Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My offering today is a poem. Please remember that the poet and the speaker are not one and the same. When the speaker talks about her mother, I'm not talking about my mother, who was the soul of generosity and could churn out pies with homemade crusts like nobody's business.

And I feel I must mention that we're now up to 94 followers. I'd love to have six more of you by Christmas. Remember when we only had 13 followers for the longest time?

No, of course you don't. You weren't following then.

Infinities of love,



I did not go home when my mother was dying. I feared Her power over me so I could not go. She held me captive with Words. If I had gone, I would have heard Her Words. I waited until she was dead. Then I went home.

I thought I might be Safe.

I Studied Her in Her Coffin. I've always heard that people shrink as they age, particularly if they suffer protracted illnesses. She had aged. She had suffered a protracted illness. She had not Shrunk.

But Her Power wasn't in Her size.

I looked at Her hair. The same. I looked at her hands. The same. Ears, same. Skin, same. Clothes, same. Jewelry, same. Mouth, Not the same. No Words. I began to believe she had lost Her Power over me.

I was wrong.
I try to write. I hear Nabokov, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Joyce, and others in my mind. I hear my own words in my mind. I try to put the words on paper. They become pathetic, weak, puny. Their greatness disappears.

I know why.

Her Words still hang in the air, overpowering mine before they can drop to the paper. 

Yet I believe in words. 
I know words in all their ugliness and in all their beauty.
I know words.

I know the power of words.

Rereading this poem now, I don't think I like it. Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow if I get a little honest bloggy criticism, suggestions, and love.


  1. I like it, too. The influence a parent has can be frightening, if abused. Some children may be warped. Some may just feel fear and never get over it.

  2. I'm not sure if I like it or not. Makes me feel kinda bleak, and I'm not a bleak-feeling kinda person. Then again, I guess anything that makes me think too much about when my mother died is gonna evoke dark feelings of some kind. One thing for sure... it's powerful writing.

    Followed you here from Paige's blog. I agree. She's hysterical. Funnier than I am, dammit.

    In an effort to help you reach that elusive 100 followers, count me in as your newest. I read through some of your posts. Good stuff. I'll be back, as Arnie said ...

  3. I like it. I especially like that the poet chose to upper case Her. It gives her a God-like quality, and it is obvious from the words in the poem that she is revered yet feared.

    Sorry, perhaps I over-analyzed. That is the QB's nature to do so.

  4. Not bad in the least. Words can have power behind them no matter the source or meaning. Some more than others, truly conveyed that.

  5. I guess I feel very sorry for the woman in the coffin and the person observing. I had a loving relationship with my Mother. It was complex but I ALWAYS knew I was loved. Good luck on your 100.

  6. There is an awesome power to words. Some days I feel inspired by them, some days I feel trapped by them.

  7. I do like the poem but it doesn't leave you with nice feelings. That doesn't make it bad, it actually means it's good because I can feel the fear of Her. Chilling in a way. (although I just watched Great Expectations so that probably didn't help!)

  8. The poem made me feel sad for both the mother & the daqughter. I'm glad my relationship wasn't like that.

    I wonder if your follower count is correct. For a while Blogger Dashboard --NOT I--decided I didn't want to follow you. It kept dropping your posts. I must have re-followed you 50 times--literally!

  9. I really liked the pomen. I thought it was very powerful! Great message. :)

  10. Sooo powerful! This brings back memories.
    This piece could inspire whole story lines and books! Nicely done! Bravo.

  11. People should be cognizant of the words they use. They can damage people for their entire lives. They can make a person feel loved their entire life. It's all about the words! Great post. Feel better soon and Congrats on 96 followers!!! Proud to be one of them.

  12. I really liked it. It took us on the journey of her mother's funeral, felt like I was there watching it unfold. Very good.

    When you hit 100, send some of your excess followers my way, please.

  13. Suz, Short and sweet. Thank you. Maybe I do like it.

    Mr. Fox, I think many parents do not comprehend their influence over their children, or they misuse their power intentionally.

    Susan, You're absolutely right: It's bleak, and of course, it's intentional. I promise you not all of my poems are bleak and I seldom write a bleak post. Glad someone else understands about that darn Paige.

    Your Majesty, You're absolutely right about the upper casing. Intentional and designed to make the mother God like.

    R, Thank you very much.

    Pat, Thanks, but it doesn't rhyme.

    Sush, I like it that you feel sorry for the mom. Maybe she didn't know the damage she caused.

    Rory, Words are power.

    Princess, Ah Great Expectations and that opening scene. Creepy.

    fishducky, It's hard to tell if the follower count is correct. I know the number of posts can't be right. Anyway, thank you for your persistence.

    Ms. Fun, Thank you so much.

    Elisa, Why thank you, honey bunch.

    Barb, And I'm proud to know you.

    Stephanie, I followed other people's advice when it comes to getting followers: stalk them. Actually, I think Elisa should send us followers. She definitely has too many for her own good.

  14. Are you liking it better by now? You should. I particularly like the paragraph about the words losing their greatness somewhere between mind and paper...that mother must've been some piece of work.

  15. I really like it.

  16. Nicki, I am. Liking it better, I mean. I love compliments, and I love it when people get something out of my writing.

    menshans, Interwebs, My 2 Pesos -- Muchas gracias por todo. Welcome menshans. Just a few more and I'll have my 100 followers. For lunch. With some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

  17. I like it. It requires more of a backstory though, I think. Maybe make it the begining of a short fiction story.

    And um, yes I was a follower way back then...


  18. Julianna, I tried turning it into a short story at one point and wasn't able to do it -- then. Maybe I should try again. Wow! You've been with me through thick and thick.

  19. Words can hurt. Words can heal.

  20. it reminds me of my gran.
    and it only takes one word to make or break you.

  21. Jaya, I hope you're on OK terms with her.


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