Sunday, March 25, 2012

Poetics: Going Under

Copyright: James Rainsford, Used with Permission

Going Under

When they got the news
that his body was found
at the foot of Silver Falls
some would not believe it--
and those who took it in
knew it was accidental,
his canvas shoes incapable
of holding the soppy trail,
his mind on a hundred good
challenges that loosened
his attention, his focus
perhaps honing in below
on one vibrant leaf
  colored too early
trying to break free
from the power
that pushed it
under and then
under again.
                     MLydiaM ~ March 2012

Written for Poetics-Patterns, Pictures and Poems at dVerse Poets. Thank you to James Rainsford for this thoughtful prompt using his gorgeous photography.



Claudia said...

dang...suicide is a tough topic to write again and you done a masterful job...heck...tears..what loneliness...what strength he tried to "wear" on the outside but then...heck...this is gorgeous lydia...

Claudia said...

i mean "a tough topic to write on..." heck..still a bit jetlagged and my brain doesn't work properly...

Lydia said...

Claudia~ Thank you so much. Your brain works beautifully, always. Now, go forth and have a splendid day in New York City!
(My husband and I were married there :)

Fireblossom said...

Like Claudia, my eyes are stinging too. The shoes and what people said, and then the leaf at the end, are such soft yet telling touches. I'm glad I did what you do and wrote mine before reading others, because if I had read this first, I would have sat back in my chair, wiped my eyes, muttered "well HELL" and not written anything!

Brian Miller said...

ugh...heavy in my chest...i like your approach...and your story telling is surely top notch in this with shay i like the shoes and the leaf....well done

izzy said...

Very good ! wow- such a natural
flow pun intended- thanks.

Daydreamertoo said...

Suicide is such a lonely way to die. Yikes, you paint the picture well here. Vivid in its depths and sadness.

Grace said...

A different take on the prompt...your last lines are chilling and sad...very well done ~

(aka Heaven)

Mama Zen said...

This is understated, elegant, and incredibly powerful. Wow.

Mary said...

Lydia, from the words of your poem, I would not have guessed it was a suicide. I only know this from your note & what others have said. I would have thought it indeed an accident; but I guess that is sometimes what people wish to think when suicide takes place. Well written...I felt myself slip slip slipping away...and then under, caught up in your words.

Stu mcp (hate & hope) said...

This was stark and beautiful. A tough topic to tackle but you didn't overdo it- in fact- it was very delicate. This was thoughtfully crafted, and one of my fave pieces I've read or this prompt

hedgewitch said...

This picture seems to bring out the depths of our own reflections--in this case, a compelling narrative, full of sad music and sharp perceptions, Lydia. The sense of separation, of an unbridgeable solitude and its own force of decision, is intense. Fine writing.

Charles Miller said...

I found this amazingly clear and dramatic. The way that accidents occur in life is a way to see this picture, caught up in thoughts and pulled into oneself, while the world itself has other ideas. I appreciate greatly how the subjective view, counters the accidental nature of reality, giving a subtle purpose, the moment of enjoyment, before death has its way.

James Rainsford said...

Although sad, this certainly tells an evocative and intesely imagined event.
It spoke to the image in an original and authentic voice.
Thank you for sharing.

Wander said...

Very good poem...To be pushed under and under again a very tough place to be...


ds said...

This is so quietly, elegantly powerful--the shoes, the leaf, the loosened attention, "but of course it was accidental". Those details stir up the depths and push them under, and again. Stunning write, Lydia, on a very difficult subject, from any perspective. Thank you.

Victoria said...

Excellent write on a subject just so difficult to understand. I especially like that line about his attention focused on a leaf. Great detail.

Rob-bear said...

A sad post, in detail — all the 5 W's covered. And some assumption thrown in for good measure.

I can see it all.

Lydia said...

Fireblossom~ You are so kind in your comments to me. I know.....writing from these prompts just doesn't work for me unless I do mine before reading any others. And, as with this week, I am often dumbstruck at the wavelengths shared by participants. I felt the same way about your post for this prompt, btw!!!

Brian~ Thank you for mentioning the storytelling aspect!

izzy~ I appreciated and was tickled by your comment. :)

daydreamertoo~ It is so difficult. I've seen too much of it, having lost a cousin and a childhood friend.

Grace~ I know. I really love how others saw the beauty of solitude in this image.

Mama Zen~ Your adjectives honor this poem; thank you.

Mary~ That is good that it can be viewed the way you did. Your own take on this prompt was so beautifully uplifting that my spirits really soared. Thank you because I needed that after writing this!

Stu~ I am honored that this was one of your faves for this prompt, and appreciated your comments so much.

Lydia said...

hedgewitch~ lord, woman, you write the most amazing critiques! You could do this for a living, I swear. Thank you so much.

Charles Miller~ I could say the same thing to you as hedge above. Many thanks for your sensitive comment.

James Rainsford~ First, thank you again for your beautiful photography and for your poem The Gulls, which I loved so much. Second, that you would say that this spoke in an "original and authentic voice" just means the world to me.

Wander~ Yes, it would be. Thank you.

ds~ You also are one whose comments and critiques are deeply meaningful to me. Thank you.

Victoria~ Thank you. I am glad you liked it.

Rob-bear~ Ha, the five W's! Hadn't thought of it that way, but I'm glad I hit the mark, dear Bear!

Deborah said...

Hi Lydia, I haven't been on the computer for a while, but so glad I logged on today ... this is so very good ... gosh you can write! x

Muhammad Israr said...

is it unintentional suicide kind of thing? why would a man go with such slppery shoes..anyhow as always, marvelous depiction of the picture at hand :) bravo...

Lydia said...

Deborah~ Oh, thank you...and so good to "see" you!

Muhammad Israr~ This might sound weird, but the image sort of "told" me that the man was wearing canvas shoes. I think that would be an intentional act, given most people would wear shoes that provide security on a wet trail.....

susan said...

I didn't think of suicide either when I read your lovely poem. Instead, I was immediately reminded of a favorite Zen story:

The Sweetest Strawberry
A man was chased by a tiger.
Coming to a cliff, he grabbed the root of a vine and hung over the edge.
The tiger looked at him from above.
The man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting.
Two mice began to gnaw at the vine.
The man saw a luscious strawberry near him.
Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.
How sweet it tasted!

Lydia said...

susan~ Oh! I have never heard that Zen story before and I love it and now it is my favorite also! It does indeed put a different slant on the poem. Thank you.



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