She’s a Lady



i see her from the bridge,
death loose around her neck,
nah, excuse me (Start again–)
death hangs (more or less relaxed)
over her arms or even
wraps around them (snake-like),
eyes– expressionless,

she walks the river Seine,
oh– can you picture her?
there’s spring under her steps
(no, we can’t see, but Feel it, right?)

maybe it’s morning or, more
probably, the afternoon, and
in the folded layers of her dress

i sense another stream, much more
immediate and deeper, but of course,
it’s hidden, most of us

will pass her on a sunday,
smile politely, busy,
circling ‘round the dog piles, hang
our cleanest summer thoughts into the breeze— (maybe this far)–

five meters down the bank,
she’ll be forgotten & instead

we think of foie gras on a light blue plate &
hushed piano bar musique, that opens out
into the Ganges
(this is Really out of place here, oh i know–)
but the human mind goes
wandering sometimes—
wandering untapped,
uncharted, Un_


Victoria Ceretto-Slotto has prepared a fabulous poetics prompt for us over at dVerse…gates swing open 3pm EST.. and the above painting is by columbian artist Fernando Botero…he’s def. worth, checking him out..


53 responses to “She’s a Lady

  1. Yeah we have to circle those dog piles, no brown shoe..haha Wow she has a huge head, almost no neck. Like where you took it, as our minds see for a moment but never really grasp her as we are off in other places.

  2. I don’t think Tom Jones had her in mind when he wrote “She’s a Lady”. Claudia, you don’t need to explain…apt ending. Nice.

  3. Whew, that picture is really something, Claudia.

    Goes to prove everyone has a story, and we can all fantasize about what and who we see; but in a blink of an eye they are forgotten and something else grabs our attention.

  4. good morning…slept in a bit…smiles….

    a couple things i really like in this…the commentary in parenthesis…the acknowledgement that we miss people…miss seeing deeper…often because our minds wander…and when they do it is usually to ourselves…smiles.

  5. Hi Claudia,

    a nice promenade,
    people passing,
    seen and immediately unseen, forgotten.
    I think the Lady would have killed the person which painted her in such a way. But that is Art, anyway.

    Have a nice weekend.


  6. Your words went so well with the picture. How nicely your mind wraps itself around something and creates a sort of fantasy to which we can all relate.

    Happy Saturday Claudia.

  7. “but the human mind goes
    wandering sometimes—
    wandering untapped,
    uncharted, Un_

    Isn’t THAT the truth?!

    I love the “out of place,” particularly this:

    “we think of foie gras on a light blue plate &
    hushed piano bar musique, that opens out
    into the Ganges”

    What a wonderful transition/aside.

  8. This is so Paris. I love how you further disorient us with the Ganges.

    One of the ironic things about this painting which is a take off on one of the masters (I can’t remember which one) is that when you see it in person–it’s quite large–the little fox is alive and grinning!

  9. It is so incredible to hear you reciting this,
    and it really adds that intangible, that connective
    thread we all need to complete the poetic
    experience. I have been reading my poems
    and recording them for the blog for a year
    now, and it puts even more of me, or any
    poet, into the words, into the wind. Your
    poem is lovely, dark, and has miles to go
    before we weep, weep at our apathy, at
    our selfishness, at our myopia, at our
    scotomas. And yes, I do hear Tom Jones
    warbling at the end of the bridge.

  10. Everyone really is in their own little world. Our thoughts can take us crazy places, huh? I really like:

    circling ‘round the dog piles, hang
    our cleanest summer thoughts into the breeze—

  11. i find these Botero people a bit too frightening to think about meeting them on an otherwise lovely walk along the Seine–but as always, your sleight of hand with words makes it seem only natural. Great first stanza–don’t know which looks deader, the stole or her face.

  12. I wonder as our world becomes more abstracted, online, stretched from its origins, people themselves become landscape … of course, people-watching has always been an amusement, writing narratives of the unseen from the seen. Not sure how this woman adds up — kind of a blend of fractals and holograms, very akin I guess to a Botero canvas — and then it’s left behind, to resolve elsewhere, as we all pass through the human press about our respective business. Interesting take here.

  13. “she walks the river Seine,
    oh– can you picture her?
    there’s spring under her steps
    (no, we can’t see, but Feel it, right…?)”

    Hi! again, Claudia…Thanks, for [sharing] your [beautiful] written words, [beautiful] spoken words, and the [beautiful] painting “by columbian artist Fernando Botero…” too!

    “he’s def. worth, checking him out…”

    Being an artist too…I most definitely, will check his art-work out too!
    Thanks, for sharing!
    deedee 🙂

  14. Gosh, the parenthesis commentary is really interesting in the art of deflation. Your poems are amazing Claudia.

  15. A powerful portrait, not of the lady in the title and at the poem’s start, but of the voice saying the poem: Unsure/sure of themselves, out for a walk, imagining death cloaked around the lady–maybe is the lady–wandering lost in spite of “thinking
    of foie gras on a light blue plate &
    hushed piano bar musique, that opens out
    into the Ganges”
    which is really out of place.
    There are circles inside the poem’s circle, and the humor has a point as sharp as the point on a spear. This is what I like about your poetry. It is only sometimes what it seems, and if you are not careful, you will wander off the path into a wonderful place that misses the metaphors in the heart.

  16. i love the wandering feel of this claudia, very relaxed flow. and i like all the second looks, the rethinking that takes place in the poem, gives it quite a unique movement. very well written, very well observed.

  17. Agh. I meant, knows! This is no parody, Claudia! I am writing onipad without my usual Bluetooth keyboard. K.

  18. Really like where you went here. I have to admit, I took a gander at the paintings but I was stumped, I didn’t know which way to write, so I guess the inspiration for a piece never came. Kind of troubling actually for me, but I guess it does happen. Glad it didn’t for you, wonderful job here, really love so many of the lines here and the atmosphere you created, great job and the ending I love. Thanks

  19. Hi Claudia,

    It is Sunday but I’m still thinking about this line: “hang
    our cleanest summer thoughts into the breeze”…Happy Sunday!

  20. tried to respond to this on my iphone yesterday, never took 😉

    wanted to say this poem has stuck with me a bit, it’s so seemingly chaotic, but it still hangs together!

    esp liked, “hang / our cleanest summer thoughts into the breeze”

    nice, thanks claudia 😉

  21. Claudia, you have captured more than one “church lady” in the imaginary remnants of Southern gentility! Wonderful contrasts that simply highlight the self-delusions and comical little hypocrisies.

  22. Cannot say how much I enjoyed this. For a complex poem it reads so easily, just slips into my brain, and I see her, pass her by, notice laundry hanging far out on a line, and dream of the Ganges…all while thinking how happy I am to have found your blog!

  23. death on her arm and then the foie gras reference. of course we are taught these things make a sophisticated gal, but i take heart so many of us won’t continue the cruelty that is fur and foie gras. that deeper stream is hidden, and if we don’t find it we run the risk of never reaching it.