alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Poem: A plum on All Soul's Day

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A stone fruit, nearly
midnight blue, is a globe
in my hand, shipped
from a country where
many souls are Catholic,
like Mexico or Spain,

now that our plum season
is past, and I wonder if I
will be remembered
when I am past, thought of
as among the faithful — though
not Catholic, or Christian, or

will I be as the white
gauze smear in the crease
of this plum, (like the cloud
that shawls the earth) — ghostly,
adding nothing essential

to a bite’s sweet prayer, yet
seeming necessary somehow
to the plum, to my rubbing thumb,
to my mute stone tongue, and
to the redemption of the sphere.





Poetry should be heard.

Posted for dVerse's Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub. Go there and read other poem-worlds. Yay, poetry pub!
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45 comments:

Maureen said...

It's lovely how you take in hand the fruit, the plum especially with its blood-red juice, and consider it in context of All Souls Day. These images - "white / gauze smear in the crease" and "cloud/that shawls the earth" - stand out. Marvelous concluding stanza.

Linda said...

Your poetry will remain behind and will be enjoyed as much as the plum's juicy nectar. Till then, we shall savor our commentaries, knowing that future generations will wish they knew us when. =D

The Solitary Walker said...

I like your plum-globe poem, and all its reverberations. 'A bite's sweet prayer' - oh, very nice indeed.

Amanda said...

like the perfect sphere of a plum, the geometry of this poem was utterly fulfilling.

hedgewitch said...

Most fascinating conjecture, Ruth. Are we seed, fruit, some ligament of a filmy connection to the divine, or a haze that passes without knowing why. Lovely imagery here, in these eternal questions.

Brendan said...

From what astrophysicists are learning now about dark matter -- the unknowable overwhelming majority of the universe -- what we do know doesn't count for that much in eternity. So maybe we ought to revise our sense of what works in a poem, and what survives -- not the shine but the dark gleam of it within. You get my vote on both sides, though. Really fine poem. - Brendan

Brian Miller said...

nice being necessary would be enough for me...i dont need sainthood...smiles...really well penned...now though i would like a plum...smiles.

Barb said...

Essential or inconsequential - from the taste of fruit to our destiny, you ask important questions. I always read your poems aloud to hear the rhythm and meter of the words. PS Ruth, I meant to tell you - if you get enough snow there, I think you'd find snowshoes fun and functional. Don't get ones with too-big baskets - smaller ones work just fine, esp. if the snow isn't too deep and powdery.

ayala said...

Nicely penned :)

Shaista said...

I love Linda's comment... so true... future generations will wish they knew us when. Ruth Mowry? The poet Ruth Mowry? Oh yeah, totally knew her... are you kidding? She was Ruthie to me...

Natasha Head said...

Wonderful word weaving! All that's been said above x10.

Mark Kerstetter said...

"my mute stone tongue" haunts me (and I wish I had written it). I used to wonder when I was kid about these anonymous spaces, these creases, these repositories of nearly invisible dust and if bringing them into the spotlight of consciousness meant something. I haven't thought about this in a long time (or maybe I'm just living it now). Your poem is incredible.

erin said...

jesusgod, the language is like knees knocking on their way up the stairs. this alone is so much damned fun! never mind what is essential. it is all essential, especially the smear! how can pristine exist without it? how can the toll of a bell find a heart without the heart first needing it because of some fatal blow or destruction? oh, we must be dirt poor hungry to know how fine a fruit a plum is. (i just happen to be:)

xo
erin

Arti said...

Ruth, I've appreciated how your mind/heart associate seemingly unrelated things with transcending thoughts. And I hear you... it's spirituality that defines us, not religious borders. I've enjoyed your recent posts, although I may not be articulate enough to respond to them all.

kamana said...

eternal questions that you so you beautifully adress in these lines. i am eating a plum as i read this! :)

jen revved said...

Exquisite, Ruth-- beautifully crafted, and a much better poem than Wm Carlos Williams'-- you locate us with you, between our humanity and the natural world in many respects the way Rilke does, pondering the imponderables in physical terms, the referents...xxxj btw see how you feel about my words for Rilke-- xxxj

Ruth said...

Thank you, Maureen, very much. I changed the last stanza quite a bit since you read it. I hope you still find it "marvelous". :-)

Ruth said...

