Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dancing at dawn


Dancing at dawn

I sit alone, like a pocketed wheel snail
snugged in sandy dawn, the sun
angling for salmon behind the barn’s thistle weeds;
off to the side the sky is the color of shallow tide
around the moon soon to be a filament
of film clipped on daylight’s floor.
The birds sing all at once and more, without
bounds and oversound the shells
of my ears with sea.
I bob and skim my chest at the edge
of the hot tub, the way seahorses slowly rock
intoxicated with love on YouTube
for us who only swim among the kind
of coral that grows neon in the sky.

April 2012

Poetry should be heard.

And a less "produced" version, after a few helpful comments...



The Unknowngnome said...

Beautiful Ruth! Your last two lines capture my heart.

erin said...

are you even serious?

your poem brings me to places, i think, you didn't intend. just a few moments ago on her way out to school my daughter told me the heart stops for three seconds when we sneeze. i didn't know if this was true or not. i said, i will look it up. she said, but be careful. don't go to wikipedia or, i can't remember which other site she listed. anyone can post information on there. it's not necessarily true. i said, imagine this. imagine if everything posted on the internet were a lie. imagine if we lived our lives off that lie.

is this courtship real? can anything so sensual and languid that simulates what we humans do, be real?

even before i watched the video i was struck by the insertion of Youtube in your poem. i fear for how we as a society are changing. i heard reference the other day on the radio, casual reference, to our cyber/borg interface.

who are we now?
who will we become?

let us not ever leave behind the definitive (ha) poetry of the dawn!


Kathleen said...

Oh, another wonderful poem! Thanks for posting the courtship dance, too.

And I love this: "a pocketed wheel snail / snugged in sandy dawn"

Love all the sounds and images in this.

Ruth said...

Hello, Unknowngnome, thank you for reading. I'm thrilled those lines captured your heart!

erin, perhaps I didn't intend it, or perhaps I did? I went out to the hot tub to welcome the sun, and there was the clipped moon. I had just watched these seahorses dancing, so sensually, so gorgeously. I mourned that I do not have them here, where I can swim with them. They were filmed in an aquarium. Even that is artificial. But what we have is what we have. YouTube is what we have, just as movies and text messages are part of life. I am happy that your daughter is cautious about what is true in print or digital form. But the media themselves are true, they are what we have. I hesitated to write "YouTube" in my poem, because it is not poetic. (I don't think this is your objection.) But then I thought, but this is how I know the seahorse! I have never, will never see one in its native habitat. Only in an aquarium, live or in some medium. I want to embrace that gift, even while I, like you, wonder at the ways we are changing. We can move cautiously, like your daughter, and welcome everything with our wits and hearts. xoxo

Kathleen, thank you so much. I love those wheel snails, all over the shores of Lake Michigan.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, really lovely — and beautifully read, as always!

The Solitary Walker said...

And, BTW, the mention of 'YouTube' makes your poem for me. Poetic? Anything and everything can be 'poetic'. The 'poetry' comes out of context and contrast and shock and beauty and a million over things — not out of an individual word or phrase, which is pretty much meaningless on its own.

hedgewitch said...

'angling for salmon' is inspired, Ruth, as is of course the clipped and edited moon--the sea horse dance in your poem was lovely and real--to me the you tube was both entrancing, and a bit of a let down(looked heavily photo-shopped) compared to the image your words built, yet I feel that including it(even as the non-poetic word) was intrinsic to the whole experience--it doesn't *matter* if the vid is 'real'--what matters is what was present to the poet, to the moment inscribed. An ekphrasis, if you will. Thanks for this, this morning, Ruth. I needed a sip of clipped moon.

Ruth said...

Robert, thanks so much. We are in agreement that everything in life affects how we see the world, poetically or otherwise.

Hedge, thank you for your generous response.

I see now that I was seduced (rather naively) by the *overly* produced YouTube, which seems almost Disney-esque now that you mention it. This must be what erin meant too, and so I appreciate your perception and attention to it, as well as hers. I have added another less *produced* version of the seahorse dance, which is a bit jerky in filming, but maybe that lends even more beauty by way of reality. In any case, the way these creatures dance this ritual is glorious.

Maureen said...

The poem's many 's' sounds and wonderful images ("the moon soon to be a filament/of film clipped on daylight's floor") leave me with an impression no video can produce.

