{pf: p7 ekphrastic…acrostic}

This month the Seven Sisters are swanning about in India, having a gorgeous waterfall and a few pitha. A few of them have taken the time to put their lassi and mugs of Assam and write a poem or two — Laura’s is here, and Sara’s‘s is here. Tricia’s is here. Liz’s poem can be found here, and Kelly’s is here. We couldn’t get Andi to come away from the waterfalls, so she’ll write a poem once she’s inside with her tea.

Normally, I love a good ekphrastic, and I loved our image so much. But, as I’ve had to learn, my brain and I have a new relationship now which includes something doctors euphemistically call “brain fog.” I call it “staring into space.” I did a lot of that, trying to write this poem. In my defense, I’ve also started a new project and rewritten the first ten pages twice, once in first person, and the next time in close third and also finished a revision so a novel could get out the door to publishers (fingers crossed), but … yeah. A lot of staring these last few weeks. At least I had something good to stare at, though. I mean, look at it:

Again, it’s not the image – the sky is a perfect, cloudless azure bowl, the rocks are a wonderful red ocher, there’s detail and shadow — it’s some lovely contrast, and the wee little rock in between could be so many things — a point snapped off, a friend, a dependent… But I just couldn’t even find a form. Until the very last second. Welcome to March: that’s how I’m going to roll this month, apparently. And so, without further ado:


Learn well those truths that desert life avails you –
(Expect that lesson one is “cherish rain.”)
All deserts are not flat, and as you pass through,
Necessity will teach you this domain.

In desert lands the rocks jut tall and lonely
Neath iron suns rusting in ocher reds
Gaunt sentinels remind the traveler only
Into each life, alone our steps must tread.

Survival is dependent on some timing –
(Nowhere to leap if first you do not look)
Trusting your leaping makes you keep on climbing
Familiar paths fresh vistas overlook.

A parable, for now, from lofty summits
Left sharp by time’s erosions, rain and wind,
Is told of one sharp stone which didn’t plummet
Noting the help its partners could extend.

Good rocks hold up the world in its foundations.
Durable infrastructures, like good friends
Order the world. Bedrock for generations
When slipping down, these rocks are our godsends.

No lofty peak need stand alone when friendship is a lodestone.

Poetry Friday is hosted at No Water River, an intriguing name!

5 Replies to “{pf: p7 ekphrastic…acrostic}”

  1. I’m with you in that this photo held SO many possibilities that it was hard to settle down and pick an approach (or form—I, too, relied on a form for ballast.) But I think the idea of mimicking the fall in the “fall” of letters down the side of an acrostic was a brilliant choice. And like others, I love “Good rocks hold up the world in its foundations.” Good rocks should be the new “good eggs” yes?

  2. This line, “Trusting your leaping makes you keep on climbing” and the lodestone of friendship. Amen.

    Happy (slightly belated) birthday! The cake turned out just fine. Someday I hope to share a slice with you! (except maybe you’re gluten free, in which case I’ll share some of the dark chocolate covered ginger I tasted today!!)

  3. I love how you took the “Into each life some rain must fall” idiom (and a couple of others, too) and totally turned it upside down. Rhyming acrostic–one of my favorite forms. Well done! And so much truth and beauty in that last line.

  4. Wow … just, wow. I love the acrostic statement. Leaning isn’t always bad, is it?
    My favorite lines are”Except that lesson one is “cherish rain” and “Good rocks hold up the world in its foundations.”
    And I really love the notion of friendship as a lodestone.

    This is marvelous, my dear.

    1. @MissRumphius: It’s often when you feel you look your worst that the commentary is, “You look so nice!” Likewise, it’s when I have to yank a poem out of the ether that to me appears like it’s yanked back and tromped me over the head, the first comment is that “It’s marvelous!” I’m amused. Thank you.

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