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“One Eye Closed”

She writhes in discontentment,
disturbed by the hacked gauge—
a mirror reflecting acidic accusations.

Robbed of joy, removed
from tenderness, repulsed
by the false images her supple fingers
refuse to relinquish.

Mr. Bluejay lands on the lemon tree,
violet feathers flutter, almond beak bellows,
and she listens to the sweeping tune sung
just beyond her paned glass.

Creative juices will contribute to her craft,
leaving little time to root out the lies—
looming specter of tomorrow’s repeat.

written for Magpie Tales, Monday Melting, and Sunday Whirl; linked to Dverse Poets Open Link Night

image by Duane Michals

46 responses »

  1. This poem was written in response to the “word prompts” linked above and the “magpie” pic. I used many of those words to share what I see in the picture at the top of the post.

    I see much spiritual and emotional struggle in this woman’s life. Lately, I’ve been reading and discussing frequently how the “enemy of our soul” is constantly twisting truth in our minds, working to influence distorted images of ourselves and the world around us. So that is the theme I went with as I let the picture inspire and the words lead….I’d love to hear your thoughts on the pic and the poem!

  2. I just adore this line: “She writhes in discontentment” … You might say I’d like to lick it. 😉

    This is definitely the best use of “hacked” I’ve seen. The “hacked gauge” is the shredding meter by which we view ourselves and the world. It’s like a broken gasoline gauge; if it doesn’t work properly, it provides no accurate indication of what’s going on with your car, when you need to refill, or when you might be sputtering on fumes or about to be stranded.

  3. i feel like you were writing about yourself

    • Oh absolutely, I’m writing about myself. And all of us—the lies, deceptions, distortions that we see when “looking” at our lives. All the while, within our sight, Truth is being “sung.” A Truth that changes everything if only we can put down that distorted image to look & listen closely to what is happening beyond the distortion.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts…great insight to see more than the description of a picture.

  4. A fascinating pic and poem – I like the imagery and the way you’ve internalised the ‘enemy of our soul’ which manifests itself in outer forms, which are projections.

  5. I love “acidic accusations,” and we do tend to be pretty harsh with ourselves when we look in the mirror. That is not at all a zen way to go about analyzing and sizing up self.

    And when we rob ourselves of joy and tenderness, we do the same with others, don’t we? If we love ourselves, it is easier to love others.

    You totally confused me at first with this line: “by the false images her supple fingers refuse to relinquish” … before I referred back to the image. I definitely think adding “mirror” to the first stanza will be helpful.

    “almond beak” is one of my favorite phrases.

    I liked your explanation of the bird being outside the window, the glass keeping her away from all things happy and sunny. Love the double connotation of “paned/pained.”

    I also liked your usage of root: “to root out the lies”

    “looming specter of tomorrow’s repeat” is a haunting closing line, referring to her own tomorrows but also perhaps those of her children. Distorted self-image can be passed on from generation to generation.

  6. I like the enigmatic feel of the last stanza…

  7. i like her holding the mirror! When we gaze into a mirror we see only what we want to see…none of our faults or shortcomings, we view ourselves in the most pleasing way to our own spirits, with the goal of placating and massaging our egos…if we opened our spiritual eyes to the real person in the mirror, our tommorrows will never see a repeat of all our horrid confused yesterdays! The message is strong, true and hopeful if we seek to change.

  8. nice…well writ…and yeah that truth gets twisted pretty easy when you add in discontentment…def our view is often tainted when we look at our own lives as well…often it takes another looking into it to really help us see th areas we are slipping….

  9. wow, you use a big words here, good for you and nice read. ,

    • LOL…thank you for the compliments! I can’t take too much credit for word usage though….I used several words from the word prompts listed below my poem: “sunday whirl” & “monday melting”

      Great seeing you here!

  10. i feel our writing is always a reflection of our soul and also of what’s going on around us…and even if we write about something totally different..and’s like one eye closed..or one eye looks outside, one inside..?

  11. the picture is superb , i loved it and poem is so nice..

  12. Awesome write, and right on target with the message! The truth can be elusive, but so worth pursuing. Half of it will not a good song make.

  13. excellent alliteration & wordplay. these lines in particular caught me:
    “disturbed by the hacked gauge—
    a mirror reflecting acidic accusations.”
    –what an image!

  14. We are often to harsh when we judge ourselves. Mirrors like words are tools. Reflections are only as good as the polished mirror that is used. Open the window and delight in the bird song…I enjoyed the description of the ‘almond beak bellowing’.
    I admire that you were able to combine so many prompts. I haven’t gotten that far yet.

    • LOL…Jules, I appreciate the compliment, though it’s mostly due to just being too lazy to write new poems for each prompt! That, or I’m simply not creative enough 🙂

      But I really love your thoughts, and am so appreciative of your visit and comments.

  15. I love the entry of Mr. Bluejay. He delights me, and grounds the narrator, pulling her away from self into world. Excellent write.

  16. That Shawna, she’s left nothing else to say! I still like it though. 🙂

  17. You have definitely captured the emotional and spiritual difficulties distorting the life of the pictured woman, making her self-image a lie. The words are a reflection of the picture, a wry commentary that is itself a reflection of the woman’s inner turmoil.

  18. You made me say wow out loud. I don’t do that often. Really nice work…

  19. I enjoyed this … I’m always surprised at how different things appear when I squint.

  20. Ahh good old Blujay come to counteract the acid, lucky there is acid to attract her!

  21. some good stuff here, like acetic accusations. that ties in well with the creative juices

  22. hypercryptical

    A ‘Wow’ from me too!

    Anna :o]

  23. Some of the imagery is so cutting that I squirmed in my chair as I read it (along with her writhing). I noticed, though, that the mirror reflects a faint smile in her expression, which I shall choose to interpret as a symbol of ‘hope’ and/or the slightest, smallest mustard seed.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I’ve enjoyed reading yours and the interesting comments posted here. Hope you stop by again soon – so far no one has been brave enough to venture an analysis of Jonathan Galassi’s poem, and mine, I fear, is pretty simplistic!

    • Hey LIsa…thanks for your visit and thoughtful comments. I do like the fact that she has hope and reasons to smile…the lies can’t keep her from hearing Mr. Bluejay’s song…let’s hope she is soon dancing to his tune!

      I just commented on your blog, but I want to assure you that “simplistic” suits me just fine! Your poem about the ladybug was lots of fun and a great read for me!

  24. This is something that I can faaaar too much relate to. The lies my mind has told me has stripped SO many years of my life from me. This was a beautiful writing and it is just so good to know that the brokenness we all face helps link us together.

    • What a great point! Yes it does (the brokenness) link us all together! And the greater power that *can* link us together is rejoicing in God’s Truth together! Thanks for the visit and comment!


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