Trying to Imprint Some


Trying to Imprint It Some

I simply
have nothing to say.
Experience doesn’t mark me
the way it used to.

The only imprint
of my day
are the ribs
of my sock tops, notching the perimeters
of my calves–

meaning that that they were high
socks–meaning that I must have trudged
out in the snow at some point–okay, that
I remember–the snow that socked
the land
so beautifully,
knitted cloud
to horizon, mountaintop to
field–I will not say in white
wool– long-sleeved the limbs
of trees, gloved their twigged

And I want–now that I’ve recovered them from
my sock-carved hieroglyphics–to save those trees
in my brain, those snow-fleshed trees,
but my mind is like the bath
I sit in,
growing cold too fast, and a little murky,
caching even less
than the skin of things;

when what I need
for a mind
is a lake, something bigger,

I know a lake; it holds upon
its glass whole skies; it holds within its depths
whole trunks–you can see it shine back
blue, even cloud, and where shine breaks,
you peer through water that clear, though green
as brine, shows silent racks
of branch and still-barked log, fallen
who knows when, washed since then–
trees you can skate on
in a freeze, swim over
in summer’s ease, careful never to
touch, or dare to–

Not like these ridged rims
I run
my hands over, hurrying
their fade as mind already
trickles ahead, away–bath draining.
Some light still caught though
as legs step out, in flashes,
wet, warm.


Ha.  Scribble, of sorts; or what I could.  (It seems very repetitive to me.)  For Real Toads Open Platform.  I did not get any good pictures of trees in this latest snow, but here is a pic taken from my Metro North train this morning of the Hudson River–the little turret is part of the ruins of a small castle that can usually be seen on an island in the  middle of water, called Bannerman’s Castle.  (Wrongly called by me Gillette’s Castle, when this post first went up.  Thanks for the correction to a very kind reader and one of my oldest and most admired–by me at least–friends.)


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26 Comments on “Trying to Imprint Some”

  1. edgework Says:

    I loved your poem today, after three snowstorms here in Boston–thank you for it! And I loved the photo, too, and looked up Gillettes to learn more.

    It turns out your island is Pollepel, with Bannerman Castle–Gillettes is up on the Conn River. Both places were fascinating to learn about!

    How are you? I was very sad to hear about Denise, and wonder how her (semi-adopted) son is doing in the wake of her death. I hope you and I can connect in spring, should it ever come — it would be great to talk!

    Yr fan, Shane


    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so very much. First–I am so very sorry also re Denise. It seems just impossible and impossibly sad.

      Second–yes!–the minute I read that Bannerman Castle I remembered! See what a sieve the brain is. Thank you so very much for your kind words. It is so great to hear from you, even with all this sadness in the background. I am so glad that I saw her again and that she seemed so well. k.

  2. Mama Zen Says:

    Beautiful, meditative piece.

  3. The trees in winter are so beautiful they are like thoughts in the way they paint the sky. I love that little detail about the socks.. sometimes there is so much more in those details than anywhere else..

  4. wolfsrosebud Says:

    when what I need
    for a mind
    is a lake, something bigger,

    this would be great for a poet

  5. Gillena Cox Says:

    its like that, aint it, sometime its that one line that takes you through an entire poetic journey, before you realise what’s happening, you’ve written a poem

    and a very beautiful piece i must say

    much love…

  6. brian miller Says:

    we are still without snow…though, i tend to rub out my imprints after school each day as i free the feet…ha…i feel a bit the same too…there was a time i was writing 4-5 poems a day…or starters, little impressions i could later mangle into something…but now its usually one, if i am lucky…

  7. Ooooh, the meandering mind-melt of it all!! There is something about this stream-of-consciousness poem that appeals to the rebel in me. also, my mind tends to be able to store ONLY so much info, so many images, before the erasures set in. Great! Thanks, Amy

  8. Brendan Says:

    Is it age or the age that flattens and speeds our impressions so that we only have fleeting glimpses from a speeding window and sock-prints on our calves? Both, I suspect … Poems like there may be the only lake-surfaces we keep, where reflection intuits depth and depths defy death. I’ll take what little we can hold on to; you keep writing, I’ll keep writing too, OK?

  9. hedgewitch Says:

    Your work with the visuals here is exquisite, k–the personification and the echoing of your own body to the way nature has clothed/ bound the landscape in snow really neatly done as well. ‘when what I need for a mind is a lake’–that is just genius, and the whole stanza that follows, all could be quoted back and savored, but then I would want to do the rest of the poem too. ;_) Beautiful writing, bringing the mind’s dark mirror up to reflect the winter light.

  10. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    This is just an amazing poem to read. The lines flow from thought to thought in a most poetic way, filled with authenticity. I love the description of the snow clad landscape, the metaphor of clothing is excellent.

  11. I know this feeling (alas, and sigh). As we get older we process impressions differently than when we were very young, and everything was new, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that neuroscience teaches that all our impressions connect with lightning speed to pathways in our brain connected to memories. So don’t worry, your brain is still hard at work!

    That’s not how it feels sometimes, though, and your poem brings the reader to an intimate point of contact with such a feeling. No other art form can do this sort of thing as well.

    p.s. I like your use of the out of focus image.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, it is taken from the train, and I think on some browsers the more in focus part–the little castle–may not show up. The train windows are also not so clean! k.

      On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 1:30 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  12. … that exhaustion we often feel on a Friday after a long work week – hoping to get inspiration and zest back into our bones before Monday… Oh, at what age do we really start living for holidays and vacations as opposed to the weekend. I so remember, after a long work week, it took but a few minutes of “happy hour” to be re-invigored. (I adore the second stanza!)

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thank you, Margaret–I am glad to hear that it only took a few minutes of happy hour to get you re-invigorated. This is why you have five children or six! Great energy! k.

  13. I love you descriptions of the trees and how they are clothed, the lake and all it hold/reflects, the ridges from your socks echoing the texture of bark… beautiful writing!

  14. Marian Says:

    OH Karin, I love this, I relate fully to this! And love the knee-sock ridge metaphor, oh how I get that. Love, love!
    I will meet you at Gillette Castle one day!!! Wanna? Have you been? We went for the first time this past summer and we all loved it. Certain to be an annual (at least) destination. It’s sooo wonderful in its beauty and grand eccentricity.

  15. oh my god. just a scribble you say? This is wonderful and rich, so much gorgeous imagery that belies your early claim of not being imprinted, having nothing to say. If you decide to edit this, please do it carefully because it’s honestly one of the most lovely things I’ve read in a long time.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha–David, you are so very kind. I certainly did start out rather emptied, but then I did think of a lake I knew! You are super sweet and that is much appreciated. K.

      On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 11:06 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


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