gauzy angel

He wraps a gauze cocoon round her toes
calves, knees, thighs, hips, belly, and breasts—
covering her upper lip, silencing her brittle tongue.

Next, a layer of ground parrot feathers
shed in captivity on the floor of the
the bird room in their pet-drenched home.

After feathers, bear hair—black moss
pulled from Montana’s tall knowing pines
round and wound with gauze
covering her rough trunk.

A few austere barnacles,
scraping her memory’s walls,
burnish a flinty blur.

She’s grateful for the softness of gauze
cocooning her chalky skin
with feathers and bear hair,
ameliorating her spirit,
arousing the ever-present potential of wings.

Brenda Warren 2012

Visit The Sunday Whirl.

Advertisements

43 thoughts on “gauzy angel

  1. After reading all the comments, I had to go up and reread. You used ‘ameliorating’ so well, I never noticed it.
    An interesting collection of comments. With this poem, I’m going with ‘I love it’. It makes me feel calm, to read it. I like the images and the word choice, as well as the movement through the poem. The movement is lovely.

    Like

  2. I have enjoyed reading all the creative directions this prompt took people. Your poem is mysterious and full of lovely images. Thanks for the wordles.

    Like

  3. Brenda, I had to read this several times. The first reading pushed me into the realm of “Criminal Minds”, as I believe Mary mentioned. After I got past the crime scene, I found a beautiful, sensual poem.

    Like

  4. I was a bit disquieted by this poem. My first thoughts reading through this were of some ritualistic serial killer who at the end shows just a hint of remorse for what he’s about to do…ok, maybe I’ve watched a bit too much “Criminal Minds” lately! But this is a gorgeous poem with beautiful imagery and phrasing, enjoyed it very much.

    Like

    • I’m with you, Mary. I felt that part of the poem, too. And I DO watch too many serial killer shows. They fascinate me and pull me in….definitely could be an influence at play here.

      Like

  5. As I read, my thoughts shifted from one image to the next…ultimately to that of Native Americans and a burial. Sending an improved woman, via the soft gauze, to be among the angels. A very wistful and tender account of her man’s love for her.

    Like

  6. Sometimes we need to carefully wrap the things we love in ritual. Rituals have a history of being a bit odd. So your bear fur and parrot feathers fit perfectly. In your last stanza I see this ritual bringing life back to this tired, brittle tongued angel .

    Hope your snow has all melted… well unless of course you like snow at the end of May.(90 F here today…which is too hot!)

    Like

    • Thanks, Teri. I just got around to visiting my blog again, after a full week. Your comments are well received. I love that you mention ritual…yes..it is ritualistic indeed. And sometimes my brittle tongue needs to quiet. 🙂

      Like

  7. Brenda … the use of the ‘softness of gauze’ was perhaps the most lovely and calming image combined with the sense of gratitude …. I’ve read and re-read this poem three times and it is the softness of gauze that warms me and brings a smile to my lips each time.

    Like

  8. What a great poem twirling about hair, feathers, gauze, moss…and then wings! I declare this my all time favorite of yours Brenda!

    Like

  9. I am in awe of anyone who can use ameliorating in a poem in any context and you have done it so naturally … all through this the song “Fallen Angel” kept going through my mind (I read it a couple of times to make sure I still took away the same feeling) and it just felt like the “he” was trying so persistently to help “her” fly, get her wings – either again, or for the first time – it seemed like such a gentle, generous act he was doing for her especially as near the end all of his effort has resulted in making things better for her spirit, as least; sometimes that can make one soar … I really love this Brenda.

    http://thepoet-tree-house.blogspot.ca/2012/05/reminiscing-before-selling-family-home.html

    Like

    • Thank you, Sharon. I just listened to Fallen Angel on my iPod this week, about three or four times, actually. It likely worked its way into the piece. I have a playlist with songs about angels.

      Like

  10. At first, I didn’t know what to think, but began to catch a glimpse of something completely different. For me, the woman is Creativity, found in childhood, then buried deep in the subconscious as we move to “more adult things.” Wrapped in animal (subconscious) energy (bear of introspective dreaming; feathers of parrot with it’s jewel-like colors and ability to mimic human communication. And the deep rich moist soil of the imagination. Creativity always grows wings that allow us to soar above and beyond the present moment, if we allow it.

    Realize I’ve interpreted your poem in a very different manner, but also believe that’s because it is filled with the rush of your creative wings. Brava lady, you be flying.

    Elizabeth
    http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/

    Like

    • Oh dear Elizabeth, your comments brought a smile that warmed my core. Thank you for reading and sharing your perspective. Your ideas resonate with me, and truly do bring warmth to me on the snowy Montana day.

      Like

  11. I, too, had to look up ameliorating; thanks for that. Lovely imagery. It definitely has a quality of transformation in it, whether for burial or a ritual – maybe even Halloween. I thought of mummification. And the animal imagery: barnacle, bear, and parrot feather – love that, animals of sea, land, and air. I think she’s ready for flight.

    Richard

    Like

    • Thank you Richard. Lucky you, being done with school. We go until the 7th this year. And I have the end of the year Variety Show coming up. I love big endings. LoL

      Like

  12. Thank you for teaching me a new word…I looked up ameliorating! The second word I’ve had to look up because of Wordles this morning. I also thought of funeral preparations…but I read it several times and thought it could also be someone creating an angel sculpture with a secret compartment inside that held perhaps a bitter letter of a loves’ rejection? Yet he still wanted to remember the ‘better’ or angelic qualities of the person who was unkind to him.

    Thanks as always for your hosting the Sunday Whirl – even when others gift you with a list – it is all about the list and where it takes us individually into this loving, collective, supportive cocoon of writers and readers. Thanks for your kind words on my offering.

    Like

  13. Yes, it does remind me of someone preparing a woman’s body for a funeral. He loved her tenderly even though she did have a biting tongue. Lovely imagery all through this. So glad she was getting her wings too 🙂

    Like

  14. You’ve got some gorgeous images in this poem, Brenda. As I read, I could see a husband preparing his wife’s body for a burial ceremony. “Silencing her brittle tongue” lets me know she was fallible and imperfect..

    Like

    • I love this interpretation. Bonehead me didn’t see that in the words. Hope it isn’t prescient, though it would be a lovely preparation for burial. In Montana. a body can legally be buried with no casket, and no embalming. Burial must be within 48 hours of death, and there are site specifications, as well.

      Like

  15. Wasn’t sure if he was protecting and encouraging her or preparing her for burial; “silencing her brittle tongue” leaves me wondering whether love or something darker motivates him. Her reaction makes me think it’s love, but people have been known to appreciate treatment they should be angered by, so I don’t know…

    Thought-provoking piece, this one. Well done, Brenda.

    Like

share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s