(swearing by all flowers)
Our syntax falls
in petals of a different kind,
roses abandoned for their uptight
Our best gestures vary,
too, by paragraph, parent
no time for eyelid flutter;
but a life whole
and wholly kissed by color.
(for Justin, with grateful nod to E.E. Cummings, whom I also love)
Wonderful use of a floral image here, De!
“whole and wholly kissed by color” — the best way to live!
some lovely imagery. I’m liking your stuff 🙂
I love this image. As writers, we’re picking metaphorical flowers (writing/reading poems), pulling off the petals (words), and dropping them to see what people really think about us (they love me, they love me not). You are incredibly smart. I love that you use simple words to create vivid, deep pictures. It’s up to the reader to see all the intricacies you’ve embedded in your work. Simple language can be misleading. It seems clear and straightforward, but it allows you to offer worlds of underlying meanings that most people will probably never see, unless they really want to.
For example, you’re hiding “Gerber” baby food in the title and drawing out “parent” in the poem. This is both literal and metaphorical. First of all, there’s the balance of “real life” and writing, which, for many of us, involves taking care of babies and raising children. There’s also the idea that writers are feeding hungry readers with words and ideas.
You have also hidden spiritual meanings in the words “syntax” (sin tax) and “roses” (you’re being funny, using improper grammar, but you’re playing with the resurrection here … pointing out that our “sin tax” was paid by Jesus’ death and resurrection, but we so often abandon that knowledge; in so many ways, even more “mature” Christians are still babies needing to be fed baby food [there’s scripture about that])
“gestures” (jest yours / jesters) refers to the way we make light of things, try to play things off as jokes, maintaining a sense of humor through it all, even though we’re hurting.
Going back to the spiritual, you’ve also drawn out “He sighs,” meaning that God is just shaking His head at us, thinking, “When are these kids gonna learn?”
“eyelid flutter” is also “I-lied flutter.” It’s time to get serious, quit being untruthful idiots, and just live the abundant life He has offered.
“wholly kissed by color” of course hides “holy kissed by color.” That is what Jesus does. He kisses us, the earth, our identities, etc. and adds so much depth, dimension, and color. One thing I look forward to about heaven is the fact that there are likely so many more colors than we’re capable of seeing with our limited earthly vision.
You’re also hiding the fact that you’re frustrated by life and you’re swearing, using “colorful language” to express your irritation.
This is magnificent poetry.