Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Erosion (Poem)


We hurt,
and it's immediate:

the mandatory evacuation
of words after the words

loosed in the suffocating black
of the storms we've weathered

together. What we know
of failure is loss,

not poetry
but the poetry of the heart

stilled into its flat line
once love's been clipped

by the cutting phrase,
where the harm's done

sufficiently below the radar,
building against what holds

back till the pressure,
too much, lets go.

We're privy to it now
as before: the cloudburst incoming;

practice watching each other
recede, like the moon

before the morning's flash of light.
We hold the mirror up, see

how it reflects the effort
we exhaust

saying our words to ourselves.
I can and do forgive.

Let me put one hand
next to the other,

then you do the same.
It's a way to work

the messiness of mud
after it's heaved, before it's hardened.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

I wrote this poem for this week's Random Acts of Poetry at The High Calling. This week's prompt is "forgiveness". Go here to read Thomas Turner's post on the subject and to drop your link for RAP. Contributions are due by noon tomorrow, April 6, to be considered for inclusion in Friday's wrap-up feature.

* * * * *

I offer this poem to 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. 


Glynn said...

Many beautiful lines in this, Maureen (like "the messiness of mud / after it's heaved") but the overall effect is one of quietness, of a heart opening and becoming vulnerable. Another beautiful poem.

Anonymous said...

Words so carefully chosen for words so uncarefully spoken.

Louise Gallagher said...

I agree with everything Glynn said.

As I read it I felt myself easing into calmness, peace, tranquility, restfulness.

Very beautiful!

Hannah Stephenson said...

The mandatory evacuation of words...that will really stay with me.

Beautiful poem.

hedgewitch said...

There's no unsaying those clipping words, but there's no living without forgiveness either. A lovely piece Maureen, especially the final lines.

Anonymous said...

Excellent writing. You know your craft!

Brian Miller said...

love the end there where you turn to mud, the messiness before the hardness...that visual drives this home very nicely.

signed...bkm said...

"practice watching each other recede, like the moon"

relationship define so well in working forgiveness, in working through messiness....very nice..bkm

Monica Sharman said...

These words:

Thanks for this poem, Maureen.

Bubba said...

Foregiveness is the only true blessing people can bestow.

Nice piece, Maureen. :)

Anonymous said...

"The suffocating black of the storms we've weathered." Always such great combinations of physical and emotional imagery, Maureen. Thanks!

Marshy said...

this was a flowing read...not once did it falter, leading up to a wonderful conclusion...enjoyed this..cheers pete

Anonymous said...

I think you've served the forgiveness prompt well. I especially like the last phrase.

Violet N. said...

Powerful poem that addresses so many aspects of hurt and forgiveness. I especially like that last image of working together in the mud before the damage hardens.

Ruth said...

Moment by moment. One hand at a time.

I like this. I like how you used below the radar and it reminded me of "below the belt."

Dave King said...

There are so many phrases packing a punch, and they all come up on you unexpectedly. Wonderful.

Basque-Land said...

I really like this poem, the title Erosion, that even though we forgive, things can erode a bit as words are such weapons leaving their scars.