Monday, June 23, 2014

Little Planet Shadowrise

Ice on the mountain
orange except for purple shadows—

nothing in the sky
but sky. Scent of smoke—

Stacked twigs next to three
tin cups. A jug of water.

On the hillside half the pines in light—
half dark. Nearby,

Aspen leaves applaud. The
hole of a woodpecker

small universe.

Hi, dears! 
Happy Monday; happy back-to-real-life day! I don't know why my name here is "M." and I'm not sure how to change it. But this is Mary (not Melanie). I'd love your thoughts on this poem. I have a handful of poems based on photographs. They aren't necessarily ekphrasic in that they don't directly describe the image, but they do inspire the poem. So I'm including the image for this one.

Image credit: Acquisition - Enzo De Bernardini, Processing – w/Sophie le Comte


  1. Mary,

    Nice to see your work again.

    This one is cool because it reads like Nantucket, as though you were just describing what you see and yet, as far as I can tell, this is just from your imagination (or perhaps memory). These things are certainly not in the image.

    This kind of poem always gives me a pleasant feeling. A zen moment contemplating the woodpecker hole and the small universe.


    line 5: Why "tin cups" on the next line? That kind of a line break makes sense to me if meaning is either augmented or redirected but neither of those occur. If it's only for line length than maybe some other fix would do.

    line 8: usually I prefer removing words but here I like adding to make it "half in dark" to provide the parallel structure from the line above. Not a big deal but listen to it and see which you prefer.

    Otherwise, very nice.

  2. Mary, this is really lovely. I agree with Tony that it evokes a zen-like quality--it's Haiku-like, especially the revelation in the last line. (I LOVE that line.)

    I think Tony makes good points. I would also consider a different title--it didn't add anything to the poem for me, and seemed to have a different mood (maybe more philosophical?) than the very bare-bones observations in the poem. Perhaps it can be the name of a place, like Nantucket?

    Beautiful work!