Hour 24: This Gift

This papaya sunrise peeking

over the horizon

This soft wind cooling beaded sweat

from my brow

This succulent mango smoothly sliding

across my tongue

This sorrowing song humming

against my lips

This still air tenderly breathing

through my body

This tangled-up life hanging on

to possibility

13 thoughts on “Hour 24: This Gift

  1. This feels comfortable and calm, peaceful…I like the gentleness of it. (Are you doing an editing phase? I think everything about this is gold…so editing is hardly needed. The only thing I’d do is make “sunrise” a color…whatever “sunrise” means to you…be that yellow or something more exotic…I’d go with more exotic to match the feel of the poem. Otherwise, this masterpiece is perfection and smoothness…it settles me.)

  2. I, too, find this peaceful, relaxing, and making my tongue wish for some mango slices. The moment I read “papaya” I saw its lovely color in the sunset, probably because using nature (to describe what I see) offers a special connection the reader can enjoy.

  3. I like this poem better each time I read it, especially the way you do line breaks. Sometimes get them right and sometimes not. I worry about breaking too often.

    Me, I like the rhythm of the “papaya sunrise” line.

    When I comment I tend to just say how the poem makes me feel, without thinking about how it could have been written differently. I did try here though LOL.

    1. I woke the lines to separate prepositional phrases on their own lines after each image. I tend to break lines at prepositions because of this:

      While teaching struggling readers to read more fluently, I had them separate sentences into phrases. I learned that prep phrases often interrupt the iambic rhythm of English and started playing with that in my poetry. Now it comes naturally to break my lines there — though not always.

      And I purposefully used a different preposition each time. This was a very conscious choice but the line breaks are instinctive.

      When I’m writing poetry, I tend to focus on rhythm and imagery. Sometimes sensory details and poetic devices, too. And always the emotion and message I want to convey.

  4. This is simply beautiful. I wouldn’t really describe the vibe as relaxed and peaceful, although it’s close to that. To me, it feels like the exhale when you know you’ve made it through another long dark night, one that you weren’t sure you’d survive when the sun set the night before. Like you know there’s another one coming, but for now, taking the moment to breathe, appreciate, and savor the moment while you can.

    “This tangled-up life hanging on to possibility” <3 <3

    1. Interesting comment in that you’ve touched on where I was when I wrote it this poem. The sunrise meant the marathon was approaching its end but the creative energy was not. “weren’t sure you’d survive” is how I was feeling during the night. Not just the marathon but the sounds in the night as I sit sleepless in chaos following the murder of George Floyd; every night there is some disturbance near me. (I live about 2-3 nineties away from the murder site and 6 blocks from the 3rd precinct where protests were first centered. Lots of devastation and loss in my neighborhood.)

  5. This is lusciously beautiful and poignant in one – so many sensory colours and images that bring a palpable sense of peace – and yet ‘This tangled-up life hanging on/to possibility’ reminds us that we are never far from chaos, loss and pain. Thank you so much.

  6. Agree with the above – gorgeous! Also love that you have invoked all of the senses and then grounded them into the body through breath…. this is a perfect healing poem. It helps ground the reader and brings us back to reality refreshed. Thank you Shirl!

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