Friday, 2 March 2012

Where is my mother?

During Leap Blog Day - which was a marvelous idea put together at We Band of Mothers I came across the blog Periphery  and the following challenge.

It's called the "Ten Minute Spill" and is suggested by Rita Dove - she was a US Poet Laureate and has assorted hardware to her credit, so I think she might know a thing or two about writing.
Here's the gist of it:
Write ten lines in ten minutes- she suggests poetry, but I think it would work for lyrical prose, too.
These ten lines must include the following:
- A proverb, adage, or familiar phrase that you have changed in some way.
- Five of the following words:

cliff           blackberry
needle           cloud
voice                 mother
whir           lick
I took the challenge and funnily enough (because I didn't read the instructions) I followed the exercise almost to the letter without even realizing it. (used all eight words, familiar phrase? - sorta).
This is what I came up with, a little sad but I'm happy with it.


Where is my mother?

In a whir of memories of
hospital, needles and tubes.

I can't hear her voice,
or smell her spit on my hair
to hold down a cow lick.

Now, high in a cloud, on a cliff,
overlooking my own downhill
fall into the blackberry...

Where is my mother?


And a drawing of her from a photo on New Year's Eve age about 40.


^^
=o=

21 comments:

  1. That's fantastic! I'm so excited. If you don't mind, when I get a few more I'll make a whole post out of them with links and everything. What fun, what fun. And such a beautiful poem.

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    1. Great fun exercise Tangled! Next time I'll read the instructions more thoroughly.

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  2. You have a talent for drawing and poetry. And blogging. And I'm starting to feel a little awed. Your poem really made me think and feel something. You painted a complete picture with your words, and the resulting emotions (sadness, empathy, fear?)are still with me. Fine form. And I'm calling my mom tomorrow to make sure she took all her meds.

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    1. Oh Marianne, thank you so much for your friendly and open comment that touched me deeply, right when I needed it.

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  3. That was such a lovely post. I agree with Marianne. You have a real talent for writing and certainly drawing. I am so happy to have found your blog and get to read your new posts with my morning coffees :)

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    1. Thanks Eke, I enjoyed the poem challenge, my blog's a bit of a mixture and I'm not sure that's a good thing or not as people don't know what to expect.

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    2. it's a good thing.

      Besides, it's a blog - YOUR blog - you're free to put whatever you please on it, and for every person who doesnt like it there are probably three that do...so don't fret.

      I actually have a bit of a pet peeve with others leaving nasty comments on people's blogs simply because they think the blog "sucks" or "isnt funny" or should "fuck off and die"...if they don't like it why not just, say, NOT VISIT THE SITE? Ugh, god damn humans.

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    3. Aww - I've only ever had one nasty comment and they were leaving a nasty comment just so I could have a nasty comment. I think you must've really made it if you get a nasty comment.

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  4. what a lovely tribute. I'm always so impressed when I stop by over here.

    xxo
    MOV

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  5. Thanks MOV. Don't know where it came from, weird.

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  6. Wow. I've read your poem several times and I just love it. The spit and the cowlick....not only did my Mom do that to me, I did it to my kids too....It has made me smile! Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Michelle. It's a very distinct smell and as mothers we don't get away with doing it for long. For me it was always mixed with the smell of lipstick.

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  7. So beautiful Julie. You're multi-talented! I love the way that you use minimal words to create such a strong mood.

    (I'm a bit bummed, because I subscribed to your blog but haven't been getting any posts in my reader. I clicked over from your comment on my blog to see if you have CAPTCHA...and what do I find? Posts! Posts I've never even seen! I've resubscribed...hopefully it takes this time.)

    And...by the way...you DO have CAPTCHA! Your word verification is ON! Gasp! TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF! ;)

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    1. Oh cool! - I didn't know you subscribed Stephanie - you don't show in my list. I turned off Captcha - I have been put off leaving comments lately on some blogs because the word V is so damned hard...

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    2. I subscribe to blogs through Bloglovin, and unfortunately there's no way for the blogger to know that I'm following. I don't use Google Friend Connect to read blogs.

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    3. Oh, I just wrote about this same thing on your other post.

      Stephanie, I have not been getting her posts in my reader either. The last I show was from a week or so ago.

      Not sure if it is Julies settings or ours. I am going to try to figure it out. Let me know if you figure anything out.
      I was bummed also when I found out I was missing some. I just discovered Julie, and was like "HEY WHERE DID SHE GO?"

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    4. I'll check out my settings also but I'm sure I haven't changed anything lately, except the Captcha thing.

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  8. The picture of your mom brings up so many feelings. Of a mom who was a bit dressed up for New Years Eve, and is so happy to take her stockings off and be in the comfort of her home after a fun evening with friends.

    That is my own interpretation.Not sure what the true story is behind it. But it is such beautiful portrait.

    I have a favorite picture of my mom, and it is in a little frame in my kitchen. Her smile, her blue eyes shining. I stare at it a lot. (my mom is still alive, and actually lives two blocks down, but sometimes I still can miss her. Usually when I just need a mom hug)

    What an utterly moving poem! Thanks for making me think of my mom, and how much I love her.

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    1. Mums...
      the photo was taken by my 16ish year old older sister (I was about 8). Mum was doing a mini strip, hence the giggly face. I'm so glad my sister took this picture. Sometimes I need to be reminded that my mother had a fun filled wonderful life prior to her old age and sickness.

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  9. Replies
    1. Thanks Amy. As my dad would have said 'She's a good sort'.

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