Sunday, August 28, 2016

Breathing Lessons



The dead must breathe sometimes,
inhale their memories,

let them sink quietly
into revenants,
scrub them clean,
until like bone,
they shimmer in the dark.


copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2016

Process Note: This piece has been hanging around in this short form for a while now. I am not sure it is a poem yet, but every time I try to expand it into something longer, I fail. So for now, I will share it with you as it is and see if it morphs into something else later.

Posted for Poets United Pantry



26 comments:

  1. It does seem complete as it is, Audrey. I like the idea of them inhaling their memories.

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  2. I am not sure I am qualified - but it reads like a wind fully formed poem to me - wise and deep..like breath

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  3. What I read here is the way the dead become a memory... I think what's left out (if it is) makes it stronger.

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  4. I'm liking this, just as its presented: a flash, an idea penned in correctly a right frame of mind.

    Happy Sunday, Thanks for dropping in at my Sunday Lime

    much love...

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  5. I agree with Sherry, it feels complete. I see the gleam of the bones and the memories being swallowed... as food.

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  6. A fascinating piece. Death does scrub clean - even the most dreadful souls - or so, I have observed to be the case ... at least, within the families left behind to mourn.

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  7. To me this is a full poem. It breathes life into the dead through memories. The scrubbing to me is symbolic of remembering the purity of what was.

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  8. It seems complete...love that opening line.

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  9. until like bone,
    they shimmer in the dark.

    It frequently happens that elements long forgotten can be turned into lots of goodness with the required inputs! Very true Audrey!

    Hank

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  10. i like the cleansing and shimmering...breathing in purity..love this...

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  11. You can expand or not but this poem has power all on its own.

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  12. I'm with Rasma on this one. I had a poem that lingered for ten years, until I let someone else read it. And, without a word, immediately knew that a rearrangement of two stanzas would fix it. It did. I wouldn't rearrange anything here, it is powerful just the way it is.

    Elizabeth

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  13. The first two sentences are brilliant. I have nothing else to say after my highest praise. :)

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  14. Very interesting perspective. I believe, well expressed.
    ZQ

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  15. I really like this, Audrey - a different perspective on the dead, memory, and what the future inherits from the past.

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  16. Audrey this is perhaps the most powerful piece of writing I have ever read! ❤

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  17. I say that I agree with brudberg, also like a well composed piece of music where the silences often say more, as I feel is captured here within your poem. Sometimes we can over craft our work. I very much enjoyed reading your poetry.

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  18. Strong poem--I like it as is. Short poems are among my favorites.

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  19. Lovely. This does let imaginations drift. Thank you for sharing

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  20. Like others it reads well and appears complete but I am sure many poets have revisited old pieces and still tinkled with them years later.

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  21. I am inhaling my memories. Maybe life is in breath and death is out. Or the other way around.

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  22. I like the way this is now, Audrey. Sometimes the distillation process helps us get to essentials. This is a case in point. Nice work!
    Steve K

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  23. It's quite wonderful as it is.

    And I wonder if it isn't the culmination of a short story – which you are yet to write. ? :)

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  24. Actually I don't know that you need to TRY to expand this, as it says what you want to just as it is. I prefer a short & strong piece (as this one is) to one that rambles all over the place. Really, it is a gift to be able to write a SHORT piece, I think.

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  25. I don't think it needs to morph into anything else. It has arrived!

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I appreciate your comments and thoughts--thank you for stopping by! I don't always reply here, but always try to reciprocate--so hang in there, I will be over to your blog in a jiffy!