grain by grain by grain


i see the desert in your eyes,
swept there grain by grain
by a merciless wind, sucking

its children empty, licking
bursted blisters on their skin
until their wounds are wet
with saliva.

we know that
rain will never come and

i can’t bear to feel your tongue,
invading me until my bones
start screaming hoarsely
with the vastness of a land,

eating the covers from my soul
until i’m naked and cracked open
by mirages, playing with my
sanity in torrid heat

i see the desert in your eyes
as clear as you see mine and –
we both know.

This is my entry for today’s One Shoot Sunday picture prompt. The photo was taken by the Moroccan-based photographer Rosa Frei. Check out her interview over at One Stop Poetry.


34 responses to “grain by grain by grain

  1. Hi Claudia
    Wonderful! What a pleasure to read your poem to my image! Your words touch me, they flatter the face of the nomad like the sunset flatters the sea. Thank you very much!

  2. The words have that drying, tearing, searing sense of the desert, with its “mirages / playing with my sanity / in torrid heat.” And perhaps that’s what his eyes suggest – the insanity of the desert’s heat, its vastness. Wonderful poem, Claudia.

  3. This one leaves me speechless, the imigary both bold and sensual, but beautiful Claudia. The desert and her freedom beckons such souls to her bosom. Great write

  4. The mutual recognition at the end is perfect for the penetrating stare of the portrait. Always enjoy how you take the prompt on an imaginative journey…
    “its children empty, licking
    bursted blisters on their skin
    until their wounds are wet
    with saliva.”
    To think of another generation and on such an intimate level is very cool. Great write

  5. i see the desert in your eyes

    so much said in such intense, moving poetic form. you’ve express so well Claudia and depicted the image perfectly!

  6. Blistering words, as well as wind, which one can almost feel in the pace here–almost hear the whistling and moaning. There is a lot to see, looking in those eyes.

  7. Yes I know that blistering heat and its relentlessness. You’ve captured it well bringing a personal relationship between you, your subject and nature. Excellent Claudia!

  8. Oh wow Claudia reading yours and some other wonderful poems I wonder whether I should really try my hand at this photo prompt again 🙂

  9. A sweeping and beautifully economized poem, gently caressing ideas and thoughts. Love, desertion, daring, courage, longing.
    “cracked open
    by mirages” Indeed so.

  10. Wow .. incredible imagery throughout .. such a powerful write .. ‘licking burst blisters’ stark graphic imagery Claudia ~
    ‘i can’t bear to feel your tongue,
    invading me until my bones
    start screaming hoarsely’

    ‘eating the covers from my soul
    ‘until i’m naked and cracked open’ powerpacked, the rawness ~ incredible lines!! ~
    ‘playing with my
    Pricked at all the senses and felt every pain
    Incredible write Claudia ~ Lib ~ @Libithina

  11. I see you too were drawn by the eyes, my friend, the vibrancy and the story behind them…potent imagery as ever, so sensory and touching and transcending in vision, to vivid ends.

  12. brutal journey, this one..
    “eating the covers from my soul
    until i’m naked and cracked open” ..many vivid lines in your write, but this one pulls, esp the second line, brilliant ~

  13. Life is so often filled with hardships, the cards are dealt not to our choosing, dark ones are overturned facing us demanding an attention for survival so often so harsh, your poem depicts the sharp reality of living life in the desert as a nomad?


  14. Wow – I love the way you slipped in and out of distance and intimacy – too close for comfort, yet perfect. The desert is impersonal as its nights are cold, yet to its victim, the experience is visceral and under the skin, bones and nerves. You handled this aspect beautifully. Super interpretation of the photo.

  15. Hi! Claudia…
    The words in your poem are beautiful…while reading your words (and looking at the picture) my mind didn’t wander far from the Middle East…

    [Postscript:Claudia, your host, and template may have changed, but your words remain the same…beautiful, strong, and very reflective.]

    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

  16. …oh Claudia, es wurde ja schon viel gesagt zu diesem Gedicht der Sonderklasse, aber da darf ich, zwar verspätet, auch noch “Bravo” sagen. Das Foto wird durch deine Worte intensiviert…”was steht da noch in den Augen?” …du gibst Antworten…

  17. Great use of imagery here — the first verse immediately evokes images of dry deserts and barren lands. You have a strong command of your words.