we came
on our bikes, taking the forest trail,
and i slay dragons
that hide, mean like gnomes,
behind bloom-heavy apple trees,

you say you see ‘em,
only in my eyes &
only when they fletch teeth
as their head rolls
to the ground–

On a wood bench
near the pond–
you dis-sect fried trout for me,
as i tell how i drowned
in Monet at the MOMA,

oil on canvas– mural sized–
water lilies, between which i sat for eternity,
forgetting who i am, crowd
around, fading to silence &
my heart banged loud
against my chest,

those lilies in the pond
are not yet blooming–

on the way back home,
along the river, i
spread my arms until it hurts,
weave carpets from the wool
of newborn sheep with
dots of strawberries

& try to catch the wind,
that sways raw
against my cheeks
with a drizzling spray-paint tongue


linking up with dVerse where Joy Ann Jones aka Hedgewitch rocks the OpenLinkNIght bar…so write a poem and join the fun at 3pm EST..


81 responses to “ponds

  1. :Love this: you weave imagination with a particular dose of reality in your poems, and this to me is one of the intriguing methods of poetry.

    I, too, sat enthralled for 3 days, in front of Monet’s waterlilies, but then 20 years ago at the Gallery in London. I was transfixed and had to go outside after the first two hours just gulping tears. It was an experience I never supposed, how deeply I was moved.

    Lady Nyo

  2. smiles…the last two stanzas really are where this comes alive for me claudia…the magic right there for me…i like the fanciful day dreaming in the beginning of slaying dragons and he being able to see them only in your eyes…a fish dinner does not sound bad either…smiles.

  3. It’s sounds like a lovely day, to share, to cook and be with one another as one reflects and talk about wonderful art. Romantic.

  4. I love this and it could be another favourite…I love the water lillies, and would love to see them for real, you paint a gorgeous picture with your words…just beautiful work!

  5. Claudia,
    Ah, the paintings I have drowned in… I so relate to this. Have you been to Atelier Cézanne? That is a religious experience. You make it so real as if I was along for the journey. Thanks for the ride. 🙂

  6. Ahhh Claudia, that moment at the MOMA and water lillies. It is a beautiful entanglement when entranced by an incrediblle work of art. And to write a poem about life’s experience in its context. Nicely done. I can particularly relate to the biking on the forest trail.

  7. Hi! Claudia…
    What a beautiful poem…Once again, I think that this stanza in your poem was the catalyst…
    “On a wood bench
    near the pond–
    you dis-sect fried trout for me,
    as i tell how i drowned
    in Monet at the MOMA…”

    That led to this stanza [Which is obvious, but Of course! ]

    “oil on canvas– mural sized–
    water lilies, between which i sat for eternity,
    forgetting who i am, crowd
    around, fading to silence &
    my heart banged loud
    against my chest,

    those lilies in the pond
    are not yet blooming–”

    Thanks, for sharing your poem and the beautiful image too!
    deedee 🙂

  8. What a lovely day. I remember bike rides that ended by rivers and harbours too. This is picture painting at it finest. You can actually ‘see’ the fried trout and water lilies and want to taste it all too. A lovely write Claudia.

  9. Claudia, I don’t know where to start with this poem. It just flows (like a river) or floats (like the wind) from one image to another.

  10. Love the daydreaming and slaying of dragons. The opening of your arms and gathering everything in. Lovely!
    I feel the need for a hike now…

  11. Such a magic tale off as you explore the land. Although slaying those dragons, what did they ever do to you? How mean of you..lol…great art too.

  12. Beautifully painted, I felt the same sense of reverie in your poem as I do standing in front of Monet or the gardens that inspired him. He painted the world that way because that’s how he saw it. When they tried to give him glasses so he could see more clearly he refused them, his sight was perfect without them.

  13. “as i tell how i drowned
    in Monet at the MOMA” –

    i’ve often thought how i could express some of things monet’s colors and textures, his layered style, and now i have your poem to point to, thank you claudia 😉

  14. Love your poetry Claudia! — especially like your references throughout that you would go through difficult travel and struggle to get to such a wonderful/beautiful space just to share your time and energy with nature — sublime — many times we fail to even see places such as theses because they are remote and off the beaten path! lovely!

  15. Claudia, I am THERE…right THERE! We had three ponds on the farm, in different sections. All 3 my FAVORITE spots to camp, hunt, fish, and PRETEND.

    Oh! Glorious days gone by. You put me there one more time. Thank you!!!

  16. along the river, i
    spread my arms until it hurts,
    weave carpets from the wool
    of newborn sheep with
    dots of strawberries


    two of life’s best things, sitting in the forest, sitting with art. all molded into a perfect painting of a poem.

