Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Body Knows


Forgive me for posting a brand new first draft for this week's Poetry Thursday Challenge, but this was my first opportunity to write on this topic. So I thought I'd post it anyway. Hope that's OK:

The Body Knows

Paths through the forest so faint
that the imagination only hints at perception. Twists
and turns through thickets of prickers, the safe berm between swamp
and marsh, the ridge then rising and falling away to the sides where
deer have beat a narrow path between the hemlocks. The body
knows. The body turns and glides, stepping so lightly among
tangles of lichens it almost seems to float. It knows where the cliff
drops away into darkness to rocks and water. Knows the quicksand
seepages. Where to step on rocks and hummocks to keep from sinking,
and where to find a log across the slough to the island-peninsula.

The pleasure of wind on skin, of night air, sharp, cool and full
of swamp smells, inflating city-tired lungs. Owlsong and coyote howl.
The body knows. Bare feet on still warm sand, water lapping
at the edge of toes and then up ankles and calves. The shock of immersion.
Long strokes out into the bay, the bump bump of night fish
and swimming turtles. The way the wind feels again on now wet skin,
icing into dryness. The way moonlight off the water feels on the retina
and in the heart, catching hungry there. The body knows the way hands feel,
and skin and lips, when late, late, late it returns home to the warm smell
of its lover between sweet sleepy sheets.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
1st draft 2-22-07

here is another poem I wrote earlier on this same topic: Almost Invisible (The Guide Replies)
--
I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats
Mary

10 comments:

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

As usual, the formatting sucks. It doesn't look quite right, not the way I'd intended it to look. :-(

Brian said...

I like the poem a lot. The way you weave all the senses and let us feel the sensations. I can see the path, thanks.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Dreamy amd atmospheric, lovely.

gautami tripathy said...

One can savour it. I like the merging bits.


gautami
In-between state of consciousness

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks so much Brian, Crafty Green Poet and Gautami for your kind and thoughtful comments! :-D Mary :-D

Becca said...

This is beautiful - I love the very sensual atmosphere you've created here.

Well done!

twilightspider said...

This whole poem is so thick and sweet, like good honey. This line is so wonderful:

"The way moonlight off the water feels on the retina
and in the heart, catching hungry there"

Mary said...

thanks so much Twilight Spider and Becca!!I really appreciate your kind comments.

Clockworkchris said...

I love the lines "Bare feet on still warm sand, water lapping
at the edge of toes and then up ankles and calves. The shock of immersion."
The whole poem was beautiful. Very good use of the prompt.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks so much Clockworkchris!!! I apppreciate your time and attention! :-D Mary