Green

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Green

I.

She viewed herself as blue,
in need of rescue, which may have been
why she saw the guy, older, as someone able
to treat her nice.
But she was green truly,
green as a moon-new lawn, green as damp
dancible grass that imprints with lightest
footstep, so that when he said, huskily, once
there was no way out, that he wanted to hurt her,
she tended, later, to tread hard
on that same pain, self-blame tracking it everywhere.

II.

He (a very different he, a young-man-he, soldier, from
a separate story), saw himself as
brown, tanned, taut-tendonned,
only he was green, green
as a sapling–stripped, admittedly,
and sharpened to pointed stick–but still a boy beneath
the bark, no cudgel–and when
blood spread red over every kind of viewfinder, including
his bared eyes,
he felt both the gouge and the puniness
of the stick that they had made of him, and there
was no wood where he might escape, nor
water either, not even
the vaulted sky.

III.

They felt grayed, faded (a different
they, yet another
story) –leathery–and were amazed
how the pain of things that had
no physical weight–mere words–could penetrate–as if
their many coats of wool, silk, cotton, years,
scar tissue, were butter melted by anything
that might be mouthed.

But for all the pallor, they were still green
inside, and when they held each other,
wept, they felt the stir of that
that will grow, seek light, of that
that also held them.

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

I am calling the above a draft poem, because I just wrote it and have edited since posting and I feel like it could probably be cut and the first part (especially) fixed in some way. But I am posting it for dVerse Poets Pub’s Poetics prompt on “It’s Not Easy To Be Green” – which I am hosting. Please do check out dVerse and, if inclined, post a poem!

Also, if you have even more time, please do check out my books: Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms. Or, if you in the mood for something older, check out Going on Somewhere, poetry, and Nose Dive, escapist but very fun fluff.

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54 Comments on “Green”

  1. brian miller Says:

    nice…you had a bit of a pattern going in the first two with the no way out, but you dropped it in the last one…very interesting slices of the lives in three very different stories and how green plays in each…the first is a bit scary you know…ugh, her trust and he not so caring…the second, he feel duped and taken advantage of…been there…the last though is my fav…i hope that green grows a bit in them…smiles.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Brian. Second is supposed to be soldier like but don’t know if that comes out or needs to – I like that it is broader as I was just trying to keep up the idea and green and not green – not sure where going. k.

  2. claudia Says:

    now that you mention the soldier, i can clearly see him but was a bit clueless on first read.. really an interesting weave k. and love the last one esp. with the still being green inside, speaks of so much life and possibilities and hope

  3. Grace Says:

    Fantastic three poems K – love the green connotations in each one ~

    In the first, like this line: she was green truly,
    green as a moon-new lawn, green as damp

    In the second, green
    as a sapling–stripped

    The last one, I like the green inside, though grayed & faded ~

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks – they are meant as a single poem – three parts – do you think I should highlight that? Agh! But thanks much, Grace, as always for your kindness. I could so relate to your wonderful poem. k.

  4. Laurie Kolp Says:

    I like your references to other stories within each section, and the colors they view themselves as. The first one especially has me wanting more.


  5. Oh this is story telling at it’s best. Gripping and sad, but a nice hope at the end.. I really love this poem

  6. Kelvin S.M. Says:

    …ah, three different poems with three different scenes each depicting weak sides.. all boils down to being (still) young inside… a child like feel deep down our bones despite maturity, rough appearance & old age… your second poem resonates me about a poem by Arthur Rimbaud, ‘The Sleeper of the Valley’… though in different situations… the ‘still-a-boy-beneath’ feel that longs for care & cure are very well the same (for me)… the last one i find really affecting & sad…quite of a reality in there… great write Karin… i deeply enjoyed ’em… smiles…

  7. janehewey Says:

    I read this as a love story. Your cadence is both poetic and concise. I enjoyed each part individually, and the way the third, being strong on its own, brings the three together. A few quirky things I especially enjoyed: one, your that/that line breaks. two, “they were still green inside.” – just as true as it is unexpected.


  8. This is like a medieval triptych, each stanza showing some different image of the same thing–and well worthy of being some sort of icon of the stages in the inexorable process of aging–excellent poetry springing very green.