Seahorses are one of nature's marvels. Did you know they are monogamous, mate for life, and that it is the male who carries the eggs in his pouch till they hatch?

Ruth said...

Maureen, I didn't know all of that, and yet it seems so clear from the footage of them, that they are linked for life! And the males carry the eggs, oh how I love that possibility, for at least one of our species. Thank you for your kind words.

JeannetteLS said...

The birds sing all at once and more, without bounds and oversound the shells of my ears with sea."

I tend to simply read aloud poetry and, with these words, with your poem, I had me a tumbledown ride and it smiled in my heart. I have nothing else to say. (for now.)

California Girl said...

I want to be in that hot tub!!!

musicwithinyou said...

Ruth I know what you mean about YouTube and this is something I rely on heavily to post the music for my blog. The internet can give us so much information but we have to realize it might not be the right information.

Those colors in your picture sparked flames in my soul. Stunning! A seahorse truely knows intimacy. Oh to be a seahorse!

missing moments said...

So beautiful Ruth .... exactly how I feel at sunset when in our hot tub.

GailO said...

You certainly are inspired in that hot tub! Love it! I loved the sea horse dance too:)

rippleeffects said...

O what sync... again, Ruth. Dancing at dawn and Dances with words. Two posts, one yours, one mine, a day apart. Yours is a poetic and visual delight... you've painted with your words and supplemented by a rare sight. The photo is utter clarity as well... most gratifying!

James Owens said...

such rich and sensual language here:

like a pocketed wheel snail
snugged in sandy dawn, the sun
angling for salmon behind the barn’s thistle weeds

and more, all the way through. i read this over and over for the music of it, and listen, too...

i like the way the poem launches from solitude, "I sit alone" and goes on to finish on an image of such intimate togetherness -- perhaps questioning what either of those states might mean in the world of youtube and instant access to the sort of "community" that seems always available nowadays, even in apparent solitude ...

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Truly beautiful!

Anna :o]

hedgewitch said...

oooo--the second video is beautiful--such a yearning in those curving bodies, such a peace in their synchronized movements. Thanks for adding it, Ruth, though the poem is its own curve of yearning, and dance of peace.

Jean Spitzer said...


Ruth said...

Jeannette, how kind, and thank you for reading this aloud.

California Girl, it is a daily vacation!

musicwithinyou, it is staggering how much our lives have been changed by YouTube alone, the ability to share so many things. I'm so glad these colors lit something alive in you. Maybe you should do a seahorse dance!

Ruth said...

Hi, Reena! I never wanted a hot tub. And then there was one here, and now I hope I never have to live without one. How else would we sit under the night sky in January for 30 minutes?

GailO, it's true! I get soul time in the hot tub. :-)

Arti, I love the synchronicity! I will come dance with your words soon, a fascinating perspective, as always!

Ruth said...

James, I relish your perceptiveness, at each encounter.

Anna, hello, and thank you! So good to see you.

Hedge, aren't they gorgeous? I'm glad you came back and enjoyed them.

Thanks, Jean!

erin said...

oh, please know, i do not object to your poem at all or to your use of youtube. i reject where we are headed. i do, ruth. i do. it makes me ill in my heart. i know we gain so much in terms of voice or education, or potentially in terms of democracy, but our humanity is more than slipping away. (and all of these things can still be argued.) we are giving our humanity away willfully. perhaps if we paid more attention to the seahorses no matter how we see them, or if you simply write of them and tell us and we imagine - perhaps then we've the best chance of survival.

this is important. do you see what your poetry does! it begins this conversation.

xo erin

Montag said...

I really like this. I am not so sure poetry must be heard; it would influence my "take" on it.

I think it should be batted about like a badminton birdie...

and you do it so well.

Ginnie said...

Along with the haunting music of the second video, Ruth, I think I have just died and gone to heaven. Who would believe such a dance existed!

SPotlight Photography said...

So wonderful. I find no words!

Margaret said...

Such a gentle, quite, awe-filled poem. I wish we all took the time to look around our world and truly see and hear the beauty. "angling for salmon" was pure joy and the bobbing chest described like the seahorse... just a perfect poem for me to now say... goodnight and snuggle under my quilt with a smile. (it will substitute as my prayer tonight) Just beautiful!