Sunday, December 13, 2009

LEANING OUT



LEANING OUT


high above
the silent city
she spends
her hours
leaning out
toward the
high towers
and piercing
spires –
the bells
tolling
her desires
to breathe
through the
holes they
punch in
the black
star-sprinkled
sky


and
from them
the air –
reaching
her from some
ancient hill -
or the breath
of a mystical
messenger
sweeter still


and now
to fall
silently down
toward the
whiteness
of snow
and the
dark blue
shadows
beckoning
below


the stars
watching in
amazement
as they brighten
their glow
and the earth
flinches
impulsively
and waits
for the blow
of another
poet gone
mad with
thinking -
or with the
thoughts
that makes
it so


but the
poet is an
aged thrush
who flings
her frail
frame into
the wintry
gust of
iced flakes
and crystal
shapes of
every blush
and with
her might
she fights
to flutter -
as wings
bend and
songs stutter
while her body
tumbles down
through the
pall of night


just as
the winter
suffers
the snow
the paper
endures the
words of
the poet
as she goes
down through
the night
dangerously
dangerously
in her flight

24 comments:

Karen said...

Kaye, this is most beautiful. Your command of sound and image is exceptional, and every time you post a new poem, I feel as if I'm in the presence of a master.

I've read this four times already, and I can't pull out just a few lines that move me. The image of the dark blue shadows beckoning and the earth flinching as this aged thrush "fights to flutter"...just riveting and beautiful and tragic.

The title, too, is perfect.

Karen said...

Back to mention that the form of this is perfect, too, echoing the tower and the fall.

Selchie said...

Great!, have to agree with Karen's comment about the structure, racing toward the fall. Love the pace, and yes the poets mad with thoughts, think we can all relate to that one!
Loved it.
Beautiful day,

Sarah.)

Margaret said...

Wonderful K!

Your poem cries out to be read over & over again. Like running up the steps of the tower again & again to lean out and absorb the entirety of the universe.

jason evans said...

In addition to the amazing imagery (as usual), I really liked how the aa bb rhyme scheme was camouflaged in the broken lines. Cool!

Sarah Hina said...

Oh wow, Kaye, I feel like an idiot saying this, because I've probably said it a million times, but this may be my favorite poem of yours yet. Just stunning, stunning images, with a flawless rhythm to boot.

How do you DO this?? I'm not worthy!!! :D

Your flights of words always, always soar.

trooping with crows said...

Ahhhhhhhh.....
(had to let my breath out)
Mom, only you and Shakespeare could make suicide this eloquent. And I really mean that. This does feel a bit like Shakespeare. It's so exhilarating with each rise and fall (pun intended)
It's like all the dead poets are calling to her from the other side, (or the poem calling her that she cannot write,finish,begin?..driving her to this madness) Either way, it's grievously beautiful.

Vesper said...

Kaye, this is perfect... I keep reading it... and seeing myself high above that city with all the madness of my thoughts...

To quote what I liked most would be to quote it all...

joaquin carvel said...

i'm with troop on this one - "grievously beautiful" - wonderfully crafted and the kind of poem that makes you hold your breath without realizing it. it's all wonderful, but the "dangerously / dangerously / in her flight" at the end just makes me want to reach out and hold her hand and fly with her. fantastic!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hey, Karen - Can't thank you enough for the great compliment. It is really rewarding to get such praise from one whose work I admire so much and whose friendship I greatly value. Thank you, "old" friend.
- Glad you noticed and appreciated the form...I was a little hesitant about it, thinking it might be too contrived.



Sarah, I was self-conscious about the structure at first, but the more I stacked the words - the better I liked it. lol...I knew someone would feel a certain affinity with this one - and now to find out it is you!!! Well, at least I am in excellent company! Thank you very much for the comment.


Margaret, what a lovely comment. Yes, for me it is like running up the steps, time and time again, to lean out and absorb the universe. Great way to describe this! Thanks so much for your astute thoughts.


Jason - many thanks for that nod to the aa bb rhyming scheme. I don't feel adept with that particular poetic device, but - glad you thought it worked! I do feel that this particular piece lent itself to the rhyme. Thanks!


Sarah, you always make me smile! Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and words. Oh, you are very worthy, indeed! I appreciate your wonderful enthusiasm.


Merissa, Wow, rubbing elbows with the bard...thanks for that nice compliment! That is a good way to put it - the dead poets calling to her. I think all poets (and artists) have a little madness in them! Or a lot...in some cases. (wink) I am grateful for your comment and compliments. <3


Vesper - I appreciate that so much! I do believe that anyone of us, could find ourselves hanging out that tower window above the city, and imagining what it would be like tumbling down through the darkness...metaphorically, of course. As always, thank you for your thoughts.


