it makes perfect sense if you look at her hair first

At the Harbor by Judith Clay

At the Harbor by Judith Clay

.

what they found out way too late was
that her strength was in her hair,
same as Samson–

all the talking with the wild, de-toured
traffic lights on unstriped roads, &
to the wrinkled lady with a pearl bead,
mirroring the sea

“oh–“, she says (abstractedly),
“we place things somewhere,
almost as if they belonged,
set ’em in relation to a mosaic of waves,
but then misinterpret sometimes”

in a low voice,
merely
to herself, she says, “i Think of Words–
hold ’em– not too tight though, feel ’em breathe,
inDeepSea scent, study their movements, some
are little labyrinths or— “(this is
when she smiles, cheeks aglow)

& while she’s focused on the sea,
her hair talks to the crows, the fox, the wind &
drinks the stormrain
with red-lambent tongue,

“what about the fish?” they ask

“he’s all this–” she says,
as if this answered all the questions
(& it does)

a ship blows a mighty whistle

“you’re too small for me” she says,
looking at its green flags, swaying in the breeze,
“–too small for all the letters that i bear,
wrapped in my chest”,

& with a little white hand waves ’til out of sight,
’til all the passengers are small as needle pins,
then, (with a swift move) strips her coat towards the wind

& all the stories, waiting

.

i couldn’t resist, doing a second poem to the wonderful artwork by judith clay
find more of her paintings and more words, inspired by her paintings over at dVerse..

Advertisements

37 responses to “it makes perfect sense if you look at her hair first

  1. Oh, this one really did it to me (direct translation from German)! Holding words, but not too tight, answering all questions with an enigma, then feeling that they are too small for her, but not crying… How did you see so well into my soul?

  2. Oh that is some hair, isn’t it, Claudia? And what a force to be reckoned with indeed…..especially since it can TALK. Smiles. I like the answer “he’s all this” said as if it really answered the question, which (of course) it does. How often we have heard people answer a question with words said with with confidence that we take their meaning at its worth even if we don’t understand the meaning at all. I did enjoy these works of art, Claudia, and did enjoy your second poem.

  3. nice touch with samson there c…i like the words as little labyrinths to run, the whole rhyme through there is tight as well…too small for all the letters in my chest….made me smile as well….def another magical response…..

  4. Very imaginative and magical take ~ I love that her hair is strong and can talk to the crows, etc. and your take on the fish ~ You have done justice to the magical work of the artist ~

  5. Your prompt to write to the fabulous artwork of Judith Clay really enticed some magical responses from the dVerse community, including your incredible 2nd poem which really wowed me !! This stands as a new favorite of mine of your consistently impressive writing ability !!! Over the top fabulous !!!

  6. Caused an accident once between 2 cars, because of my hair … it was 1970 … flower power time … I was wild then … so was my hair … have settled down since … so did my hair … and attitude … 🙂

  7. This is so magical and beautiful. I could see the painting displayed in a gallery with the poem next to it. They make a perfect pair. Love your fairy tale, dreamy story.

  8. brilliant, Claudia, and yes, magical, whimsical – so fits with the spirit of the paintings. i love that she’s big with story ;)… and really, this is beyond beautiful:

    her hair talks to the crows, the fox, the wind &
    drinks the stormrain
    with red-lambent tongue,

  9. This is fantastic, Claudia. Her work is SO inspiring. Your words are perfect.
    Especially love:
    “we place things somewhere,
    almost as if they belonged,
    set ‘em in relation to a mosaic of waves”

  10. Fascinating how many different takes there are on the same images, but for some odd reason, I like to go to the artist’s page and find one “just for me”. This is a strong & whimsical take on this painting for sure; combining myth & abstract thought; nice ride.

  11. I don’t blame you for wanting to do another. Her work is so full of inspirations and I have my heart set on a couple of pieces for the desert. I especially enjoyed the almost-conversational voice you put into this one that made it come alive for me.

  12. Saw this at dVerse and you have done well with it. I think this would be a short story in the making. I thank you for all your kindness since I began posting at dVerse but as I told Brian will probably only make it by on Tuesdays once in awhile. I need to get back to more of my own writing, which I’ve gotten away from as late. I will always be by to see what you are up to. I love your site.

  13. If not her strength, then at the very least her immortality. Girls tend to cut their hair when they stop being children. I might steal this too. 🙂

  14. …it’s hard to resist writing another..so much food for thought in Judith’s paintings..here you clearly focus on her, what she has to offer and what is under the red coat…the fish and ferry and and water are the supporting cast and she is the producer as well as the main character..

  15. Oh I see–this is a children’s tale, titled, “WHERE DID THE FISHIES GO?” 😉

    My favs: “He’s all this–”

    “&all the stories, waiting”

    A shipload of thought your poem has generated here and elsewhere. The magician Claudia has performed again her magic.
    Amen

  16. …oh, i like those opening lines Claudia…and also i loved the notion of how hair talks to crows, fox, wind, etc… a real special piece…. i enjoyed the read…

  17. Oh, my. This one is awesome.Great idea and nice wording. It puts my work to shame. I chose Henry & Adele for mine. (posted but I missed the cut off for the Linky)

  18. I love this section:

    to the wrinkled lady with a pearl bead,
    mirroring the sea

    “oh–”, she says (abstractedly),
    “we place things somewhere,
    almost as if they belonged,
    set ‘em in relation to a mosaic of waves,
    but then misinterpret sometimes”