The Mirrors of Our Words, a response poem

(a response to this piece by natalie aka potterfan97 of mywordpool)


The Mirrors of Our Words

The mirrors of our words
reflect only each other
and us.

We search for the meanings
of things in the names
that we call them,

in the names of the things
that we call to
in our sleep.

All we reflect on is our selves.
All we reflect is on our selves
like stains on a sheet.

We pull words from a pool
like pebbles to hold in our hands
for a time and toss back.

We pile each other on with
well-meaning mounds
of meaning.

We bury each other
in the masks
of things.

We stand before ourselves, reflecting
holes of what we can say about
the whole of who we are not.

In a world of mirrors
these reflections are all that we have;
this reflex is all that we own.

And sometimes
we stare at our own open mouths
and hear screams.

We hear sudden intakes of breath.
We hear gaping grunts of exertion,
sudden exhalations from chests

hammered by invisible fists,
or the slow outlet of air
that signs a state of awe.

And sometimes our lips are sewn shut.
And sometimes our throats are torn out.

And sometimes our vocal chords are rip-
chords that we can or will not pull.

And sometimes our teeth are clenched and
the breath hisses through them like piss on a fire.

And sometimes our nostrils flare and
the white-eyed starer stares back.

And sometimes these
holes in our faces
are just that.

And sometimes we’re all
starving reflections of each other
opening our mouths and saying,


(natalie is a poet of immense talents who never ceases to amaze me and in this case in particular (along with this absolute cracker of a poem) has finally convinced me to muster up the courage to post a series of pieces relating to my struggles with the Dreaded About Page and the general terror of Speaking About Myself.  Apparently I have to work out what and who I am NOT first, and perhaps unfortunately, you all will now be dragged through the muck that is my little House of Mirrors of a Mind.  Stay tuned…things could get ugly………-er)


(Susan challenged me to write a poem about hummus back in....umm...April, I think.  
I get around to things eventually...)


Hearth of soil and soul of 
stone, gather us 
to your bosom.  Hum us
like warmth into
winter’s close conjuring.
Hum us into 
the bellies of our love.

Heirlooms live in 
ancient ovens leavened 
with our tailings, 
leavings telling of our 
meals, the most sacred shared
by us, alone.

Pulses from one 
to the one that sprang from 
her very soil
(earth murmurs), the maker
passes on the
notes of a melody
for the making. 

Six simple gifts, the land's 
ascend in scales, soft sound 
offerings of 
humble place; ordinals 
older than words;
sounds fat and round and full 

of life.  "Fully
formed and transformed by the 
mouth’s own making,
the soil's song sings itself
in tongues' silence,"
mumbles humus, a tune
down in its roots.

On the verge

...stealing from the stylings of liana's soft light...

You stand at the edge of the forest,

on the verge of the wood, with axe in hand
(but we are done with grinding) wondering,

"How can i find my way to the other side of the wood?"


There is no other side.


There is only the wood.
There are only the trees.


"What if I don't make it?"


There is no not making it.  


There is only the making 
and the made.


"What if there are spirits?"


Of course there are spirits.


There are only spirits


"How can I tell the right way from the wrong?"


Within the earth is the only darkness.
Above, there are only shades and shadows.


"How will I know what I see?"


You will stand under the trees.  
They will know you.


"What if I lose the way?"


There is no losing.  
There is only the way.


"Can I really call myself 
'one who finds the way'?"


There is no finding.  
There is no way.
There is only the calling.


There are only trees
and trails yet to be made,

only woods and words and 
wooly moss upon the stones


and narrow spots 
between the trees 


where a person can 
just pass through.

Empty Elephants…an acrostic gogyohka

All these empty elephants
Pretending their own absences,
Regard their blind inspectors
Intent on every piece,
Laughing whole-heartedly. 

I see your challenge, Ms. Mimsy, and 
raise you one acrostic...
...puttin' the Po' in NaPoWriMo...

If I me(t)

If I met 
me on the
street, I think 
that I would 
think that I
was just a
bit weak, a 
bit of a 
geek, steeped as 
I am in 
words and their 

If I met 
me on the
street, I think
that I would
not like me
very much,
estranged as
I am from
my own sense
of my self 


if I'm at
merely an
other cross
street, I think
that I would
like someone,
very much
deranged as
I am, formed
by our shared
love to help.

Puttin' the "Po'" in NaPoWriMo...trisyllabically...


For myself mostly,
to see if I can do it.

Mr. Kellog lit the torch
and I will pass it on,
or at least I’ll carry it a while
and say to all of you…

“Oh yeah?!  You think you got it in you?
You think you can do it?
I Double-Dog–NO
I Double-Dirty-Dog Dare you!”

A poem a day for a month.
I may cop out
and pull from the archives
or post a re-write or two
but I’ll try not to
if you will too…