  17. So many lovely elements in this, almost magical like a childrens pop up story book. Just feels like lots of fun and discovery to me. Like the collusion between the subjects of the poem…
    ‘you say you see ‘em,
    only in my eyes &
    only when they fletch teeth
    as their head rolls
    to the ground–’

    And this is wonderful too, really brings the imagery to life….
    weave carpets from the wool
    of newborn sheep with
    dots of strawberries

  18. I’m generally not drawn to reading about nature, but you are different. You make it accessible. I love the parallel looking at the Monet and looking at the river, equally lost in both. Loved this.

  19. You definitely have a little of that Joan of Arc, dragon slayer persona shining through here!! and I just love “as i tell how i drowned
    in Monet at the MOMA,” another fabulous write !!

  20. Love these lines:

    “you say you see ‘em, only in my eyes”
    “forgetting who i am”
    “spread my arms until it hurts”
    “dots of strawberries & try to catch the wind”

  21. Unique is the word that comes to mind when I read your writing. This one is so full of rich fantasy, nature and happiness. Love it. It feels like a frolicking dance through imagination. So good Claudia.

  22. I love drowned in Monet and the gnomes behind bloom heavy apple trees. You have painted a picture with words that we can splash or drown in.

  23. I remember seeing Monet’s paintings and then riding across the French countryside…realizing how much beauty this world holds if we only open up our eyes…love this poem for the memories it brings back…thanks!

  24. Beautiful run of nature’s gifts, Claudia. Canvas of old masters, Monet and all can be mesmerizing. Was at the Louvre a long time ago and had a peek at Mona Lisa. Small compared to the rest but a certain aura around it was obvious. Great write, Ma’am!


  25. Love the slideshow of images, Claudia, each one bright and vivid as a cinematic. Last stanza description of the wind though, really was my favorite part. Hope you get a good night’s rest with all those dragons hiding in your eyes. ;_)

  26. i really like this claudia. i read it this morning before work, and it put me in a better mood. love the fresh open feel of it, just meandering, moving, flowing. so glad you shared it.


  27. I love art galleries, classics and modern. I have written about Monet’s water lillies before. I can stare for hours. These are thoughts I connected with on this read. Your voice just leads me into my mind. Enjoyed much as always!

  28. I hear a little bit of Quixote here. The way your ideals clash with the reality is very intense though I read more of the ideals though hear a sadness behind the words. I hear how you want to be in the world at the same time that the imaginative pulls in almost other worly direction. This tension is very powerful and creates a very creative, almost anguished tension.

  29. Claudia, I was captivated by the Monet Water Lilies at MOMA. I remember the installation years ago, when it was in Manhattan. My sister and I sat and cried like babies. I’d get close, find a violet splotch; then, moving back, it blended into the rest of the scene. I will never, ever understand how Monet could do something on that scale that brings tears to the eyes just thinking about it. You caught it, and beautifully! Thanks, Amy
    PS You used the Glitch Fix! There is no annoying box under “comments” now!

  30. Another fine conversation of self with Other — always there’s a fine dialogue in the greeting — your welcome of the encounter. A fine intercoursing of words. – Brendan

  31. This is wonderful Claudia – would love to weave carpet from the wool of newborn sheep and dot it with strawberries…

    Anna :o]

  32. Love the opening here so much, but I’m into gnomes and dragons, so I’m a little biased. Really creatively painted here Claudia, love the imagery. Very nicely done. Thanks

  33. oops, sorry for second comment.
    the only thing I was going to say is it seems like it played with tense a bit too much,I felt confused by it. but maybe thats just me…
    instant images here, I know the exact feeling of being lost in a painting.

  34. Okay, so I had no idea Monet was going around the blogosphere. How cool mine is of Monet too.

    I must’ve caught some pollen you all were putting out.

    The lilies finally bloomed and sent their magic to me.


    Oh, and this poem. Dragon eyes. Fried trout sounds pretty tasty. Drowning in Monet. (i’m not sure if I’ve seen a real Monet yet or not.) Newborn sheep wool… sweet.

  35. A terrific bout with poetics, thrilling, romantic, fantastical, brimming with art history, fantasy, finicky gnomes, dastardly dragons, and ambitious apple trees. Thanks for another great literary ride.

  36. i could imagine this countryside quite nicely claudia 🙂 there is a magical feel to it. i felt this to be why dragons could hide behind trees 😉

  37. it is fun to go for a ride with you when I read your poetry because I never know where you will take me with your imagery and your imagination…what a gift to be able to enjoy a painting…Happy Thursday to you, Claudia 🙂

  38. I can feel that drowning in the paintings…I remember doing the same many years ago…sucked into the depths of masterful beauty. Beautiful poem Claudia, such a child-like free quality to your writing.

  39. The privilege of gazing at the original painting of water lilies by Monet affected me much the same way, Claudia–sending me home to try to hold all of nature around me in my arms and weave all together in the fabric of my mind! Wonderful celebration here of ponds with water lilies!