Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Meidung / The Shunning

One day in March,
in the far north of the meadow,
I let him sketch me.
And, for a cluster of spare, sweet hours,
I felt seen.

He spoke
as he adapted my pose
to each shift of the sun.
I think he spoke of sapling shadows
or, perhaps, of the tawny afternoon light;
honestly, I heard nothing
but my own shallow breath
and the zigzig scratch and scritch
of his pencils -
here, ivy green,
there, scarlet bergamot -
against the snowberry white sheet
of paper across his knees.
That is, until he whispered,
"You have the most beautiful indigo eyes."
I kissed him, then.

I kept the sketch tucked tight
inside my pillow.
At night,
I unfolded it and folded it again
until the paper was worn soft as sleep.
But, vanity is a rose with thorns.

One day, a stout-stemmed elder
appeared at our screen door.
Twisted between her fat, unforgiving fingers,
was my precious sketch.
I was found out.
Now, I would repent,
or I would leave.

Naturally, I left.

To be sure, vanity is a sin.
As is lust, I suppose.
But, to deny my God-given indigo eyes?

That would be blasphemy.

For Get Listed at Real Toads


It's here!

Hedge, Fireblossom, and I are in print and on Amazon!


Fireblossom said...

I liked it anyway, but when I read those last five lines, I knew this was an instant MZ fave for me. "Naturally, I left." Perfect.

I'm stoked about our book!

Sioux said...

Congratulations. I am going to order 3--1 for me, 1 for a friend and 1 for a blog give-away.

Brian Miller said...

def the right choice...better to leave and keep what makes you...than repent and be left with what?

Sylvia K said...

I LOVE it!! And I'm SO excited for you!! I will be ordering your book! This is terrific!!

Marian said...

what the hell, you wrote a long poem, used all the words and stuff? showoff!
but love it.

Margaret said...

Beautiful prose. Of course you would be as amazing with a longer piece!! Congrats on the book and I will buy one soon.

indie said...

I'm bummed the book went to print before you put this in it. (Awesome title and cover, by the way.)

Unbelievable ending. Just mind-blowingly fantastic:

"Naturally, I left.

To be sure, vanity is a sin.
As is lust, I suppose.
But, to deny my God-given indigo eyes?

That would be blasphemy."

The whole tale is gorgeous and completely believable. Being sketched would make me swoon too!

Anonymous said...

A lovely scritching poem - Very clever - and very vivid. I love that the elder is a woman here and her description is terrific. And wonderful that you could leave.--You Indiwent, as it were, independently . k.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Fabulous news about the book, I have to get a copy!

This was a unique take on the words, to say the least. This girl has EGGS. To be shunned and keep one's self-esteem? That takes a strong will and stronger ego. Loved this portrait, Mama. Peace, Amy

Susie Clevenger said...

Congratulations on the book! I love the story. Through all the romantic tale I wondered what twist MZ would have in it. I wasn't disappointed..Why of course she left!

Grace said...

Fabulous retelling MZ ~ Nice twist at the end ~

And congrats again on your book ~

Susan said...

Naturally! Can't believe she touched it! Compelling storytelling.

Mary said...

Fascinating tale, thought-provoking conclusion!

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is gorgeous. Your opening stanza is a marvel of poetry, in and of itself, and you unwound the story unrelentlessly to its self-affirming conclusion.

De said...

Goodness. I'm a Mama Zen fan already, but are you kidding me with this? Holy cow.

"And, for a cluster of spare, sweet hours,
I felt seen."

Just haunting.

and "soft as sleep" YES.

LoveloveLOVE this piece.


Buddah Moskowitz said...

This is perfect. I love the tenderness of the moment, how it was privately cherished, and profanely misunderstood. You made the right decision. Yes, to deny those eyes would indeed be blasphemy. This is perfect. Wait, I already said that. Twice doesn't seem enough.

Carol Steel 5050 said...

A gorgeous poem. I loved the images of "I felt seen" and "the paper worn soft as sleep" and of course, the perfect, perfect end..."But, to deny my God-given indigo eyes That would be blasphemy."

I'm getting the book too; congratulations on publication.

Isadora Gruye said...

What I find the most rewarding when I read a MZ piece are the compelling characters/narratives. Here how the artist's subject treasures the sketch, savors really is so interesting. Loved this.

My favorite line was the folding and unfolding making the paper as soft as sleep. You make writing poems seem easy, but I know a lot of thought and whole lot of talent went into this. Viva la.

Emma Major said...

congratulations on the book, Ican't wait to read it especially with poetry of this quality inside

happygirl said...

Congrats on your book. I knew one would have to be coming. I love this one. There is such a story here. :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your book! Loved this poem, so evocative.

Claudia said... way to deny the paper worn soft as sleep

TALON said...

"until the paper was worn soft as sleep." -- can anyone write a line better than that? I think not.