size matters or //the lessons you can only learn in oil lamps

“tight in here– “ i say
& wonder how he managed breathing
all these years,
“ouch, you’re squeezing my foot”,
“do you like him?”
“i do, i
prefer a robber to a prince,
he falls for Jasmin though,
& i’m a ghost, like you,
like all of us– sometimes”

leaning against the lamp’s cool womb,

i was a storyteller once,
& every piece of nightwind, trail, bark,
dust particle, stirred up by the stars,
carries millions of ’em,

“so the sultan didn’t like your stories?”
“Yes, he did– he was afraid,
they had power, even
when they’re old, invalid, endLessly
told & retold, almost blind, but–
all the carpets fly by them”,

(we stretch a bit)

“you’ll get us out of this
with just a story– ?”
“you’ve got fantasy?”
“don’t think so– does it matter?”

cracks run up&down the wall,

“i have no feel for things outside the lamp,
that’s where my horizon ends,
been too long in this already”
“lost hope?”

“close your eyes”
“what ya mean?
it’s pitch dark anyway”
“there’s a difference– try”
“you see?”

“so, how did you survive?”
“i didn’t”

&i take my crutches

“gotta leave”
“you can?”
“sure– you can too“
every story has an exit,
& a bridge into the next,
untold. yet


at dVerse, Mary has us write Disney poetry today.. just pick a Disney character & weave them into a poem.. this is going to be a fun session..looking forward to it.. doors open at 3pm EST

39 responses to “size matters or //the lessons you can only learn in oil lamps

  1. Oh, I like this, Claudia. Indeed every story has an exit and a bridge to the next. And as for lessons, Disney definitely is a master of teaching lessons, I think. And, wouldn’t it be nice to have such a lamp? (Or maybe not….) I, however, would take a prince over a robber. Smles.

  2. I imagined that you woke from a dream..grabbed you ipad/computer keypad and began writing…you are so creative my friend..a treasure to us all.

  3. & i’m a ghost, like you,
    like all of us– sometimes”…nice…a bit of a leak in there…i dont know that i would want to be trapped in the lamp…summoned only to do wishes…i like your cavalier=ness there in the end…there is always a way out…smiles

  4. esp. love your stanza “I was a storyteller once…” you play with the imagination wonderfully. I agree, stories are powerful and when told by voice even more-so. : )

  5. yes,we can get out of ‘lamp’, it’s up to us, just to start to do something in different way, or don’t do it at all…,and exit, how said one smart person – sometimes the same with entrance… nice storytelling mode…

  6. This is superb Claudia. I love the stanza that talks about everything (particles, etc.) has a story. And then every story an exit to the next. Wow. I’m so impressed with what you did with a Disney prompt. Then again, I shouldn’t be. Your imagination fits right into disney, it’s magic lamp and all the creativity that exists there. Hope your foot is better. Happy day.

    • i like the way, you weaved Disney’s character “Aladdin” into your poem…
      “…gotta leave”
      “you can?”
      “sure– you can too“
      every story has an exit,
      & a bridge into the next,
      untold. yet…

      So, true…So, true…Tks, 4 sharing !
      deedee 🙂

  7. One of your more straight forward poems! A fantasy, but present in stories we tell and the traps we set in just how spacious or crowded we make our worlds–always with an exit, of course. I like the crutches among other tiny details!

  8. Like the conversations with the genie in the lamp, imagining stories & filling them with unending adventures ~ I believe that if we are cooped up too long within a space, we are limited in our vision, and sometimes lose hope ~ Have a wonderful weekend ~

  9. This just amazes me, Claudia. You have uncovered so much depth in your write. ‘every story has an exit”–that’s something to hang on to, to remember. We can always change the script when we have to. Really cool poem.

  10. absolutely gorgeous, Claudia. your first lines made me giggle – and giggles turned to watering eyes reading further. beautiful message and brilliantly penned, as always.

  11. Fantastic read, massive co-incidence here in that recently I wrote a poem with a similiar opening to use in a Poetry Slam. Mine went on in a more frivolously humorous vein, yours is much deeper. What a marvellous way to write about the constraints we all experience and the power of poetry and the imagination to break the bounds, I loved reading this, thank you.
    I read it aloud for my partner in my best storytelling voice and she also loved it,I’ll post my own poem on my blog now, similiar opening, different direction, thanks, Kevin

  12. Haha the title – leave it to you Claudia lol’

    Awesome perspective. Inside the lamp? Genius. I’ve always wondered how crowded it would feel. Although Jeanie made it looked spacious in hers Robin Williams sure sounded happy when he got out of his lamp. So yes, in that way, size does matter 🙂

  13. I love your choice of he rather than she… but all the same a shame, but that escape and end is great… great is to be able to write here

  14. This plays like a page from a fantasy book – when all the fantasy has been stripped and reality has set in. Unlike fairy tales, this did not end with “happily ever after”, but there is hope for things getting better. 🙂