Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Seasons of Extravagant Tears (Poem)

Seasons of Extravagant Tears

salt and water sting
falling cherry blossoms weep
disrupting our spring

drops of nard spill free
a bride's gift miraculous
summer uncontained

a woman's unction
her love joyful sacrifice
song of songs fall's rite

incense sweet from eyes
memory's layers divined
winter's ground cracked soft

© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas

I wrote this poem for Tuesday's 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 either original poetry or prose reflecting their consideration of the one-word prompt or topic. The prompt for October 5 is "healing". 

At Bridget's place you'll find a list of links to all of the Blog Carnival 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, scheduled for Tuesday, October 19, is "condemnation". The complete schedule of prompts through the end of the year  is available at Bridget's and also on the FaceBook page.
* * * * *

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

A Possible Inspiration

Recently, I read Makoto Fujimura's "The Beautiful Tears". I realized only after writing and redrafting and reading my poem that Fujimura's essay might have served as my inspiration. I think the essay speaks beautifully to the meaning of tears: Tears given up in the experience of deep loss (our own, that of others) represent, to me, love. Tears also sometimes come with the sheer joy of experiencing the act of love. Love is healing. Moreover, both literally and metaphorically, tears help keep our vision clear. Tears, of course, are made of water; they also contain sodium chloride, or salt (in a concentration that, according to MadSci Network, is approximately equivalent to that of our oceans), as well as vitamins and minerals that nourish our eyes and keep them healthy. Water is life-giving, spiritually nourishing and cleansing, and therefore healing. Salt, in some amount, we require for good health. It is durable, long-lasting in the way our faith and hope should be, and it serves to preserve, disinfect (think of our uses of salt water when we have infections), and purify. We heal when we are made whole and pure in body, mind, and spirit. Tears heal.

Nard is mentioned in the Gospels. (One explanation of its uses is here.) It was in ancient times precious, as was salt, as is water still today, as is love always.


M.L. Gallagher said...

Beautiful poem and lovely essay on the explanation of tears. Nice!

Tears are the words the heart cannot express.

Glynn said...

Too often we associate tears with sadness; they can also be tears of joy, and tears of healing, as your poem so beautifully describes.

P.S. The word for the word verification below is "cried."

Madame Rubies said...

Oooh... tears as incense. That image is so lovely.

katdish said...

At times I fight tears, but once they come, they are almost always cleansing. Thank you for putting it so beautifully here, Maureen.

Kathleen Overby said...

Maureen, may I lay claim to this one? I wish I could have a copy written by your hand. This is incorporates the layers upon layers in the Song of Songs....Stunning!

...and like the ocean, which is the earth's way of cleansing itself, so are tears. iKnow tears.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Your analysis of writing this poem is thought-provoking. So much of what I write depends on what I've been reading and doing--it's a nice reminder that the real world pokes its way into our poems.

Phoenix-Karenee said...

Thank you for the lovely moments captured gently in your poem, and for sending me to read of the beautiful tears that touched me today with a reminder I needed to hear.

Timoteo said...

A tasty morsel.

sue harrison said...

Beautiful, beautiful poem. Thank you for this feast of words.

Brian Miller said...

lovely poem...tears can be so cleansing...a release to find joy...or even just for it...nice one shot!

moondustwriter said...

Oooo those tears fall on cold implacable ground.

another beauty my dear

Love from the Moon
and thanks for your daily encouragement

California Girl said...

Lorenzo recommends your blog so here I am.

In reviewing your blog roll I see we share a few favorites, most notably, Venetian Red.

I write two blogs:
Life after kids with an emphasis on art, photography, personal vignettes.

More politically oriented and from a female perspective.

Come over for a visit.

G-Man said...

I've been crying a lot lately.
Not sad one either.
You are a Class Act Maureen.
Lovely poem...Beautiful Blog.
Thanks for stopping by...G

RiikaInfinityy said...

tears are beautiful and so is your poem! Excellent :P

KB said...

Beautiful. Love kissing away those salty tears.

Jerry said...

I've said for years now that tears lubricate the soul...lovely poem about such a tender subject.

Jerry said...

tears, beautiful tears that lubricate our soul. Thanks Maureen

dustus said...

Maureen, fitting that you wrote this one in haiku stanzas. Not easy and does justice for multiple interpretations of tears. Enjoyed the explanation too. Sounds like a great essay.

signed...bkm said...

incense sweet from eyes
memory's layers divined
winter's ground cracked soft

love this stanza - very nice images

your words so delicate...bkm

Wild Rose said...

Wonderful description of the seasons Maureen and lovely lines. Nice oneshot!

Wild Rose said...

Yes and tears incorporated in those different seasons. Well sometimes we're happy and sometimes we're sad..part of life. Nice reference to Makoto Fujimura's reference.

Shashi said...

Dear Maureen
I loved the start of the verse and then as it moved along I felt the seasons pang... and the preparation of the welcome to the oncoming winter... nicely said... Different tears ...
Thanks for the word "Nard" too...

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

Desert Rose said...

beautiful poem Maureen and i enjoyed reading your inspiration analysis..might look it up myself..that was a wonderful read..thank you for sharing your beauty with us..:)

Claudia said...

all throughout the seasons...an offering of love...of tears..of abundance..very deep and meaningful writing..thanks for sharing this maureen

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully crafted

Eric Alder said...

Short and sweet (smelling)!

I had to look up 'nard' because I had no idea what that was... and now I've learned something new.

Thanks, Maureen!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful verses Maureen! Enchanting flowing words evoking sweet delicate images of love...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful verses Maureen! Enchanting flowing words evoking sweet delicate images of love...

SuziCate said...

Your poem is lovely and moving; however, I really found your essay on tears to be interesting.

Sandra Heska King said...

So, so beautiful. Tears are a gift from God. And so are you.

Steve said...

Spare verse, universal sentiments. Good work.

Anonymous said...

Lovely poem, and thanks for the extra explanations.

It always helps to have a good cleansing cry!