around the bend

i never saw him cry,
though when boys become men,
they do, but only
when alone—maybe,

sitting on the cellar steps,
bare feet pressed against cool concrete,
we munch crisps &

talk ourselves through life,
just as we saw it back then,
meandering between trees,
too high to scale, though

we climbed some of them, my
dad says he’s no good but

i find traces
of a steady pulse, scratched knees
in rain-beat rimstone, that was,
well, before my life erupted, leaving
only ash on those around,

he knew, i think
cause there’s a certain magic,

sitting side by side on crumbling lines,
next to the edge &
sharing food on steps that lead
into the dark, still light enough

to see the next bend coming

.

Victoria has us writing characters for MeetingTheBar today.. she prepared a wonderful article which goes online over at dVerse at 3pm EST… i’m in Zürich all day today, so my commenting back will be a bit delayed

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57 responses to “around the bend

  1. You poor little girl, never get to go anywhere. You’re in ZURICH now? What might be really unusual would be for you to mention to us when you are HOME–grin!

    Claudia, your mind is that of a poet–maybe you knew this. I marvel at those who seem to not work so hard at it, but have a knack. Or maybe it is difficult, but you make it look easy–THAT is the mark of a craftsman.

    Sitting, reminiscing, a pulse yes, knees–photographic. And this lines I REALLY love ’em…

    “…i find traces
    of a steady pulse, scratched knees

    in rain-beat rimstone, that was,
    well, before my life erupted, leaving
    only ash on those around…”

    DEAR Poet Claudia.
    PEACE!

  2. Claudia, this a delightful poem and so full of heart. I want to read it again… and I just did :-). It is the first thing I read as I woke up this morning, and so glad I did, because it has left me with a wonderful feeling that life is good.

    You’ve a magic touch, M’am.

  3. Ah, there is magic sitting on cellar steps ~ you make us feel the coolth and chill of the cellar ~ and the hope that springs eternal ~ beautiful writing Claudia

  4. smiles…there is a certain magic that happens….really like your progression in this…will say that real me do cry…..i like the humility as well in not being good at trees but having the scratches….really tender bit of memoir in this too…admission of your own life blowing up…but he right there as well…smiles.

  5. This poem gives me a feeling of nostalgia, Claudia….for what once was. I remember sitting on steps and talking too; both steps leading to the basement and steps leading to the upstairs. For some reason there is a special feeling about sitting on steps that lead somewhere…just around the bend. Enjoy Zurich!

  6. Lovely Claudia, particularly like the section: ‘sitting on the cellar steps,
    bare feet pressed against cool concrete,
    we munch crisps &

    talk ourselves through life,
    just as we saw it back then,
    meandering between trees,
    too high to scale’

    Speaks to me, lots of sensory information… great.

  7. He knew “I” erupted, or were going to and escaped the ash.or was buried by it? There is a mystery here because of how closely you detailed the relationship and made Me care! And then too: the cellar steps, the knees, the crisps, the trees–the entire realistic setting that cocooned the two of you–before repeating with its holes and crumbles:
    sitting side by side on crumbling lines,
    next to the edge &
    sharing food on steps that lead
    into the dark, still light enough

    to see the next bend coming”

    If you’ve planned a novel here, I’m first in line to read it.

  8. There are those moments that create special memories…the poem presents such a moment…as always a simple event presented in a unique way…loved it.

  9. lovely look back, nostalgia on the half shell, yet rife with character, with heart as well; more emotion than eros this time. Liked the line /scratched knees in rain-beat rimstone/.

  10. Not just a character piece, but a bit of an inner voyage back in time, to the people from our past who make us ourselves…I very much like the bittersweet feel to this, Claudia.

  11. A lovely write Claudia and I have read it again and again and lose myself in the beauty of it. Wonderful nostalgia!

    Anna :o]

  12. A poem with heart and insight. Shared moments..the ones that count seem to hold places in our memory over every other thing. You captured one here and the understanding of why it holds its place in your mind and in your history. Beautiful.

  13. So many men are afraid that their tears are too full of that precious testosterone. I, however, depending on circumstance, have no fear of the tear, public or private. Perhaps I feel too much, but I don’t think so.

    Very nice image of parent and child mulling over their past. 😉 The last line must remind of ‘to where it bent in the undergrowth.” Some boys just get stuck at that fork in the road for the rest of their life.

  14. yep, grown men cry too 😉

    very touching write claudia

    liked several places, among them,

    “there’s a certain magic,

    sitting side by side on crumbling lines,
    next to the edge…”

    thank you claudia 😉

  15. Very different from your usual style, because you’re really focussed on the character here… but it works, and works well. It’s interesting to see you stretching the poetic muscles in a different direction, and succeeding.

  16. When we are young we view the world so differently. I love how you look back at these moments and view them again from a different perspective without losing that childlike innocence.

  17. i mumbled almost when i finished reading…who was he claudia…and that i suppose says it all about the impact of your write…

    *love the new headshot…you look about 16….:))

  18. I assumed it was your father you sat next to on the stoop…awesome image of two people who love each other yet have separate lives..who grow to appreciate each other more……as someone else wrote, bittersweet (I hope I am close?)

  19. great characterization. Some really nice word choices to really flex the paint-brush here. Great read. Thanks

  20. I guess it’s only when they’re fully grown that grown men cry. You’ve well caught the male feeling of camaraderie. Impressive – no doubt the female version is not much different.

  21. sitting side by side on crumbling lines,
    next to the edge &
    sharing food on steps that lead
    into the dark, still light enough

    The joy and fun of sharing can create some form of understanding and wanting it to go on. It’ll lead to a permanent bond! Nice write Claudia!

    Hank

  22. A homely and warm feel to this poem. Love the portrait, character and feelings rising from the imagery and action of climbing, striving, living. Enjoyed reading this very much.

  23. sitting side by side on crumbling lines,
    next to the edge &
    sharing food on steps that lead
    into the dark, still light enough

    I could spend time in this stanza alone and take it carefully apart. It’s a pure pleasure to read and consider its surface and undertows. Lovely.

  24. Of course our parents can’t really see what our different friends bring us and how they enable us to grow into ourselves. I love this way of describing one of the those friends.

  25. “sitting on the cellar steps,
    bare feet pressed against cool concrete,
    we munch crisps &

    talk ourselves through life,
    just as we saw it back then,
    meandering between trees,
    too high to scale, though

    we climbed some of them, my
    dad says he’s no good but…”

    Hi! Claudia…
    What a very beautiful poem…as you, look back [reflecting] [in the past…it seems…I’m not sure] fondly, and [almost] have a sense Of what is…coming… around the bend.
    Tks, for sharing!
    deedee 🙂

  26. this wonderful capture of life through a moment Claudia. wonderful.
    and we do cry – why now? even as a man and even in public (well, small public that is)