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The months before you left
I claimed I loved you
in exact inverse proportion
to your answers.

Wore my heart out
crude and pleading crimson
on both sleeves.

Your heart,
glimpsed but seldom
and in cautious muted colours,
Doppler-shifted into greyness
then edged crabwise
off the spectrum altogether.

Powerless to reverse the pronouns
I sent out my pale ‘I love you’s
like a mantra,
like a short-wave signal
Seeking voices in the void.

Kept it up
until your after-image
faded blackly from my eyes.

Other more internal organs
bear the imprint still.

I think need
to find a stronger mantra
or a smaller void.

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The following comments are for "Diminishing returns"
by MobiusSoul

Caitlin's Diminishing Returns...
"like a mantra,
like a short-wave signal
Seeking voices in the void."

I love this these lines! And again, your writing is so rich in imagery and unique use of metaphor. I like your work, because it has a sparkling clarity and yet it feels so hidden, so personal in its passions.


( Posted by: TheRealKarmaTseringLhamo [Member] On: October 3, 2007 )

Crude and pleading crimson
This is beautiful and elegant and heartfelt without being overdone. You've brought a solid ending to the poem, something I usually struggle with.

Reads seamlessly and lingers a bit with familiar aftertaste.

Wouldn't change a thing about it.

( Posted by: chinadoll [Member] On: October 3, 2007 )

The imagery and figurative language is wonderful here. I personally hope the speaker goes less for 'stronger mantra', and more for a 'smaller void'.


( Posted by: colinbaker62 [Member] On: October 3, 2007 )

a stronger mantra/ a smaller void
Admirable attention to emotional detail here, and the subtle shifts in shade as You fades from sight, and I echoes out… a fine poem of transition, which ends in resignation and reflection, as it should, I think…

many, many fine lines here, would take too long to list them all, my favourites are the pale ‘I love you’s, like a short wave signal… something so perfectly desperately sad, about that, like an unanswered SOS…

imagery is spot on, each working in harmony with the other… nothing unwieldy about this, but steady, meditative, almost poised…

Nope, I wouldn’t change a thing either, thank you for sharing this.

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: October 3, 2007 )

Big hurt in a small void

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: October 4, 2007 )

comment re: Diminishing Returns
The more you profess you love, the more obvious it is that it's unrequited. Your "I love you" pleading were never reciprocated.

Even when your heart is "healed" and the memory of the lost love fades, you're still scarred internally - on organs buried deeper that the heart...

I liked it a whole lot....

You captured an intensity of emotion that I can really relate to.

Thank you so much for sharing this... :-)

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: October 4, 2007 )

Diminishing thanks...
Thank you all (many!) poet-people. It's sadly scant surprise if you recognise the all-too-common experience described here - no new ground broken in this poem, to be sure - but I'm very gratified by the sensitive, sharp-eyed reviews.

Lena, your last line made me glow - I couldn't better articulate how I'd wish to write. (Being richer in introspection and diffidence than imagination and boldness, I may have little choice...)

Chinadoll, the elusive solid ending! I also struggle, but it's easier with the simpler, smaller-scope poems: less to synthesize at the end, I suppose. Thanks AMG, also, for recognising 'harmony'. 'Tis a rare trick in the tone-deaf...

Colin, you'll be glad to know I lost faith in mantras a while back. Learned to love the void instead. It is as Lucie counsels: 'The trick is to avoid suffering from it.' And if I'm vaguely sad to trade idealism for pragmatism, I'm also... inescapably more contented. So there. Perhaps as desvelado suggests, 'acceptance is the real mantra'. But perhaps, being neither George Harrison nor Thich Nhat Hanh, I should leave such phrases out of my poetry...

Oh, and I suspect fewer poems have liver than heart, and I suspect I would rather write mine with liver. Or a vegetarian iron-supplement, anyway.

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: October 4, 2007 )

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