Plain Pale Pen


She’s searching for something slightly
left of center, more than six feet deep.

A sign: the arrival of the straying sun, gone
too long and guilty of another night spent hiding.

A sigh: her mouth a laughing scar that
utters silent chime.

This sky is holy.

Give her time alone to ingest cloud
and conquer-claim stars. Give her ink
-y black and hungry heart. Give her
an infinite stretched-out space to
breathe and touch, then spill her softly.

But hold that moon at bay.
She knows too much.

Belated wordle

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7 Responses to Plain Pale Pen

  1. Love the ending. Truth.

  2. How fitting the title. This is kind of eerie – her mouth a “scar” – the “six feet deep” – a “silent chime” – I’m sensing death.
    Perhaps the pen is being trapped by the moon – before her trip to eternity.

  3. cobalt girl says:

    I love the first line. It could mean slightly different things. Aside from flowing into the second line, it also could be that “slightly” is an adverb (telling us you’re only searching to a small degree) or an adjective (telling us you’re searching for something that could be considered “slightly” [or even a slight lie]).

    In reading the first stanza, we’re led to believe you’re talking about something dead, buried beneath the ground. But I think it’s a metaphor. I think you’re searching for depth in general. The world and its inhabitants can be a bit shallow. I think you’d like to uncover a bit more thought, philosophy, and meaning in what you do and see, in those you encounter.

    “A sign: the arrival of the straying sun, gone” … I love this line — the way it unfolds, first as the arrival of the straying sun and then as the arrival … gone.

    “too long and guilty of another night spent hiding” … I also love this line. It draws forth deep emotion and stirs up the reader’s longing for “more.” We have all probably fallen short of our potential, writing with pale pens rather than dark ones.

    I like the doubling effect created by using “A sign” and then “A sigh.” It’s pleasing to the eye and creates visual connections.

    “A sigh: her mouth a laughing scar that” … “Laughing scar” is a fantastic phrase. The mouth as a scar. Skin that was born covered but was ripped open and then sort of healed over. The phrase makes me think of taking “shooting star” and twisting it up into something new. Also, if the line is rewrapped, it says “her mouth, a laughing scar — that A sigh.” Aren’t we all looking for an A sigh? (That’s a grade, by the way.) All the emotion in the world sits inside a sigh. I think we’re continually searching for an A sigh in someone else — someone who feels the same way.

    • cobalt girl says:

      “A sigh: her mouth a laughing scar that
      utters silent chime.” … I read this as “… silent charm.”

    • cobalt girl says:

      “This sky is holy.” … I LOVE this line sitting in the middle of the poem, emphasizing its importance. Since it’s the one singular line in the poem, I’m led to connect it to the title: “plain pale pen — this sky is holy.” So even though it may be limiting to write with a pale pen, it leads one toward holiness. For us, maybe it’s “Lay down your pen, and follow Me.” This would be true for one who might be inclined to write in a way that would not please God. Also, what a gorgeous image, the sky being drawn/colored with a pale pen, in the invisible hand of God I presume. Lovely.

      I turned “conquer-claim stars” into “conquer claim-stars.” This makes me think of creditors knocking down the door, and how you can even overcome that with the right attitude and with God’s help.

      “y black and hungry heart” … I see this as “Why black and hungry heart?” Why live in darkness/depression and also a tendency to overeat? But how can one break the cycle but to ask God to give you a “why black and hungry heart,” meaning that He will help you overcome.

      I love this: “Give her
      an infinite stretched-out space [or] t[w]o”

      Gorgeous: “spill her softly”

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