Monday, February 26, 2007

The dark well

she stood at the dry well
under the blush of eastern sky
and looked in

heard the shadows
of water lapping the stone wall
and the crack

of a pebble skittering down
through slivered light to
silvered shadow

what is darkness but
a pool of color resting
awaiting replenishment

shadow is only
waiting for
the return of light

Click on the photos for larger versions.


Blogger floots said...

love the mood of this
especially the optimism
in the last two stanzas
thank you

2/26/2007 10:52 AM  
Anonymous marly said...

Invisible, once-there things are always evocative. MB, is there something somewhere in the site about how a-poem-a-day has changed, or how you have changed doing it, or what shape the whole thing has?

The old sheer rampant curiosity...

2/26/2007 5:58 PM  
Anonymous marja-leena said...

Lovely - I especially like the play of the tongue over "slivered light to silvered shadow".

2/26/2007 6:15 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Floots, glad you enjoyed it. A little optimism is needed at this time of year. Thanks for reading.

Marly, did you mean to ask me about "poem of the day" (linked at right) or about my "near-daily" writing of poems for this blog? I started to answer you and then realized I'm not certain what you are asking me.

Marja-Leena, thanks. I wouldn't want to have to read that aloud!

2/26/2007 6:44 PM  
Blogger rdl said...


2/26/2007 7:18 PM  
Blogger Bitterroot said...

MB, I too was stopped by this beautiful phrase:

through slivered light to silvered shadow

2/26/2007 7:50 PM  
Blogger Susangalique said...


2/26/2007 7:55 PM  
Blogger marlyat2 said...


Oh, merely near-daily.

Isn't that a mad enough thing to do?

I was merely "rounding off"--you seem daily, you know!

2/26/2007 8:29 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

ohhhhh, so full of hope. this is beautiful. i am curious to read your response to marly.

no matter how your poetry writing might have changed your life, it certainly brings richness and light to mine! :)

2/26/2007 11:13 PM  
Blogger trinitystar said...

shadow is only
waiting for
the return of light
Love this ... negative and positive. Darkness and hope.
Great one MB. Have a wonderful day. :O)

2/27/2007 1:54 AM  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

MB, I love how the individual little branches are so clear underneath their covering of snow. I love the thought of listening to shadows, and the hope of light to come!!

2/27/2007 4:40 AM  
Blogger Endment said...

This is beautiful
I am like that shadow - waiting the return of light

2/27/2007 5:55 AM  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

A perfect winter is almost over poem!

2/27/2007 7:20 AM  
Blogger alan said...

Powerful, beautiful, and a bit scary; having wandered eastern Kansas enough to have run across a few abandoned wells, and having a retiree from work that I know rescued dogs from more than one, a voice in my heart was screaming "put a cover over it!" before someone finds it by accident!


2/27/2007 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2/27/2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger MB said...

rdl, Bitterroot, and Susangalique, thank you!

Marly, there is method to what you label madness. How it’s changed: I’ve settled into a rhythm of writing that is less frequent than when I began, but that balances better with the rest of my life. I am pondering the fact that I’ve begun to feel ready for a different approach, but I haven’t yet decided what that means.

How I have changed: Writing near-daily with no revisions (these poems are written basically at one go) has come to mean: the blank canvas is less daunting, I have a clearer sense of what I’m looking for in poetry (though always growing and changing), intentional refusal to edit has caused me to take risks and make mistakes that have taught me to be looser in my approach. The drawback remains that the quality is uneven and not as high as might be achieved with editing, with giving a poem a rest and returning to it later.

Does that answer your question?

Trinitystar, that is the balance. Thanks.

Pat, I was struck by their graphic look from underneath. Thanks.

Endment, I am, too.

Fred, thanks.

Alan, will it ease your concern to know this is a metaphoric dry well? The dangerous undertone, however, is intentional.

Charlie, yes, well....

2/27/2007 11:52 AM  
Blogger zhoen said...


2/27/2007 12:26 PM  
Blogger polona said...

wonderful, mb! the balance...
love the shot.

2/27/2007 12:30 PM  
Anonymous marly said...

Oh, yes: very interesting. You have satisfied the catbane of curiosity!

And now you have a great pile of material from which to quarry.

2/27/2007 12:40 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Sky, I'm sorry I inadvertently skipped you! Thanks, as ever, for your responsive reading and kind words.

Zhoen, thanks.

Polona, thank you.

Marly, I am not familiar with catbane. (Wolfsbane, cowbane, catnip...?) Wish I had someone of your caliber ear and eye to help.

2/27/2007 7:07 PM  
Blogger firebird said...

I, too, am quite amazed at your well of inspiration...!

2/27/2007 7:55 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

You have the gift, MB. I stood by the well with you, listening to the water shadows lapping - a wondrous line!

2/28/2007 3:54 AM  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

I'm afraid catbane was made up! So you are complimenting me on being a liar.

Yet curiosity is the cat's bane, after all. And killed poor kitty.

That I readily believe, having pulled a very silly blue Persian out of the fireplace this morning. She was sniffing a pretty little flame. Lady Azure is definitely the stupidest cat I have ever known. But she gives my youngest all the fun of having a live stuffed toy.

I hope you do write about your next stage "plan" for your poetry--the "different approach," as you say. I've really enjoyed following "Laurelines" from an initial plan to fruition.

3/02/2007 6:55 AM  
Blogger iamnasra said...

I feel so peaceful after reading your poem

Many thanks

3/04/2007 10:19 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Firebird, thank you, as always. The inspiration is not something I feel I can take credit for, it's something "beyond" in feel.

Pauline, I'm glad to have you stand with me, thanks.

Marly, I had a feeling it was made up, but wasn't sure. There are, after all, so many herbs.... The compliment was more specifically a response to an editing suggestion you made previously. The "plan" is still in gestation and may well turn out to be an evolving one.

Nasra, thank you for letting me know!

3/07/2007 10:52 AM  

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