the temporary ponders the lasting

if i say we are grass

grown fast & faded to fodder
for time’s mouth–

if i say we are snow

what is unique in us
melted & lost in water cycling

we are stone children
born in the beginning
from a hard mother

we think we are her
eternal
as we see it–

but we break & bloom
we forget. we forget our own end

this is us
predicted in actuarial tables
calculated & inevitable–

not the how of if, but the when

so flesh 
dreams it is more than flesh
our flash across the eye of God
in a meteor shower

pilgrim comet debris
flamed across sky for a moment
& we, in burn or melt

want only one thing. notice us
in our fall, our shatter unique
our fade significant.

when the pond freezes

i  will skate figures of eight on the ice
blades tracing infinity symbols onto a surface
that in time softens & ripples & maybe then
i will swim those same figures
past surface tension.

it is not the permanence
of the gesture that matters so much
as the making of it.

The last OctPoWriMo prompt!!!!!

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in Annie Dillard, New Free Verse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to the temporary ponders the lasting

  1. jmgoyder says:

    I have never come across anyone who can use words the way you do – amazing writing!

  2. Hi Susan, nice use of Annie Dillard, she is quite an inspiration to us all.

    I’m not sure I get “stone children” though, in the midst of all the ephemeral imagery it seems oddly granitic. But it does lead on to the image of comets and meteor showers so perhaps it is appropriate that something that fancies itself so solid and permanent burns in the end.

    I wonder if you have looked into publishing – really publishing I mean. Does anyone do that anymore or is it all blogging now? You read like a professional poet, that’s all I can say.

    • Paul–what can I say but thank you! I am so honored that you think my material is publishable. I am right now in a first book contest for a chapbook. If those 9,000:1 odds that I am not selected happen, then I will be pursuing something along these lines. Believe me, your opinion encourages me in this direction!

    • I did expand “stone children” a bit here. Think it might work better now.

  3. nelle says:

    So true. And so long as we breathe, we can make our mark.

  4. Green Speck says:

    Wonderful yet again … loved it Susan 🙂

  5. ruleofstupid says:

    Gorgeous my lovely. There am I ranting about trousers and your writing this wonderful stuff. 😉

    • Oh, thank you, Mike. I loved your trouser writing 😉

      That being said, I am going to miss those prompts for a poem-a-day for October that dragged all this stuff out. Glad you liked it!

  6. annotating60 says:

    I have read this piece over and over again andthen after reading the replies yo received read twice more again. I can discern a general notion for which it grasps, but can get nothing solid to hold onto, with the exception of the final stanza which is nicely done, though whether gestures have a permanence depends on the gesture and/or the situation.
    The punctuation seems erratic in its usage which complicates trying to understand what is being said. Perhaps I am simply denser than those who have praised the piece before me
    and am missing something obvious. >KB

    • KB, your mind does not miss much, and I would never call you dense. Perhaps this piece simply does not work for you, which is fine. The punctuation is deliberately erratic, which in itself is unsettling. The only things solid in this piece are the stones, which break, and the ice, which melts. Fortunately, the October daily writing prompts are over and I promise not to torture you (and others) with free writes in response to prompts for a very, very long time.

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