on the mountain, friday night


we’re talking about substance,
tools you need to build a house,
temperature falling &
wrapped in my fleece, i say:
the weaker the material,
the more creating skillz and phantasy it takes,
but we’re to live with what we got,
sandstone, not italian marble maybe,
fir instead of oak & you can’t change
the basics—

we’re sitting amidst ruins,
bricks torn down by years of
carelessness &
is it worth rebuilding?
are we open to define– anew?

“i’ll never change completely”, i say, “i can
in some ways, but there’s a certain
core that’s i and always was–
you have to think about if i’m the partner,
that you want to live with”, so have i,

night falls on us, unspectacular,
just by the fading of light,
a group of teens ignites a fire for a barbecue,
on the radio from the car behind us,
spanish tunes,

the wooden bench feels rough
beneath my fingers & i think this is
adventurous somehow, a good thing
if you’re facing ruins is,
that much is possible
if you don’t mind the work it takes,
and if you dare to dream


the OpenLinkNIght bar will be tended by the wonderful Natasha Head today, come write a poem and join us at 3pm EST when the dVerse doors swing open


77 responses to “on the mountain, friday night

  1. I just love the acceptance and hope in this…beautiful poem & the ending is wonderful “much is possible if you don’t mind the work it takes, and if you dare to dream” ~ so, so true! 🙂

  2. a very real post claudia. you know i have been there—and its hard. the talking it through. figuring our what you can and can not give up in the give and take and being willing to take the stand in some places—and trying to hold on to who you are—if you were on the mountain that is cool…there is much symbolism there too. great real write my friend.

  3. the way you tie the concept of the relationship to the ruins is superb claudia. another magnificent poem!

  4. Compromise is what it’s all about, really. But no, you mustn’t ever give up or be asked to change the core of who you are, not for anyone. Love does not demand that at all. The connection of sharing compromise, to seeing ruins and re-building is marvelous. A truly wonderful write.

  5. It’s hard work to climb “the mountain” … I would only climb it if it was worth it … (yes, this little Miss Security speaking … I know, I know …) Love you, C. Always, cat.

  6. It’s hard to rebuild, but possible. I think all long relationships have to redefine themselves periodically, even if they don’t have the best material with which to rebuild something unique. Nice write Claudia, as always.

  7. Yes, if you dare to dream you’ll see the goodness building up. Success is just a logical end of the process. Great write Claudia!


  8. There’s such as sense of mindfully knowing who and where you are in this piece, Claudia. I could feel the thought and emotion as much as I could smell the smoke, hear the radio and feel the wooden bench beneath me. Stunning! 🙂 xo
    ~ j

  9. Great honest write, Claudia. It’s not easy to go through the motions and to try to rebuild and to try to recapture how it was and where you want it to be. I love it and the ending …just perfect!

  10. Facing ruins scares the living daylight out of me…perhaps because I exist in denial and think its all good…patience, time, and an acceptance of what is…fantastic write, loaded with many meanings for this reader! See you at the pub, poet!

  11. A great piece, very heartfelt, facing the ruins, oh yes indeed. It’s not easy having to accept the intricacies of each other that can’t be changed no matter how much we might wish they could.

  12. This was beautiful – I love the reality that’s infused here, not just in the details, but in the cleared-eyed ethos. Just lovely – sending transcontinental hugs to you. – Mosk

  13. Loved this poem – the metaphor of ruins and rebuilding works well here for relationships and I love the figuring out that the core of YOU can’t change – and the other party has to decide whether they can accept that or not. I love it!

  14. Oh Claudia, fantastic…and in a way we are always working with ruins aren’t we, seeking possibility, reinventing ourselves in the world as it crumbles and grows and crumbles and grows around us and through us.

  15. “the wooden bench feels rough beneath my fingers & I think this is adventurous somehow” says it all for me. beautifully written. i feel i might know a bit more about you as a person after this one. ~jane

  16. That’s a difficult bench to sit on and remain hopeful, but change is constant and not always bad, especially if you can dream it all better…then build your dream. I found this one of your more resonant poems, Claudia–my butt has spent some time sitting in that seat saying hey–i’m me. Never stop.

  17. I could feel the chill in the air as the sun faded below the horizon, and wanted to pull my own fleece about me for warmth. Very nice imagery and I loved the ending. Peace, Linda

  18. Beautiful poem, I enjoyed this quite a lot. It had a kind of dreamy feel to it, which is fitting given the images you were describing.

  19. Claudia, you make me green with envy: there is no way I could have written this inspiring poem, and I admire your open-ness and skill with metaphor.

  20. …full of a lot…this poem is more than surface reflection. Rich that way, tho.
    Will it work? Leave me a-wondering. hoping that it will….if you’re adventurous & want to re-build it.
    It’s not novice temperament talking, but experience: a conscious that’s been there….experienced.
    I can ‘see’ that fire igniting for the BBQ; I can hear the Spanish tunes emanating from the car radio.
    Cool piece on a mountain.

