Monday, June 28, 2010

Strong-Arming (Poem)


Take the day
before winter comes

to measure the distance
below heaven to earth.

Culture it in the dazzling flash
in New Mexico's desert.

Picture the forked tongue of a rattler
seeking in unforgiving ground,

tensile. Regard the stiff-eared rabbit
left red-eyed and twitching

in Alamogordo's dust. Pray what words
might be heard at the very moment

in that place on a continent far off
where the heat will be greatest.

Consider the imprecision of numbers.
Take the morning after the day of

to think through the clarity
of roughened right-angled elbows

as fingers fastened, stretched
and gripped again. Recall the parachute

billowing. Now compute the strength
to pull up to pull back to pull off

the end of this same story
in your own hometown

after you've paced
its quiet streets at dawn.

© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved.

I wrote this poem for the Tuesday, June 29, Blog Carnival sponsored by Bridget Chumbley at One Word at a Time.

The Blog Carnival is a biweekly online event open to anyone. Participants write on a one-word prompt or topic. This week's is "strength".

At Bridget's place you'll find a list of links to all of the contributions, which are posted throughout Tuesday and often through to the end of the week.

The Blog Carnival's FaceBook page is here.

The prompt for the next Blog Carnival, on July 13, is "summer".


The Storialist said...

Oooh...I really loved "Take the morning after the day of"...I was thinking, thinking, thinking about that.

Anonymous said...

i must be tired...
i just don't get it.
but, i still like a lot of the words.

Kathleen Overby said...

What Nancy said. :) But, the rhythm and the phrases are picturesque and that, my poet friend is enough. I'd like to see what you saw as you wrote. :)

Glynn said...

I'm running out of superlatives for describing your poems. This one -- stunning.

Sandra Heska King said...

I get it! I think. Wow!

Nithin R S said...

This is simple.It just took me through various places and thoughts and then left where u left.Simple explanation of a vacation.

Monica Sharman said...

Loved the "roughened right-angled elbows"!

Kass said...

Poems shouldn't give us everything. This one set me searching through my own psyche in a stimulating and meaningful way. My mind especially liked taking the day before winter comes to measure the distance below heaven to earth - to anticipate the relieving of intense heat on the last day of any kind of summer, real or metaphorical - and measuring what it takes to bridge the gap between what is given, what seems real and what takes faith. To me, this is the essence of strength.

Well done.

katdish said...

Yes. What Kass said... said...

OMG, Maureen! I can't believe how eerily my image this morning reflects this poem, which I hadn't yet even read. That is BIZARRE. Not so surprising that we're on the same page, but what an odd page for it to be!

Kinda scary, actually.

Oh, and PS: this is magnificent.

... and if you want to use the image, feel free to lift it. I'd be honored.

jasonS said...

Great poem- I just felt this intensity through the whole thing for some reason. Thank you!

M.L. Gallagher said...

Yeah -- I'm with Glynn. I'm running otu of superlatives -- this truly is stunning and beautiful and painful and seering and provocative and just plain amazing!

Anonymous said...

I'm late to the game... but had to say thanks for another beautiful contribution to the carnival, Maureen.