Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Female Mystique

After a few days of wallowing in computer-induced depression (see below), I was given three gifts in the past three days: 1) I found a solution for configuring my email [perseverance pays off!); 2) I worked with an AA newcomer, which reminded me of the life-shifting grace of the program that is central to my existence; and 3) I gave the best poetry reading of my life. My own words seemed to be full of power that evening, judging by the exuberant response of the audience and the raves of my husband, a man-cave kind of guy. Afterward, I sat in the dark on my patio, glowing like a lightning bug, pouring out my gratitude to the God of my understanding, who transformed me from a suicidal drunk into a woman who inhabits her skin with joy.
(Commercial break: The following poem is based on the photo above, courtesy of Ainsley Allmark at Dolphin Visions. Visit Poetry Jam for other poems inspired by Allmark's photography.

The Sea Is a Woman

The sea is a woman who bears children
and then must feed them with what food
her kitchen holds, beans and onions
when times are hard, elaborate spreads
when the larder’s rich, and always after
scrubs the dishes.

Her governor, the moon, a bureaucrat,
ordains her tidal blood without concern
for inconvenience, but she’s resigned,
even sees the benefits, to child-rearing,
say, or affirmation of her womanhood,
in the ebb and flow.

It’s the tax man who exacts the heavy toll
of living, that hungry sun who sucks
her shekels, whose daily glare demands
his due. What comes in, soon goes out,
the nest egg evaporates, but she grimly
pays the price.

Ferociously she loves the land, her mate,
but he is forever leaving her behind.
In the moments when she has him near,
something in her surges, and fervently
she licks his skin, his neck, his thighs,
his earthy taste like honey on her tongue.
They kiss on the sand; she shatters
on the rocks of his imperturbable
soul. She takes the small gifts he offers
and savors them, rolling them around
in her mouth like unbreakable promises
that he will always, always return.


Brian Miller said...

chris this truly is beautiful...what wonderful story telling...and personification...nice in the intimacy between the elements...

Anonymous said...

wow! incredibly creative, evocative, sensuous ~ i LOVE the concept of the land being her mate and the entire final verse is beyond stunning!

one of my very favorite takes on the prompt photographs! thank you for sharing your vision.

dani ♥

Steve E said...

It is no wonder the audience responded exuberantly--or else they'd have been deaf!

Yes, the sea is a woman. Salted water--milk of earth's breast

You must know I love visiting your blog!

Elisabeth said...

A beautiful analogy, the sea as woman. It's good to hear that things are going well.

Shakespeare said...

I love the scrubbing dishes part... very cool. And I'm so glad the poetry reading resonated with audiences (and with the hubby, since mine is also a man-cave kind of guy).

Nothing is more blissful than to be comfortable in one's own skin.

Marion said...

Wow! This is so, so lovely...a really beautiful poem! I love the final verse. xx

TechnoBabe said...

This entire post is full of strength and wisdom. You worked on the computer problem and conquered that. Lots of people can't do that. Your poem about the sea is earthy and so feminine. Makes me proud to be a woman.

Gerry Snape said...

As I'm besotted with the sea anyway...this is really touching me. I love the analogies...the moon, the sun and especially the earth. wonderful!

Syd said...

Wonderful. I understood this one totally.

The Bug said...

Damn fickle earth - why do we always love what leaves us? I mean that as the universal we because I haven't actually been personally left...

You have such a powerful voice - all of your poetry is full of your hard-earned ferocity. I am never disappointed.

Titus said...

Wonderfully done - not like you thought the analogy and made it fit, but as if you found something already known and told it. Mythic and earthy and now. Loved the sun and shekels.

e said...

Evocative and powerful...This one makes me proud, too, as a woman, to be alive and sober...I'm happy things are going well for you.

NanU said...

He can't get away, our earth man. Mother Sea rest assured. There is no ying without yang.

RNSANE said...

Erotic, exotic and totally satisfying - as always. I love the ocean and this poem, especially.

Laurie Kolp said...


There's nothing like helping others...

Terra said...

Beautiful poem, and how good to receive and recognize your 3 gifts.

Morning said...

sexy, love your idea of the sea as a woman,

Magpie said...

I'm glad you're glowing!

Christopher Raley said...

Wonderful poem. Thanks for posting this.