  21. I am related to circumstances similar to these, but I could not create an account as wonderful as this. I would be much too loud in voice and blunt. BUT I love your words, they always tell such a true story many relate to. That is a very kool gift.

  22. I can never see you doubting who you are, Claudia…or having any kind of identity crisis. You make frightening reality beautiful and hopeful. You certainly do in this work. Love it!

  23. I love the honest reflection of this wonderful metaphorical poem, Claudia, and think of how we constantly have to rebuild without sacrificing who we are at the core.

  24. I know what you mean..though when I look back at those points and/or beginnings, I say what was I thinking? But there is a lot of work to be done, if we are always on a journey, rebuilding never ends ~

  25. HEY Claudia, I understood this one! Your thoughts rambling, and delivered uncluttered. Always from ruins CAN come Golden-roofed cities. Just a dream, a will is needed–and enthusiasm helps!

    Always a pleasure to be here!

  26. Wow, this pulls together so many emotions, hope against hope, despair amid ruins, dreams fulfilled or not. Your words pull it all together so clearly, drawing the landscape with so much that is real but invested with emotions, turning the incidents into symbols and making them that much powerful in their meaning. lovely poem, fragile but strong, real but imaginitive in its desire to find equlibrium.

  27. I love the setting as backdrop for the conversation that matters… the working, the falling, the rebuilding, all part of life and relationships and that struggle to remain whole throughout it all. i am in the same place recently about change…
    love and work see us through so much in this life…

  28. Claudia, we never can change completely, can we? We are who we are; and there are some things we can modify but there are things that are our core. We need to accept those that we care about for who they are, and yes it takes work, and yes we have to keep dreaming! A strong poem on so many levels.

  29. T.S. Eliot said that what must be clear is the objective correlative in your poem. He did this cerebrally, but you do it intuitively. Here, amidst the talk of hope and dreams overcoming inferior lumber, the relationship between the two coalesces, as clear the air is fringed with a Spanish radio tune,

  30. Oh, really cool piece Clauida. For starters, what a cool photograph, very nice. I love the dialogue and internal reflections going on here. The entire opening stanza is mesmerizing. Really like fantasy spelled with a ph, adds a mystical sense to the tone of the meaning, and the object in each stanza is strong, house, ruins, the self, radio, and finally bench. Really nice job. Thanks

  31. I love this! Takes the reader to another level of thought, some hope to attatch itself through the day…I hope this sends, I have had trouble commenting of late…superb poem! 🙂

  32. It’s funny Claudia, I wasn’t sure if I entirely understood the poem so I read it a few times. Now I enjoy it, there is a real sense of hope that resonates with me, the idea that is you just dare to dream, and are willing to work, life is there for the taking!

  33. Superb write Claudia and there is hope that rebuilding might be possible…

    Anna :o]

  34. A very poignant and thoughtful piece, Claudia. Introspective revelations, self-realization, how much can one change, is it worth the work? I think so.

  35. Your so completely right the thinner the fabric, the more the imagination and creativity invokes inside us. To help us deal and continue to want to strive and build a much better place for ourselves. Thank you wise poem. Am at Typepad all week.

  36. Claudia, I love this! the flow of conversation, and bringing it back to earth with the roughness of the bench, conversation, music and then a hopeful ending–wonderful
    Funny how both our muses were at the beach this week 😉

  37. to work hard and to dream freely, this recipe negates so much of what we normally — or maybe i should just refer to myself — complain about. that’s why i really like the different materials you bring in and how insignificant they really are. we are who we are and we can sure surprise ourselves. great write.

  38. What a great parallel: rebuilding a house and rebuilding a relationship. Love these lines:

    “but there’s a certain
    core that’s i and always was”

    “night falls on us, unspectacular”

    “the wooden bench feels rough
    beneath my fingers & i think this is
    adventurous somehow”

  39. “night falls on us, unspectacular,
    just by the fading of light,” Claudia, only you could get away by describing nightfall in a poem by NOT describing it…What a wonderful notion! 😛

  40. Claudia, I loved the ruins (physical, buildings) vs. the ruins (relationship, even oneself). There were so many pictures in this, and even crumbling brick was welcome in my mind… but the kids making a fire, Spanish tunes? Yeah, I’ve been right there. Also have been to that place of questions… Great write, hon. Amy

  41. Sounds like a fun project, with a bit of the usual give and take but something to look back on for the rest of your life. Who needs marble when you have a view?

  42. nice claudia – from the ruins we can always build, as long as we remain true to our core at the same time; great ambience with the sunsets camp fire and spanish tunes, thank so much 😉

  43. What a message! Facing ruins… has ever a person lived who did not have to rebuild, rehab, renovate? I think not. Using this perfect literal material metaphor you offer sage advice and introspection, too. Well put together, Claudia. Art in some stanzas.

  44. resignation and hope… is this autobio? Wondering if you intentionally spelled skillz and phantasy like that… silly question, you’re a poet! Interested to know why though, on aesthetic merits?