A winter draught
plays on the spine,
shiver music
finely cuts
a path into the hair,
the air becomes
an old disease of mind.
Time for
a long walk, large
confessions to the trees,
advice from the trapped
echoes in abandoned shells.
Time for
something pure…
that will not sell,
for emptiness to call upon
a greater emptiness
for cure.

(originally posted September 2012)

51 responses »

  1. I’m glad to know others confess to the trees, too. Emptiness for a cure is an interesting thought. To be able to drain the mind of all the chattering monkeys would indeed by a wonderful cure.

    • Those chattering monkeys seem to grow more numerous with time….or am I thinking of the tweeting twits? But the inscrutable trees take it all in, and never talk back, though they know….they know…

    • Will we ever forget Harold and those classes? Probably not. They still can give us a good laugh, though, …and had they not happened, we might never have met and become friends. Thank you, my dear, for the “stunning.”

  2. Powerful yet, for me, also sad – ‘the air becomes an old disease of mind.’ brilliant imagery – so many interpretations and possible Illusion. You really know how to open mind, heart and soul! Phew!

    • That opening you speak of, Rob, of heart, mind, soul—it’s what one always hopes for, and yet so difficult to find. I’m happy to hear you find a bit of it in this little poem. Thank you.

      • The poet’s lament? πŸ™‚ however, I do find your poetry often opens these doors Cynthia… That’s why I love reading your work – always a ‘aha’ or ‘wow’ moment. Thank you for sharing that!

  3. The language is evocative and very beautiful, but the full depth of the meaning hidden in this poem escaped me. I get the gist which harbors a hint of sadness as do most of your poems, (probably what makes them so good). I think that this one deserves an other visit later today when I’m less dull!

    • That you think it worthy of bringing you back to read again is a wonderful compliment, Jane
      I hope you do! (I know you have my book, though, and this poem is in there, page 69 πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve been thinking a lot about trees lately, how wonderful they are. I’m weary, so connect with the stark imagery in your poem on many levels.

    • Guess it’s a weary time of year…we need to get out of March’s doldrums…into fresh air and flowers. I like what you say about levels, beeblu, and so glad you can connect with the imagery. Thank you!

  5. Time for something pure … … For a greater emptiness … …
    Beautiful Cynthia. A hint of sadness as JS says above, but with guts β€” as always.
    I know this one from your book where it faces the mysteriously beautiful poem about breathing the air.

    • Your comment not only pleases, but reminds me how thoughtful you are to continue to re-read, John. I am touched, and as you yourself have said elsewhere, there’s no greater reward than that.

  6. Oh, I really love this Cynthia. Those last six lines are full of breathing in the freshness that all the tack in the world can take away. How great to leave that all behind in search of ‘a greater emptiness for cure’. And ‘trapped echoes in abandoned shells’ is such a fantabulous phrase. You are the bee’s knees whatever that means! πŸ˜„

  7. My sense was with the transition from winter into spring. As the shivers fade, one yearns for the walks to clear the head from the long indoor hibernation. Well done, Cynthia!

  8. Beautiful Cynthia – it reminds me of how long a cold harsh winter can be and that the “long walk” alone in your thoughts with nature (trees, picking up shells – talking if you will) – shaking off winters cobwebs and clearing the mind of solitary thoughts. Time for you to feel the fresh, warm Spring-like air that will soon be knocking at your door.

    • We’ve had a few days, Mary, when there is that sniff of spring in the air….as long as you close your eyes to the foot or more of snow still lingering. I’m glad you’re painting flowers these days, especially those tulips!

      • Thank you Cynthia – I’ve so many now that I want to try my hand at, hope the courage overrides my inhibitions to just do it! when I read about your snow I know too well that you could see and inch or two more before cold-man winter takes its leave. We’ll see about sending you some more bright colored flowers (tulips maybe?).

        • Tulips are a favorite (people have been known in the past to take on the challenge of finding some in January, for my birthday—a near impossible task!) but I love all flowers, especially wildflowers and single blooms in a vase. I must say the stilted arrangements usually sent by mass-production florists carry too many olfactory memories of my growing up in a funeral home. My grandmother used to force the forsythia branches indoors, in March, to hurry the spring…I thought she called them “forcynthias!” Now see how you got me going?…go back to your flower challenge; I’ll see you there…. πŸ™‚

          • Oh how funny, forcynthias! I’ll never see another forsythia the same. And now I understand you wanting single flowers and wildflowers – I do have some in que. Working on Grand Slam and needed a quick little break!

  9. The only thing came to mind after reading this poem is “exquisite”The emptiness same times its fullness.,the drought becomes fullness of spring..Time to say farewell coldness.Jalal

    • This is an older poem, written several years ago, when I lived closer to the sea and was still physically able to take those nice long solitary walks for clearing the mind. But it still works, for me, and many readers do seem, like you, to enjoy the imagery of that central stanza. Thanks, Hilary.

  10. Full of wit, pathos, and insights into the contingencies of life– love the use of sound to limn the argument — left at a loss by the use of the sacred word empty but then you may wish for a rhetorical self-cancelling gesture. Otherwise very fine! If this sounds like a description of a rare book in an antiquarian catalog I apologize!

    • By now, dear Tom, you must know that I consider no word sacred, though you obviously have other ideas. As to the tenor of your comment, please don’t apologize, for I sit here reading it with a great big smile on my face…..thank you!

  11. Yes, I agree, there is always a moment in life when you need something fresher, something new, but not emptiness, not illusion, something to feed mind and soul. And I do like the idea of confessing to the trees. They are good listeners! It would be lovely to have some feedback though, especially from a very old one. All depends on where they are growing of course, but some of those trees must have seen some fascinating stuff! πŸ™‚

    • I just had a funny thought flash through my mind as I was reading your comment, Suzy. I pictured you talking to a tree…and suddenly it began to talk back to you….It wasn’t clear whether you got spooked and ran away in fright, or simply enjoyed the conversation….the latter I think! πŸ™‚

      • I just might run away! It is a nice wish, but in reality it might be like the ones that Dorothy encountered in Oz – not so nice. I love that film as a child, but was always pretty alarmed by that scene! 😯

    • Yes, marketing has insinuated into every nook and cranny, it seems….and maybe we have only that “gut feeling” to tell us whom to trust. Ernest Hemingway said it’s good to have a built-in crap detector, and I agree. (I think you and I both have a fairly decent one. πŸ™‚

  12. I delight in your poetry Cynthia, and thank you so much for your follow. I’m not posting much in April, as I am departing tomorrow again to visit family. Shall return! πŸ™‚

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