per fumum– through the smoke

my aunt tells it, about 40 years ago,
when we came here for the first time,
i kept crying, whining that my sleeves
are too long (that went on
all afternoon–) had a red coat yet,

can’t remember really as i walk
the park roads, ysop, russian sage
bloom on the wayside & i pluck
small leaves, rub them in my hands,

inhale their scent– it takes me
where i am, not easy to locate, so
i keep walking closer to the pond,
back to another time– &

what i want is to lie down, taste soil,
bAthe my lips with vermouth,
spurge, scents of night, beyond

the touchable, just be– “those
ducks are craZy–” & i

brEathe deep, take my shoes off,
shivering as i feel the lawn’s tongue
green and dewy on my feet


I was in Bad Wörishofen for our Product Manger meeting last week and on Sunday afternoon met my aunt and cousins who live close by. My aunt told me how i wept all afternoon when we visited Bad Wörishofen (which is a nice spa town) for the first time when I was still VERY small…smiles..Fred is tending the dVerse Poetics bar for the first time (hint, hint–) today and he opens the doors at 3pm EST..


63 responses to “per fumum– through the smoke

  1. absolutely love the closure…the licking of the foot….barefoot is the best way to go for sure….what a great sense of place…..of how it affects us just to be there….i really like this claudia…welcome home…smiles.

  2. Loved this, Claudia. So much feeling here and sensory details, and nice to be with people who remember details of when you were a young child….to share memories with you that you have forgotten. Write them down, Claudia, all of them. (You have made a start in this poem!)

  3. you do write very sensually as in sight, sound, scent, taste, touch and with a richness of detail that i love and a passion for life. { sometimes you add a little sexuality too and that’s always nice! } you and Brian have such different voices and yet you both write about real pieces of your life. i can’t do that. and, as always, i am in awe of your words, Claudia.

    have a lovely weekend.

  4. i especially love your third stanza. inhale their scent-it takes me where i am-not easy to locate… there is a turning point here that captures me with it. Through the memories of others, and our own memories, we can really time travel. I also enjoy that yummy last stanza. sweet write!

  5. You are sitting in the catbird seat with this one. Well done, but then I like the actual subject matter, which speaks to me personally on a different level as well.

  6. How well you blend the non-memory with the now. This was so delightful to read. Guess we’ve all had similar experiences of stories we’re told by relatives about who we’ve been. Glad you had time to visit with your aunt and cousins. I know those reunions are fun.

  7. Read this earlier this morning and I really liked the direction you went with. The word play and imagery is really good, especially love the bathe my lips with Vermouth stanza-very strong. Thanks

  8. … I can just see a little girl’s face the first time she touches grass barefoot…the raw delightful eagerness to touch a duck maybe…it can never happen the same way again but the smells of the grass and herbs will always remind her..sweet 😉

  9. Ysop…Russian sage… never heard of that but it sounds gorgeous. Isn’t that a wonderful feeling, to feel the earth soft under your feet like a sponge and grass squish between your toes…Lovely!

  10. You make everything work, or maybe play, together here,Claudia– smells, sensations, emotions and colors, to evoke a memory that is vivid as a portrait in a frame of time. I especially like your line ‘it takes me where I am…”

  11. The last line is absolutely killer… as well as “what i want is to lie down, taste soil,
    bAthe my lips with vermouth,”… all the details really drew me in. This is very clever and creative.

  12. If poets write about what they know, you must be the most sensual woman in Europe; another sweet and lively romp into your past, and I like the lines /scents of night/beyond the touchable/ good take on 1st times.

  13. “it takes me where i am, not easy to locate,”

    I love this…how many of us are really where we are? With life it is often difficult to be in the moment. You are fully in the moment when reading this …this moment and the other… 😉

  14. It’s a privilege to be told how one reacted before when visiting the same place. One etched in the mind of others of which we had no clue or memory of. I would treasure such an episode and you rightfully did it with this verse. Beautifully done Claudia!


  15. Kudos! What a sensual experience. I especially love “i feel the lawn’s tongue
    green and dewy on my feet.” That brought back a memory for me. Unfortunately, I was allergic to the grass in our yard and my feet quickly began to itch. lol
    Thank you.

  16. Great capture of a first memory- highlights so well that ‘childlike’ view- and that despite what is going on all around in the adult sense- that little girl stays within her own world of wonder, exploration and discovery….beautiful snapshot

  17. agree with everyone else about the power of the last lines- really enjoyed the flow of the poem and images and scents – you conveyed well the wanting and yearning to remember with your body and senses leading not just your brain 🙂

  18. this is perfectly painted with such vivid imagery, i can smell the russian sage and feel that grass beneath my feet… love these lines: ” it takes me
    where i am, not easy to locate”… perfect

  19. Aaah…visual and oh so nostalgic!! AND dreamy!
    and did i say visual? 🙂

    That lawn’s tongue is calling out to me now… only, it’s drizzling here… but that’s even better, isn’t it?

    I just LOVE the way you write, C… it’s like I’m reading your thoughts (literally – not figuratively :)) just as they form in your mind… Really love your style!

  20. That’s what poets excel at… bringing out so much with words one tiny experience held in mind for years as a memory!!

    Thanks for reading me 🙂
    Hugs xoxo

  21. Mmmmm vermouth and that bare foot walk in the grass – love doing that with sprigs of lkavender rubbibg betweeb my fingers to release the smell – loved this bReath of fresh air – x x lib

  22. such love and warmth in this memory Claudia.. made me remember the days I spent with my Grandmother walking the beach and often whinging that it was too far home…