Sunday, December 4, 2011


Are you rocks or roots, now.
Clumps of dirt from heaven
Drum down and drown the yellow pine.
Black thorns and shriveled hips
Bristle under the grey skies.

A box of chocolates,
A heart held
In sweaty palms,
Slubbed red ribbons tied thick,
A handprint left
A slight shudder
On lily silked flanks,
Lupines and Anise Hyssop kisses
Uprooted and crumbled,
Drawn from the elk-flecked meadow,
New & sweet, spotted like a fawn,
Sleeping soft shallow breaths,
A whispered promise to the crook of a tree,
No names carved,
Only an impulse


  1. This was inspired in part after reading "To Earthward" by Robert Frost which begins:

    Love at the lips was touch
    As sweet as I could bear;
    And once that seemed too much;
    I lived on air

    Read the rest here (if you wish):
    To Earthward

  2. MJ, I am so delighted with the Frost poem, and with yours. It is these kinds of crumbled word-images that I long for in a wonderful poem, and the pain and tear stains too. Oh Jane, slubbed red ribbons . . . elk-flecked meadow . . . soft shallow breaths . . . a whispered promise to the crook of a tree . . . on and on this is the earth I want to feel. You simply stole my breath away.

  3. yes, jane, i came and read earlier and was too linear. i came just now undone and arrived outward in the swirl of images and words, so lovely. i quote back what ruth does, slubbed red ribbons . . . elk-flecked meadow . . . soft shallow breaths . . . a whispered promise to the crook of a tree . . . i arrive at being so pleased to be in this body on this earth. somehow i feel more lovely for this experience. this is a real treasure.


  4. I wasn't sure about making a link to the Frost poem; it's a fairly bold move to compare oneself to the masters, but as I read the poem again, I felt the need to share it. It caught me by surprise. I had Frost pegged as "Stopping by Woods on a Snow Evening" and, well, a rather frosty New Englander. "Earthbound" is so romantic. "I lived on air"? It laments his late wife in such a sweet and earthy way.
    Anyway, thank you, Ruth for your kind comments. I can't even say where all this dream world comes from. Loves and memories buried away.

  5. erin, your comment about linearity makes me think that this was too oblique, that it didn't make sense. Thanks for coming back. I'm glad you got more the second time around. I'm not sure that I have a clear image in my mind about this. I know some of it and what it means to me about specific losses in my life and imagining some parts of the lives of others and twining it with my own experiences and mostly just wanting to breathe it all in, rocks and roots and ribbons.

  6. Oh, and another thing about Robert Frost: I do so admire his ability to make cadence and rhyme so lovely and natural.