Thursday, December 14, 2006


the way you used to touch my hair,
the words you once used for me,
baskets, pottery, antlers,
shards and discards,
sound of your voice,
remains of a day,
dust on a shelf

there is a certain finality I cannot face
I never have done this well —
brought the end into focus
cut, trimmed off
and left hanging
raw or, worse,
empty —

I want to feel the continuity of
the thread that courses through everything
I don't want to let go
I want to feel

forgetting — the blackness of
the extinguished
dusty vortex
of loss

is unthinkable

Click on the photo to see a larger version. It's worth it.


Anonymous marja-leena said...

Lovely photo. Such sadness in your words for a loss of a loved one. I feel like I should offer condolences...?

12/14/2006 3:51 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

The longing in this heartfelt piece nearly brought me to tears.... there's definitely a lump in my throat. relationships can be fragile, or at least delicate. Sometimes it seems like they require magic to survive. I'm hoping this piece was inspired by a recollection from the past rather than the present. But if not, I'm sending you warm fires of friendship and big air hugs. Take care.

12/14/2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Marja-Leena and Snowsparkle, thanks for your thoughtfulness. The poem is a reflection on past loss.

12/14/2006 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12/14/2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Glad to know it's from the past. Personally, there are a few I'd like to forget. But, you never do, and you captured the stark reality of loss very well here!!

12/14/2006 4:16 PM  
Blogger rdl said...

you nailed it.

12/14/2006 6:41 PM  
Blogger floots said...

amazing shot - especially the larger version
and the words hold so much desolation
thank you

12/14/2006 9:27 PM  
Blogger iamnasra said...

Very powerful and it brought so much images in my mind as I was reading this poem

12/14/2006 9:52 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

The bare reality without dust isn't easy...and as time passes by and dust gathers it reminds us of the time in between.
Stunning image that connects starkingly honest to your words.

12/14/2006 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

intangible and tangible... when it is gone, by choice or by death, it is hard to be diplomatic and cheerful about empty beds and memories keeping you afloat... anyway mb, you've made me think tonight... i've missed the blog rounds for a couple of days, glad to be back... striking photo and poem, as always.

12/14/2006 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12/14/2006 11:33 PM  
Blogger charlie said...

The pic is Carboniferously outstanding, mb, and the words too sobby for me to read more than six times. Memories are a damned nuisance, occasionally reaching out long talons to scratch at sore bits. Ouch!

12/15/2006 12:18 AM  
Blogger trinitystar said...

your words are an expression from within ... take solace in that ... you have the ability to express your feelings so beautifully and to share them with others/ Peace be with you.
Have a wonderful day! :o)

12/15/2006 1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB - sitting with my chin in my hands, sighing in empathy.

12/15/2006 3:58 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

Beautiful photograph, mb. The colors are simultaneously stunning and subdued. Forgetting is unthinkable. Yes.

12/15/2006 7:03 AM  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

" I want to feel everything" ....killer line! This speaks of a human acceptance of life. The far to often response is I want to feel nothing so doctor could you prescribe something for me...

12/15/2006 7:05 AM  
Blogger belledame222 said...

the photos are absolutely stunning. i wanted to comment on the poem but i'm too caught up by the images.

12/15/2006 8:01 AM  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

BTW -- kick-a** photo. The grass-as-tree thing works beautifully, bittersweetly.

12/15/2006 8:54 AM  
Blogger polona said...

stunningly beautiful and poignant!
i can't take my eyes off the photo, and the words are permeated with sorrow...

12/15/2006 10:37 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Zhoen, thanks.

Pat, loss has so many faces, so many feels.

RDL, thanks. Hope that arm's feeling better.

Floots, I confess I was amazed myself when I saw the what sepia did to it. Thanks!

Nasra, thanks for coming by. And thanks for your kind words.

Corey, you are most perceptive—it was actually with a contemplation of dust that this poem began.

Amy, thanks. Always good to see you here.

Alina Chau, welcome! Thanks for commenting.

Charlie, certain kinds of memories are capacious enough that they deserve to stay long. Glad you enjoyed the photo, and I won't ask you to read more than, oh say, half a dozen times! ;-)

Trinitystar, thank you for your kind words.

Pauline, loss is something we all experience at some point. Thanks.

Robin Andrea, thanks. And thanks for understanding.

Fred, numbing out is the least helpful thing one can do. Feeling everything works much better! Thanks.

Belledame222, welcome! Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the images.

Lori, the grass was taller than I am, so the connection to the trees was easy to make. But the sepia was really what transformed it into something truly interesting.

Polona, thank you. Your words are much appreciated!

12/15/2006 3:43 PM  
Blogger Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

I love this, both the poem and the photo. It all works together so beautifully, from the details -- baskets, pottery antlers! -- to the visual shape of the stanzas to the cute addition to the instructions on clicking a larger version. It's amazing that you don't do revisions. And as far which medium you're best in -- words, pictures, music -- I can't decide, I just enjoy them all.

12/15/2006 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard, thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoy them all because I do, too.

12/15/2006 10:34 PM  
Blogger leslee said...

Very nice. And the photos is gorgeous. Perfect accompaniment to the poem.

12/16/2006 4:27 AM  
Blogger Dale said...


12/16/2006 11:27 AM  
Blogger firebird said...

I love the way the delicate detail of the grass blends into the soft lines of the trees--as fluidly as memories do--

The images in the first stanza remind me of the mysterious collections in the Natural History museum, when I was a they have organized and put away most of the objects, but I miss the disorder where your imagination could run free!

This is a very moving and evocative poem...

12/16/2006 1:13 PM  
Blogger mermaid said...

Keep reaching, Mb, and I will, too. Reaching for here and now.

12/17/2006 11:14 AM  
Blogger Bitterroot said...

"dusty vortex of loss" - how perfect. I like the dreamlike quality of the photo as well. I should try that sepia effect...

12/17/2006 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This speaks out to me. I relate to this...

12/18/2006 5:18 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Leslee and Dale, thank you very much.

Firebird, "the disorder where your imagination could run free" — well, maybe that's the way I should be looking at it.

Mermaid, I never stop reaching, except sometimes to catch, or watch, my breath. Thanks.

Bitterroot, the sepia effect has its place. I love it, but try to use it sparingly where it will have most impact. It did work wonders on this image.

Gautami, thank you.

12/19/2006 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the way you used to touch my hair,
the words you once used for me,
baskets, pottery, antlers,
shards and discards,
sound of your voice,
remains of a day,
dust on a shelf"

A very soft entrance into the poem with nice descriptions - I liked it for its expressive sadness.

12/23/2006 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Fantastic photo!!

12/23/2006 4:23 PM  
Blogger MB said...

M. Shahin, thank you.

12/28/2006 10:23 AM  

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