the diminishing line length in that last stanza!

signed...bkm said...

I love the image you convey the rocking of old women, the stiff hands and thin legs from disuse - lockets of hair that hold life's memory...bikm

S. Etole said...

Envisioning this scene.

Laura Boggess said...

Oh, how I love these lines:

"...old women rock away the hours, their legs thin
stems bent, their clusters of flaming red spires their love's charms:
lockets of hair their keepsakes of time."

Beautiful.