  9. Karin, this trilogy spans decades, centuries, even millennium, and I think it holds together strongly; as omnipotent narrator, it is cool to be reminded of character & time shifts. Because of Stanza II, when you called this a draft poem, my first thought was conscription; odd how the mind leaps on a notion. Love gone green, young conscripted soul gone green, and longevity morphing green to gray, like the ocean off WA coasts, and the inner sea, Puget Sound. Nice job.

  10. Mama Zen Says:

    This grabs you and grabs you hard. Gorgeous work.


  11. Karin, first off, thanks for turning me on to your book, Nose Dive. Just scored Kindle for a buck and will read later. Also, this poem… the many shades/facets of green. Loved the moon-new lawn. So much promise… then meeting “Green Beret,” who squashes her. I went through this emotionally and was, therefore, totally captivated by your writing. You dove in the deep end here and emerged shining. The end,… taut, haunting. Thank you, twice. Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/03/15/mama-needs-a-brand-new-bag-a-barlette/


  12. Great story telling, from innocence to being scarred by life and love, yet in the end despite their pallor the green innocence and youth holds true… together. Wonderful writing.

  13. Linda Rogers Says:

    I really enjoyed your three poems on being green. I found each of them ,a show or journey of immaturity. It doesn’t matter if were strong looking soldiers, elderly adults, or scared young women. All categories illustrate being green. Lovely work.

  14. Rowan Taw Says:

    I really like the idea of how they saw themselves as one colour, when they were another (green), and the tension in the first two felt resolved by the third.

  15. Mary Says:

    Single poem – three parts – I get it, I think.. Always good to have some comments ahead. This is a thought-provoking one, Karin; and I am not totally sure I get it, but I think I do and am going to consider that I do……but then there are a lot of poems of well known / published poets I say the same about.


  16. Just stunning – really like the recalling back to the previous – the same but not really – not sure I can express how moving I found this – just really astonishing work. K


  17. A different take on green than most and thoughtfully so.


  18. Oh, I love, love, love this.


  19. Ah, a beautiful narrative poem, lovely. I esp like ‘green as a moon-new lawn, green as damp / dancible grass that imprints’ such an impressive image.

  20. kkkkaty Says:

    I thought I commented on this earlier but I guess not…it is very touching in that we all can relate to the passages here you write so well about…I was moved by the last stanza especially,

  21. David King Says:

    I still can’t quite shake off the thought that when I was a kid, if you were called green it meant you were envious.

    That being so, I found this post particularly powerful and resonating.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      That’s so interesting. In the US, it is used with envy, of course, but usually they add in some mention of envy so it is “green with envy” – if they talk of green recruits – and I should perhaps have used recruit i realize rather than soldier – they would mean raw. k.

  22. Pat Hatt Says:

    Nice color play at your bay, going with others until the green comes on display, interesting too see how each view, when back around to green it comes on cue.

  23. Myrna Says:

    Three wonderful stories. I like the way you individualize them, e.g. ‘a different they’. The first two are so sad. The last has the hope of green, growth, life. I think this is wonderful especially since it’s a draft. Wish my finished poems were this good.

  24. anoveldiary Says:

    Lovely…a poem with a touch with prose…touching both the he and she…green in love… Very very nice…


  25. Karin, this one really got to me. So ,many back-stories that I imagined and found heart-wrenching. Just beautifully, powerfully expressed and, of course, I expect no less from you.

  26. vivinfrance Says:

    This does have the feel of a work in progress – but a very promising work, and I look forward to seeing where you go with it.
    Like some others, I felt it was three separate poems, but no doubt you will deal with that.


  27. I wouldn’t touch it… it brought to mind a friend from vietnam and his gal… this is eerily real for me~ you’re untouchables !

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Deborah. I honestly haven’t been able to look at it since posting. I find that if something is very fresh and I make it public it is almost impossible for me to review for a while – not quite sure why – a kind of excruciating embarrassment -though that isn’t the word exactly. Anyway, glad that you found interesting. Thanks. k.


  28. I get the feel that all three are family, each a piece of the same story, somehow come together for a sad event such as a funeral. I am not sure if I would view as three separate poems–I kind of like the three parts coming together to make a whole. A lot of thought in this one, I like it.


  29. Just had to come back to this poem to read again – such a moving and perfectly beautiful piece of writing – K


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