Linda, you are a doll, I love what you wrote.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Robert. I'm glad you like the poem, and that bite-prayer. I hope you will soon tell us what you contemplated, on your pilgrimage. I see that you have posted something new. I will thumb my way across the sphere to you forthwith.

Ruth said...

Amanda, thanks so much for that. A plum may not be perfectly round, with that crease, and needs to be "redeemed" in that sense, but it's still perfect.

Ruth said...

Hedge, thank you for engaging with my little existential poem. I think maybe we are all of what you listed. And more. And that is the mystery that keeps us longing and writing.

Ruth said...

Brendan, thanks for that shine and gleam reflection. I spent so little time paying attention to anything for so long, my growing awareness now feels like just being born, and also my growing sense of smallness, simultaneously with the belief that we give meaning to our lives.

Ruth said...

Brian, thanks for reading, I'm glad you liked it. And I suppose I should be grateful that you left hungry, though I somehow feel I haven't been a good hostess. ;-)

Ruth said...

Barb, thanks for reading, so much, and especially aloud! That means a lot. And thanks for the tip on the snowshoes! Small baskets, small baskets . . . what's a basket?

;-)

Just kidding, I will enjoy looking for some on Craig's list, after researching a bit first.

Ruth said...

Thank you for reading, Ayala.

Ruth said...

Shaista Tayabali, is that you??

:-)

I'm lucky to know you when. I need to catch up on your classes, etc.

~ Ruthie

Ruth said...

Welcome, Natasha, and thank you for reading and for your enthusiasm!

Ruth said...

Thanks a lot, Mark. There is a beautiful shift in your comment, which gave me chills: To look back and remember questions in the past, and like Rilke said to the young poet, to suddenly realize that we lived the questions then and have maybe moved into the answers, without consciously noticing, is thrilling!

Ruth said...

erin, I love you. :-)

You pack more fruit into your comment than most of us do in a week of thought-paths. I would like (I think I would like) to ride a little skiff along your brain synapses when a thought is traveling. Totally new, yet I knew it as soon as you found it.

Thank you for finding it here.

Ruth said...

Arti, thank you on all counts. And phew, I posted a lot in a row, and I can barely keep up with myself. So I get that! I don't seem to be able to constrain myself though, but no worries.

Ruth said...

Kamana, thank you for reading, and sharing a plum! :-)

Ruth said...

Wow, Jenné, thank you for those kind words. I look forward to your new Rilke words. Incredible how much he inspires so many of us.

Chris G. said...

So much juicy poetry from one little sphere...a lovely construction; who might have expected such a thing and such words woven into the concept of All Soul's Day and humanity? Delicious execution!

Beachanny said...

This, too, is poetry in its essence. I agree with so many comments here. When I read this, I felt like Emily Dickinson said one should feel when you "know" it's poetry..“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me,I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?”

Charles Elliott/Beautyseer said...

You certainly give us something elusive and wonderful to sink our teeth into here. Tasty! Thanks.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Chris G, for stopping by and reading! You just never know where things will lead in a poem.

Ruth said...

Beachanny, wow, I thank you for that honor. I can't think of a better compliment.

Ruth said...

Charles, thank you for coming by, for reading, and enjoying the flavors!

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Knowing, as I do from other posts of yours, the special connotations that plums have of weddings and new births, to see a plum now associated with your own soul, our own souls, especially as we pass, brings me a sense of a magnificent wholeness. And this on All Souls Day, the day of the dead, when we remember how much the dead need us and we need them to maintain that wholeness.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, and you in turn round out the fullness I feel from the microcosm of the plum. Thank you, my true blue friend.

Oliag said...

I so love your use of fruits and vegetables as imagery in many of your poems...perhaps it is because I can relate to them so much easier...perhaps it is because I recognize thoughts I would love to have been able to put on paper. Just thinking of the white blush on the plum and wiping it with a thumb...it is so necessary.

Shashi said...

Another one on Rilke... my day has started beautifully.. thanks. You have worked out fine details as an object poetry that Rilke was proponent of... and added to it an interesting spice of 'All Souls Day'. Beautiful.


Shashi
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/11/whispers-fire-faayar-faayaar-dedicated.html
At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

Ruth said...

Oliag, thank you for your good and kind comment! I really appreciate you reading and feeling that way.

Ruth said...

Shashi, thank you for visiting, reading, and enjoying the spice. Blessings!

The Orange Tree said...

keep wondering,
very charming imagery with plum and wishes in it.