Thursday, March 1, 2007

Pretty Riddles

5 Fragile and Beautiful Things


A syrupy, soapy slip of nothing
blossoms on the plastic wand. My lips part
as I breathe life inside. Delicate walls
stretch into prisms. Then, it floats away.


Clear spears of ice dangle on eaves like teeth,
a house becomes a hungry animal.
Once the sun shines, rivulets of water
trickle to the tips, loosen each tooth’s root.


Each day, I struggle to find the right one,
the kindest combination of clauses.
My mind clicks, tumblers in a lock, as I
catalogue all of my fleeting choices.


We are surrounded in layers too thin
to see, covering each other until
we are protected. Take one sharp edge, quick
slice and we are open for all to see.


She dodders past the door, cheeks round and red.
Mittens and hat unwrapped, she scrambles through
the store, giggling and grabbing glasses
off the stocked shelves, crashing them to the floor.


Remiman said...

9 to 5,
Vivid pictures of the keen edge of life reflected in a bubble, a slice of time, bursts and is gone.
You choose, and use words devinely.

Dennis said...

I love coming here and reading your poetry. It's always a treat and you always have something worthy to say. Thanks!

gautami tripathy said...

Life forces. Thats what I felt. I liked all the five verses.

Parallel Streams

writerwoman said...

Nice poem. Four is my favorite stanza.

Anonymous said...

these are so beautiful and concise ... and just mysterious enough to be SO interesting! they reminded me of haiku. in terms of finding the essence of a thing.

Regina Clare Jane said...

Yes, the bubble and the icicles... and the rest were so mesmerizing to me that I found myself thinking of so many different things!
Just wonderful!

Colorful Prose said...

At my wedding, we had people blow bubbles instead of throw rice. It was a beautiful memory.

Natalie said...

The first is clearly blowing a bubble! Loved the imagery of this and the words you used. This is really wonderful writing, talented lady.

Clockworkchris said...

I'm glad everyone has their own spin on my silly idea-some people like riddles and others are's fun to read everyones work. Every stanza was great, and this had a great unique quality I have yet to see. It was breathtaking.

jim said...

What an ear you have (yes, I know the project here was to rely on imagery, but my goodness, the sonics at play!)!

Clear spears of ice dangle on eaves like teeth

--That line alone! That internal rhyme, that assonance with the last phrase, and in the middle, that goofy juxtoposition of that soft "ice" with that ugly "dangle."

SLP said...

"Dodder" is a great word, truly -- fun to say aloud.

Also, I really like the mind-as-lock metaphor -- I had to read it twice (I am a bit slow) to make the connection to "combination" -- nice.

Emily said...

I really like what you did with the prompt...and the way you broke it into five parts. I read them first for language and then to figure them out :)

wendy said...

My favorite stanza is the one on clothes. and I pictured a drunk woman in the grocery for the last.

Jessica said...

Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. I didn't preface this before because I had just written it at about 4 or 5 this morning.

I was really stuck with this prompt, but I used to do these set of 6 syllabic quatrains on topics when I got stuck on an idea in grad school. They normally helped me suss out what I was trying to say.

remimian -- thanks for the kind words.

dennis -- what an ego boost. Just what I needed today.

gautami -- i like your take on it. I don't know why I'm obsessed with fragility, but maybe that's why.

carolee -- funny that they should remind you of haiku. I've been doing a lot of those lately. Maybe it's rubbing off.

colorful prose -- we didn't do the bubble thing at my wedding, but I like it at others. There's something pretty magical about those bubbles floating around.

jim -- thanks for the comment. I work pretty hard on the sounds in my poetry, and I'm happy that you noticed. Although, I don't know if I'd call dangle an ugly word...:)

slp-- speaking of fun words, dodder is pretty awesome. although I think I'm using it wrong. What can I say, it was 4 in the mornng.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Bubbles, icicles and then I was lost, but in a good way. Enjoyed reading...

Poet With a Day Job said...

This is such a beautiful poem. I love the images you create, but stylistically, I also love the shortness of the moments in each stanza, and the execution: the sounds in these pieces are AMAZING. If you just let go of meaning for a second and let the sounds roll off your tongue it just feels like eating beauty.

Sorry to be effusive, no other way of explaning. It's terrific.

Mary said...

I can't guess what the items are, but I LOVE the images, anyway. Wonderful, lyrical, and enticing.

Jessica said...

Here's the answers, such as they are.

one -- bubbles
two -- icicles
three -- language
four -- skin
five -- a 4 year old girl I saw at the coffee shop, wednesday night.

I was trying to link the beauty underneath the theme of "fragility," because I think ultimately, beauty is fragile and fleeting.