"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Poetry Bus

The Poetry Bus this week is being driven by Chris at the The Enchanted Oak. We had to chose one of two photographs to use as inspiration, and I chose this one -Alfred Stieglitz Georgia O'Keeffe--Hands, 1919

The poem links are up here.

My ticket to ride the bus....

THE HARDEST THINGS TO HOLD

The blues man wraps band aids around his fingers
and holds the quivering note beyond its value.

Grandmother had hands of steel
that whipped egg whites into peaks
and eroded the corner of the cake spoon
we all covet.

My sister's hands are bare.
She drinks cherry juice for arthritis
and sharpens her knives to an edge.
The piano is out of tune and the garden lies fallow.

The hospital had to cut
my mother’s ring off her finger.
They put it in an envelope with her name on it,
and gave it to me to hold.

The artist holds her left hand perfectly still
and draws it with her right.
The teeth that fall out of her
great grandmother's mouth in her dreams
are in the center of the palm.
The hardest things to draw are hands.

25 comments:

Anthony Duce said...

The words are wonderful. The images, some of them disturbing have me thinking about drawing hands

Yvonne Osborne said...

Anthony,
Thanks. I think hands are so amazing. When I saw the photo prompts, I knew which one I would chose. I can write about them but never draw them. You, however....

foldingfields said...

"the hardest things to draw are hands."

hands are so much, but you've captured the important stuff.

Enchanted Oak said...

This poem is worth the wait. I adore the differing hands in action, how each person cares for or utilizes his or her hands to produce something. And then that final stanza, with those unexpected teeth, a powerful vision!

Erratic Thoughts said...

Wow...This is such a beautiful poem.I really liked the use of different generations in it.
"The hardest things to draw are hands" is just a perfect end to a poignant poem like that :)

Yvonne Osborne said...

Sarah,
Thank you so much.

Chris,
Thank you, and thanks for this opportunity to call up a poem I wrote in the past. It certainly fits your photo prompt. I couldn't resist. Yeah...those teeth. My daughter is an artist, and she kept having this dream. It's the strangest thing, what our brains mull over in our sleep.

Erratic,
Thank you for taking the time to not only read my poem but to comment! And such a lovely comment. Thanks again.

crazyfieldmouse said...

this is very moving, liked the generational thing too, gave it a structure, reflecting backwards, and a continuity. last line was perfect.
thanks for sharing
cfm

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wonderful imagery. I not only saw the visual, I felt the visceral impact of these words. Well done.

Wine and Words said...

Yvonne, this photo was also muse to a piece of mine last year. I love the tension in it. Unrest.

Beautiful writing!

Karen said...

Oh, my gosh! How glad I am that you have decided to ride the bus! I love to find good poetry on the blogs, and I've found it with this one. Your descriptions of the the hands - beginning with the blues man's and moving to the artist's own are wonderful vignettes and a perfect take on the prompt. Excellent work!

Yvonne Osborne said...

CFM,
Thanks so much. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me.

Tricia,
Thank you for your kind words. They mean much.

Annie,
Thank you! Tension, yes, that is exactly the feeling that photo conveys. I'm not surprised that you were also compelled to write about it.

Karen,
I'm glad to be on the bus. Thank you very much!

Doctor FTSE said...

Just four adjectives, and only one adverb! You know things about effective writing which all too many wannabees never learn and don't believe when you try to explain . . .
Worth reading many more times than once.

Scott said...

wow, such striking writing, evocative, emotional, almost difficult to read... thank you :-)

Yvonne Osborne said...

Dr. FTSE,
Why, I'm honored, to say the least. Thank you so much. No one has remarked on that. In fact, I don't even think I realized it myself, so I went back and checked. Thanks again. I think you just made my weekend!

Scott,
Thank you for that. I appreciate it very much. You've wowed me!

Gwei Mui said...

Oooh this poem set my teeth on edge. It's beautiful but also very harsh.The images that you paint of arhtritis and of mortality are striking, thought provoking and frightingly beautiful

Talli Roland said...

Wonderful words. I love their cadence. Thank you for sharing!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Gwei,
Thank you. Setting your teeth on edge is good...no? Any reaction is better then the reader nodding off. Thanks for visiting my blog and my poem.

Hi Talli!
Thank you so much.

Smander said...

First. This is just lovely. So much beautiful imagery. Second. What is a poetry bus?

Nessa said...

Wonderfully fantastic and deserving of several reads.

järnebrand said...

Thank you so much for sharing. Very beautiful. Well done. I have missed coming here! Hugs/ Jo.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Smander,
Thank you very much. For the best explanation of the Poetry Bus you should just click on the link at the top of my post for Chris at Enchanted Oak. The bus is driven by a different blogger (I think weekly) who then provides the images they want people to write a poem about.

Nessa,
Thank you. And that is the best compliment a poem can receive.

Jo,
Thanks so much. And I've missed seeing you and visiting your blog as well. Summer has me in a twirl. Whatever happened to those supposed lazy days??

Casey said...

Awesome imagery Yvonne. Like the others have said, it was very easy for me to visualize while reading.

catwoods said...

Yvonne,

You are truely an amazing writer. Thanks for the vivid passages.

Hands are hard to draw--even if I could--but they evoke so much emotion and really put us into the human experience.

You continue to be my writing hero.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Wow. Each person's hands tell such a story. You use sharp knives, teeth, band-aided fingers, arthritis. There's a lot of pain in there. It's beautiful.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Casey,
Hi there! Thank you so much for visiting me.

Cat,
Wow...what can I say to that, except my writing is nothing if not for readers like you who appreciate and understand it and continue to encourage me. Thank you.

Suzanne,
Thanks so much! Yes, there is beauty in pain, pain in beauty. Thanks for seeing that.