Joaquin - I appreciate your comments. I did like what Riss wrote, too... "grievously beautiful". It seems to describe so much in life, and in poetry, that I want to write about. And - it is so like you to choose the most sensitive part of the poem to highlight. Of course, you would reach out and take her hand and fly with her. That is "who" you are.

namingconstellations said...

Karen already mentioned, but I like how the structure of the poem suggests the tower itself. The rhyme stringing through it is way cool as well, and the storied image comes through really nicely. :)

Those poets! What creatures they are!

Aniket said...

"for the blow
of another
poet gone
mad with
thinking -
or with the
thoughts
that makes
it so"

Hey, its the secret of secrets of our secret society. You are not supposed to say it out loud! They'll know that we are all mad. :D And madly in love with your writing we all are. And you maintain a structure throughout too. Amazing!

PS: Just noticed the jewellery on your side bar. Your daughter is quite talented too. Looks like it runs in the family. Hope she does well. I am tempted to buy the third set for my girlfriend. Wait a sec, I just realized I don't have a girlfriend. *sigh*

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hi Joseph, thank you so much for your thoughts on this one. Yes, poets...they do live in a world of their own.


Aniket! Shhhh...I won't tell if you won't tell. Thanks for a lovely comment. I do appreciate it so much.

And thanks for the nod to Merissa's earrings. :)

Rick said...

I hope I know a little of your deliberate ear now, K, so I have to ask you whether you agonized over the word "punch," or did it seem immediately right? No matter how many times I read this poem I keep coming back to that single word.

In the fourth paragraph the word blow elicited the same reaction from me.


In fact these words seemed so key to this beautiful work that I actually saw the last word in the poem as "fight" the first time I read it through.

Rick said...

Hi again, K! Just wanted to stop by again and tell you how lovely an anthology of your poetry would be.

catvibe said...

K! God, this is exquisite! I've been talking about this journey a lot with people lately! And I how grateful that we have paper to record these inward journeys because that's what we need to do! And you did SO WELL here. I was mesmerized by the images K. I'll join the others here to day, I think this is your best poem yet.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

I guess one could call those "fighting words," Rick. How astute of you to pick them out. ...the poet fighting against an unseen adversary (insanity) always a struggle to hang in there, you know.

Yes, punch and blow are definitely the most important words of the poem - as we see the poet going down in defeat - spiraling, spiraling.

How interesting that you saw the word fight, instead of flight, the other words leading you to see that word. The mind is so powerful, isn't it? Fantastic.

How sweet of you to want an anthology of my work. I really am working on things to that end, ... I wish I were more ambitious and motivated along these lines - however, your encouragment does help me, my friend. And for that I thank you.


Cat - I truly appreciate your complimentary comment! I feel happy when one of my poems strikes a chord. You are so right about the inward journeys we must take in order to arrive at some conclusion about ourselves, or life...or both. (I guess the two cannot be separated, in any case.) The trouble, sometimes, is that, while close examinations of self can be helpful - they can also render one vulnerable, at least for a time.

Thanks so much for your great comment. Sorry I haven't been present much lately.

laughingwolf said...

merry xmas, klg :)

Ghost Dansing said...

i really like the poem...

Julie said...

This is so beautiful, and I love the form, too. The ending is excellent. "Dangerously/dangerously" is a perfect way to describe the process.

Happy New Year, Kaye! Wishing you and yours a wonderful year full of many good moments.

Vesper said...

Happy New Year, Kaye!
May it bring you and your loved ones good health and many dreams come true.

xoxoxo

Rick said...

Hey you, Happy New Year! We all miss you.

Terresa said...

I can't believe this poem, how it captivates me. Love it.

PS: Where has your poetry been published? It is striking and beautiful and stunning all at once!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Merry Christmas to you, Wolfie - and thanks!


Ghost - Appreciate that very much!


Julie - Happy New Year to you. I haven't been around of late...I'll get over to your place soon. Thanks!


Vesper - I so appreciate your good wishes. Thanks, friend. Happy New Year to you and your lovelies.


Hi Rick, sorry I haven't been around much. Thanks for the wishes. Happy 2010 to you, friend.
I am trying to get back...Auntie Em! Auntie Em!


Terresa, what a lovely comment. I am glad to know it resonates with you. My poems have appreared in literary magazines and journals - and I have been published in a few Pennsylvania poetry anthologies. I am but a small fish in a big pond! Please visit me here again. Thanks so much!