Saturday, February 11, 2006

uncharted lands ...

The sea stretches and undulates her currents
like a giant serpent. Over darkened water
the tang and scent of apricots, exhaled
from beneath a woman’s veil, paints her echo
against the lap of wind among tides.

News of her death was sudden.
Her children had scant time to mourn
before rattling the cold dusty pebbles
of her bones down a funnel
into the earth.

How the land paces the shore now,
bereft of footfall, sand marked
only by the braided trail of a turtle
who, having spewed her pearl eggs,
waddles back to glide through starlit weed,

her children left to birth themselves
and brave gulls unprotected as they erupt
from their living grave and scramble seaward.

All mothers must leave -
choose their time to leave.

12 comments:

Jill said...

really good poem. i marvel at how textured your poems are, and at the same time have so much space in them..i think they open out wonderfully.

sb said...

Rae, I like this poem, too --

May I suggest beginning with the second stanza, and ending with "her children left to birth themselves"?

The other lines have nice imagery, but seem to me to be wrapped around the real poem.

Michelle e o said...

Love the turtles pearl eggs, some great images in this. All mothers must leave...love the closing on this too.

Birdie said...

Rae, this is elegant and thoughtful. I love it.

luc u! said...

God. that is beautiful.

Rae Pater said...

Thanks so much everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

sb - I've had people suggest taking off the beginning to me and people suggest taking off the end. I can't tell yet. Without the beginning it seems to open abruptly to me, and without the end it seems unfinished and a bit pointless, so I think I'll leave it for a while and see what happens. Thanks for your thoughts.

sb said...

Absolutely, Rae. The poet is always the final arbiter. Thanks for posting this.

Pris said...

Don't take off the end. That really brought it home for me. Beautifully written!

luc u! said...

i like it just like it is. the last two lines are very powerful. to me.

Rae Pater said...

Thanks guys. Yeah, I'm happy with the ending. I think if anything does need attention it will be the first strophe, as SB noted.

I'll just let it settle in a bit before I tackle it.

Michael Parker said...

Oh, I love this. And yes, the ending is perfect.

Rae Pater said...

thanks Michael :)