raoin: (dont you look smart)
Along the river bank,
against the Gothic backdrop of church spires and great stone bridges
the artists and the farmers sell their wares.

I stroll amid the clusters of well-dressed locals and tourists:
past women with small woven baskets filled with the makings of dinner,
past young lovers who walk with locked hands,
their heads bent in the private susurrous of gossip shared,
past the jumble of workers seeking sustenance and spectacle.

The early summer day is cool with tiny whispering breezes
pulling scents of cool water, distant oceans, new mown hay -
and the sun seems like an easy and welcome friend playing between the leaves of Poplar trees
glinting off of the steady pace of the river.

I will know it when I see it, I think
as I drink in the heady smell of new bread from a stall I pass by,
the market and the river seem to stretch far into the horizon.

The near palpable flavor of fresh fish rises from another stall
and I pause to admire the rainbow of the scales, the crisp whiteness of the ice,
and the affable patter of the stall owner selling to the crowd.
His jokes about the one that got away are tried but still manage to elicit laughter -
he is glad to be here today, his world is right and true.

I smile, he has teased it from my face like a earnest suitor, and continue walking.
I feel out of time, a star amid planets;
set apart and yet immersed, I am a whole grain lost in the pounded flour.
The people around me could be speaking a hundred different languages,
I feel I would hear only the sine-wave rise and fall of humanity,
their sounds curl around me, I am a stone in the river and they pass me by.

At a soap-maker's stall
jasmine and gardenia hang and flow in the air like kites.
I scent one then the other and more beyond that,
like a flock of birds, I pick one scent out and it is replaced by yet another.

I have felt myself slowly pausing, have felt my legs -my feet-
seem to grow reticent to move on. To root where I stand,
to pull me to the side a tangle of tendrils and vines.
The grass, the patchy cobblestones, the trilling fountains tucked in small garden alcoves
hidden shady patches occupied by benches stone and wood - open and inviting.

Full - all the market is the whole world and I am present to all of it -
known and knowing.
Rich with the time and tempo,
this moment is a storehouse filling with seven times seven years of grain.

I find a stall selling new plums
they shine darkly, their gradations of color
evoking ancient kings and sunsets, death by violent hands and the bleeding force of new life.
I choose the first one my hand lands on.
Paying, I feel as though i have traded a small burden for a great joy.

I continue on, palming the plum from hand to hand. Rolling.
I feel it polish and snag beneath the skin of my thumbs.
My shoes scuff the soft ground beneath me, the ground is going to swallow me one day
and the dust rises languidly as I pass along this path.

my first bite is gentle.
I hear the rip of skin, feel the tear of flesh against my teeth -
the tart tang condensing into smooth swelling sweetness.
The sun shines, I hear a guitar softly tuning up ahead.

I am now only one week behind. this poem-story is based off of the chosen theme:

"And he was rich-- yes, richer than a king--"
from Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

If you want to participate see this entry and this entry. If you are not a friend of [livejournal.com profile] guessthejess you should be.
raoin: (through the mirror)
"We are making a cake." she said.
Home from work, I had walked into the kitchen towards the intermittent sound of pounding.
I could tell by the hunch of her pale shoulders as I entered the room
by the twisted whisp of errant hair, by the flour spilled on the floor:
she didn't want me to ask any questions.

The sun through the windows cut hard squares of yellow light
against the counter-top, the floor, her form.
Despite the heat, all the curtains were drawn back
and I could see the streaks and smudges from past rainstorms on the panes of glass.

I felt a sudden urge to run;
the sense that I had wandered somewhere I was not meant to be;
the primal feeling that I was alone in a room with a dangerous animal.

"What do you want me to do?" I asked.

She stood there, her back still turned to me,
I could tell she was crying, and had been crying when I came in.
The smell of almonds hung heavy in the air
and I knew I should reach out,
I knew I should place my hands
-warm, rough and strong -
upon her smooth, freckled, and slightly shaking shoulders
but I could not will myself just then to move.

Instead I asked, "What kind of cake?"

I could see the recipe book, with it's white&red checked cover,
lying open on the counter,
the sun making a hard delineation across one page,
and I could see that she was making an almond cake,
but some part of me felt the need to ask.

Small motes of flour rose in the sunlight.
The air in the kitchen was otherwise lambent and still.
She shifted her weight from foot to foot
and then continued pounding fresh almonds into pieces.

Her hands suddenly stilled, as if she had remembered something,
and seemed to be spotlighted by the unyielding light.
I began to form another question, one final unwanted question.

I took a step towards her then, as if my feet had a will of their own
and I was no more than a hands-breadth from her, reaching out -
she spoke, "You dont need to help."
- my hands frozen in mid-action hovered just above her shoulders,
I retracted them slowly.
My mouth was suddenly dry and I felt the need to lick my lips.
She said, "I'll be ok on my own."

I took a step back,
then another.
By the time I reached the door,
I was running.

despite the fact that i am two weeks behind on other art-theme projects, this week's theme seemed to draw my focus more than the others. this poem-story is based off of the chosen theme:

"White as an almond are thy shoulders;
As new almonds stripped from the husk."

from Dance Figure by Ezra Pound

If you want to participate see this entry and this entry. If you are not a friend of [livejournal.com profile] guessthejess you should be.
raoin: (watersnakes upclose)
Some days, when no one was looking, she would pretend to be someone else.
A little note would be left up, "Sorry, i'm out. Please come back later."
Sometimes it would be scribbled on a receipt or a post-it - the words all crammed together,
but polite.

Outside there was always a summer quality to the air, warm and heavy it baked the hairs on her arms pleasantly.
Little breezes would stir past her, blowing air as a chill gift from the sea.
As someone else she told herself, "The ocean can't be far. I can smell the salt spray."
When she was outside she could go anywhere she wanted.

Around a corner she could see the haze-waves from the blacktop leading to the beach.
When she reached where blacktop met sand, she stripped off her shoes and socks
- left them abandoned on the road, set side-by-side, socks and laces tucked within.
Even as the sand grew hotter underneath her feet, the little breezes grew stronger and cooler.

When the sand was finally cool and moist under her feet she paused and stripped off the rest of her clothing.
After all, no one was looking. The crumpled remains of someone's half-forgotten life.
She didnt so much wade into the ocean as she took it around her like a new-found lover.
"How long have I been gone? How much have you forgotten? I fit so neatly in your arms."

January 2017

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