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Saturday, April 17, 2010

MAGPIE TALES 10: TIME

(Image from Magpie Tales)

This poem comes from a dream landscape I used to visit frequently, the noon sun beating down, nothing moving, the clocks stuck. It haunted me. Still does.

TIME


scared me, unmoving
at noon, no shadows anywhere.
Dead time. I stood still
and waited. For what

I don’t know. Will I ever?
My question hangs like the bell
that stayed harrows
and tractor wheels. The midday

meal. Of the Gods
grinding slowly I understand
only that sooner or later each furrow
arrives at the edge of the field.

(from Connotations)

26 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

How wonderful -- the stopped time as the midday meal of the gods. Also a bit creepy.

Yemalla said...

Wow! This is awesome; very powerful! Well odn!

Lisa said...

funny...I would think that midnight, rather than midday would be haunting. Yet, it your piece it is!

Rob Kistner said...

Kathryn - This was a well crafted, engaging piece - it took me through a couple times...
-- well written...
...rob
Image & Verse

Congrats on having your site recognized! On which of the "Best Poetry Site" lists are you. I'm listed on the OAC top 100 -- and #4 in the phrorgraph/poetry category.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Vicki, yes, in this dream/nightmare, the searing noon light was indeed creepy. Moreso than darkness, surprisingly, as Lisa said, and yet there's something about that inescapable light ....midnight is haunting, but it seems to hold something mysterious inside. This light was obliterating. Thanks, Yemalla. This poem's a bit different from a lot of others I've done.
And that bell--my grandmother always rang the bell for dinnertime (as we called the midday meal) and also for emergencies. A call for food ready and a call for help.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Rob-I'll be tracking you down! This is a dense little piece of mine and different from most of my stuff. I'm usually more garrulous! A Southern trait, I guess.
The list is the Online Universities' and is for 2009.

Cop Mama said...

So intriguing. My favorite: "no shadows anywhere". So vivid.

Star said...

It does have an eerie quality about it - the noon day sun. I usually feel a chill at this time of day. Your poem has captured the essence of it.
Star

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Star, I'm glad you feel the same sort of chill. There's also something about how the word "noon" sounds that strikes an eerie chord. Cop Mama, I wonder how we could live without shadows reminding us of our physical presence in the world.

Jingle said...

marvelous magpie,
awesome poem!
Happy Sunday!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Jingle, Happy Sunday to you, too!

chiccoreal said...

Dear Kathryn: The dream sequence is eerie yet eloquent. The metaphor of the bell ringing for remembering and still questioning after all the years of repeating this continued pattern of life as we recognize life to be, with all it's stark twilight zones and time warps. We'll never get use to how time sometimes seems like a disembodiment of being as I am feeling in your fine verse. Thank-you for this. Question: Why was "dream" never mentioned in the poem? This I like; this elusive quality; somethings remain unknown like time's meaning in all this space. Very creative! Bravo and bravura!

spacedlaw said...

All shadows have disappeared,
Pinning us down to the tarmac
We hold our breaths close
For fear they might not return.
Then the sun moves on.

Catalyst said...

Hauntingly beautiful, Kathryn.

Brian Miller said...

wow. powerful magpie...that dream would haunt me as well...in the place where time stopped...

Lyn said...

Full of wonder and mystery..just my type!!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

chiccoreal, these are fine comments. Thank you for giving the poem such focused attention. Somehow having dream in the poem or the title lessened the impact, the mystery. I wanted the poem to just be there, in the moment, whether a dream moment or not. That dream landscape remains in my mind, a present "event." I'm glad you like the poem. Time and space are mysterious, and there are some physicists who claim that time doesn't really exist.
Thank you again for the thumbs up! This is a different sort of poem for me.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

spaced law, love pinning us down to the tarmac. That has such a Stephen King ring to it, as well as holding our breat, then the sun moving on. Gives me the shivers! Thanks!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Catalyst and Brian, so good to hear from you! And Lyn, I hope your own poetry is going well. I'll be dropping by your blogs very soon. I've been busy cleaning house!

willow said...

Ah, this midwestern girl loved this farmish piece! The bell, the harrows, tractor, the meal. And maybe a scarecrow at the beginning? Those furrows certainly do come to an end at the edge of the field. Beautiful, as always, Kay.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thank you, Willow. As I was writing this, I kept seeing my favorite field, the one I would sit beside, under the large Mother Tree, an ancient oak whose roots I imagined held the world together.

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Rather eerie and creepy but really nice. Very powerful interpretation.
mine is here
this is my first magpie tale.
have you a great week.
hugs
shakira

The Bug said...

One of my childhood fears was being left behind (Not Left Behind as in the LeHaye series - I didn't know about that yet, although my Southern Baptist upbringing taught me soon enough). Anyway, this piece just drills down into that old fear. Where is everyone? Am I the only one left? Terrifying!

Aoife.Troxel said...

That was kind of scaring me! Good job conveying the feelings behind it, and the sense of desolate silence.

Peter Goulding said...

Every visit here is a delight, Kathryn. The bell that stayed harrows. Over here we have the Angelus, rung at 12 and 6 where some people pause and reflect.

steviewren said...

I love that you used farm imagery as a metaphor for the deeper meaning. I'm reminded of the hypnotizing heat of a summer midday, the way it makes you feel drowsy and lethargic.