Thursday, March 28, 2013

December Morning


December Morning

December morning, well before the start
            of memory or planning for the day,
            just half-awake I hear the birds at play
            and give no thought to how things fall apart.
I lie so still I know the secret heart
            of all that breathes and all that drifts away;
            and as the room dissolves from black to gray
            I think of X-rays and the doctors’ charts. . . .
. . . a year ago? The day they broke the news
            I still recall the tremor in your face
            and walking to the car on stumbling feet
and fearing every little pain or bruise.
            Last night I reached to find you in your place,
            forgetting, and touched only icy sheets.

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Today was my first full day off from work in about three weeks. I have done a little writing, but very disjointed and fragmentary. Lucky for me, Sam Peralta over at tonight's dVerse Form For All has us writing Miltonic sonnets--and one of my fragments lent itself easily to the form. I was able to keep the meter and the rhymes very close, with the ABBAABBACDECDE form. I also tried to stay true to Milton's ordinary use of indented lines. Happy writing, all! Hopefully I will not be called in to work tomorrow, and I can do what I enjoy--reading and commenting on y'all's wonderful poetry!

[Edited: I need to pay better attention before posting. I removed an extra "?" in l. 9 that remained after moving some phrases around. I kept playing with that line, and still do not care for it as it is. Maybe later.]

53 comments:

  1. oh heck nico...moved me to tears...a year from the diagnose to being no longer...really hit hard... life's so fragile... great use of the form and hope you can really have the day off tomorrow...three weeks nonstop work is tough..

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    1. Thanks Claudia--life is fragile, as you say. I found out tonight I don't have to go back to work till Saturday! I can't really complain about working so much--a little over a year ago I had more days off than I could afford, so it's nice to catch up the bills a little bit.

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  2. Chilling end to a somber tale, delivered with pace between past and present.

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    1. Thanks Aprille, sometimes time passes more quickly than we'd like.

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  3. Your sonnet starts Zen like. This poem moves me.

    Those last lines:

    Last night I reached to find you in your place,
    forgetting, and touched only icy sheets.

    Get some sleep and I hope for you, a work free day tomorrow.

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    1. Thank you, Gavin--those lines were what I started with, the fragment I wrote a few weeks ago. And thanks for your kind wishes--they came true, I am off until Sat. for some much needed rest.

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  4. Oh the way this gripped my chest...so sadly beautiful written.

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    1. Thanks RL--sadly beautiful was what I was hoping for. My oldest daughter hates that I write so many sad poems!

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  5. A heartbreaking piece and so well done to the form... I bow my head. This is poetry at its best.

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  6. dang man....crushing verse....it tightened on my heart with each line....the reaching over there at the end as well...you rocked the form man...and i hope you enjoy a breather brother...

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    1. Thanks Brian--I've been thinking about writing a series about my mom's battle with cancer (she is still kicking, unlike the woman in my poem), but it is such a powerful subject, touching so many lives in profound ways . . .

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  7. The last two ending lines are indeed sad ~ Lovely work on the form and nice to read you again Nico ~ Smiles ~

    Grace

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    1. Thank you, Grace--some of my lines felt a little stilted (that is, crammed into the form instead of coming naturally), but it was fun to write a sonnet for the first time in years! It's great to read your always considerate comments again!

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  8. So sad, I had a real ache in my heart reading those last lines... you write so beautifully... and ditto what Grace said!

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    1. Thanks Di--your kind words mean a lot to me, coming from a poet of your caliber.

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  9. This is so moving that I can't really summon words to comment more on this lovely and sad sonnet.

    (I do love the name of your blog BTW - fiddlefarting a great phrase).

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    1. Thank you, Rowan--not many people use the word fiddlefarting anymore, but when I was a kid I was often accused of engaging in it--and rightly so.

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  10. This is so touching from start to finish.

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    1. Thanks Truedessa, I'm very happy you found it so.

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  11. Oh, this is so deep, and tugs a few strings, let me tell you! So well done. I especially loved these lines:
    I lie so still I know the secret heart
    of all that breathes and all that drifts away;

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    1. Thanks Susan--I think loss has a way of teaching us to listen closely to the heartbeat of life.

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  12. Nico, this sonnet is filled with emotion...heartfelt. Your point is made strongly. I feel those icy sheets.

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    1. Thanks Mary--a lot of heavy emotions went into this one.

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  13. I feel on the verge of tears. Your sonnet reminded me not only of loss but also the value of each precious moment,

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    1. Thanks Beth, each moment is precious.

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  14. wow, you know how to tug at the heart.

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    1. Thank you, L--I'm glad your heart was tugged!

