Sunday, August 23, 2015

The body's clock


Photo - Douglas Salisbury

"Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars  of light"
In Blackwater Woods - Mary Oliver



his body knew not
seasons nor time's tempest 
but only its own heartbeat
slower than low tide 
on long summer's day

outside the sun beckons
orange pink light,
a mirror of new day    
but his bones are heavy
silted with mysterious roots   
curling stiff as purple-red autumn leaf 
he sinks into sleep
steeped with clouds
ever wandering with wind




Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads- Play It Again, Inspired by Kerry's William Carlos Williams, and Susie's Bits of Inspiration, The Photography of Douglas Salisbury
and Poets United.   This is based on meeting someone who has irregular & mysterious sleep patterns. Thanks for the visit ~

34 comments:

  1. Strong imagery here...sinking into sleep steeped with clouds..really enjoyed that picture. It must be hard to have irregular sleep patterns though & hard to adjust to any kind of schedule.

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    1. The sleeping pattern placed him on disability, unable to do office work ~ Thanks Mary ~

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  2. Definitely strong imagery. I get mixed emotions thinking about this character that you have created. My first thought was of an abandoned/broke down car. Ha. It wasnt the having his own clock and rhythm, but the weight of his bones that I felt. At least he still wanders in his dreaming. Solid piece Grace.

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    1. I like your first thought about the broken down car ~ Thanks X ~

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  3. So true.. some people have mysterious sleeping habits which you have captured quite vividly in this gorgeous poem. Beautifully executed :D

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  4. Oh so hard when sleeping habits put you at such a place.. wonderful how you have worked the metaphor into this... I would have worked with the photograph of the broken car as well.

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    1. I was torn between the pictures as they are all wonderful ~ Yes, that broken car would worked as well too ~

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  5. Not being able to sleep good and in a cycle can sure be a pain in the arse

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  6. I love it all. You said it in an elegant way.

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  7. My word, this is gorgeous!!! I especially like the second stanza. And I love the way you switched tenses. In the first stanza, you write of the past; in the second, the present. So if this WAS true:

    "his body knew not
    seasons nor time's tempest
    but only its own heartbeat"

    ... then now, it must not be. I'm guessing his heartbeat is much quicker now. I think that's what you're getting at. And now he knows the difference between seasons? So to me, this speaks to the aging process. When we're young, I think we just have fun and enjoy experiences as a whole, but we don't really key in on the details. As we age, I think we begin to realize that every experience contains a zillion minute moments to key into and absorb. So I see this guy learning that, more and more, as he gets older: to note every little detail, to really enjoy every second, wherever he might be and whatever he might be doing. We should all savor our days like that. But we probably don't.

    I love the line, "outside the sun beckons," because I can't help but read it as if this guy is practically standing on the sun ... just "outside" it. Or like the "atmosphere," if you will, around the sun is beckoning. So maybe this is spiritual, and you're hiding "Son" (Jesus) in there. Or maybe there's a force outside the sun that's beckoning (him?, everyone?, who knows?) for people to come inside it. But whether you're near the sun, or inside it, you're obviously dead. So what does it matter, either way? Unless it's the Son. That's entirely different.

    OR, what if the energy around the sun is trying to pull people OUT of the sun ... because it IS dangerous? Is it an angel? Does she want to take the people back to earth, OR lead them to heaven? Really, I could go on doing this forever, but it drives people nuts, so I'll stop. ;) My imagination is just explosive, as you might have noticed. It runs away from me VERY quickly. How do I even function in daily life?! (Well, I don't. Not very well, anyhow.)

    This is my favorite part:
    "his bones are heavy
    silted with mysterious roots
    curling stiff as purple-red"

    Stunning (human) nature poetry.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comments ~ What struck me about him is that he seems like a normal and fun guy to be with but his sleeping pattern is wrecking havoc on his normal routine ~ He has aged, yes, and he says he has learned to listen and tune in to his body's clock, rather than the time or seasons or the summer sun outside his house ~

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  8. You definitely convey a sense of the mysterious, particularly through these lines: "but his bones are heavy
    silted with mysterious roots
    curling stiff as purple-red autumn leaf "--my absolute favorites :-)

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  9. Those of us who can sleep at the tune of sun and moon rarely truly think about the complex dance that must be the life of someone who sleeps whenever (without having a choice). Your poem does so well as pointing out the tiredness, the lack of rhythm, and in a terrible way... the lack of rest.

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  10. So beautiful and I especially love the closing lines.

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  11. They can turn out to be weird. They can also be unpredictable. Such habits may be detrimental to health!

    Hank

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  12. I adore the words you chose here Grace..the descriptions are perfect...I felt myself in these lines...
    'but his bones are heavy
    silted with mysterious roots'

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  13. The imagery works well here - everything speaks of a weariness and being slightly out of kilter. Wonderful.

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  14. So sad that this illness disables him ... hope he can find a cure! The poem is perfect for the imagist theme ... vivid imagery indeed.

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  15. How hard it is to move when someone feels so heavy with those 'mysterious roots'...nice take on the prompt.

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  16. Beautiful imagery Grace. Felt joyful and sad at the same time.

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  17. the broken sleep rhythm brings about a kind of weariness that's very much expressed here....

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  18. the flavor of disrupted sleep, here, Grace ~

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  19. I love the way you say things.. and the last image of clouds wandering with wind.. it's beautiful and peaceful.

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  20. Beautiful imagery about age and dreams.

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  21. I have insomnia and this speaks to my sleepless state. So beautiful Grace. Thank you for taking part in the prompt.

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  22. You bring your unique talents to this atmospheric description. It excites the imagination.

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  23. An awesome post - the photo, quote and poem. Having a sleep pattern that is out of sync with most of the world must confer a certain level of alternate reality upon one's life. You've sketched an almost eerie discordant scene, compassionately in achingly beautiful imagery. Lovely write.

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  24. Gorgeous! (As I so often seem to to say to you.)

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  25. I have a psychotic tree in front of my house, it is coming to seed while at the same time changing colors and dropping foliage. I like strange.

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  26. the roots - the wandering with wind - lthe heavy bones - very cool personification of a tree - ove the images grace

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  27. I can so relate to this poem. My husband has erratic sleep patterns but I never would have described them so beautifully as you have here. You have such a lovely way with words Grace.

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Thank you for your comments and visit. I appreciate them ~