the beauty of not breaking when the storm slams rocks into your face

in the grocery aisle i stare into his eyes
all words have fled
except for
“let me hug you”
&i do
“–i’m sorry”

someone with a pallet truck
circles cornflakes boxes round the corner,
we stand in his way, sidDestep//sidE
i let him talk “she wanted to//was ready&–“ the art
of letting go what we can’t hold,
i envy those

that mastered
peace, a weird, wild beauty that in death–

“sorry” a blond-bleached woman
navigates a fully loaded trolley through the narrow we create,
a stumbling block, an obstacle

when i talked to a friend in that restaurant a few months back
“i’m doing good again”
today i heard that cancer hit her for the third time “f–“

&i swim//belly up
dig deeper diving

for the roots of a large tree
which stabilize his lean
into the wind, a home
to bugs, a bird, a spider net

sap on my lips, cheek pressed
against his chest
small dots of hope that spread
a beauty different from

what i have learned yet


over at dVerse Mary has us write beauty other than physical..

41 responses to “the beauty of not breaking when the storm slams rocks into your face

  1. Your poems turn on a sixpence. I start off being (through you) in a familiar environment – yes it might be a supermarket – never as a whole picture but as shards of a whole picture, like snatches of sound, instantaneous visual images most often in my peripheral vision. Then suddenly I am in an emotional landscape. I see your poetry as expressionist. I love it.

  2. The beauty of emotions to be found wherever we least expect it. Even pushed aside in that alley we can still find it in the tear that glisten, the hug or just the memory, what an intense scene you have created Ckaudia.

  3. There is beauty in those hugs and conversations when we can be there for someone even and we never know exactly when that will be…but cancer for the third time, now that is really hard.

  4. “today i heard that cancer hit her for the third time” That is one powerful set of simple words, the effect is amplified, not minimised, by the simple stark statement. That was pebbles dashed against my cheeks!
    ps I have been very close to such real life situations, their overwhelming rabbit stunned in the oncoming headlights quality is as you so eloquently describe, thank you once again, Kevin

  5. I sense from your poem the fear, sorrow AND beauty of careing for someone, of being comforted and there’s a hint in your poem about the possible beauty of death. All this you combine in your uniquely artful way. I have a friend too who has stage 3 cancer. I’ll do my best now to find beauty in the process.

  6. Your poetry is indeed like an artist’s painting…capturing light and reflecting our eyes and minds in different directions at will…brilliant poem.

  7. I love this part;

    &i swim//belly up
    dig deeper diving

    for the roots of a large tree

    My office mate was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, but she is bravely working until she gets another diagnosis ~ She said no to chemo but to quality of life ~ I admire people like that ~

  8. Oh what an ode this is – to beauty – to survival, no, transcendence…….love the image of him leaning into the wind, you diving deep for the roots. A masterpiece of a poem, Claudia.

  9. the little things mean so much… saying “hi” to a passerby, remembering a birthday… even a simple smile can brighten someone’s day. I feel the sorrow in this write, but that sorrow is held together with beauty and openness

  10. The beauty of human connection when everything around seems desperate… a very profound and immediate sadness in this poem (and the frustration of all those ordinary people milling around and interrupting), but how you manage to turn it into something so simple, true and universal!

  11. “in your unique & artful way”, yes, & “turning things into something so simple, true, & universal”, yes again; for you can shift poetic gears in nano-seconds, bounding through inner/outer space with ease. Powerful & sad piece, but perhaps a paean to the beauty of the human spirit & condition.

  12. This is the stuff of life, the pain, the hope, the pain again… this one brought tears to my eyes. Sorry never seems enough to say. xo

  13. Loving deeply comes with joy and sorrow and you rock that world with the hug in the grocery store aisle, blocking but not blocking the progress of life. I love the tree imagery as well.

  14. As the years accumulate we inevitably have our brushes with death, the great leveler. You have captured the feel of the dichotomy of loving life while others see theirs leaving… there is beauty in every form of existence. “The art of letting go what we cannot hold” can be hard-won.

  15. Yes we can have a meaningful embrace and support even in the grocery aisle. A kind of beauty indeed.

  16. I think not breaking in such challenging time ….hard and any support esp. from close people – important.. hope and hugs with open heart …like in your poem x

  17. So powerful this is. I lost someone I love deeply this week and this just punched me in the heart. But that surviving, that leaning into the wind and not being broken – such a poignant beauty in that. Your words take us from a grocery to under a tree. To the point but with words that need no extraneous others. A simple, powerful, beautiful minimalist painting of a poem.

  18. What an emotionally real depiction of the beauty and strength of the human soul even in the face of unrelenting, stone-throwing storms…even though sometimes we swim belly up, tender and exposed.