Thursday, January 18, 2018

Earth, walk with me

To where  
my beloved home waits
crisp yellow by red sun 
and serenaded by ancient trees 
here, the smell of musk is spice
the heat is soup with bread
the fragrance of green 
are soft cotton sheets at night
and my eyes are opening at the 
first brush of light
and flight of small wings

Earth, remind me
of dawn's pink sparkle
dispelling fingers of darkest night
of fresh scent of rain
on faces of wild berries 
I want to shrink, sink 
into your chest of silence
turn me into a stone or grain
it matters not
beside the rolling river,
I am pure 
beating heart-

The above poem was inspired by this Pablo Neruda's poem illustrated below:

Turn me oh sun
towards my native destiny,
rain from the ancient forest,
return to me the fragrance and the swords
that fall from the sky,
the solitary peace of field and rock,
the moisture at the margins of the river,
the scent of the larch,
the wind, alive like a heart
beating among the remote flock
of the great araucaria.

Earth, return to me your pure gifts
the towers of silence that rose
from the solemnity of their roots:
I want to return to being what I have not been,
learn to return from such depths
that amongst all the things of nature
I could live or not live: no matter
to be one more stone, the dark stone,
the pure stone that is carried by the river.

Posted for dVerse Poets Pub - Guest host is Jill Lyman.  The prompt is Response Poetry where the challenge is to write a poem that is a direct reply to another poem.  We can test  our poetic limits by mirroring the form of the original poem.  You may also choose to take the challenge to another level by writing two poems in which you respond to an original poem of your own. Please join us when the pub doors open at 3pm EST.


  1. gentle and evocative. Hi Grace. HNY. ~

  2. I really love how you mirrored the form and sense, still brought it even closer to the growth of things... really loved the Neruda poem too.

  3. What a terrific challenge you set for yourslef with Neruda. You kept his form beautifully and the spirit of it, as well. I really enjoy how you turn words to surprise your reader with the unexpected and the crisp imagery.

  4. I agree with Jill - a terrific challenge. I love the way the title merges with the opening lines and the lines:
    'here, the smell of musk is spice
    the heat is soup with bread
    the fragrance of green
    are soft cotton sheets at night';
    '...dawn's pink sparkle
    dispelling fingers of darkest night
    of fresh scent of rain
    on faces of wild berries'
    'I am pure
    beating heart'.

  5. You've caught the voice so well. I love the way you reflect and explore the ideas in the Neruda poem.

  6. Sure made it your own, but kept it similar indeed. Like how you added your own senses to it.

  7. If you hadn't separated the two, I would have thought them both from the same author. Love that you kept the same voice and tempo.

  8. Yours is way cooler than Pablo Neruda's, and way easier to understand. Thank God!

  9. I like the idea of "sink
    into your chest of silence".

  10. I love how you pick out all the simple joys of the human world, then blend them with the joys of the natural world, the line between the two is thin, here. I love the personification of the earth in your poem, in fact I prefer yours to Neruda's.

  11. A poet (or two) in love with the earth. Your "heat is soup with bread" and "first brush of light
    and flight of small wings" were especially lovely.

  12. Beautifully executed, Grace...the poems compliment each other!

  13. Wow, Grace! You echo Neruda's lyric so evocatively, and in such a complementary voice! Vivid and surreal!

  14. Excellent, Grace! You stayed true to his form and emotion.

  15. a very feminine response to the masculine Neruda poem which I adore for its strength and now yours for selecting the choicest words and soft earth produce. the voluptuous berries and scented rain, perfect mirror to Neruda's more earthy words. perfect Grace, just perfect!

  16. Grace oF Ballet
    Art oF Martial
    waiTing to:
    coMe and
    pLay WitH AnD
    As From: God sAMe
    And DiFFeReNT IsREaL..:)

  17. An intriguing exercise and a fascinating read ... both pieces imbued with mesmerizing images.

  18. Oh, Grace, your piece perfectly complements Neruda's. Lovely writing. :-)


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