Sunday, August 16, 2009

speckled promise

within the ivy

shadowing my garden wall,

as if appointed

by some keeper’s unseen hand,

a hidden, speckled thing,

light as rain,

heavy as a promise,

silently reminding me

that sweetest songs

are often those unheard


  1. A morning SMILE - I can feel the joy of the discovery. Since quite young I have identified with the robin red breast. When they nested within seeing range, each viewing of those beautifully colored teal blue eggs and the early morning chirping when the newly hatched ones emerged, was total joy. Yes, within that waiting time, "that sweetest songs are often those unheard."

  2. What a sweet, beautiful poem. I love the photo, too! Blessings!!

  3. Very beautifully done--I really like the lines "light as rain/heavy as a promise" especially.

  4. "a hidden, speckled thing" -

    this is beautiful, and reminds me of us & what we do - finding little orbs of ideas or a line or two - fragile & fleeting - but seeing in them a promise if we can put in some time & care. in a way, they're the poems (of mine) i like best - begun but unfinished - waiting for me to listen to the song they want to sing.

    not that some (speaking for myself) don't fall out of the nest to an inglorious end - but some become things like this - and we are richer for hearing them.

  5. This is just lovely, Karen.

    "light as rain...heavy as a promise"...such beautiful lines!


  6. Hi, Bonnie - thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment.

    Rose Marie - That waiting time - imagination overcoming reality - is, indeed, an exciting time, the promise of which I speak. I knew you would understand.

    Marion - Thanks, my friend.

    John - Thank you for commenting on those particular lines. I think the contrast of that weight is key to feeling this.

    Cat - Thanks. I'll take that smile!

    joaquin - What a great comparison! I hadn't thought in terms of poetry, but of course, you're absolutely right. You always bring a fresh perspective to a reading. Thanks for continuing to come here and for your ever kind and generous comments.

    Calli - Thank you, Calli. I've been absent a good deal lately, but I'll be over soon!

  7. What a lovely, sweet poem Karen!

    The two lines John commented on are my favorite too. Also - that sweetest songs are often those unheard. How very true these lines are!

  8. Absolutely! The sweetest songs...
    Karen, have you heard The Begood Tanyas? They sing a sweet song called, "The Littlest Birds". I'll try and put it on my blog sometime soon.


  9. Hi, Margaret! Thanks for your comments. Of course, I have to credit Keats for the thinking behind those lines. It seems like every time I think I'm having an original thought, I realize that someone else has said it before - and better! Oh, well. I think he'd be okay with my little verse. :-)

    Kat - I haven't heard that song, but I'll look for it. Thanks.

    christopher - :-)

  10. All - I'm sure you know, but I refer to Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn -- "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter."

  11. From Thomas Gray - Elegy written in a country churchyard
    Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
    the dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear'
    Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
    and waste its sweetness on the desert air.

  12. Mairi - This is forever one of my favorite poems. Thank you.

  13. An egg this late? Wow!

  14. The unknown is always more appealing to us than that which is defined and open. This poem made me quicken to the beat of anticipation, which is the soul of desire, in all its various and pregnant forms. But particularly when it's

    light as rain,
    heavy as a promise

    I loved those lines, Karen. And this perfect egg of a poem. :)

  15. Karen
    Love this poem and the soul and spirit feel of it. Thanks for this one

  16. Mairi - I meant the Gray...

    Jason - Yep, but there's more to the story. I'm working on that now.

    Sarah - Thank you. I think the possibilities represented by that egg are enormous and awe-inspiring. Anticipation, imagination, desire - pregnant is a good term for these.

    Linda - Thank you, friend.

  17. I promise not to write a long comment this time. HA! HA! Can I keep that promise? Hmmm...I'm not so sure.

    I love this poem! The ending is so lovely and gentle. But it's also powerful. For some reason, it makes me want to cry. I think it's because the poem evokes so many thoughts concerning people in my life. I think of all the things people quietly do for me, etc. It's wonderful how your poem takes me to that human place. That's the #1 element of a great nature poem. We can see the beauty you describe. Then we can apply it to our own lives as human beings. Awesome!!

    The rhythm and flow are also fantastic. What a beautiful voice. Wonderful work, Karen:)

  18. Julie - :-D I'm grinning all over!! Thank you. I don't know what else to say except "aw, shucks!" (and since I've turned you into my advisor - this: would this be better as a statement --using "reminds" instead of "reminding"?)

  19. Beautiful. Had echoes of John Clare, among others, I thought. Well done.

  20. Karen, I keep reading your poems and everytime they fill my heart with overwhelming pleasure, a feeling that's quite often impossible for me to put into words. So, sometime, I might not write a comment because I cannot come up with something that's... poetic enough, or... smart enough...
    It's the same with this poem. I love its wonderful sweetness, appealing to me on a level beyond words. I simply love it! :-)

  21. Dave - For this, much thanks! I've read some of Clare's nature poems and I find them beautiful.

    Vesper - I know exactly what you mean. I often only want to say "Wow!" when I read someone's work, but I feel obligated to say more. Your sentiment means more to me than you can know. Thank you.

  22. Hi, Karen! As a reader, I like "reminding." Technically, "reminds" might be more sound. But as a reader, reminding slows that line in such a lovely way. Then it emphasizes the next two lines. My preference could be because of my accent. Someone from up north will "hear" those words differently than I do when they read.

    But I love the internal rhyme of "silently reminding me." Me points back to "si" and "ly" in such a beautiful echo. 'Course, I'll still love it if you decide to change it:)

  23. Thanks, once again, Julie. I agree about "reminding" but wondered what a reader who couldn't read my mind would think. I, too, love to hear the long i sound in "silently reminding" - must be a southern thing!

    I promise not to turn you into my personal writing circle! LOL

  24. light as rain/heavy as promise... so nicely worded. Very beautiful imagery. Delightful.