Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Witness

Be still and bear witness
as the witness bares herself

an awkward thing.
Rusty and disjointed.
A Pleiades of padlocks
circling her hips.
Lips thinned and tight
lest she bite
the fruit that failed to fall
far enough from the family tree.

She is and is not me.
She is what is left

for me to work with
now that all the gods are dead or dying
and there's no point in trying
to be a good girl anymore.

So, be still and bear witness
as the witness bares herself

to herself
and for herself
to free herself
finally.

For Open Link Night at Dverse

43 comments:

Susan said...

I would be happy to bear witness, happy too to have someone do the same for me as I approach and avoid the point of "no point in trying to be a good girl anymore." Despite the tone of resignation and bitterness, this poem reveals a positive step out of thinning and padlocks and into being and freedom. Beautifully paced and revealed.

Mary said...

After a while being a 'good girl' does become tiring... At a certain point it is good to 'bare' just who one is, free of others' (and perhaps one's own) expectations!

Brian Miller said...

she is what is left....that section in the middle makes it very personal...the fruit that failed to fall far from the family tree as well...as painful as that baring may be....the freedom will surely be that much sweeter.

Sylvia K said...

Ah, this one does speak to me!

Claudia said...

she is what is left - kinda sobering but also a good point to start being herself and freeing herself as well

grapeling said...

a Pleiades of padlocks....

MZ, sad and beautiful

gabriellaswritingcorner said...

You make us feel for her. I hope she can eventually be herself!

rumoursofrhyme said...

Strong writing as always MZ. I really liked:

She is and is not me.
She is what is left

for me to work with


I think there are an awful lot of people who can relate to this.

mrs mediocrity said...

oh, this is one of my new favorites of yours... of course, and poem that works in the Pleiades is alright by me! smiles...

we are all what is left for us to work with, yes? just fabulous!

Maggie Grace said...

Beautiful. I bear witness to you as I have needed those to bear witness to my healing to make it real. Can't say enough how much I love this.

maryazilberberg said...

MZ, struggling with all the same stuff... Gorgeous words!

Marina Sofia said...

Oh, yes, this is powerful - the hard, hard journey of freeing yourself, being yourself. Eloquently done! And congratulations on your win!

kaykuala said...

It's a discovery being oneself! One to bear witness as much as to witness as well. Nicely MZ!

Hank

annotating60 said...

Mama Zen, first let me congratulate you on your new accolades. Then let me thank you for a very beautifully put poem.>KB

emmett wheatfall said...

What made me leap from my chair with exhilaration is your repeat of stanza one in stanza five. I tell you it hit the sweet spot and made this poem a pleasure for me. Excellent work.

Manicddaily said...

Not so easily done! Either the act or the poem. Well wrought, MZ -- a worthy battle that you are clearly winning. k.

Victoria said...

Love the contrasts between the good girl/bad girl thing...kind of like your two blogs. Very fun, MZ

Fireblossom said...

This shit is never easy. Not easy at all. Your poem makes me think of these lyrics by Leonard Cohen:

I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Life in a Poem said...

Well Written, Hang in there

Poet Laundry said...

oo I love the way this unravels. Wow, on the mark as always Kelli.

S said...

"She is and is not me."

What an excellent line.

Dances With Vodka said...

It takes true and honest talent to keep such a perfect flow and rhyme without making the context appear disingenuous and/or forced. I love your style!!

Margaret said...

The Cohen quote that Fireblossom mentions above is awesome and yes, this has a Cohenesque quality about it... I have been reading a collection by him...

She is and is not me. (LOVE that line)

flaubert said...

mama, that is a bit how I feel being the black sheep of the family, thanks. I would like to send this to my folk.

Pamela

ayala said...

This speaks to me, touches me, great.

Truedessa said...

a witness to the discovery of one's self..intense poem written in a way only you can do..sad & deep

Dorianna (paintswithwords.com said...

I am the odd one in my family..I had to put many miles between us in order to break free to be me. I like the 'bear witness' as she bares witness to her own identity and not the 'good girl'mold others may have expected. Well written, enjoyed reading.

Arron Shilling said...

hey mama

you have such a smart style that appears to reveal so much but carefully and with a force that is not as harsh as it could appear at first. I sit up and listen if you know what I mean. my attention is always grabbed with your grace because I love what I see inside the lines.

Alex Dissing said...

What an ending! What a poem! Bravo!

Dana Dampier said...

I can relate to her in certain ways... I can feel how desperate she is to break away from herself. Awesome peom!

Lorraine said...

from beginning to end i bear witness to your incredible talent:So, be still and bear witness
as the witness bares herself
Never have I seen such finesse

Joseph Philip Walters said...

MAN IN THE ROOM! Cover up Ladies... wait a minute, we're bearing witness and things? Carry on!!! After all, we're all tired of having to be good girls anymore... Seriously, I love how this reads, Mama. The message is clear. Be the you you have to be for you and no one else! Brilliant simplicity.

rowantaw.com said...

Bearing witness is so important. I knew I'd love this poem from the first opening line.

miskmask said...

Truth put simply and beautifully.

James Rainsford said...

Tightly constructed and evocative. Love it!

lifentruthz said...

Deep emotional description! And Congratulations to you!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Now, that's wisdom!

"She is and is not me.
She is what is left

for me to work with"

I resonate to this as I can't bear myself when I bare myself. Mosky

Kay L. Davies said...

Ah yes, the last two stanzas...that's the way it's done, and for no one else.
K

Linda H. said...

She is and is not me.
She is what is left

for me to work with.

I think everyone has felt this way at some time. We are always growing and changing.

I like this poem very much. There is cheekiness in it but also strength.

hedgewitch said...

Pleiades of padlocks is genius.

whocouldknowthen said...


bravo to the courage of your profound introspection, for this entire poem and this tender yet powerful result;

to herself
and for herself
to free herself
finally.

and congratulations

Susie Clevenger said...

"she is what is left" Perhaps that is enough more than enough...beautiful write MZ

himani rawat nayal said...

There is an under-toned intensity all through the poem and although it seems like getting unleashed by the end of it but to me it gets poised quite elegantly.