“Going to Ground”


Going to Ground

And then there are those times when you follow
ground rather than sky, spying your way
by clump, not star, tufted mound, found hollow
in a hill. You’ve not been kind, and as day
falls, and night falls too (from your perspective),
you want to weep, but can only walk,
cross snow-swept field, unable to relive
what you didn’t rightly live when the clock
wound round first go. As coat sleeve side-slides,
yaps sound, a wild chorus, and not distant,
though muted in dim.  Your startled heart invites
in fear to replace remorse, but, next instant,
recognizes the whine of rubbed nylon.
You walk, arms behind back now, head still down.


A sort of a sonnet, with slant rhyme and shifting pentameter, for dVerse Poets Open Link Night.

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42 Comments on ““Going to Ground””

  1. janehewey Says:

    coat sleeve’s appearance at your turning point is so physical. I am lost in reverie and regret for your first lines and the sleeve brings me closer to the ground. I enjoy the depth of feeling and deep self-connection in this. Your line breaks are ones for me to study, you flow them so smoothly.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thanks. I’m not sure abuot that invites/in==feels a bit awkward, but I really liked the sound and rhythm of the “in.” Thanks as always for your kindness. k.

  2. hedgewitch Says:

    A very moody read, k. with the perfect title. Fits the picture well in that respect, or vice versa–the opening particularly strikes me as a bit Dickenson-like, maybe helped along by all the slant rhymes, just the sort of observation she would make with her inward-skewed but ever acute eye. You convey a sense of suspension, of being wound up and muffled by time, by the gravitational pull of the quotidian, and ridden by a sense of having put a foot wrong somewhere, causing pain(which only bothers the good, I find) all this nagging at you, or maybe just carried along as the burden du jour. yet the language remains firm, visually firing, and never drags. A fine bit of introspective winter writing, karin.

  3. claudia Says:

    a very melancholic piece..like it much k. – felt like i was with you on that walk – sometimes following ground rather than sky is not a bad thing as it gets us grounded as well again in a positive way and that’s what i felt happened as well..

  4. ND Mitchell Says:

    Loved your writing here. This journey took me with it from the start and is beautifully described. Really liked
    “unable to relive
    what you didn’t rightly live when the clock
    wound round first go”
    That grabbed me and although I wasn’t sure exactly what it was referring to, it really resonated with me.

  5. Laurie Kolp Says:

    Love this, Karin… from the very first word you drew me in & the rhyme and cadence bounced me along. Delightful!

  6. Nice volte ~ cool sonnet 🙂

  7. brian miller Says:

    so true…and been there..watching the ground..putting one foot in front of the other..trudging ever forward…one more step…one more step….

  8. zongrik Says:

    the posturing at the end is such a lonely way to say “don’t bother me, i’m deep in my thoughts”

    epideictic rhetoric

  9. Glenn Buttkus Says:

    Yes, yes, plowing the fields of introspection, staring at the veins in hands, the mud on shoes, the stains on cuffs, moss-rocks-clover-tire tracks, moving like a gravity is your dance partner, and the stars are hidden, the angels are elsewhere, God is on a coffee break, and demons race along the inside of your chest.

  10. Steve King Says:

    The picture, the self-conscious images, the feelings of regret and the denseness of your words bring in memories and pangs that all of us must have felt. I love the spareness of this, the fact that every line is condensed and purposeful. This feels right. Nice job.


  11. You’ve captured guilt in this perfectly. Beautiful

  12. This language you used has such a sinewy strength to it. LOVE.

  13. WabiSabi Says:

    unable to relive
    what you didn’t rightly live when the clock
    wound round first go.
    I loved this line in your poem! The essence of remorse captured so well!

  14. Susan Says:

    Fine images chosen to express such love, taking time to regret, to figure out what could have been in a setting which truly takes me “to ground.” I fear being alone in the dark, my own footstep or brush-slapped sleeve able to startle me along with a distant baying of dogs and alarm lifting of birds–but nothing like that minute’s loss of grace, a dent in my wish for perfection. DO I identify with your poem? Ha! And I love that it is a sonnet, which to me is always a love poem.

  15. Mary Says:

    Just loved the slant-rhyme in this and the imagery!

  16. You describe my demeanor when sad or contemplative or needing introspection. Then, eyes cast down to guarantee sure-footing, I think more than observe. A walking meditation, so to speak. Love the way you captured it.

