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

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Magpie Tales - Emptied Of Our Pearls


Women gather at the riverbank
to wash their hands and look at themselves.
They gather wild lilies and herbs
and bare their breasts to the sun.
They gather at the river,
teacher, musician, hunter and grower.
Far from the withering gaze of the preacher,
they bare their breasts to the sun. 

The women gather at the riverbank
to wash their underthings and wonder
at the image they present in the mirror of the water.
Ancestors embedded in the river bottom,
like snails in the stone of an aquarium,
are loosened from their shells. 
They swell up like desert sponges in a storm.
The houses of their ancestors float by in the reel of the river,
like shells emptied of their pearls.
They gather them up and refill them.


Image compliments of Magpie Tales,
(Red Roofs, Marc Chagall, 1954)


Words of my own rendition. Thanks for reading them.

25 comments:

Shaista said...

So lovely, like a song - all it needs is the sound of the river to create the harmony :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I agree with Shaista - this is beautiful! :)

Anthony Duce said...

Beautiful are your words. The image created by them takes me to places the image above never could. A riverbank I’d enjoy sitting by, on the opposite side, of course.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Shaista,
Thank you!! You are new to me. You look like a woman on my bank.

Jemi,
Thank you.
So much.

Tony,
I love you! I swear to God I would sit with you on the opposite side.

Brian Miller said...

nice...this just got better as it went along really love the second half when you bring the ancestors in the water that meet there there..lovely imagery and great story telling...

Yvonne Osborne said...

Brian,
Thank you so much.

Talli Roland said...

Oh wow, what wonderful imagery. Thank you!

Daydreamertoo said...

ahhh...The river of life, contains everything. Past, present and future. I love what you did with this picture.

manicddaily said...

Very lovely, and wonderful take on the prompt. K.

Frances Garrood said...

MUCH better than mine! Well done, Yvonne. You are a poet. I am.......not.

Helen said...

Your poem is lyrical and soothing ... I loved it.

Kathe W. said...

beautifully written-so peaceful

Jinksy said...

Ancestors embedded in the river bottom,like snails in the stone of an aquarium,are loosened from their shells.

I love the sense of timelessness these words evoke - then is now...

Sue said...

So lyrical, this is.

Lovely.

=)

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I love the sense that they create their own reality while honoring what has come before. Nicely done.

Trellissimo said...

One can almost hear the river. And the last twp lines of the first stanza tell us so much about modesty, both feigned and real.

Tess Kincaid said...

Beautiful, earthy, unique write. I love this!

Other Mary said...

Great interpretation of the painting. This brings to mind The Red Tent.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Truly beautiful - I have read it several times and I want to read it again!

Anna :o]

Helena said...

It has a good tribal feel to me and as the hearts of the women unite. Very enjoyable.

Susie Clevenger said...

So beautiful..too see their ancestors in the water.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Beautiful and sensual. Excellent work!

Donna B. said...

This is wonderful....reminds me of something from Women Who Dance With Wolves...love the imagery. Your words wrap around me like a long lost friend...I agree...it is like a song.

Theresa Milstein said...

Nice take on the picture. This would be a difficult prompt for me!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks you guys. What a bunch of rockers! Magpie Rocks! You remind me that I wanted to read The Red Tent and that I'm so proud to have Women Who Dance With Wolves on my bookshelf!