Monday, September 21, 2009



A black feather,
in the stillest of air
and in the quietest of moments,
moved of its own volition
across my clean swept porch,
making it the only true
marvel of the day.


Karen said...

Such are the things that make our lives. I wonder if at the end we'll remember the great and momentous occurrences of our lives? I tend to think it will be these small marvels that "flash upon our inward eye."

So much said in so few words. Poetry!

the walking man said...

The only one? Bummer.sconi

Catvibe said...

What a beautiful image to work from, I love the colors! I just read your last two poems. The one before is beautiful and so touching. This one, makes me sad. Only one marvel? Well, it is a beauty as marvels go. What I love is the silence that this poem implies, and that is lovely.

Bob said...

It's always the small, delicate movements that leave the strongest impressions... so good to be reading new work from you again, Kaye, it's brilliant as ever.

Anonymous said...

Nifty! The best kind of magic is the small and subtle kind of magic..

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hey, Karen - yes, and especially a poet's life. Everything, no matter how (seemingly) insignificant, is observed and duely noted.
It ALL matters.
Yes...Poetry! Thanks, friend.

WM - Poetically speaking...

Hi Cat - Thanks so much. I think it is sad, too. Pensive melacholy often creeps into my poetry. (Great to see you, Cat)

Bob - That's a perfect way of putting it! It is the small movements around us that set us to thinking. I appreciate your comment very much!

Joseph - I like that - small and subtle magic. Exactly. Thanks!!

joaquin carvel said...

i didn't feel meloncholy as much as a tiny smile - like each day must have at least one marvel, and this was monday's.

it's hard to miss the grand and glorious - but equally hard to notice the soft and slight - like karen said, poetry!

Anonymous said...

What a luxurious picture!

Maybe the true marvel of the day was your thoughts walking out into the world.

Vesper said...

Kaye, I think I understand your feeling… I see in this poem the crisp revelation that suddenly brings us in touch with the simplest of things and the deepest of mysteries - so beautifully put in words and image.

RachelW said...

Perhaps the day was full of marvels, but you failed to see them? I often wonder that, about myself.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joaquin - you are right...this was Monday's wonder. I have always observed the little things of life...and have always found a higher truth there, whether it be people, animals, places or things. There is one common flow and one common breathing. Thank you, friend.

Jason - thank you very much. What a lovely way to put it. I think it is a marvel that our thoughts go out into the world at a push of a button. ;)

Vesper - That's it exactly. Each little thing implies the universe....and all its inscrutability. Thanks for the beautiful and astute comment. ;)

Rachel - I am 100% sure you are right. I guess I am so used to the sun and stars, they were easily usurped by this one black feather.

Margaret said...

It's sad that the feather was the only true marvel of the day.

But then again - I'm sure it wasn't!

We're just so busy in our own little worlds it's easy to overlook true marvels.

I love the structure of your poem K. :)

Julie said...

Fantastic!! I love that there are two juxtaposing images in this poem. The black feather and a clean swept porch. How excellent to include the "clean swept" porch. Those two words speak volumes. I'm always fascinated with contrasts in poems, and the fact that you have two here is even more fascinating to me. I can picture the entire scene with just those two images. What a wonderful use of language. Not a word is wasted.

I agree with Joaquin about the smile. I love the title, too. It makes the poem even more powerful. Now I'm gonna go out and see what little things are floating around on my porch:)

Rick said...

This black feather moving of its own volition is the most powerful moment of the poem for me. It is as though your porch is an empty stage before opening night and of a sudden one of the props decides to walk about on its own. If you and I were the caretakers of such a stage I believe that it would indeed be the only true marvel of our day.

jack sender said...

subtle, quiet, poignant observations

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hello Margaret, Yes, wonders never cease, but do we notice them all. Thanks so much for your sweet words.

Julie - I love the way you dissect a poem. Thanks for catching the contrast of the black feather and the clean porch. I also wanted to show that the feather, in its journey, was unencumbered by dirt or leaves - and really "moved"

I am glad that the poem made you want to look for the obscure little wonders that might be occuring on your porch!? ;) Thanks ever so much for your fine remarks!!

Rick, That is a good way of putting it! - Oh, my...if we were the caretakers of the stage, who knows what upstaging would occur - and not just by a black feather either! I know one thing for certain - it would be fun! Thanks!

Jack, Many thanks for your thoughtful comment. ;)

Mairi said...

Jewish housewives use a feather to symbolically sweep the last crumbs of leavened bread out of the house before passover, after they've already given the place a thorough cleaning out. Perhaps some unknown something was giving you a symbolic clean sweep. How often, after all, does a feather move across a clean porch all on its own? Each day must have its marvel, as Joaquin has already put it.

Aniket said...

'Pensive melacholy often creeps into my poetry'

Its so evident here. Honestly, if I am to remember today as THE day in my past. I'd remember it as THE DAY I READ THIS POEM. Its probably a poem I've FELT the most in life.

Thank you for this.

Wishing you many more such wonders. I'm sorry I've even weaker eyes than yours to spot them.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Mairi - Interesting interpretation - a symbolic sweep. I often ask for signs in my life. Perhaps the feather was just that...a sign. I have entertained many possibilities as to its meaning. And...if it were a symbolic gesture on nature's part to get me thinking about my life - then it worked. Thank you Mairi.

Aniket - You honor me with your words, dear friend. I am genuinely touched by your comment! Thank you very much! xo

Selchie said...

Ah for those small moments.. and to you for taking the time to notice.

Great to see you back,