Saturday, April 16, 2011

In Between

So you hunker down,
you dig your heels deep into the soil,
you white-knuckle it,
you smile and wave,
and you breathe while you wait.
You soak up the sun,
you smell the stinkin' flowers,
you mow the lawn,
scrape the waste from the plates,
shower and shave,
and you read.
You read a lot.
You think about what you want to say,
scream, put on a billboard,
while you wait.
You drink wine and talk,
talk, talk, talk.
You talk a lot.
You talk about the high price
of fuel and of groceries,
how busy you are and what
you would do if you weren't...
busy, that is.
But you really want to talk about
Tolstoy, and things we never say,
things we pretend not to notice,
and how you think God isn't
quite so trivial as we make him out to be.
And you want to scream.
You want to see the end times,
would relish a real challenge,
and you want to dance.
You never dance.
Never have.
You pace back and forth at night,
like a cat in a cage, and feel important.
Like you mean something.
You don't.
You live in a circle.
And you wait.
You wait for the next bad thing,
the next emotional tsunami,
the next thing that makes you feel alive.
In the meantime, you Google
and search for coupons,
and smile and wave, boys.
Just smile and wave.
And you know He's there,
somewhere, just out of reach,
so you cling to what is here,
to what you can lay hands on.
You cling.
You cling.

One Stop Poetry, recent winner at the 3rd Annual Shorty Awards, has a great Sunday challenge and this is my contribution. Go and read!


dustus said...

Really like how your poem builds with emotion and almost seems like smooth stream of consciousness. It really starts to kick in for me when you mentioned Tolstoy. Thanks for participating. Fine poem.

Kerry O'Connor said...

It's like reading my life laid-out before me in lurid technicolor... a slap of reality to the cheek of let's pretend everything's okay...
I really couldn't have said it better myself.

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

Your poem, is truthful and sincere, it builds on reality and you bring it all together with such beauty, well done

Brian Miller said...

nice. i like this, the honest of saying things but not what you want to and finding oneself stuck in the life you have created but i like the hope at the end that maybe there is one out there...

Anonymous said...

Amazing expression!

Claudia said...

wow - i really enjoyed this...all the things we do until life starts to happen - until we hope we are where we would love to be...and maybe miss out on life while we always wait and wait... wow - and nice to meet you!

Anonymous said...

Don't we all plaster over cracks and seams? It's one of humanities worts traits I think! Felt the sincerity in your words here, touched the heart

BKP said...

Melinda, the realism is fantastic. There's no bullshit in your writing, which is quite enjoyable. Often as writers (and I do) we get caught up in the methaphor, in the deeper meaning, digging so far that we forget to describe the surface. Bravo!


Lou Freshwater said...

What a phenomenal take on our tendency to distract ourselves from our angst, or even from out truth. We are pretty much 'white-knuckling it' all the time. The pacing is brilliant. Very much enjoyed.

steviewren said...

There's power in your words. I often think about how there I am sitting quietly while my insides scream and rage and my head tries to implode.

Lisa said...

Emotional tsunami making you feel alive--what a powerful metaphor. This is such a brilliant piece. It's great to get to read your raw poetry again. Bravo!

Fireblossom said...

Wow, what a scorching and observant portrait.

Dan Kent said...

I kind of wish I read this poem on a day when it didn't so match my mood. Powerful, fatalistic, realistic - depressing as hell - and so well done.

Linda said...

Dang. Well done.

Diahn said...

Painfully truthful and raw.

Brian Miller said...

hey there...great to see you today!

emily wierenga said...

wow. there is so much power, such raw honesty here. i love it, friend.

sheri said...

wow, what an incredible post! just stopped by to say hello and to thank you for coming by the other day...little did i realize i was going to be blown away by your heart being wide was...fantastic, honest and passionate. truly, a rendering of the heart, my friend...

emily wierenga said...

sending so much love to you, dear melinda...

Maggie May said...

i really enjoyed reading this, down to the horribly unsettling ending.