alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Friday, May 06, 2011

Poem: Endless

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my mom
 
Endless

Fingering the past and its memories
like beads of stone

or bone, like the ivory necklace
of your mother’s you wore,

its carved spheres, milky with river
filigrees, soapy soft,

lotioned almost
like your face skin before bed

oh pressing mine, kissing me good night on my
adolescent pillow

where I was growing, thrumming into myself
drawing pictures of women’s bodies

the way I wanted mine to be
under

forbidden bone, outlawed tusk
engraved for a beautiful woman

to wear upon her neck
hanging down on her bosom

circling, rotating, revolving
in the endless orbit of a life



Listen to a podcast of this poem here.
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50 comments:

Elisabeth said...

Your lovely Mom, Ruth. Here in Australia we say 'Mum'.

Memories weave in and out of this magical verbal portrait. Such a legacy, your mother/yourself.

annell said...

So beautiful, dreamy in a good way! The color of ivory a nice place to post such memories!

Patricia said...

I love the interwoven nature of textures evoking the symbiotic relationship between mother and daughter.

Andressa said...

in the endless orbit of a life...
amazing.

Maureen said...

A lovely gift of memory for Mother's Day.

Have a splendid weekend.

Ginnie said...

Happy Mother's Day, dear Mom!

OceanoAzul.Sonhos said...

Ruth, so beautiful!
oa.s

Friko said...

Mothers and daughters, such a fraught relationship sometimes.

To be able to sing a song of such memories as yours, how fortunate you are.

lesleyanne said...

i love this. i can see this moment. like i'm there with you.

Dan Gurney said...

Wonderful poem. I especially love how it begins shifting from stone to bone to skin, lotioned skin. And the sense of adolescent discontent, wishing one's body were different from what is. Just great stuff.

But I was a bit confused there right at the end with the three words circling, rotating, revolving. All of a sudden I'm seeing celestial maps of the solar system and I was, well, prepared to see a different image... based on the last word of the penultimate stanza.

Oliag said...

Wonderful Ruth! I can feel those pearls in my hand...Happy Mother's Day to you...xoxo

Susan said...

Generations of mothers can see themselves in this beautiful poem. Happy Mother's Day!

Arti said...

What a beautiful picture of your Mom, Ruth, and a lovely tribute for Mother's Day. I too like your commenter above (Dan G.) wonder about the circling, rotating, revolving... and from my own view, I could see it's endless because another generation has come after her, and yet another one, thinking of your own children now getting married... 'endless orbit of a life'. But of course, you must mean something more personal than how I read it. Allow me to take this opportunity to wish you yourself a Happy Mother's Day!

Kamana said...

what a beautiful tribute.

freefalling said...

I love this bit
"on my
adolescent pillow

where I was growing, thrumming into myself"

Ruth you are sooo prolific - how do you do it?
It's only just over a week since I visited and you've squeezed a lifetime of thoughts and feelings and beauty and memories into that time.
You must be full to the brim with "good stuff".

Ruth said...

Dear Elisabeth, this is a time of remembrance. For me, it is after the finality of my mother's loss of mind to Alzheimer's, then death. For you now, you are living with your memories, in their painful substance, and in the rich reality of your mother's survival. You, too, weave extraordinary tapestries with your powerful writing, and I am always, always grateful for it, and feel enlightened by it. Thank you for this, and for sharing mine here. Happy Mother's Day.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Annell. When I think of my mother's skin, it is perfect ivory, almost untouched by the sun.

Ruth said...

Patricia, it is a mystery that unfolds for me constantly, hence so many words here lately . . .

Ruth said...

Andressa, yes, life is amazing.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Maureen. You do the same!

Ruth said...

Boots, I miss the smell of her face and her breath.

Ruth said...

OceanoAzul.Sonhos, thank you! Beautiful weekend to you.

Ruth said...

Friko, there were many tensions, yes. What I'm finding remarkable is how the best and most pleasurable memories seem to be the ones that are asking to be explored.

Ruth said...

Wesrey, you are here with me.

And soon, soon, here in my arms!

Ruth said...

Dan, thank you, I so appreciate your attention to this poem. And thank you for your honesty too. Sorry to hear that what you expected next was not what you got. :-)

Yes, galaxies. I don't really know how to explain what I feel inside these days, but the poems I've been writing are the witnessing words somehow. The lines between celestial spheres and ivory spheres on a mother's necklace seem to be dissolving. Fingering beads or fingering revolving planets . . . is there a difference? For me, plunging into a mother's bosom, a woman's bosom, my own even, is to plunge into the earth, into the center, through it into eternity, into all things, all life. I don't know how else to say it, but there will be more poems, and you may or may not expect what comes. Just know that I feel it here, this energy that circles, rotates and revolves in an unending cycle of the huge and the tiny, and everything in between.

