when the world is not enough

she never went that far &
some would say she wasn’t gone
at all, but i knew better,

were maps and sounds, whole
crazy landscapes, sunk
into her corneas, i got
glimpses of ‘em in those evenings,
we sat in the yard to suck up
gravel-dirty rays of sunlight
just before the fading of– she

said that she could enter best
when she climbed tight along fine hair
of their body (lashes
for example–) &

it’s not much different from
what we’re used to, other than
a pulse that robs you of composure,
then falls quiet–

before unfolding, never sure though
if it’s them or you or–

“are they having ice cream?” kinda
practical, i thought that this would triple
the adventure, but she didn’t answer
any of my questions, there were times,
she switched so quickly, i–

no chance to follow, running fast,
she gasped for breath with
lake-blue lips, never felt safe,
she neither, she admitted but
that’s not the point– “be careful,

not to lose but tie her to a rope so
you can pull her back in case,
because the soul gets lost in seconds

sometimes” i was clueless,

understood it only backward, partly
i think, not at all, & never managed
entering again after she disappeared &
no one told me where she went, i

have my own thoughts though,

on some evenings while sitting
in the sun warm gravel of the driveway,
i find traces of the maps she left,
drawn with charcoal and fine lines of
dried blood from our bashed-up knees,
when climbing out again–
did almost kill us


we’re discovering new worlds or paint our own at dVerse where Charles Miller is the man behind the bar tonight.. see you at 3pm EST


49 responses to “when the world is not enough

  1. to me this feels so much like memories of the days of childhood…it really is a wonder we were not killed you know…but then again its like the inner child…and how like the soul that can be lost in the morase of light…but every once ina while we get the glimpses and hopes to follow her on her adventures again…fantastical piece madam poet…smiles

  2. Sad and haunting, and something of a universalist feel to it. Recalls to me childhood and the many things of loss there.

    A good poem, Claudia…and it makes the connection between souls of readers.

    Lady Nyo

  3. Yes, it speaks of childhood, of memories, and of hurting yourself with scraping the knees in playing or some such but, I also agree with Brian, it speaks of the inner child and the feelings of wanting to explore, to break free and yet, feeling a sense of fear too.
    Fascinating write!

  4. Ah, this is so reminiscent of childhood, as others have said. Those days we used to use our imagination rather than a Wii (or other) System. I remember happily playing space ship and visiting ‘other worlds.’ The line between real and unreal was sometimes vague to us those long summer days we REALLY played. I enjoyed your write, Claudia.

  5. When I read this I too thought of childhood, but I thought of insanity too. And how you entered that world tentatively because you couldn’t fully understand. But she did, and had to go away.

    I’m curious about the prompt today. It sounds like it may instigate imagination to work hard.

  6. Echoes of tomboy filter through, like little Scout is free to run the back yards again with her brother. favorite lines /drawn with charcoal and fine lines of dried blood/; terrific nostalgia here.

  7. Go back and start over ,,, crosses my ind at times … what would I have done differently … would I have done differently … would they have let me do things differently …

  8. So vivid and surreal… reminds me of a book I read, The Host. Have you read that one?

  9. Yes, very evocative of lost worlds, world’s promised, either gone or never realised, friends and family who dare more than us, especially when we are young. I really like this Claudia.

  10. Falling falling falling into the imagination…those were the days…and the soul can get lost (even with a rope). Brilliant, Claudia. Truly.
    Thank you.

  11. I knew a girl with lake blue lips once too, who also faded into a map I remember of her. Thanks for bring her back, even tho she was so sad and we cried for our poor bash-up summer bare-footed legs.

    Still LOVE your poetry, Claudia. Always a treat to read.


  12. oh to map out your escape and to actually do it…leaving behind maps and blood. What a great write Claudia! Such a vivid read.

  13. Excellent writing ~ brings back my childhood memories of play forts & climbing trees ~ always hidden in our own child created world!

  14. I was drawn in to this poem and was compelled to cycle back several times… so much happening Claudia and the weight of loss and hope is so beautifully balanced.

  15. At first I thought he was a person soul trying to reach out them, but as i read further i understood it was the inner child. I felt like the adult came to terms with growing up quickly and every now than wonder what happen to their childhood.

