Sunday, January 6, 2013

Servant's Heart

by M.C. Escher

I wish I had a servant's heart
to match these servant's hands;
a heart
more merry meet with fate.

A heart
that would nestle
serene within this vessel
and never beat against
its common state.

I have the calloused fingertips,
and silence sits well on my lips,
and yet, there's disturbance at my core.

I wish I had a servant's heart
to match my servant's hands;
instead I have a heart that thunders
MORE.

For the Sunday Mini-Challenge at Real Toads.
Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

35 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh, what a magnificent interpretation of Escher's mother and child. I think, as an aside, that the black and white print looks like it was made for your site, and the words echo like a cry of motherhood and wifedom through the ages. What it is to submerge ego for the sake of another. I fear I never quite succeeded.

Libby Meador said...

I think many of us mothers must go through this on our journey from "me" to someone's "mom" wishing and/or remembering more.

nan said...

beautiful and so, so powerful!!

Helen said...

Your poetry touched that place in my heart reserved for mothers only.

Sioux said...

I love that "more" is at the beginning and at the end.

I think you are a fraud. I don't believe you can write like this AND juggle a kid AND a home AND other pedestrian responsibilities.

Instead, I think you are a wealthy writer who has dozens of "peeps" who work for you--laundering your clothes, preparing your food, styling your hair, removing the toejam from between your toes...The list of services they provide for you goes on and on.

Don't speak. Don't protest. Just let me hang onto this for a few moments.

Fireblossom said...

That second stanza just *sounds* wonderful. The fact that it is only part of a poem like this leaves me searching for wig shops. But I do wonder...would you really trade that fire? Really?

aprille said...

Such treats, like nestle and vessel, within so much else that is perfection. A gem.

Mary said...

I like VERY much the thundering for MORE...what a strong voice in this poem.

hedgewitch said...

We always want what we can't have, I think. I imagine only the very young and innocent or the most saintly amongst us ever capture the true servant's heart--a tremendous gift when its there. Your rhyme does so much for this MZ--it has a lullaby quality that suits the picture as a symbol of maternity, yet it also has that black and white edge of what is etched in monotone, clear and impossible to color differently. A fine poem in all ways.

Susan said...

I love seeing this picture through your words. What could be a zen moment, most definitely is not! Suddenly the inside of this frame is filled with energy while the rhyme and the regularity of the form says repose. Ha! Powerful.

uneven steven said...

cool take on this mama. very apt and well described -

Brian Miller said...

interesting to have a heart different than our hands...you created a really intriguing rhythm in your rhyme with this as well mz

Sherry Blue Sky said...

YES! That More is echoed by every mother/wife/caregiver, I think. Luckily, you find it through your poetry, and so beautifully.

Karen said...

Really, really, really like this! Maybe, as I see Sherry has said, we all feel that way. I know sometimes I fight against resentment. I want MORE!

Kiana said...

Beautifully written. I especially identify with this " I have the calloused fingertips,
and silence sits well on my lips,
and yet, there's disturbance at my core."

Lovely

Kim Nelson said...

SO well written, and revelatory as well. You aced this one!

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

This touched me on so many levels--I think it never stops beating More---even after they leave

Hannah said...

This poem makes me feel better, Mama Z, about all the non-mama-non-servant heart feelings I get from time to time and time again. Such an inspired write, truly...excellent!!

Susie Clevenger said...

A servant's heart...it has moments of beating in me, but then my selfish me stifles it. A beautiful interpretation of the painting...like Kerry it seems to have been created for your page.

Poet Laundry said...

Dang you're good. Thunder on.

ninotaziz said...

Oh, such delicious admission.

my heart's love songs said...

{{{speechless}}}

literally, i don't have the words to describe how wonderful this is, MZ!

happygirl said...

Is a servant's heart a heart of acceptance of one's lot or a heart to give? I wonder. I like verse 2. I wish for this too.

Manicddaily said...

Very cool poem, MZ. Wonderful sound here. k.

Manicddaily said...

Very cool poem, MZ. Wonderful sound here. k.

Lolamouse said...

Brilliant! You're a poetic Betty Friedan!

Old Ollie said...

cool one mama - nice lyrical flow - and wise

Kay L. Davies said...

I'm not a mother. Most of my adult life, I lived alone except for two brief husbands.
Now I have a very demanding dog, and my present husband insists my "job" is housework.
So I do understand. My hands are a mess.
And your second stanza is a-mazing!
K

Peggy said...

I really like where you went from this Escher picture! Very imaginative. It is always so much fun to see the different interpretations!

ayala said...

A powerful and beautiful write!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I could hear this soliloquy in my head - it was beautiful, and as it progressed, insistent! Excellent!

Laurie Kolp said...

Love the contrast w/ hands and heart.

Manicddaily said...

Hi MZ - you know I did this one too - very different! k.

(It's before the estrangement one - no need to look, only if interested.) Homing In? I think called. k.

mrs mediocrity said...

Great form and cadence... Yes, a mother's song (lament?) .... I felt this one.

jasmine calyx said...

This, to me, is like the idea of praying for the desire to seek God. You don't actually have the desire. You just wish you did. You want to want to be a good girl. But what you actually want is to run naked through fields of wildflowers while bolts of lightning try their hardest to knock you down.

This is my favorite line:
"and yet, there's disturbance at my core"