jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Holding Her Heart In Her Hand, The Wife Discovers She Has Just Made Another Mess To Clean Up


It is a delicate floss,
the thin string between
life and death.
Heart, that bloody
hawk’s prey, pumps
to its own drummer,
until, in a flash of talon
to pale white mouse,
it stops. A beat missed
in our eternal drumsong.
Consider the hummingbird,
red blur of the feeder,
pushing his heart
to the limit,
fifty-three beats per second.
Peaceful midget,
you will defend your territory
with the heart of an eagle,
will stop short,
a hovering spark,
to coat your ruby throat in nectar,
then continue on, beating,
beating,
beating.
Consider the crow,
blackest of birds,
sleeping with a night light
on bloody lookout for owls
stealing hearts in the dark.
Skin, feather, hollow bone,
no matter the string,
no matter how taut we pull,
it is a delicate floss,
the lives of our heart.
Wrap your fingers round something
stretch to purple.
Hold on tight.

15 Comments:

Blogger PDW said...

happy school vacation! :)

i love this title and the part about the white mouse is literally, heart-stopping. the themes of taking life (birds of prey) and protecting life (the hummingbird) are very intriguing.

i'm having trouble with the floss/string and the birds -- there's a disconnect in my mind. you're the bird expert -- did i miss it? my brain wouldn't let it go and i went back to see if the piece in between the mentions of the string (the middle) would stand on its own and still work with the title. i think it can but works best inside a container, like you've done, with the string. so i'm torn. maybe there's another container, though.

1:11 PM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

funny that you should pick up on this. the floss was the beginnng of the poem, about a month ago. the hawk, too. the rest of the poem came later, so i noticed the disparate images, too. i was kindof hoping it would work.

5:37 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

this was wonderful.. the heart in all of its strength is only as strong as its last beat... this was expertly done.....

7:34 PM  
Blogger Linda Jacobs said...

Another amazing bird poem from you! I've read this several times and find more about it to like in each reading!

8:46 PM  
Blogger Mariacristina said...

This is a poem that deserves to be read again and again. I've been thinking a lot about my heart lately-I can hear it at night from inside because I've taken to sleeping with earplugs. And then to take the image and continue it along with the behavior of birds works just right.

When I read floss with heart, I imagine the aortas and veins intersecting the chambers of the heart. (I took an anatomy class on Saturday, go figure!)Maybe you could work it in that way. A strong poem, Jill.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

Places here, you pull off something I envy: you ay something utterly simple, and it has dimensions. The stretched, slippery filament, and the urgent pressure of blood, beat in hold on tight.

The long vowels of the crows on bloody patrol for owls are eary.

And the title is wonderful. Rueful, makes you ache, the way it wants somehow to reach out and take hold and change things.

(I'm over at Spring Farm Alamnac, and I think we've nodded in passing before. :-)

9:45 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

Make that "eerie". :-)

9:46 PM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

ah-ha! i was thinking of something along those lines, too, mariacristina! yes. aorta, veins, very flossy, stringy...thanks!

and thanks, everyone, for your kind words!

this poem might have taken a whole different direction if i'd written it the day we rushed to the hospital because of my dad's heart problems. i started it then, almost automatically, then time and "stuff" got in the way, and i've only now copme back to it, after having time to process and let the adrenalin subside.

9:48 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

I like the bird references for the heart. You are so good at it.

ode for convoluted crevices

7:48 AM  
Blogger anthonynorth said...

You really like birds, don't you? They turn you into a poet.

10:29 AM  
Blogger SweetTalkingGuy said...

It works for me - You know so much about birds!
Also, it's a great title.

5:48 PM  
Blogger chicklegirl said...

I liked the use of both floss and birds; made me think of bird on a wire and all that conjures. I think I said it about the last poem of yours I read, but this is like music, complex, compelling and lyrical. Lovely.

9:59 PM  
Blogger ...deb said...

It's gorgeous on a million levels.

You move through points of view so nicely. I hardly know what's being done, I am taken with the journey.

Hold on tight, indeed.

I want to see all your birds gathered. :-)

And where is the delightful image from? (I adore bids, have I told you that before?)

11:17 PM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

thank you, everyone, for your comments. something about birds just inspires me. i don't want it to get old though, so i have to keep challenging myself to say new things--try to look at birds differently each time.

deb.. i got the image from a page about hummingbirds. i ggogled hummingbirds, i think, can't remember for sure, and somewhere, the image came up. i love it, too!

12:11 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

I kinda like the floss image too--goes well with something you can wrap your fingers tight around, a line that is slippery and gossamer, but can be a noose, of sorts.

I love the title, too!

4:31 PM  

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