Friday, May 25, 2012

Critique and Craft: Stream-of-Consciousness Writing • Ghosts


I am collecting ghosts.

Favorite cat was by the porcelain goose on the top
shelf near The Bumper Book, the book that holds
the ghost of my toddler self. I walked by and
smiled that smile that goes inside to me
and not out to the world. Another day, one was
in the bathroom sitting by the Italian sun bust— right
where she sat for my favorite picture of her—white
Feather-fluff, tail wrapped around her toes.
She seems porcelain now too.

There at the same sink I felt a touch so tender
on my elbow tonight—even turned to address my man
but there was no one there. 
Another message from an unknown sender.  

Mama lives in my laptop, the place 
she’d love most if she were still alive.
I’d show her all the tricks and she’d have the
Web mastered in no time, like she mastered
dealing cards, then Business, and quilting, calligraphy,
the art of love, and anything else she put her mind to.

She had no master. 

             Do I? 

Of course not. I am her daughter, the one who cried
in fear of shadows in my bedroom late at night and
nestled against her breast as she held me close—
never-ever saying that I did not
see what I saw. 
                                        MLydiaM ~ May 2012

Written for Critique and Craft—Stream-of-Consciousness Writing at dVerse Poets.



Claudia said...

the art of love is not an easy art to that your mom did..sounds you were pretty close - love all the little touches here lydia...the italian sun bust, the tender touch, the message from an unknown sender...a fine piece..

English Rider said...

This is fabulous. You capture and express what most of us cannot, leaving us nodding in agreement. Thank you.

goatman said...

Very nice; I liked the hidden smile -- I do that a lot.

Anonymous said...

very good journey through memory, puts us in each one. Really like the ending

Victoria said...

How gorgeous is this! Comparing memories to ghosts, then that little breeze that makes you wonder if it is more than memories, and the images that serve so well to conjure up the spirits. And a great portrait of a mother/daughter love.

Brian Miller said...

nice heart tug in this lydia...we all collect those ghosts on some level...and those moments when the veil seems thin and a touch that brings memories crashing back...nicely done ma'am

hedgewitch said...

Beautiful, Lydia, warm and real, and just flows naturally along, full of surprises that all seem to fit perfectly. I especially liked the second stanza, with its odd but poignant intimacy--I've so had that feeling.

Grace said...

The first line got my attention. I like how you recalled your mother, how you admired her. The last stanza is specially touching ~

Rob-bear said...

Intriguing post, Lydia. Bar had trouble following; Bear must be tired.

Well done, nonetheless.

Lydia said...

Claudia~ Thank you for your encouraging comment. My mom and I were close, but I didn't know I was thinking about her until I started that stream...

English Rider~ I'm glad you can relate. Thank you!

goatman~ Pleasing to know that. It was my favorite part.

awakenedwords~ Thanks for your kind comment.

Victoria~ How kind are you! Wonderful prompt that I thank you so much for creating for us.

Brian~ ...when the veil seems thin... Wow! Perfect line that would have made a marvelous title, sir.

hedgewitch~ I loved your words "odd but poignant intimacy." Love your comments.

Grace~ Many thanks. I did admire her, but I did not idolize her...I hope that came through in this piece.

Rob-bear~ Bear can be tired sometimes. It is okay. Thank you for lumbering over.

mythopolis said...

A wonderful and magical piece!

Anonymous said...

I love those experiences of feeling someone's company who may not be visible. And that's such an interesting way to wrap it up - of course you see what you see, even if no one else does.

I'm pretty sure my parent's house has a ghost in it :)

susan said...

What wonderful sentiments so beautifully expressed. I feel the ghosts of love as well and another was inspired by your poem.

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ Did you think of your dog? I hope you have a sense of the love left behind for you...

Amber Lee~ Thanks for mentioning the wrap-up. And I hope your parents' ghost is a sweetie. :)

susan~ "The ghosts of love" is a beautiful way to describe it. The best way, actually!

Fireblossom said...

I've always liked you, girl, but of late you have become one of my favorite poets, too! Everything I read of yours over the past few months just leaves me pleasantly jolted.

I see "Dewey" on your shelf. Wasn't that a cool book?

Kathe W. said...

magical- my mom would have adored the ins and outs of the internet...if we pause and are quiet we all have ghost noses and paws nudging us.

Lydia said...

Fireblossom~ Your comment put me on a have come from you, one of my most favorite poets--one who constantly awes me with her work, delighted me beyond measure. And, yes, "Dewey" was a great book. Fitting that we should discuss a book about a cat, as our dear (old) Pyewacket died in my arms on Sunday afternoon after a quick decline with thyroid failure. ♥ ^.^

Kathe~ Thanks much. Our moms wouldn't believe how our lives have changed, would they?
Please see note in comment to Fireblossom above about our loss on Sunday....more ghost paws.

Roxana said...

this one is one of your best pieces, truly staggering, but in such a gentle and quiet and simple way, this is indeed the wonder of true poetry...
i am touched beyond words. i can't pull myself away from that last stanza, that magical moment of closeness when all shadows are swept away by love and trust.

Lydia said...

Roxana~ Your comment means so much to me. So Much! Thank you, dear friend.



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