Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dear Christine,

Gray

If only the present
was one, but if it is,
it's got a heavy bow
on days of rock sliding
and molten rivers. I'm

blinded by this elephant
of a mountain
tusks growing at my toes,

ears flapping at this hot
breeze, and the stench of
life-manure.

Lean forward, they say!
I'm almost touching the ground
with my face. I don't need

a trunk, swaying, grazing
the dust.
The thick gray of clouds

incarcerates me on this hill-pile
of days.
Fog grows roots.

12 comments:

christine said...

This poem creates a mood in a vivid way, with fog, grays, the color of the elephant, the heavy, pondering feeling.Elephants happen to be among my favorite animals.

I'm very impressed you've managed to write a strong poem in the middle of end of term messiness and cold season.Why does the term have to end just when you need time to rest up for the holidays? Teaching is a business for the stalwart only.

I'll be back to read again, and to mull it over.

christine said...

That last line is very intriguing.

holly said...

Oh, thank you Christine! I'm never sure if my poems are strong when I first write them...it takes me months to be "comfortable" with a poem.

Dana said...

I love this: "The thick gray of clouds / incarcerate me on this hill-pile / of days."

Breathtaking.

Jo said...

Yes, I love the lines Dana highlighted too.

Scot said...

i like the way it begins, the best

Nathan said...

A great exploration of the associations of this color -- the mountain, the elephant, the clouds, the fog. Wonderful images.

chrisitne said...

Hey there,

I posted a response. No hurry on the next one!

holly said...

Thanks so much Jo, Dana, Nathan, Scot for the kind comments...

Christine, I hope it makes sense why I responded the way I did...the idea of the present was mainly what I was working with here.

Julie said...

Again, I love what you both have done. This poem is excellent! I especially like the last two stanzas. Fog growing roots just kicks butt in the poetry world. I'm very impressed, too, because I can't imagine writing so much at the end of a semester's teaching. Maybe that mad dash to the end has your juices flowing? Or maybe it's because you and Christine are such a good team. Whatever the reason, you have been producing some top rate work, Holly.

Beryl Singleton Bissell said...

Having just seen a preview of Planet at Risk (I think that's the name)showing the carcasses of elephants poached for their tusks and left to rot ... this poem felled me, almost as if with you I were "almost touching the ground with my face."

holly said...

Beryl, I've seen similar images, and been horrified at them myself. Elephants are amazing animals.