Talking of Shorter Days


Talking of Shorter Days

We are shortened.
An invisible hand presses
upon us.

Sometimes, it’s the hand
of the market–
Adam Smith’s dowser–
its forked-tongue stick-thumb heavy
on our heads.

Other times, it’s the gravity of Newton,
the gravity of events, the grave, and, of course,
the grave. 

But, then, there’s also
the gravy–
that soppy flow of marrow and stock
that runs between us, you
holding my hand.

I tell you that when I grow even more
you must put stones
in my pockets,
then prod me towards
the pond.

You answer that you’ll photoshop
the Monday crossword–that’s the easy one–
so that it looks
like an impossible Saturday’s–

I revert
to the stones.
We’ll get so strong, you say,
walking around with rocks
in our pockets.

I picture you, then, leading me on hikes
through the forest, the legs of our weighted pants dragging
through the leaf mold, our pants
that already need to be hemmed,
though somehow we never get around
to it;
for the invisible hand does not hold, just now,
a needle.



A draftish poem for Kerry O’Connor’s Real Toads’ prompt on writing with “voice.”  This one, with all its convolution and goofiness seems to be mine, or at least one of them.  The pic is mine as well as the poem; all rights reserved. 

I call it a draft because still changing. (I think maybe the “Good” should read as “Ah”–any thoughts? ) 

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15 Comments on “Talking of Shorter Days”

  1. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I like the satisfaction and affirmation which is imparted by the final ‘Good’. Karin, yours is one of the strongest poetical voices I know and admire. It is well-developed and recognizable to me, after reading your poetry for some time. In this poem, you impart as much about the speaker as the addressee. There is self-deprecation, renewal of loving relationship and a tender humour all wrapped up in the wisdom of knowing what it is to live and grow older. Thank you for participating in this challenge, but you are way ahead of the game.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha, thanks, Kerry. It really is a wonderful challenge. I felt like I fell back on what is familiar–the voice you recognize–as I am a bit pressed for focus during my workweek, but I will think about it more deeply in the future and try to stretch more. I appreciate so much your thoughtful comments and prompts. k.

      On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 11:13 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  2. hedgewitch Says:

    I like the idea of an AH somewhere, but I also like the (Good)–I am no help at all. ;_) This really is something I can only imagine you writing, with its sideways erudition and references to Wealth of Nations and Wolff transfixed on sharp, twinkly images of humanist reflection–but as always you morph everything into your gravy, not just the marrow but the bones themselves of who we are, who we want to be, who we can be when we have what we need. Sometimes the best writing we do is when we just push everything out of the way and write. A fine poem, k.

  3. margaret Says:

    Such a personal poem – the stones in the pant hem, dragging on forest floor is so powerful – I adore the image – Just an outstanding response to this challenge!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thanks, Margaret–I was really thinking of pockets and actually even possibly of coat pockets (in my case anyway), but putting them in the pants’ hem seems like a clever idea! Thanks much. Hope all well with you and especially on your visits to Brooklyn! k.

      On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 1:27 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  4. Mama Zen Says:

    I adore the crossword stanza; it’s incredibly romantic. And, yes, this is your unique voice at its finest.

  5. lynn__ Says:

    “Ah” would work too 🙂 I grinned at the idea of stones in your pockets, pants sagging, but getting stronger!! Love the duckies too.

  6. Sherry Marr Says:

    I like “Good.” This poem made me smile…….I love your voice, and the conversation. LOL. Made me smile. “Prod me towards the pond…..hee hee……..who will know which one of you is still “with it”??? The wrong one might do the prodding!

  7. X Says:

    I think the sigh at the end would show more the relief. I think good leaves it more open to interpretation, so it depends on what you want to come across. I feel it as that final relief after a life well lived.

    After the recent times with my gramma (who is 93) my mother and I had a rather frank (but gallows humor) conversation much like the one you had.

    Essentially she said, dont ever let me become like that – take me to the field and leave me there.

    I don’t disagree – I have said when the time comes I will just walk into the woods to find a bear. Selfish as it may be.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      You can come up here if you need bears! Actually I’ve not seen one yet this year but they’ve been around! I thought the “ah” was more ambiguous so it is helpful to get your input. Thanks.

  8. I adore this whole thing, especially the demented part.

  9. thefeatheredsleep Says:


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