Coat, bought, brought back

 Coat. bought, brought back

It sleeves, collars, pockets itself
as brightly as the birds
of paradise outside
her front door (unthinkable in life before
Florida).  “Here’s my jacket from–”
she says, “where’s that place?” cocking an eye, “you know,
with all the dogs?”
“Katmandu,” I answer knowing both
the jacket and the Katmandu she thinks of (in the ‘80s) and remembering
that same mustard-brown dog who stood
rough-necked, at every other corner, and she says,
“oh yes,–now is that
and I say, “yes,” and she says, “in the mountains?”
and I nod.  “Beautiful,” we agree, “with a lot
of temples?”
and I wonder as I remember this
myself, whether the next time, she’ll add,
“the place with that earthquake,

How is it that we lose
knowledge, let it slip between fault lines, behind
cabinets, into the cracks
of our brains, and I don’t mean here the memory
of Katmandu as it was then, a prayer flag
against sky’s blue, but the knowledge that
whatever is here now,
what has been on this earth for centuries, or maybe only as long
as a certain angle of light (my mother’s flowers seen
from her front stoop) may in the next now
be unrecoverable;

and though we can’t expect to see
into the future, no matter
the alarms, surely we might see
what’s here now, not just coat
the skins of things like
a tourist’s jacket, our flags unfolded only
for show and tell–
Katmandu, how can we mourn you so far
from our front doors, we of the eyeless
beaks, fleeting as
flamed petals–


Very much of a draft (and too long) poem for Magaly Guerrero’s prompt on
Real Toads to write about a flower that’s an animal, or a bird that’s a flower– Magaly asked for short–so sorry!  

Almost there==that is, the end of April, this is poem 29 or 30–

So sad for Nepal. 

Finally, this is not my photo–happy to take it down, in my fatigue don’t mean to infringe a copyright–

Finally, finally, this has been edited since first posting and probably will be more edited!  

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11 Comments on “Coat, bought, brought back”

  1. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) Says:

    You sent me of into a reverie about my visit there in 1998. Hard to see the images showing now on TV.

  2. Jim Says:

    A nice tribute, perhaps veiled a bit, to the people of Katmandu. Over 100,000 have left the city so far. I know a grandparent of a young lady (PhD, job for when she gets home) now camped out in the American Embassy building. With more than 200 others.
    She Face Timed her dad the morning after when they got out of the building and found Internet. No electricity, no water, little food.

    I will remember the Bird of Paradise plants so thick in Hawaii. I think they also had them in the Caribbean, Barbados, yes but perhaps imported.

  3. You’re forgiven, I too believed that an event so terribly bright in the consciousness of so many people can be set aside by so many others (not that the Bird of Paradise plant is terrible, by the way). Maybe if more people shine the light towards it, then it will stay out of the mind’s “cracks”.

    I can’t believe you made me read something this long when we are about to collapse on day 29! What’s wrong with you? Don’t you have a heart!?! Just kidding… You can’t blame me for giving you a hear time. 🙂 ♥

  4. hedgewitch Says:

    This is a very questioning poem–and the fragility which the flowers of the bird-of-paradise flame so elegantly and colorfully only underline how life turns everything to sepia daguerreotypes, landmarks in a shifting sand-sea of experience and memory. Still, there are things we pack, preserve, and carry with us, things of both horror and trivia, beauty and despair–all of this hinted at in your questions of why/how/which are or should be given value. Not too long, really, but then I have been weaned on Brendon’s idea of the proper length for a poem. ;_)

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. I was thinking of the type of paradise the present really is, if we would but realize it, but the whole thing is really very much a bubble–the poem I mean, as well as the present I suppose. I did scribble something this morning–have not looked at yours yet, as I need to work and also kind of want to accept mine as is. k.

      On Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 10:58 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  5. This is absolutely wonderful and your closing lines just take off and swoop around the ceiling. Spectacular!

  6. Questioning–probing, is a form of wisdom, I think. Your poem suggests to me (in such a gentle way) how hard even this is sometimes, when the so-called news-cycle (that term is now outdated) is so fast. How can one keep up? Yet one can try to see what is right in front of us at the moment. And when the new bird of paradise bloom we can try and remember what we’ve forgotten. (we have these in abundance in our yard)

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes–it was shocking for me when my mom first moved down there–they are so beautiful and seem so exotic to someone from the NorthEast, or mid-atlantic–DC is where I’m from. Thanks again. k.

      On Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 8:50 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  7. M Says:

    subtle, gentle, and not too long, K ~

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