Ruth said...

Oliag, thank you my friend. Let's keep fingering the pearls of our life together. Happy Mother's Day to you xoxo.

Ruth said...

Susie, thank you, my dear friend. Happy Mother's Day!

kenju said...

What a lovely portrait!

Barb said...

Ruth - The photo of your Mom is priceless and from her look, I think possibly she also had forbidden dreams. (Don't we all?) The cadence of your poem is wonderful.

deb colarossi said...

hello my dear Ruth.
This took my breath away.

I have been struggling for a bit.. both with in real life changes to routines, and in my head changes to ... well... routines.

I would love nothing more than to see you for Mother's Day. You are in my very soul always.

The Solitary Walker said...

Good your comment to Dan.

The unbroken circle: grandmother, mother, daughter.

I like the connections you make, merging female adornment with female body, widening out to celestial spheres in the final verse. I like the mother's kiss at the very centre of the poem. And I like the way you capture the very frisson of adolescent girlish dreams with those words 'forbidden' and 'outlawed'.

Very lovely indeed.

who said...

Happy Mother's Day Ruth!

as always, you wrote an excellent poem

Ruth said...

Thank you, Arti. I love this portrait of Mom, knowing what a tomboy she was, and how Grandma Olive made her sit like a prim and proper girl. :-)

What you wrote about the circles of generations is very much here in my poem. I was also thinking about how a life does not end when a person dies. The string of beads, a circle, hangs down and circles her life, and her life keeps revolving around my own, and mine around hers, unceasingly.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Kamana. Happy Mother's Day!

Ruth said...

Letty, my dear. How and why this outpouring? I dunno, but something like you said, brimming over of good stuff. The words are witnesses, and they must be released, like puffs of air!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Kenju, I love it too. Enjoy the day!

Ruth said...

Barb, thank you, and you are quite right about those forbidden dreams. I am quite certain Mom was dreaming of field hockey or a bicycle while she posed for this portrait. Have a lovely Sunday and Mother's Day.

Ruth said...

Deb, hello. I am sorry to hear you have had those struggles in the stuff of your life. We carry one another in our heart-and-soul baskets, and wouldn't it be wonderful to carry ourselves to each other today? Ahh, one day, I hope.

Ruth said...

Dear Robert, thank you for your kind attentions to my poem of unending and unbroken circles. I hope you have a beautiful day with at least a brief walk in your wonderful world.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Dusti! I wish you the same, for the role you play in your daughters' lives. Have a beautiful Mother's Day.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Ruth—

Thank you for your explanation. Now that closing line makes total sense.

While paddling my canoe and seeing the paddle swirlpools in the water and contemplating the galaxies I've had a similar thought moment. So now I get it.

Thank you. Your poems are very powerful. The muses have found a good listener in you. I love coming here.

Marcie said...

Such a lovely portrait..and loving memory of your sweet and beautiful mom! Happy Mother's Day!

Brendan said...

Yeah, this is one of your best -- homage of child to a mother, of a daughter dreaming of becoming a woman and mother with her mother as her frame of reference, the synechdoche here the necklace which the speaker's mother inherited from her mother, its milky round texture, the way round memories feel, the way memory gives birth to the past. Absolutely wonderful.

missing moments said...

Lovely words and images, Ruth.

Ruth said...

Dan, thanks so much for coming back and listening to me ramble and fumble a bit about such nebulous feelings, and understanding. Yes, swirlpools, milky ways . . .

Ruth said...

Thank you, Marcie! I hope you and your "ducklings" had a beautiful day yesterday. :-)

Ruth said...

Brendan, oh thanks for that. There seems to be no end to the fecundity of my mother's soil.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Reena.

Margaret said...

The poem reverberated with "touching". So earthy, so necessary to still feel a mothers soothing stroke, touch her things tenderly in remembrance. Sometimes when I stroke my children when they aren't feeling well, I remember when I had my headaches, she would stroke my feet and the comfort that gave me. Lovely, as usual. I still need to squeeze in time to properly look at your May 5th poem (my 21st wedding anniversary!!).

Andreas said...

This moves through me with such softness that I can but sigh.

Thank you for your visit the other day. It was much appreciated.

Andreas