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Author: hanuman
ASL Info:    3 score & 10 & some!
Elite Ratio:    5.98 - 804 /1016 /239
Words: 150
Class/Type: Poetry /Serious
Total Views: 1738
Average Vote:    No vote yet.
Bytes: 1006


We went to visit my wife's parents in rural Hampshire. Everything happened exactly as described.


Her face is featureless with stroke;
Her hair no longer an unruly mess of chestnut curls
Lies white and flat against her blue-veined skull;
Her puckered lips no cherries; her skin no peach's bloom.
She is a last sere leaf on a winter twig
Waiting for a friendly puff of wind to fall.

The garden hedges, once so manicured and trimmed,
Are now a riotous overgrowth of berried shrubs:
Bramble, sweet briar and bryony,
Hawthorn and sloe, honeysuckle and guelder-rose.

His face is gaunt and stubbled, sickly grey.
Clocks tick in a mausoleum of ornaments.
He teases his wife with delusions of recovery,
Chasing him around the bed in petticoats.

Through the kitchen window a rare sight:
Taking advantage of the unkempt wilderness,
Two roe deer and a fox chase each other
Around the flower beds, the fox ever hopeful,
The plump-rumped roe simply out to tease.

Submitted on 2010-08-27 13:00:15     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  it is such a shame, this aging thing, and you describe it so well. I like to think that we were all young at one time and that inside of us all there is still the spirit of our youth. Me, I live every day as if I'm still 20, and yes, I do often wake up in pain, wondering why. It sounds like your in-laws still have a little of that spirit left and that perhaps this is what keeps them alive.

I love the reference to the deer and the fox...wish I could cross some tees or dot some i's for you but I'm afraid I've been out of the game for too long to be of any assistance there, not that I would find anything anyway. All I can do is enjoy, and even with bleak subjects, your poetry is always a joy.
| Posted on 2010-09-17 00:00:00 | by deadndreaming | [ Reply to This ]
It tickles me to death every time I go to the recent posts and there! a new poem from the man aliased after an ape-shaped god.

Out of curiosity, why do you capitalize all the letters of your titles?

This title is so exceptionally fitting. The contrasts that life deals can become so apparent sometimes, startlingly so. Oddly this reminded me of secondary succession, ecologically speaking (I know, I'm a dork), as when an environment that previously supported life is nearly (nearly) destroyed of it by some catastrophe, though in this case the catastrophe is a somewhat slower process, maybe secondary succession if you were able to watch it in slow motion.

And maybe that's what old age/dying is. Some might consider that to be a depressing way to look at it, maybe too brutal and not quite sympathetic enough, though I can tell you I find this tears my insides up a bit because it makes me think of visiting my grandfather toward the end. It's horrible, seeing someone die, watching what they were drain away. And then to have played the one trying to stop it all.

So maybe that's why I'm talking about ecology. However, I'm going to return to it, because secondary succession is not the destruction but the re-growth that happens in its wake. It may start slow, with grass, to shrubs, possibly trees and finally animals, such as the deer, the fox.

Life chases life. Life comes and goes in cycles. This is what I am trying to understand, rather than a means to an end.

Daniel is right -- you are a master describer, and your are a master of the lyrical too. Your words are always well-placed not only for their definition but also for the sonic quality and it creates a lovely consistency and movement throughout your writing that people should take note of.

And one nitpick: I don't think the comma is needed after "recovery" S3L3.

| Posted on 2010-08-27 00:00:00 | by Lady of Shalott | [ Reply to This ]
  you're a good describer guy, guy.

that's always been one of the features of your writing, and it's something I admire when I come across it since I mostly deal with blobs of feeling and don't give up worlds like this.

I like the transitions in this, and the connections that can be made, like how the delusions of the man are the same hopeful delusions of the fox (almost) and how the end of one world opens up the possibility of another, nature giving way to nature, and there's great subtlety that almost masks the sadness, it makes me think of empires and vanished civilizations, and all that that involves, and yes, it almost masks the sadness... almost.
| Posted on 2010-08-27 00:00:00 | by Daniel Barlow | [ Reply to This ]
  Well done...
Yes, the prospects of old age bloom in their own special way for each of us. I see this glacier advancing ever closer with our own remaining parents, her mother and my dad. My own mother had what I'd call a Cadillac death - late middle to early old age, mid-day nap, pass away in the process, what a deal! Sign me up!

Yes, the topic of old age and impending death looms as every other day (more or less) we visit the mother-in-law with her stroke induced short term memory loss at the nursing home and walk those long halls among some near ghosts as something collective apparently continues to evaporate that we previously took little notice of.

Meanwhile, Dad's still sharp as a tack after having looked Death in the eye through three wars. A variety of fates? Yes, and yet more juxtapositions to consider...
| Posted on 2010-08-27 00:00:00 | by Blue Monk | [ Reply to This ]
  I have tears in my eyes and goosebumps all over. This affected me deeply.

At some time, we all have to face the prospect of getting old. My mom recently had to put Grandma in a home, and it has started her to thinking of what will happen to her when she gets old. I told her that just as Grandma's welfare in her old age is her concern, so is hers mine. But I'm sure even knowing this doesn't ease it much.

She is a last sere leaf on a winter twig
Waiting for a friendly puff of wind to fall.

This is the line that really got me.

There is a bitter-sweet sadness to this, tinged with only the barest shadow of hope.

I am lost for words to say anything else... just wow...

Take Care,
| Posted on 2010-08-27 00:00:00 | by Soul-Hugger | [ Reply to This ]

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