“Sans Eyes”

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Sans Eyes

Time
sands eyes, blunts
retinae, but as distinctions dim
(I tell myself), a unique
camouflage
is limned; so I notice (in my peer)
how the tufts of white-tailed deer
mock
milkweed, puffed pendula
over thickets of fall-browned
fur; my blur
is almost proud of this newfound likeness
till I mistake upon the ground more pods (soaked)
for a chewed hoofed foreleg,
and now, on the slippery
of this steep hill,
as the translucence of evening thickens, I stop,
transfixed
by the loom of each branched stick, barred
by the barbed unravel
of somewhere fence, all
nearly swallowed whole
like poison
disguised in draught, razor blades
spiking a sweet, till just the second
before we meet,
some shadow
shapes sharpness.

And what am I to do?
Stuck, as night falls,
but use hands
to look ahead, and screw up
what gaze I have
as if sand could be molded
into something
that would actually outlast
this tide.

**********************************

I am posting this draft poem for dVerse Poets Pub “Poetics” prompt hosted by Mary Kling.  The wonderful prompt is the “All the world’s a stage,” monologue by Jaques in Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT, where he speaks of the stages of life, and ends “sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything,” sans meaning “without.”   I am also linking this post to With Real Toads Open Link Monday.

Here’s an attempted reading:

Check out the prompt, the great poets at dVerse, and, MY BOOKS!!!!   Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, orNose Dive. Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents! Nose Dive really is very funny and light hearted, and 1 Mississippi is a lot of fun for little teeny kids.

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38 Comments on ““Sans Eyes””

  1. brian miller Says:

    wow…really great writing k….the shdow shaped sharpness…barred
    by the barbed unravel
    of somewhere fence…some really cool phrasing…love hte imagery as well of the deer….just writing a piece about them tonight myself…there is a family of 7 that live in my backyard…wicked emotional close too…our sand castles fall…in the tide…love milkweed as well…

  2. Mary Says:

    Interesting poem. I have been fascinated with milkweed pods this year for the for the first time in a long time, as I walk with granddaughter and teach her about seed dispersal. The pods are indeed everywhere……but luckily my sight does not fail me and I can still very much appreciate them!


  3. When we were kids, we loved to try to blow every seed off of these, if we did, we could make a wish. We called individual ones, fairies. If we caught one, we had to hold it gently cupped in our hands, make a wish and let it go again.
    All of this was such a lovely read.


  4. I enjoyed the fact that you borrowed Shakespeare’s “sans eyes” as a starting point. Nice job with imagery and the words you’ve chosen “taste” good when spoken aloud.


  5. Wowzers, that final stanza is just SO good. Makes me catch my breath. Great write!

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    This is just excellent writing, k, from first to last, and for those of us whose eyes have been sanded(such a wonderful analogy) so that the world is blurring more daily, it cuts to the core–and what a finish. Possibly one of the best things I’ve ever read from you, and certainly a new favorite. I don’t often listen to the spoken accompaniments of poems, but yours really added to the feeling of inexorable slide, down the slippery, pushed into component granules before a senselessly rushing, unstoppable tide. Very fine work.

  7. sonofwalt Says:

    God, I love to hear you read. I like this poem very much.


  8. as if sand could be molded
    into something
    that would actually outlast
    this tide….this is a great closure on a wonderful piece k. – makes me think…and think on…


  9. Wonderful writing, I think we do the same here in spring with dandelions,

    ps I have ripped various things out of the bloge code so you shouldn’t get mugged now!

  10. David King Says:

    is limned; so I notice (in my peer)
    how the tufts of white-tailed deer
    mock
    milkweed, puffed pendula
    over thickets of fall-browned
    fur; my blur
    is almost proud of this newfound likeness

    This is brilliant stuff. Bravo to you!

  11. nephiriel Says:

    this is great writing, loved to hear it, too.
    “milkweed, puffed pendula
    over thickets of fall-browned
    fur; my blur”
    these lines… wonderful.

  12. kkkkaty Says:

    ……’the slippery of this steep hill’…..this is so good; the more I read at dversepoets the more I am impressed by such teachers!

  13. Pat Hatt Says:

    Always liked to make the seeds fly off of those. Great imagery you convey too. And yeah like the tide things come in and out no matter how big or small.

  14. janehewey Says:

    so wonderful. layer upon layer. the sands and vision slipping- attempting reform in the end, the deer tail tufts- camouflaging and mimicking. from slippery hill to stuck at night. this is beautifully complex. Your many phrases like, “translucence of evening thickens” and “razor blades spiking a sweet” make this a joy to read and unravel.


  15. You capture it, K, the essence of living with diminishing eyesight. The imagery you use and reuse is vivid and accurate. Your metaphors are tight and right. I love your use of language.

  16. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Just last week I took a pic of these fellows — the plants, that is. I had not thought of them a deer tails — how obvious. Thanks for the images.


  17. very cool symbolism, image choices here. Flowed so well, and naturally to that. Really enjoyed the reads here tonight. Thanks


  18. Back again from Toads. You have really captured the blur of failing eyesight, and so beautifully. I love the things observed, and the closing lines which hint at the impact of everything changing.

  19. Timoteo Says:

    A potpourri of poetic profundity.

  20. jenneandrews Says:

    Hi Karin– I so admire your poetic bravery, to pull the world into the poem, making it new– wonderful to so detail the discernments of the deer-self and then a killer final stanza:

    And what am I to do?
    Stuck, as night falls,
    but use hands
    to look ahead, and screw up
    what gaze I have
    as if sand could be molded
    into something
    that would actually outlast
    this tide.

    echoing Hamlet… xxxj


  21. There is so much here, so many layers. It was masterfully done–

  22. margaretbednar Says:

    how the tufts of white-tailed deer
    mock
    milkweed, puffed pendula
    over thickets of fall-browned
    fur;

    beautiful! I think you rose to this difficult challenge quite well!


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