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Ecdysis

July 24, 2006

Ecdysis

On fire

under the rocks,

writhing out of a

sheath of skin

that smothers;

a vacated cocoon,

crumpled, translucent.

A papery mass, stretched

with the battle to contain

and etched in jagged lines

and tears and rips

with the sinewy

leaving.

-

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by Brenda Clews of Rubies in Crystal

Categories: Short Shorts Tags:
  1. July 24, 2006 at 8:44 pm | #1

    Very vivid imagery there…

  2. Ed Nudelman
    July 24, 2006 at 9:03 pm | #2

    Superb poem.

  3. July 24, 2006 at 9:25 pm | #3

    Sinewy leaving, I love that. I first took “leaving” to mean “foliage” — as if the cocoon was covered with leaves, a strange way to read it — of course it’s the participle — but the image of muscular leaves wrapping a chrysalis was oddly compelling to me. Was it supposed to arise, or is that only my aberration?

    Either way, I love the phrase, and the poem. And the image. Nice!

  4. July 24, 2006 at 10:09 pm | #4

    Thank you, Joan.

    Hey, Ed, thanks!

    Dale, hmmn, after I wrote it, and it’s about real shed snake skin that you find torn and translucent and mysterious and empty, it became a metaphor for my current need for space, and later I realized it’s about the creative process. And that shed “papery mass” is the poem, painting, dance, and leaves, why yes, a type of parchment surely, a cocoon of ‘foliage,’ which is so close to the word ‘foliate,’ to paginate…

    Now you’ve got me cross-indexing and imagining enfolded metaphors! I like your reading very much, thank you.

  5. July 24, 2006 at 10:50 pm | #5

    IF a poem SEES with words what we seldom can envision with our eyes…then this be it.

  6. Steven
    July 24, 2006 at 11:15 pm | #6

    This was a vivid piece that I think anyone can respond to when they think about both change and leaving old things behind. Cleansing…

  7. Steve J
    July 25, 2006 at 7:53 am | #7

    Good to see you here, Brenda!

  8. Nancy Spivey
    July 25, 2006 at 7:53 am | #8

    Very nicely done. And the picture is thought-provoking on its own.

  9. Kerwyn Harvitt
    July 25, 2006 at 9:47 am | #9

    this exquisitly written poem reminds me that all beings who are interested in growth break free into a brand new realm only to find that sooner or later we must break free again. may your path lead you on to freedom. the imagery in your writing is very vivid.

  10. July 25, 2006 at 11:20 am | #10

    Rudolph, when you see a shed skin on the ground, perhaps caught on a rock or bush, you can only wonder what it felt like to escape from its confines. Thanks!

    Steven, that’s a constant of life, it seems, huh, and our remarkable capacity for self-renewal. Thank you…

    Steve J, howdee! Now surely you have some mini micro fiction… :)

    Thank you, Nancy. I like to combine images and words, but each should be able to stand on its own. They translate each other, and like any translation tend to privelege some interpretations over others – like, would the poem be as clearly about a snake shedding its skin without the painting? Would its range of possible meanings have been greater? These are difficult questions. For me it comes down to working with the central image I have. I wrote the poem in part thinking about that painting and never thought I’d find the photograph admidst the plethora of storage boxes we moved last week. I’m glad you liked the painting!

    Ah, yes, Kerwyn. That’s a good point. It does seem we’re always transforming towards freedom; especially inner freedom. The cycle of realizing we’ve outgrown where we are and need to “break free into a brand new realm” is exciting in itself, if a little demanding sometimes!

  11. July 25, 2006 at 11:46 am | #11

    “A papery mass, stretched
    with the battle to contain”
    This and the rest of the poem, really, is my favorite part. I love how well you “do” molting. It’s a theme, indeed. “Papery,” “battle,” “sinewy,” “ripped.” Your physical, almost primal bits of description are your most powerful.

  12. laurieglynn
    July 25, 2006 at 1:46 pm | #12

    Oh, how the composition and the image meet as One~~like a spirit rising! The simplicity of it~the essence of something deeper~hesitant at first and then billowing forth~yes, that spirit rising~~

    I do like this~very much indeed. It is total emergence in quiet prose~alive~yet very, very simple in a Truth~the Act of Creation~the Act of rebirth~or birth, alone. Ethereal, almost. One reads it once; one reads it twice and even thrice~~and images go deeper within the mind and spirit.

    What a Gift. Thank you for sharing this with us this day~~

    Blessings~

  13. July 25, 2006 at 7:44 pm | #13

    Do you find writing’s like that, Emily? “primal bits of description,” hmnn, gosh that’s nice. I wonder if you wrote a poem bouncing off/in response to this one what it would be? Thanks, sweetie…

    Laurieglynn, I’m so glad you came by, came out of Helias and came by. A rebirth certainly, that’s a good way to put it. That image, perhaps the earth spirit rising, or kundalini out of vivid chakra colours. But the papery mass, that’s the parchment of which we speak, surely. When I paint especially because I cannot ‘redo,’ but also with writing, I struggle ‘to do’ (‘being’ so much easier) and it always feels like it takes a bit of my soul; or a bit of my soul gets caught/dwells in, whatever I manage ‘to do.’ I don’t find creativity an easy, pleasant thing at all; rather, the opposite. Burning with passion and torment until spent. Until released of the pressure ‘to do.’ Then one can slip back into placid ‘being.’ (I’m grinning!) Thank you, my dear friend.