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  15. Such a touching, heartfelt poem - made even more intense by the sonnet structure, the loss written about here is real, palpable.

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    1. Thanks, Sam--I recently finished reading Milton's works, so this was a very welcome prompt.

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    2. I recently read them again too, and it's amazing how much of his work has become iconic, how many of his quotations have become touchstones for people.

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  16. Touching heartfelt - so sad ....

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    1. Thank you, Marousia--a happy poem will come soon, I'm sure!

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  17. This is really powerful, precisely because it feels so contained, both with the form and the words you use. I loved it.

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    1. Thanks Marina, the sonnet form forces brevity, which can be a good thing in poetry!

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  18. A beautiful heartfelt sonnet that made me gulp with emotion.

    Admiration of your fine words.

    Anna :o]

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    1. Thanks Anna for such a kind comment!

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  19. A loving sonnet just right for the form, and I like the indentation; you are right-the length of the poem lends itself to getting all you want said out in encapsulated form, making a long story short but conveying still all the same meaning, I think ;)

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    1. Thanks Katy--form is a funny thing. We often think of it as old-fashioned, but form poems are so rarely written nowadays they look fresh to me!

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  20. touchingly stunning. the last two lines so haunting beautiful.

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    1. Thanks RMP for reading with feeling.

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  21. Oh dear! So sad. One could see it coming. You use the form so well - I overrun the lines (partly on purpose) still it is wonderful to have the meter honored. k.

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    1. Thanks Karin--yeah, it was bound to turn out this way!

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  22. sad but then life moves on, it has to. loved the way you versed it in a sonnet!

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    1. Thanks Akila, life goes on, but sometimes takes us a while to catch up.

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  23. I loved this poem -- very touching, starting out mellow and then falling deeper and deeper.

    Ha, I did not know about Milton's line indents. I love them.

    Here again I go with your poems -- I so want to know if they are fiction. I guess I should always just assume they are. I always want fictitious poetry to yell out at me and say -- "Hey, I'm fiction" -- though I know the stories of our lives are changed constantly and thus we live a fiction.

    I actually wrote my first fiction peace called "The Old Pump".

    So playing with you on line 9:
    first, I personally don't like all the dots.
    May I play for a second:
    I think of X-rays and doctors' charts
    a year /long passed/from when /they broke / the news
    or
    a year /long passe/and I/ will n'er/ forget/ that news

    Thanx for letting me play. Superb write as always, mate. [not following comment - so email if needed]

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    1. Thanks Sabio--I like the indents as well, it sets off the parts of the sonnet in a nice way.

      Fiction? Well, this exact event has not happened to me (fiction), as such, but it has happened to someone (non-fiction). And I do know what it is to lose someone I love, so that feeling of loss I tried to portray is also non-fiction. I would say that you would be safe to assume my poems are always a mixture of fact and fiction, since even if I'm trying to write a strictly factual piece I can't be certain I remember or convey events exactly as they happened. Besides, I have a very flexible view of truth!!

      I like both suggestions for line 9. I can tell you my inspiration for the dots, though, and this is the non-fictioned truth. I recently finished reading the Collected Poems of Jane Kenyon--the dots are a technique she used throughout her career, I would say 75-80% of her poems have this feature. At any rate, I liked the way it kind of leaves the reader on edge, not knowing what fills in the spaces between the dots, gives a feeling of uncertainty, or of unaccounted-for time passing. But I did use them two lines in a row, which is probably too much, and that's why I was unhappy with the line.

      Thanks again, and you know you are always welcome to come over to play! Hopefully I'll have time to check out "The Old Pump" tomorrow. It's well past my bedtime, so now I lay me down to sleep . . .

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    2. Oh, don't know why I stopped back in, but I was glad I did to see this comment.

      Thank you for sharing the ........ background. Doesn't make me like it any more. But one set might have worked for me. Yeah, now looking back, one set would have worked.

      My family is away and I'm up late (see the stamp), throwing my inner clock off. Nice to spend it here with you!

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    3. I actually sent, or tried to send, an email, but something is screwed up with my email service. I'm glad you stopped back in to see my response. For the next version of this poem I will definitely eliminate the second set of . . . . Thanks for affirming my own feelings on this. Take care, and try to stay out of trouble while the family is gone!

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  24. Sad lovely poem. I wish you did not have to work so hard Nico.I feel your struggle and exhaustion in your poems.

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    1. Thanks R.--the old-timers used to say, "Make hay while the sun shines." As long as the work is there, I can't help but take on as much as I can. I just hate that it cuts into my poetry writing time!

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  25. Really nice job with the sonnet. You tell a heartbreaking story well.

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  26. Thanks Heidi--hopefully there'll be some lighter verse in the near future!

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