Sunday, December 11, 2011

Will this post work? First time I've gotten this far, so here goes... Below is a new poem I've revised after getting email comments from Margaret & Mike. It's still in process so I welcome more comments. Revising process was fun. Took Margaret's advice to change the beginning and then realized the poem is also about my writing so decided to be more open about that aspect, sort of, drag it up from the subconscious... Mike suggested more repetition of "hands". When I started fooling with words, changing "think" to "conjure" I discovered another meaning for "conjure" is "to practice legerdemain" i.e."skill in feats of magic or other arts involving a dexterous manipulation of the hands". Voila!

LOSING MY GRIP [rev. 12/11/11]

Vain about my hands,
My graceful penmanship---
A microcosm of what I might be
Without the awkward bulk of me
Trailing all the mess of life
By deft gestures---
I dug deep the remedy.

Sunk my nimble hands
Up to my elbows
And shaped myself,
Without the discipline of art,
Dug deeply into the chambers of my heart.
Burrowed down too far,
Past my deftness,
To a toughness,
A grasp of things
I'd not expected.

My fingers, now retracting into knobby, aching joints,
I've lost my touch,
Not as much
For grasping, holding tight,
But, for deftly handling life.

I've lost the generous ease
Of an ability to please,
Yet found a strength
To grab what I can
With gnarled, ancient fingers,
Yet firm enough to turn a page,
To read more quickly
The plot turn, the dialectic leap
Of knowing the conflict resolution,
And in the flick of the next page
The change of all that follows.

I can still make those changes,
Still write what's left,
With hands and heart stiffened,
But with a mind, still supple to conjure
Arabesques of grace.
---M-L Ruth 12/11/11

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