for the love of lalabets


Written for Shay’s Word Garden (Randy Newman)

I met you first on a Saturday
we stood on the boulevard 
winter blunt in the wracking trees

the sky (rendered charcoal) 
dropped a persuasion of rain
and we watched 

the sea rip white lines
through the tide; how it
undermined a ruined cliff

where land overflowed into rubble
and sadness pounded,
tumult bright as shattered mirrors.

the gulls clung 
orange footed clothes pegs 
on the railing, eyes like corn chips

and feathers frothy as soap suds
and your endless cigarettes
bid white the sorry breeze

your hair was flaxen flung
whip sharp on your skinny bones
I thought I loved you 

but you married a sailor
stiff as a scarecrow 
in his smart-ass blue and white

my swallowed words
sipped telephone wires
ripening with the twisting sun 

vocabulary of silence
walking miles to your door
these fifteen years

yellow cats 
still remind me of you.
like bald boughs and thunder

Yesterday I heard about the loss of somebody beautiful and this song has been my soundtrack since. I hope you can enjoy it while you read my poem.

26 thoughts on “for the love of lalabets

  1. There is a quiet, rippling beauty that runs through this poem – and your treatment of the elements, the comparisons you paint with the images is brutally strong, rough and jagged – yet somehow, it is still so very beautiful and (oddly enough) soft. There are far too many striking images for me to snip and single out – but wow, you really had me when you made the gulls feathered clothes pegs – this really anchored it and made this poem seem all the more human – more personal and intimate.

    And I’m really sorry for your loss and pain. May you find peace and solace in time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I adore how you described the gulls. I think we all have someone we find it hard to reconcile our feelings for, or their feelings (or lack of) for us. Loose threads that still wave at us long after the tide has gone out. Thanks so much for being part of the List, Jo.


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  3. As I first read, I was paying attention to the word list and how deftly you’d incorporated it, but then I just started feeling and remembering as one does when an old favorite song comes on. Just a finely crafted sweep of thought, memory, mystery and emotion. Lovely to discover your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am sorry. I sound so awful!! I meant physically couldn’t comment. The program wouldn’t allow it. And I read a lot that night which is why I couldn6 remember yours specifically. I am so sorry if I offended you.


      2. I left a response on Shay’s blog last night (Australian time) because I still got an error message when I tried to post on your blog. Don’t know why I left it on Shay’s but I did. It’s in the comment under the mr Linky for the latest word garden prompt.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. the poem picked up for me with the gulls, and the magic continued to that stunning last stanza; the love story is haunting and yes, Worms, it;s the first entry in my new commonplace book; thank you for this something special 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It came to me. But I have a jabit of picking weird names (of people I mean). I like them but others have reported finding them distracting. Also, another reason I called it a working title was because I felt like i gave up on the editing rather suddenly and that perhaps rhe poem needs refining.

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      2. I just ignored he title and got stuck into the poem; it’s your poem but the first four stanzas I brushed aside; like I said, the poem came alive for me with the gulls —

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful lyricism throughout, Worms, and I especially enjoyed the personification with how the sea “undermined a ruined cliff,” “sadness pounded,” “the twisting sun,” and the “vocabulary of silence.” And a very evocative piece of music too.

    Liked by 1 person

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