  17. Poet Laundry Says:

    Wow. I love this k. The melancholy, winter, regret theme is expressed so expertly. This is on my read again list.

  18. Deborah Says:

    I could swear I walking every heavy lead step~ wonderful wonderful ! thank you ~Deborah

  19. great adjectival choices and phrasing here Karin. Really reads nicely. Def. enjoyed the piece. Thanks

  20. Loved this line especially – you want to weep but can only walk..very poignant, very convincing!

  21. I totally get this. I’ve found several rings on sand bars this way… Trying to look up more. Lighten up more.

  22. David King Says:

    You had me hooked with the first three lines. And then there were so many more good things to come.

    but can only walk,
    cross snow-swept field, unable to relive
    what you didn’t rightly live when the clock
    wound round first go

    was a passage that made me stop and reread it for the sheer pleasure of the words.

  23. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Great job getting the feeling across of your walk in a snowing, clumpy field as you have to watch your steps after having a very bad day where you did not watch your steps and regret being mean to someone. And fun psychology point how when you are startled, you get dragged out of your regret for a moment. It shows how transient our self-absorption is — both at that moment, and earlier in the day of whatever made you do stuff you wish you hadn’t.

    This is obviously about the writer — not about another person — so I wonder why you chose to say “you” — “I” would have felt more real to me. Instead, it seems to imply some general statement about what we all do — but staying confessional would seem more real to me. So, curious on that issue.

    Also, the parenthetic seemed unneeded — sort of chatty, like dropping out of poem mode. But then I have not learned to appreciate parenthetical statements in poems.

    Overall, I loved the poem’s ability to capture a very simple, common event in your day.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi Sabio,

      I have not thought about the first or second person. It was a fairly quickly written poem, and though I re-write everything quite a bit, this probably had less then most due to the constraints of other work. I agree that the parenthetical is probably a bit too chatty. On the other hand, the second person and the parenthetical probably come from the same place – moving a certain distance from the speaker. I don’t know if that is positive or not in the poem – though I think the idea is probably to make it like an observational study. AT any point, will think about your point. k.

      • Sabio Lantz Says:

        Cool — yeah I get that. But wanted to share.
        Overall — a fun read. I can’t comment on rhyme, flow etc — I read for the thoughts and feelings first. Sound and stuff comes later to me. It has to be obvious or I miss it. I don’t search for sounds and rhymes and that sort of thing. To much work — but then, I don’t like crossword puzzles and such either.

        I did like the honest psychological eval you made — I usually do.

      • Sabio Lantz Says:

        BTW, why did you call it “going to ground” — I had to look up that phrase — it means to go into hiding or escape. And why did you put that in quotes..

        Oh yes, and no need to say “It was a fairly quick write” as I assume that for all poems posted on blogs that post to prompts — that is why I would hope everyone would love comments and criticism. But as you know, that can be a very touchy issue.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Hi Sabio, I don’t really mind more critical commentary, though I probably have a defensive nature. I put the title in quotes only at the top because I tend to do that when I am heading the post with the title of a poem. I called it Going to Ground because it is like going into hiding, as well as paralleling other specifics of the poem. I defended myself that it was a quickly written poem because it was not done for a prompt but open link night, and it was mainly revised in very brief and diffused snatches (more than usual). You are right that one writes quickly when blogging, but sometimes I am lucky enough to have a bit more of a concentrated time frame. k.

  24. Put one foot in front of the other and just keep going, trying to get grounded again after losing it a bit. I recognize this.

  25. ladynyo Says:

    Wow…very atmospheric, very introspective write, Karin. It drew me in and the contrast from the landscape and internal landscape….and how quickly fear replaced introspection…well, these shifts and changes give a lot of motion to this poem.

    It’s haunting, too. You have captured a piece of life…with a dark mood prevailing.

    And excellent and evocative write.

    Lady Nyo

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Dear Jane, Thanks much. I have been extremely busy the last two days so have not been able to make my normal visits! Hope to be freer this evening. Thanks as always for your kindness. k.

  26. nico Says:

    I have too many days when I’ve been unkind–a long walk over familiar ground helps. Great work!

  27. I feel the heavy feet in clay in this. I am very impressed.

  28. Pamela Says:

    Some excellent use of sound in this poem, Karin, When we are unkind it is like a deep plunge, isn’t it?


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