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You Are

March 5, 2012

by Lia Brooks

Egglike, safest in your shell,
Limbs round the spark, and sun-jawed,
Warmed like a chick. A hopefulness
Feather-spread on a gull’s soar.
Coiled in your wish like a spring,
Searching your view like eagles do.
Blind as a potato from the harvest
Of Autumn to the last plate of July.
O high-flyer, my tiny pie.

Lost as dune rain and wanted like daylight.
Far from morning as midnight.
North-stayed hands, our stopped watch.
Caught as a breath and vacant
Like a zero on a graph.
A crackle of bark, all breaks.
Trembling as a birthday jelly.
White, like a moment gone.
A tea time, with your sunny face on.

with apologies, Sylvia Plath, to you and “You’re

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Lia Brooks, twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, has had poems published in various magazines and journals in the U.K. and the U.S. These include Poetry London, Lily Lit Review, California Quarterly, Magma Poetry newsletters, American Poetry Journal, South and Penumbra. She was short-listed for the New Leaf Short Poetry Prize and has been part of two ekphrastic events in collaboration with painters in Indiana and California. She lives in Southampton, U.K., with her partner and two sons.

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  1. Lois
    March 6, 2012 at 12:06 am

    With apologies to Ms. Plath I think you have outdone her — especially in the second strophe which crackles with alliterative kindling and lyricism. How the reader aches to be ‘wanted like daylight” or to tremble as birthday jelly, feeling the self in a seabed of emotion. Beautifully wrought and deliciously read. I love this poem.

    • lia
      March 10, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Thanks very much, E, but goodness me let’s hope she didn’t hear you say that, somehow across the ether. Or if she did, hopefully it made her smile and not her blood boil! I was wondering what you thought of the reading… I was trying to do edgy!!

      • Lois
        March 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

        I’ll give you an “E” for edgy or excellent. Take your pick! :)

  2. March 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I love it too, Lia. It’s witty, clever and twists like a tornado, each turn an unexpected jolt. I love “Lost as dune rain” and “White, like a moment gone”, but I like it all too! Sylvia would have loved this, especially the full caps and sparkling enjambment.

    • lia
      March 10, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Ah I hope so! Thank you very much, Gü. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. March 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    “Blind as a potato”,”Far from morning as midnight”,”White, like a moment gone”, finding it so hard to choose a favourite phrase from such a wealth of words. This is beautifully constructed Lia (and a good reading as well), I’ll be spending months now scribbling ‘must try harder’ over all my poems.

    • lia
      March 10, 2012 at 10:09 am

      Hello Ben, thanks very much, and you’ll be doing no such thing! You do far too well already! Glad you liked it and the reading. I hope you’re sending out this very minute!

      • March 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm

        Um well I did think about earlier today, but…

  4. Susan Rogers
    March 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Lia, I love a “hopefulness feather-spread on a gull’s soar.” You capture the wind of the heart’s flight with ease in these words and sweep me into its upward draft. The unexpected marriage of words sings in this poem and your voice sings too, a perfect accompaniment. But what I like most about this poem is the love so palpable and heartbreakingly present in every line. How you move from the expanse of skies and fields to the intimacy of a tender address, “O high-flier, my tiny pie,” the catch in the throat, the stopped breath of a love so full it flows over into the white space of a moment gone, the white of a present page, the current of promise that passes poetry on and on into the yet to be written future.

    • lia
      March 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

      Dear Susan, thank you so much for your time, your wonderful comment and careful eyes. Much kindness to you.

  5. March 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    lia, this is incredible! a blessing …

    • lia
      March 10, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Kind thanks, stuart. Your comment made me smile.

  6. Sharon Samtur
    March 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Softly and brilliantly insightful. Inspiring! You open windows that have rusted shut and I thank you. Such sensitive metaphors!!

    • lia
      March 10, 2012 at 10:16 am

      What a beautiful thing to say. Kindest thanks, Sharon.

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