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I have no place here.
Newly born,
you need for nothing
but yourself and her.
Her arms are all your igloos,
breasts your worlds.
The sum of your experience
your hundred words for snow.

Yet being so very small
your life is packed
tenfold more tightly
than my own.
Each cell alight, each molecule
defying physics
visibly aglow.
You cry with every eyelash,
sleep
with every inch
of sweet-potato flesh.
Compact.
Concise.

In years to come
this newness will be dimmed
this vibrant life-light
will dissipate throughout an adult frame.

But now.
At her breast
your eyes fall slowly closed,
your lips relax.
And in your breathing
symphonies are mute.

No ecstasy in later life
will be more simple,
more complete than this.
A tiny inuit within her arms
To sleep
To breathe.



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Comments

The following comments are for "Child in Soapstone"
by MobiusSoul

I think
what I find most affecting about this is that the exclusion portion of this set-up plays subdued second-fiddle to the inclusion portion… poem’s I does not belong, but the not-belonging does not hold centre stage, a deeper belonging does. a subtle and sensitive piece, indeed. I’ve forgotten how much I missed reading you…

second thing that caught me is the sadness of this. the observer here is in a unique position to reflect as mother and baby are not, to foresee future and how child’s “vibrant life-light/ will dissipate throughout an adult frame”… I don’t like the word poignant overmuch, but this is. reader reflects with poem’s I about how much there is to gain and lose for a soul who currently cries with every eyelash and sleeps with every inch… and the last stanza, losing the simple ecstasy of that bond… feels momentarily like a bereavement, an acute loss…

highly nuanced, emotionally dexterous stuff, this. will return to this again, no doubt.

( Posted by: AuldMiseryGuts [Member] On: September 25, 2008 )

And I, Shannon...
... have forgotten how much I missed your generosity with thoughtful and sensitive comments. I think I opened with the 'exclusion portion' both to strike that certain note of sadness and (hopefully) to avoid cloying sweetness, and also to highlight the mother-child bond by way of contrast. They certainly should be the first fiddle here - it's a 'them' poem not a 'me' poem. And it seems you read it just as I intended. Muchly thanks.

( Posted by: mobiussoul [Member] On: September 26, 2008 )

MobiusSoul (theme works)
I have missed your writing MobiusSoul, your stuff is always so intelligently and beautifully written, just as is Shannon' works. I'm glad that Shannon commented here first...I read this and came back to it several times, took it and looked at it from various angles, and I wasn't certain of its meaning or context completely, but after reading Shannon's comment I get a better understanding of the intention and whole picture here...the theme, which indeed does convey a warmth and sadness both at the same time and also to me the thought of what a mother feels (and mother can be within various contexts of mother/child themes and metaphors for God/his creations as his child/ Scientist/his experiments as his child, etc., so thinking of this in the context of actual human mother/child bond and metaphors within that realm, it touched me deeply in many ways, as a mother of four myself, and remember those years of the smallness, the sweetness, the tender moments, forever gone, as they have all grown, my last baby now 16, but when I look at them all, as a mother I still see that baby, that sweet small ting breathing quietly in the crib, the baby at my breast and closeness and spiritual nature of that feeling that I will never forget, a bond that yes, dims for the child but for the mother, that light (at least for me) in memory never fades...though that of my own with my mother did indeed pass...so I get this and love this from so many various aspects. Beautifully written, and I wish I were as concise and intelligent a commenter as Shannon and Lucie and a couple of others here, but this is my honest reaction to your poem, and I am glad I came back to comment. I hope you haven't minded the ramblings....I get caught up and very focused in art, and writing, the reading of others writing to me, is like the study of a visual painting, which is where my forte' lies, and I approach writing and reading poetry in much the same way I approach a painting...it comes from the heart, the feeling first, not just from the intellect.

Thank you for this beautiful piece of art. Hope to read more of your work in the near future, sooner than later.

Namaste,
Lena

( Posted by: TheRealKarmaTseringLhamo [Member] On: September 27, 2008 )

Lena - of visual perception
Lena, I don't in the slightest mind your rambling: anyone who reads my stuff and takes the time to make a thoughtful comment is welcome! I'm pleased that you responded to this as a mother since it means that I (not one myself) wasn't totally off the mark. It could also be viewed in a religious context, of course. Heathen that I am, that hadn't occured to me.

I think you're quite perceptive in pointing out that the mother/child bond endures for mother more directly than for child... I certainly detect that from my own mother (lucky me, I suppose) and although it might seem inappropriate to me, it must be entirely appropriate from her perspective. I didn't really address the retreat into adulthood as perceived by the mother here... perhaps you'd be better equipped than I am to write that poem.

Oh, and a 'visual' approach to interpreting is a pretty good one, I think. This poem came directly from two visual images in my own mind: my sister and her newborn, plus the distinctive style of inuit sculpture. You know, that particular rounded, within-itself integrity? Aside from being quite beautiful, it exactly embodies what I wanted to say here. So if any of that came across, then the circle is completed :)

I'm not writing much at present (time and creative energy have become futile-y obsessed with ceramics) but your hopes are appreciated. I'll see what comes...

( Posted by: MobiusSoul [Member] On: September 27, 2008 )

Mobius re: Lena-of visual perception
Thanks for understanding my rambling and particular form and style of commenting. I love your work, have missed it, and I do hope you post more in between your ceramics sessions and obsessions, heehee! I very much understand obsessions with art,creating, and fun...I go on binges of painting and sculpting and the playing of video games at times, especially now that I have a surgery date coming up on Jan.13--and a whole pre-op program I have to follow. So I am not posting much myself, but I LOVE to read, I am a total voyeur and love reading people's works, especially my old favorites and new favorites.

Namaste!
Lena

( Posted by: TheRealKarmaTseringLhamo [Member] On: September 28, 2008 )





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