Thursday, May 31, 2007

Poetry thursday 5.31.07


On our way home: him driving, me navigating
a long road of comfortable conversation
winding northward through Oregon’s rolling verdant hills
we got to Portland
far below the freeway
a gleaming serpentine shape
snaked broadly through the city
he casually remarked
“I forgot the Columbia came this far south,”
with superior sideways glance I pronounced
“That’s the Willamette, not the Columbia”
Matching my smug tone, he asserted
“The Columbia flows through Portland”
growing bold, I baited the braggart
“Care to bet on that?”

We crossed two rivers
on our way home: him driving, me fifty dollars richer.

Claw-foot Tub

I slipped down white-clad cast iron slope
into swirls of steam
stewing in my own juices
percolating with the possibility
that when the water emptied
it would leave behind
rather than residue of shaving cream
and sharp short hairs
a ring of words
I could let dry
then peel away in perfect strings
but when I pulled the plug
they spiraled out of reach
leaving bare porcelain
not poetry.

Early Waking

Sun’s first rays silent
steal across my threshold; I
am there to meet her.


gautami tripathy said...

Hustled brought about a smile. Glad for you to win that bet!

Like the other two too.

Colorful Prose said...

I like that stubbornness in the first. And the images in the second are so very accurate--trying to catch words as they tumble down the drain. Beautiful.

Becca said...

I really like the tone of Hustled - that very conversational, slightly smarkt-aleck note to the voice. Really clever take on the river's prompt too - like nothing I've read all day!

Claw-foot Tub is also these lines
"stewing in my own juices
percolating with the possibility ..." and "a ring of words I could let dry
then peel away in perfect strings," and...well, heck, I just like all of it!

I really enjoyed reading these~thanks!

Remiman said...

When my wife says, "wanna bet?" I decline. ;-)

Clockworkchris said...

I like that you won the money. The haiku at the end was also excellent but I preferred the second poem. There is something sensual about a bath tub with a woman in it that I can't resist. Probably because I am a man. I guess that is the answer I was looking for. Most of what Becca said I am right on with. Esp the stewing, percolating, and the ending. Sorry this is short but I have tons of work to do before I sleep, price of vacations I supose.

aubrey said...

beautiful. your first one made me laugh. i loved the second and third ones because i could relate.

chicklegirl said...

Thanks, all, for your comments!

Gautami--I'm a sucker for a sure thing!

Colorful prose--yes, he and I are both very stubborn. And he's not often wrong, which is what made that so funny when it happened.

Becca-thank you. I've been waiting a while to find the perfect place to use the "stewing" line. This was it.

Rel--You smart man, you.

Chris--don't worry about being short; do what you gotta do!

Aubrey--thanks! I'm so glad I get to share these with you.

Catherine said...

I really chuckled at the ending to the first one!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I particularly enjoyed your first poem, the implicit comparison between the meandering conversation and the river and the fact that you put 'until' on a line by itself, adding a natural break to the narrative. I like that yhou won the bet too of course!

jim said...

I second Crafty Green's comments. I really like the claw foot tub poem, simply about how words seep out of our skins. Very evocative.

Clare said...

Your poems are great! In the first one, I especially liked the flowing feeling of driving, navigating, long road, winding etc. And your betting and winning was fun! In the claw-foot tub poem, the image of residue of a ring of words and then those spiraling out of reach is just so lovely --very poetic. And in Early Waking, the image and feeling of your meeting "sun's first rays silent" is just perfectly exquisite. All of these are wonderful!

...deb said...

Loved your poems! Claw-foot tub is my favorite of the three (why do I have to vote?! I don't!)

You both won the bet. Both rivers pass through Portland, proper, if a map is consulted--though the Willamette creates the eastside nighborhood demarcations; but I won't spoil the bet. (I smiled as I read, for my husband and I bet quite a bit!)

Pauline said...

I've driven through Portland and looked down over that serpentine river - your words have done their work - I knew just where you were. In fact, your words work well in all three poems - you have a wonderful sense of pacing!

chicklegirl said...

Catherine--I like making people laugh.

Crafty--thanks for noticing; I tried to make the parallels subtle but present.

Jim--lately when I've been taking a bath, my thoughts keep turning to poetry and I thought this captured it.

Clare--thank you, thank you! Such lavish praise!

Deb--you're right about the two rivers. And my hubby knew that; I had to pull out the atlas to prove to him that the first one we saw was the Willamette. But of course, that would be too much detail for the poem (and would lessen the impact of my victory substantially, right? :)

Pauline--I'm glad the description was just right. Thanks for commenting!