i always dreamed of being a vessel for a pile of lime seeds


they attack us from the branches by the pool
soft linden seeds//headfirst
on a survival mission
&he takes&piles ‘em in my navel

across the lawn an old man smokes gauloises
his giant belly like a pale whale
up towards the sky
he could fly if gravity would let him

i paint in my underwear these days
&sweat runs down my back as i stretch a real big piece of canvas
on a self-made  wooden skeleton
“let’s see if this works”
i’m talking to myself, the artist with the craftsman with the voice that asks me
why i’m doing things&often– (here’s the wild-card
for the flying part, the 2 king shadow thing that–)

later we spit cherry pits into a dried out landscape
windows down&headwind in our face,
the car purrs like a lazy cat

“it’s never going to cool down again” i sigh (dramatically)
the path ahead is scattered seeds

maybe they will root
maybe a tree will grow
&birds will build their nest in spring//make love
&feed fat worms and insects to their kids

what was the bird’s name someone mentioned at the party yesterday, i ponder
“here’s one– see//he’s such a lousy flyer” a guy with austrian accent said

i jump up//it is too late though
&the sky
already empty in itself//a weird flag of blue

with something vital missing


23 responses to “i always dreamed of being a vessel for a pile of lime seeds

  1. This is filled with such poignancy for things lost, things that might have been, things that may still be. Just lovely, a wonderful word-sigh.

  2. Even if the heat gets a bit much for you, you have to admit that summer is so rich in colours, activities and potential!

  3. I read about the heatwave you are having in Germany–those we are used to but I remember when I lived in France, not so. I like the idea of painting in underwear. As for the lines–we have a huge tree in the desert that produces 100’s (in the summer, when we aren’t there!)

  4. We all like to spit out cherry stones, don’t we? I like how the child in you can re-surface, have fun and always seem to see the world anew. Hope the weather does cool for you.

  5. Well, I feel the heat of this poem, Claudia, if you are painting in your underwear. I know it has been VERY warm there. Usually we are warmer than you are, but this year is an exception. Spitting cherry pits into a dried out landscape speaks reams!

  6. You pint in your underwear, I write poetry barefoot. Liberation.

    By the way, your artwork in ‘the zen space’ was VERY well received.

  7. First, I love the pic. Cool scripture reference as well. 2 kings. Ha. Miracles happen, the sun moves, and at times backward – but then again that is the miracle – and miracles still happen. Our seed, we dont control what grows or what story spins out of them either – we just scatter them. And regardless of circumstance as well. Our circumstance can become our excuse if we are not careful. Hope the heat breaks a bit for you. Been nicer here this week, warm but tolerable.

  8. Well I think its quite inspirational if you’re still painting regardless of the heat outside 🙂 Beautifully penned!

    Lots of love,

  9. Girl, you’ve got me doing all kinds of research about the symbolism of lime seeds and of blue flags. I LOVE it when poetry sends me off to look up the details.

    • How awesome is this:

      “In Baltic mythology, there is an important goddess of fate by the name of Laima /laɪma/, whose sacred tree is the lime. Laima‘s dwelling was a lime-tree, where she made her decisions as a cuckoo. For this reason Lithuanian women prayed and gave sacrifices under lime-trees asking for luck and fertility. They treated lime-trees with respect and talked with them as if they were human beings.”

    • And this:

      “The linden was also a highly symbolic and hallowed tree to the Germanic peoples in their native pre-Christian Germanic mythology.
      Originally, local communities assembled not only to celebrate and dance under a linden tree, but to hold their judicial thing meetings there in order to restore justice and peace. It was believed that the tree would help unearth the truth.”

      What on earth is a “thing” meeting? Either it’s a typo, or that is one wild meeting. 😛

      Ooh, check this out:
      “In the Nibelungenlied, a medieval German work ultimately based on oral tradition recounting events amongst the Germanic tribes in the 5th and 6th centuries, Siegfried gains his invulnerability by bathing in the blood of a dragon. While he did so, a single linden leaf sticks to him, leaving a spot on his body untouched by the blood and he thus has a single point of vulnerability.”

      Isn’t that fascinating?!

      Well here is probably what you were really getting at: “In German folklore, the linden tree is the ‘tree of lovers.'”

      Okay, back to your poem. The last four lines are really haunting. With the navel and the seeds and the vessel references, I’m picturing a beach scene, you the ship, where a blue flag would mean that sharks might have been spotted nearby. But you’re not at the beach. You’re in your yard. The sky itself is a blue flag with no birds. Sheesh, I feel like I just watched a horror movie. The loss here is palpable. Such an eerie feeling at the end. Honestly, it makes me want to keep going back to the beginning to see what details I’ve missed. I sense such a deep sorrow in this. Like maybe the bird died.

  10. … love ur pic, C … reminds me of Chagall … as for the poem … everyone is sowing seeds somewhere … let them fall and take root … it’s up to the next generation to harvest … may they harvest their lil heart out … cuz I will be long gone by then …

  11. Were we sitting at a cafe table while you told me this story . . . last Saturday afternoon, iced coffee? Claudia, where is Brian? Liz

  12. You are impossibility in the exquisite turns of your emense creativity. I am awed, inspired, disbelieving and enthusiastic for your gift!