Friday, October 21, 2011

New Poem


The Drowning Woman


has gone under twice.
She thinks how more than two-thirds of her life
has passed, so soon, before her eyes.
Treading memories for a long time now,
she catches pieces of visions at the shoreline,
where flaxen-haired children
wave and call out to her,
rising from the sweet solid ground. Spent,
she leans toward them, willing them to stay.

The present is all deep water
pulling her farther away from that young woman
reclining on a blanket, her skin glistening with oil.
Her husband empties sand from his shoes,
while their children run
through shallow waves endlessly lapping,
lapping where the sand sparkles with seashells.
The sun is butter.
The children wave and call again before her third sinking.
The drowning woman longs to touch them,
can almost reach them with her outstretched arms.
Her legs run in place
as they have always done.

The past is breath in her mouth, opened
in despair, singing the words of
The Grateful Dead: My love for you will not
fade away, not fade away.

The future is light drifting like water,
light emptying itself on the white
beaches of the earth, on the sidewalks of cities,
at roadsides where the dying watch
from the corners of their eyes
their own ghosts rising,
crying out that love, love
will not fade away.



Joyce Ellen Davis 10/18/11

9 comments:

Dana said...

This gave me chills, Joyce.

This whole stanza is -- oh -- so exceptional it makes me ache:

The future is light drifting like water, / light emptying itself on the white / beaches of the earth, / on the sidewalks of cities, /
at roadsides where the dying watch their own ghosts / rising at the corners of their eyes, / crying out that love, love / will not fade away.

Uma said...

"Go away, death, by another path that is your own: do not injure our children or our men...

I set up this wall for the living, so that no one else among them will reach this point. Let them live a hundred full autumns and bury death in this hill."

The Rig Veda

This prayer is for the drowning woman and her children.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Thanks, Dana and Uma!

Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

I love it so very much - can identify (too much?) Great poem! You express time's grip and the inevitability of an ultimate parting, exquisitely. heart-breakingly.

Wind-kissed said...

Hi Joyce Ellen,
I was look for info on Janapese bowls and found you. And what a find!!! Your work is wonderful and i am glad to meet you. did you know there is a song called Japanese Bowl by Peter Meyer. google it--I think you find a wonderful fit. Blessings, Sue

Wind-kissed said...

Sorry for the bad spelling. I was excited and in too much of a hurry. I will slow down and enjoy this.

christine said...

I hope I would be happy to see my ghost rising from the corners of my eyes. It would mean the spirit gets to trsvel beyond my paltry body. The body becomes paltry in the face of the infinite spirit.

Rethabile said...

Thanks, favourite writer.

silverlight said...

the drowning woman. most apt. in other fields he runs, free of the body the failed him,