25 May 2012

fri-write friday 5/25: "when there's nothing left"

when there's nothing left

How do I keep these words from sounding as hollow
as barrels? There are no apple trees here bearing fruit
from which to pluck the sweet succulents I long to dance
my tongue in new directions. The same longing I keep

clenched in my toes, my uncles share in sweat
down at the fish fry, bringing bags of salts and seasonings
rich with legacy and story—clutched in their caramel hands,
as rich as the secrets those brown paper lunch bags keep.

I could watch them shake and knead the slippery hides
of sea life into tenderness, the crackle of grease and flame
crisping them into dinner sweet as candy. The magic of fish
melting on your tongue—oh that I could press that sacred word

into your palm and wrap your fingers over it. That you would know
what sacred is, how sacred does, that all that time spent on our knees
could be breaded and served flaking like the peanut butter brittle
we shared on summer afternoons before there were such secrets to be kept.

In Sedona, a statue in honor of the old apple orchards
(which, actually, has nothing to do with this poem but apples)


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Check out these previous Fri-Write Friday posts on Our Lost Jungle:


  1. Oh, my. Gorgeous, gorgeous. Especially: "The same longing I keep

    clenched in my toes" and "That you would know
    what sacred is, how sacred does, that all that time spent on our knees
    could be breaded and served flaking"...and that ending that my heart thought might be coming...but hoped wasn't.

    Fantastic. You.Blow.Me.Away.

  2. What she said...
    Wish I could give you back the image this gives me. A WPA style woodcut train of uncles hauling bags of spices like so many fish fry magi. Your family glows through so many of your poems.

    (do have a question: kneeds. If this were my poem that would be a spelling goof. But here. I am not sure. It does emphasize the knees )

    1. "shake and kneed"is the spot I mean. See, I can't event type one word without getting it wrong.

    2. You're right, Barbara... "knead" versus "kneed" is probably one of my most frequent typos, ha-ha!!

    3. I just made the correction--- thanks again!

  3. Stellar piece. Rich in texture and visually inspiring, it sings to me!

  4. Nice description and use of figurative language.

    1. Thanks so much, MC! I'm enjoying perusing your blog!

  5. Keep writing, Keep writing, Keep writing, Keep writing

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! Always appreciate it, Esther!

  6. My favorite House is Khara's Lost Jungle...

    You unhinge moorings
    With each poem you pen;

    I hunger and wait for
    Morsel nectar rewards.

    Divine diva; Oh, Diva divine
    No matter how I see it

    I have lost my freedom to
    You, I await, I yearn, I fret

    O'er the next missive; the
    Journey, the ride, I know

    Not where it will steal me away;
    I know it will take me to a

    Sacred place, a hallowed place
    Which strips me of my guard

    As I am kneaded and molded
    And shaped and formed by

    Eternal words penned by caramel
    Hands, sweetened by divine ambrosia,

    An apple, a fruit of wisdom
    That I plucked from a tree

    While I was lost in the jungle;
    I am suddenly cast back out

    Into the vastness of existence
    With a sense of empty, a sacred

    Void that must be kept secure
    For the next time I steal into

    The House in search of
    Candied apple words

    That go bump and spark
    And fill my void.

    1. What a lovely comment, and an equally lovely poem! Thank you so much, Meena!


Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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