  16. You know what amazes me, Claudia, is your ability to come up with such well thought-out responses to prompts in such a short period of time. (Of course, I know your secret :>)

  17. Amazing touching, of worlds tgat once were, though in your poems the planet might have been somewhere lost in a soul adrift in uncharted lands of sanity. I think your grasp of the differance, the essence that might make us human, individual enough to be our selves, fading and disappearing in alienness, able to be lost without recovery. Or is it, can it be lost? I fear it might, and the possibility that arises here in your poem, of that occurring lends a faint tinge of terror to the words.

    it’s not much different from
    what we’re used to, other than
    a pulse that robs you of composure,
    then falls quiet–

    That is so quietly said, yet its import, for me, hints at the anxiety of losing a sense of our selves forever.

  18. Claudia, this makes me think of a cousin suffering from childhood leukemia who died as a young teen and who showed me how to make a map of our state in the gravel driveway of my childhood home. I was terrified of her bald state from radiation treatments and have always regretted I did not welcome her more wholeheartedly to my family home that day so long ago. How many memories all of humankind seem to share in common!

  19. Wow, this is strong: “just before the fading of–-she”

    As is the ending:
    “when climbing out again–-
    did almost kill us”

  20. Sometimes youth can seem so far away from any point of view. Luv the choppiness of the presentation like more modern film editing. Great presentation.

  21. Memories of a while ago, surely flow and so many too thanks to you, surprised after all I did I’m not dead, must not have much in my head..haha

  22. I love the ambiguity here–is the speaker evoking a memory of another person, or of a part of herself, or both? The disjointed hopping around mid-sentence helps give a sense of a bit of madness, that kind that sees farther than sanity. Liked this one very much, Claudia, esp “..tie her to a rope so
    you can pull her back in case,
    because the soul gets lost in seconds…”

  23. I love this! The maps were truly there, where they begin in the gravel and where your speaker reflects at the end in the gravel, “understood it only backwards.” Alice is traveling again, breathlessly this time. It is true, I was one of them once, and she was part of me. We “never felt safe, / she neither, she admitted but / that’s not the point–” We were 12, I think, back when 12 was still children. I was devastated when she moved away.

  24. Good poem, Claudia! It really took me in, making me wonder what would happen next. Nice sense of childhood and loss and fantasy/reality

  25. Excellent write Claudia. Love the description and imagery here. Lots of very good sensory imagery here. Thanks

  26. Excellent. Threw me back into childhood dreams and fantasies, imaginery friends who disappeared in time to some distant place…

    Anna :o]

  27. Oh, I really go for this. You had me early on with passages like

    we sat in the yard to suck up
    gravel-dirty rays of sunlight

    could take an awful lot of this kind of writing. Delicious.

  28. It’s childhood…slipping into the wormhole, returning in fragments of memories, and trails of blood from skinned knees…Claudia…this id truly out of this world!

  29. What an unsettling poem you have given us, Claudia. I read it as remembering childhood and a friend no longer with us, thus very sad, yet inspiring.

    • PS I just read your comment to Tashtoo, about water becoming the most precious commodity. Did you read the astonishing Doris Lessing book Mara Dann Adventure? It was an eye-opener.

  30. First off, to have a friend that close is a gift, whether the friend is real or imaginary (hey, it’s your world, you can have anything you want in it). The idea of losing her in that way, finding traces of her… like recognizing traces of your own childhood reflected in seeing other children play… haunting and lovely. Also, congratulations on acing one of my pet peeves: You used “different FROM” instead of “different THAN.” The latter drives me “nuckin’ futs”!! Peace, Amy

  31. Wow! Claudia… So very brilliant.
    I have these memories that come back so sudden when I’m watching my kids… it’s all there, the happy and scary and sad and fearful and fearless.
    Just brilliant.

  32. It is so difficult to cope in letting them go. I spent so much time wondering where the time went. Friends, real or imaginery, have their place and I nearly cannot remember that I was there so many years ago. Thank you for the journey back in time.

  33. doesn’t remind me so much about my childhood because most the time i locked up in an apartment in NYC, but i did have times in the country where i got to run around, so i had it better than other kids who grew up in NYC

  34. this took me from very old age, near death, straight back to childhood, like a magic carpet ride. an underlying sadness that spoke to me of life, all the things we cannot control, but there is always love that keeps us grounded. beautiful.

  35. Claudia this was so full. Reminds me of the crazy friend you try to hold on to. You could have said it’s slippery slope but you can’t… cause you are a poet.