You want someone
to make amends, a specific
someone, though you know
they won’t, can’t–that it is like expecting flotsam
to swim butterfly
upstream. So you tell yourself
that maybe you should make
the grand gesture,
if not towards that particular someone then
someone else, certain that simple motions
of atonement, no matter where
directed, will slosh froth
back, will be,
as it were, self-

Such strategies do
net ripple but an eddy in
your hippocampus still gyrates around
a blur of that more particular
reconciliation, an unfurling
of shine and flow in which your specific
someone would free, with a single stroke, the knot
that has clotted your spine
for nearly a lifetime.

But they won’t. Can’t. And you–
if you cannot, on your own, stretch straight, must learn
to crawl crooked, adjusting
for habitual kinks through a purposefully
listing keel.


Posting this, really kind of a draft poem, for dVerse Poets Open Link Night hosted by the wonderful Grace.

Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

22 Comments on “Stream”

  1. Mary Says:

    I know exactly what you mean here. We must know the same person. You have described it so well

  2. janehewey Says:

    this is quite brilliant, making tangible one of the most subtle aspects of human nature. forgiveness runs deep, deeper even than the inability to forgive, i think. for some it takes a lifetime, others don’t even know how to hold a small grudge. i like how you relate self-amending to stretching straight. And, “eddy in your hippocampus” has your wonderful clever tone and word usage. great poem, k.

  3. vivinfrance Says:

    The nub of this poem for me is that if we want someone to apologise we have to make the first move, and this is a principle that I have tried to live by. Your poem takes this so much further and I like it very much.

  4. claudia Says:

    wonderful poem k. – this really runs deep.. i had a wonderful lady once counseling me out of my most terrible time in life and one thing she said was that when it’s already so difficult to change ourselves, how can we expect others to change or act in a certain way…that was something that stuck with me over the years.. though my experience is that if we amend ourselves and treat people in a good way, they will react to it naturally and one can hope for the best..

  5. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Yeah, another photo – love these, no matter how plain. How did you get this in NYC?

    “flotsam to swim butterfly upstream” — smiling. Butterfly is hard enough, yet alone upstream, yet alone for us floatsams (had to look that up).

    Sudden flip from a stream (nature) to hippocampus (neuroanatomy) was funny.

    Wow, a lifetime clot in your spine — a clogged Chakra, as Yoga groupies would say — sounds painful.

    A shallow stream for a keel to be down at all — or to imagine flotsam or froth. But it looks like a stagnant side pool waiting to be cleared.

    The poem did not give us an answer, hope or suggestions. It felt real and confessionary. Interesting.

  6. Luke Prater Says:

    I can see you’re in process with this piece, but it has all kinds of promise as a great and moving work. The active content, mostly referring to the metaphor fo swimming/moving in the stream. Wonderful flowing of words (matching the stream-like movement) that keeps a rhythmic impetus with your use of internal rhyme/allit/half/slant/near-rhymes etc.

    Here is the most arresting poetry for me (relating to the overall message) –

    someone would free, with a single stroke, the knot
    that has clotted your spine >> oh I feel that knot… don;t we all have one?

    NB My blog’s back up : ) I changed servers (same host, different one of their servers… I think they’d been hacked, not me). Seems to be good. Google and everyone else are good with it.

    Nice to read you again, K

  7. David King Says:

    This is tremendous! I’m sure I haven’t sucked all the juice out of it yet, but lines like

    but an eddy in
    your hippocampus still gyrates around
    a blur of that more particular,

    are plenty wonderful enough to be going on with – if this is just a draft, can’t wait to see the final version!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Dave. I did not mean to leave that comment. I was editing while packing for a hectic trip and had taken something out. So I took that out now– the comma after particular! I’m glad you could follow any way as a bit disjointed. K.

  8. Miriam E. Says:

    what a great topic you chose here. you handled it so delicately, so beautifully… wonderful work.

  9. brian miller Says:

    really nice k…the clot in the spine and them being able to remove it with one stroke….what power we give them, its hard you know…and our minds really can grab hold of things and have expectations of others when in the end we are powerless to get them to do anything really…

  10. cloudfactor5 Says:

    This deeply hits home, how many of us will forever be stuck in reconciliation. I love the ending! This is why one needs to have a good chiropractor!

  11. This is lovely K, with all the details I have come to admire from your writing ~ My fav lines have been quoted above, just wanted to let you know the words resonate deeply…and stunning picture too ~

  12. It’s something we all face which makes this powerful. You describe it so well and what leads to ‘an unfurling of shine and flow’. It is up to us, isn’t it?

  13. This is deep, k; almost over my head. You know, like I have to stand on my toes and bounce to see what’s going on.

  14. Simple concepts from difficult tangles is the hardest accomplishment that poetry can aim for–you did it well here, k. Your language is indeed ‘streamy’ and floats us along painlessly through the brainstem and into areas where thought and feeling can negotiate. Last stanza is strong with great resolution. Safe travels.

  15. beckykilsby Says:

    ooh.. froth-slosh and clotted knots.. tight points that shine from the foothills of conversational flow. Clever and recognisable descritptions K..

  16. Clean distinctions yet entwined with fire! Fantastic weaving ! Loved ever twist and dangerous deliberate beckoning ~ Sincerely ~Deb

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: