Sunday, November 21, 2010


The Poetry Bus rolls again, and this week it's an enchanted trip with Chris Alba of Enchanted Oak at the wheel. Chris gives us the challenge of writing something about our lives. I don't even know where this stuff comes from, but this is what came to me:


The surface of the pond is calm;
     the deep green pool
          reflects the trees that overhang it.

Beneath the surface
     where sunlight barely reaches,
          staying still among the reeds,

sifting breath through slits
      that flap in time with the small
          slick and pulsing heart,

a shiny thing among the weeds
     watchful, waiting
          unknown and unseen

by those who view
     their own reflections
          when they peer into the water.


  1. wonderfully tactile and almost carries the scent of the pond. sifting through slits that flap in time with the small, slick and pulsing heart.

    so rich,
    mine is HERE
    I love your poem in the Poetry Bus book,

  2. Still waters run deep... I'm not sure where you were going with this, but what it brought to my mind was how little I really know of myself. I can look in the pond, but I see my reflection & not the being within. Shiny? I can only hope it's shiny!

  3. The idea of you (I'm pretending it's you) waiting there, watchful and still, while others see only a superficial reflection of their own selves, makes me think of secretive power, contained in itself. Could be sad, not to be seen, but somehow I don't think so.
    Such a nice rhythm here. It's a masterful form for you.

  4. Can't tell you why, but I instantly felt calm and moved and tranquil on reading this poem. There is something about water isn't there, maybe it's because it is from water that we came, a sort of link back through evolution. See what your poem has done to me!!

  5. how i've missed reading your beautifully written poetry. so glad i'm feelin' better so i can drop by more often. have a great night.

  6. Less 'me, me, me' than any of this prompt's poems perhaps... and that must say something about YOU!

  7. the slick and pulsing heart is a great image.
    Think there's a lot of wisdom in this one


  8. I feel the pond but it is what i saw looking back at me in the reflecting pool that YOU made me look at. Nice Job Karen.

  9. I love the structure of this, like waves lapping the shore

  10. Very evocative, I really loved this - where ever it came from!

  11. I don't know, this one has a real ominousness about it for me. Not that I don't like it, because I really do. Definitely an unexpected approach, but there's so much here and beyond.


  12. Karen, I love it (as I love all your work). I love the mysterious nature of the shiny thing in the water. It could be a tiny fish or beautiful thing of nature waiting to be seen, but people are too busy staring at SELF to notice the beauty. Right on!

    The pessimistic side of me (ha) also thinks of a negative. When I lived in a certain town, I used to take my daughter to a park with a duck pond. People would take their children to feed the ducks. Then they would throw their @!*!! bread bags into the water. It outraged me. I ended up telling them off. It's a wonder they didn't punch me.

    My point is that I enjoy how your poem leaves the interpretation up to the reader. You show the reader that beautiful scene and allow us to think about what is there. I love that. The form is lovely, and the voice is, as always, spot on. Excellent work, my friend!

  13. Totally ominous for me. Made me think of GOllum ready to leap up and yell Precioussss!

  14. Dianne - Thank you! I really enjoyed your poem and am glad you decided to climb aboard!

    Dana - Your first comment is where I actually started with this. Thanks for your comments.

    Chris - You read it exactly as I intended it. Thank you for the prompt that gave us the freedom to go wherever we needed to go.

    120 Socks - You know what they say about watching a fishtank? It's supposed to lower your blood pressure. :-)

    Naquillity - Welcome back! I hope you are feeling stronger soon. It's good to know you're on the right track.

    Rachel - I'm afraid of what it DOES say about me -- a "thing"??!

    Niamh - Thank you.

    Mark - You say the nicest things!

    Peter - Thank you!

    Dave - Out of the muck, I think. Thanks, though!

    Kat - As I was writing, I hesitated over that ambiguity, but in the end, it would be written.

    Julie - Thanks for your careful reading and very kind comments. I love imagining you telling off the bread baggers! I'm sure Amber has learned to be a strong woman from Mama.

    EW - You've made me laugh with the Gollum comment!

  15. Maybe it's from the early stories I've read, but I've always found ponds vaguely threatening. As if there are things sunken within them. And unlike in the ocean, they are close, still right there.

  16. Ponds are mysterious and beautiful ... you never know what's lurking beneath the surface. Like a few relationships I've had in life! Nicely written!

  17. Dear Karen, a calmness washes over me while reading your poem. The words reach right to my soul!
    It leaves me feeling a litle sad too. Knowing that life breathes beneath the surface but remains unseen by those who only see their own reflection.

    "sifting breath through slits
    that flap in time with the small
    slick and pulsing heart,"

    These lines are my fav.

  18. this is a beautiful read. love the use of language that runs through, very peaceful :-)

  19. How wonderful that you leave the shiny little thing to our imaginations - frog, snake, turtle, faery, water sprite? This is one of those poems I could meditate on for days...and I am sure I will.

    What makes me love this poem is how you say, that as we stare into a pond - there is that shiny little thing looking at us, without us knowing. This thought is reassuring and unsettling at the same time! That strikes a chord with me - the dichotomy of it. Maybe that is just me. Thoreau would love this one.

  20. Just popping in again to say Happy Thanksgiving, Karen! I hope you have a wonderful time with your family...and many hugs from that gorgeous grandbaby:)

    See you next week!

  21. Still keeping secrets, but just a glimmer a shimmer in the pond water of you!

  22. This is a beautiful piece - the extended metaphor works so well to describe the hidden depths of self.

  23. Jason - Isn't it interesting how differently people view the world? I see ponds as placid surfaces, cool depths, and wonderful harbors for life.

    Helen - Exactly!

    Margaret - What a very nice thing to say! I am so pleased that you found something in my words.

    watercats - It's water, after all! Thank you. ;-)

    Kay - I remember that you loved Walden Pond very much. I appreciate your careful reading and your comment, as always.

    Jules - A very late back atcha! I'm collapsed of exhaustion from the rigors of my last adventure! (10 points if you can id that one without Google!) :-)

    TFE - That's me...Miss Mystery! NOT! ha, ha, ha!

    Kerry - Thank you, and welcome to my blog.