Ode To My Sore Eyes


Ode To My Sore Eyes

If I could keep you
in my palms
like St. Lucy
on a platter,
I’d wear gloves of water
that would cup you
in blue
as renewing as
morning’s true sky.

If I could keep you
in the moist squint
of my breasts,
I would slip you beneath
their lids
where you would sleep
till some long rest
had refreshed you
like the sight
of night’s lover.

Oh eyes,
there seems no soothing
your sharp burn.
Lke a hawk that plies
a talon ’round you,
it tries to prise you,
fly you where, mid-air, it would mock, perhaps,
our insufficiency,
or simply let you see for once
the big picture,
while me, I cling to you harder
than a child, than a mother,
holding you faster even
than that which keeps the “I” inside
the head,
no matter the pain of it.

Here’s a draft ode to my chronically sore eyes inspired by Pablo Neruda’s many odes, and written for dVerse Poets Pub form for all hosted by Tony Maude. Check out Tony’s wonderful post and the great poems linked up.

The painting above is of St. Lucy, by Domenico Beccafumi, painted in 1521. No copyright infringement intended.

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20 Comments on “Ode To My Sore Eyes”

  1. Mary Says:

    You have really portrayed the eye pain well…and done it in the Neruda style wonderfully!!

  2. hedgewitch Says:

    Very lyric, and totally neruda-like in taking a very un-lyric subject and galvanizing the entire web of senses around it–I especially like ‘in the moist squint of my breasts,’ and the word-play in the final lines–just enough and not too much. Fear of losing sight is powerful as we age–we lose so much, that somehow seems almost beyond what a person should have to tolerate…yet all too possible a fate. May your eyes get a rest this weekend, k.

  3. Grace Says:

    Keeping the I inside the head ~ I hate the sharp burn of sore eyes but I admire the turn in the last verse ~ Well done K ~

  4. Tony Maude Says:

    Really enjoyed this, Karin – and here’s hoping your eyes are soothed soon.

  5. kkkkaty1 Says:

    Just a great ode to the eyes Karen….love “St. Lucy on a platter”….very Neruda-like

  6. claudia Says:

    oh this reminds me to put on my glasses…. i tend to forget sometimes and then my eyes start to ache as well… ah…wouldn’t it be nice for them to take a soothing bath in a bowl…

  7. This is excellent Karin. Love the images though the pain of it is so raw.

  8. Sherry Marr Says:

    You have captured Neruda’s style to perfection, and I so resonate with your topic. So many wonderful images in this poem . I, too, was most struck by the ” ‘I’ inside the head, no matter the pain of it”. Wowzers, what a poem!

  9. Brendan Says:

    Gorgeous stuff, and you make me weep for your eyes and mine. Poor fellas. And yes, how long must they gaze out there until we grasp the big picture? Lifetimes, I guess. Until then, here’s to a good weekend nap and some Murine. – Brendan

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thanks, Brendan. I won’t be able to visit around till this evening or tomorrow, but thanks for you kind comment. Yes, I weep–well I get very worried at least–about my poor eyes, which get worse than ever in winter, and do not care much for the life of the computer-dependent. Thanks again. k.

  10. brian miller Says:

    oh very nice k…ouch on sore eyes…i like the yearning for soothing but the reality as well that there is just no soothing them at times….

  11. janehewey Says:

    i enjoy where the hawk’s talon comes in. it turns a quieter, more sensual tone into one with urgency. I also especially like the circle of timelessness created with your “than a child, than a mother” phrase. Each of your lines is wonderfully compact and makes this ode really enjoyable. Your ending with the “I” inside the head has the sharp wit I so look forward to finding in your work.

  12. Poor sore eyes. I hope there is some treatment that works for you.. Mine are sore too, but they serve me right for doing far too much reading on-screen and too much hand quilting!

  13. Kay Davies Says:

    Wonderfully done, Karin, and I know the feeling all too well. I’ve had cataract surgery on both eyes and they always hurt. But then I think of a dear friend from school, who lost her sight last year. A very talented person whose eyes allowed her to sew, quilt, cook, and take fabulous photographs, she was energetic and positive at our high school reunion this year. Her sight is gone but she is still her wonderful self, maybe more so.
    Luv, K

  14. Truedessa Says:

    I could feel the pain in your eyes..rich with images..

  15. Susan Chast Says:

    I did not know about St.Lucy! Ach! To make them comfortable is often paramount for me too,but not enough o put my breasts into their service! Ouch, and ouch to the image of hawk and Talon. If only mental health of “I” could transfer to eyes and vice versa! This poem is GREAT!

  16. gila_mon Says:

    Nice ache, palpable. At “burn” and “talon” I was ready to grab a bottle of Clear Eyes. Very effective poem.

  17. I’ve no superlatives to say what you do with mortal words but, it’s unbelievable and spectacular K! Blessings dear friend ~ Faithfully Debbie

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