“Holding On To Your Hat”


“Under Windsor Bridge,” 1912, by Adolphe Valette

Re-covery (Holding On To Your Hat)

And then there are those times
when all that feels
in this wide blurred world
is the darkness cupped
by your black felt hat.

Something should be different.
You do not know what that something
should be, only
that it should take hold of you

And yet–and this you are suddenly
sure of – it should also leave you
with the hat.

You run your fingers over the rough curve
of its brim, the
dark abiding wool
that even now resists crushing,
resists stain, blocks
wind and rain, allows
itself to be held by you,

I’m posting the above sort-of draft poem for Tess Kincaid’s Magpie Tales, a writing blog in which Tess puts up a pictorial prompt each week. 

Check it out!  And also if you have a chance, check out my books!  Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.

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29 Comments on ““Holding On To Your Hat””

  1. Tess Kincaid Says:

    This is magical…I adore hats…do you know Billy Collins’ poem about hats? As much as I love it, I believe I like yours better.

  2. hedgewitch Says:

    A nice murky mood piece, very suitable to hanging out in a grimy Victorian London fog under a bridge and reflecting on what it takes to be oneself. What it takes for something to be enough. Wholeness can be easier to put on than to live, perhaps.

  3. brian miller Says:

    i def know that feeling…when something is amiss and you cant quite put your finger on it….there is comfort in the simple things, like a good hat…smiles….

  4. I too know that feeling of something that is awry…something as comforting as a favorite hat helps calm the nerves…great piece!

  5. This was my favorite part:
    “You do not know what that something
    should be, only
    that it should take hold of you

    And then I read this:
    “And yet–and this you are suddenly
    sure of – it should also leave you
    with the hat.” … Exclaiming to myself over your poetic genius.

  6. jinksy Says:

    Reminds me of an old advertising slogan ” If you want to get ahead, get a hat!” 🙂

  7. David King Says:

    I think the image took hold of you wholly.as your poem did me. I like the way you focus it all in the hat. Clever.

  8. Trellissimo Says:

    I raise my hat to you for this one! 🙂

  9. Mama Zen Says:

    Beautiful piece! The hat makes it so tangible.

  10. Dick Jones Says:

    I really like the manner of the poem’s settling for prosaic functionality over that constant sense of there being something beyond the diurnal drudgery. Wit and wisdom here!

  11. Helen Says:

    Love how you focused on his hat .. so prominent in the painting.

  12. kay Says:

    oh i love this…..xx

  13. Brian is so right about that…. there’s always that one thing, usually just right out of reach or off the tip of the tongue, some times we don’t even know but maybe we suspect it can help us transition into another step or into a new day with a piece of ourselves, a piece of who we are…. a security blanket, sort of…. like packing that familiar pillow for use at the far away hotel you will be at… Or seeing a photo of a lost loved one and suddenly hearing their voice or laughter, smelling their perfume or tobacco….. or finding some comfort in the brim of a felt hat that has, in it’s own way, become a little piece of you….. I think life is about memories of love and enduring friendship… and the trinkets that accompany us during the building of those memories are like little keys that unlock those very special memories…. your poem expressed that so well, Miss manic, by saying so little….. Absolutely touching…..

  14. Sue Anderson Says:

    Hats off to you for this one.
    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

    A great write here.

  15. kutamun Says:

    Perhaps the hat is like Cobbs spinning top in “Inception” , it is is anchor , so he knows wether he is awake or dreaming ? , well done Manic D

  16. Linda Fraser Says:

    My hat keeps me all together, neatly packaged, just as your poem is a very neat package that takes on the uncertainties and keeps them tucked away under the brim. Thank you for sharing this, K. It’s lovely. =D

  17. Karen S. Says:

    Of all embraces that would be the best! Nice write.

  18. It’s amazing how you were able to put so much in a single image. There are just some things the visual cannot satisfy and which poetry and introspection can. I loved this.

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