  14. MB
    July 26, 2006 at 2:34 pm | #14

    I liked this the first time and I like it again. Molting…birthing…so many ways to read these vivid words.

  15. July 26, 2006 at 3:42 pm | #15

    I love the poem. I’m especailly drawn to the image of shedding – leaving behind tangible evidence of the old when you grow into the “new” skin, with all the scars and stretches that accompany the periods of growth and change that occur in every life.

  16. July 26, 2006 at 9:15 pm | #16

    MB, I remember your comment before I put it in draft mode so I could submit it here, and it made me smile, so a double thanks!

    Anna, wonderful of you to drop over and I do appreciate it… shedding, and the tangible evidence, and scars and stretches, yes, we do know these all too well, huh. What we will become is exciting too. xo

  17. July 28, 2006 at 10:07 am | #17

    Probably I should mention that the technorati tag poem is mostly composed of lines edited out of the original version of the poem. And a little spoof on technorati, always some humour.

  18. Rebecca
    August 6, 2006 at 9:30 am | #18

    fantastic poem. working on an architectural project. this imagery and words gives one much to work from and with. thank you.

  19. August 11, 2006 at 1:10 pm | #19

    it is a mystery, to me, how people fail to see
    that which makes a part of you is also a part of me…
    love the metamorphing…

    especially love the inuit language..how is that enunciated? I shall have to speak it at a gathering. doubtful I have any genetic lineal history to that language or culture..for me, speaking abenaki awakens the dormant meme and my own remembrance of my cell-f is enhanced..

    this is a beautiful idea and the meaning of that word, it is especially neat…waiting for something to burst…

  20. August 19, 2006 at 3:23 pm | #20

    Rebecca, currently I am living in a very cramped and tiny apartment and feeling most constricted. That was what inspired this little poem. An architectural project! I’d love to hear more.

    John, metamorphing, that’s nice. :)

  21. August 20, 2006 at 5:35 pm | #21

    Stunning. I listened to the recording before reading the text and had first heard it as two poems — but as the tags progressed they began to meld in tone back into the opening lines. A circling about.

  22. Magi
    August 20, 2006 at 6:33 pm | #22

    Well done, indeed, Brenda. I particularly like your reading of this poem.

  23. August 20, 2006 at 6:35 pm | #23

    Elissa, that’s a nice image of circling – I’m glad it worked for you!

    It was a new sense of recording for me in that I think I entered into the poem and spoke it from the inside, a bit scary and somehow exhilirating, hard to explain. The style of reading the tag poem contrasted, or so I felt. But they ouroboros-tailed into each other (perhaps!).

    For anyone who’s read the comment thread who’d like to hear the recording, it may be found here:

    Dial-up connection: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=4336060&q=lo
    DSL/Cable connection: http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplayer.m3u?id=4336060&q=hi

  24. MB
    August 21, 2006 at 2:33 pm | #24

    Interesting how your recording gave me a different feel for it. Not a different meaning, particularly, but is pushed the emotional cast of it to a particular slant I hadn’t experienced before. Nicely done!

  25. August 22, 2006 at 11:34 pm | #25

    unviable

    no longer safely cocooned
    allowed to twist and turn
    poisoned dreams out
    through sweating pores
    secured on my thick
    sure branch
    oblivious of storms
    not of my own making.
    not flying,
    free to be amazed by
    each blossom,
    each sunny ray
    blazing beatific energy
    gracefully flowing
    in the breeze.
    not sure, secure, or
    unleashed and aware.
    standing, staring,
    without leaping
    at the precipice,
    decomposing,
    limply falling,
    ripped, torn
    by each rock
    along the way.

    (c) 2006 Laurie Corzett/libramoon

  26. Pru
    August 24, 2006 at 6:18 pm | #26

    Oh, Brenda, so much tactile, visual movement; it’s loaded.

  27. August 29, 2006 at 10:36 pm | #27

    MB, words lying on the page (or screen, as it may be) are perhaps more open to interpretation; when they’re spoken it’s as if they’re translated with certain aspects gaining prominence at the expense of others. But you would know all this with your winsomely beautiful singing…

    Laurie, a poem of dissolution… and I find it a lovely dark aria or tandem poem to the one I wrote. Sometimes we can be too free, too vulnerable. Like Icarus falling into the ocean without the joy of flight first! Innocence taken before the wings are wetted, “without leaping/at the precipice,/decomposing,/limply falling,/ripped, torn/by each rock/along the way.” Michaelangelo’s “Slaves” who remain bound in the rock and never become scuptures of beauty that, yes, may be broken after they have experienced the freedom of form, but whose marble is shattered before they ever arise from it. Innocence taken before it can be lost. Thank you for the powerful response of this poem…

    Pru, you know how I hang on your words. If you’ve said it’s okay, then it must be. Glad you made it over here-

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