Friday, November 6, 2015

Poetry Friday: Growth Spurt

The Poetry Seven's assignment this month was simple: Write a poem inspired by an image.  (Technically, it's called ekphrastic poetry.) We all used the same image, plucked specially for us from the magpie-marvelous collection of Tanita Davis.


(Source: lowpresssure, via baikuken
Sculpture by Danish artist Susanne Ussing

Growth Spurt

Hold your tongue, they said.
Unable to grasp how such a
delicate hand as my own could
hold such a large and dextrous muscle,
I laughed.

First discovery:
Laughter is mighty exercise
for the tongue.

Have a care, they said.
But I could not nibble at care—at the metallic whiff
of the bit approaching, my tongue bucked
words, flinging them upright and uncleft
into the wild.

Second discovery:
Language multiplies the reach
of the tongue.

Quit jawboning, they said.
But, by now, my head—enlarged by the excavations
of my tongue—was naught but a bony bloom;
the world, whispering back,

Third discovery:
I was not alone
but one of many tongues.

Hush now, they said. Hear our prayers.
Their too-small devotions brushed my skin,
worms turning dirt. I shot to the sky,
a hot-house flower, all of me muscled as
         my tongue.

Together, we made the

Fourth discovery:
        I knelt; they held
        my heart, thrumming.

                      ---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

I tried not to look at what my poetry sisters wrote for the same image until I was done with mine, but OH! Wow. Go look now:

Tricia (Happy 9th blog anniversary!)

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Katya at Write. Sketch. Repeat.


  1. See, this is what I love about your work. You took this way out of the literal ballpark, while I am tethered closely (too much really) to the image.

    I am quite fond of these discoveries and how they connect to the mixed media of the sculpture. And I love your hot-house flower shooting to the sky. Funny I saw the glass, but not the greenhouse.

    Amazing poem.

  2. Sara, this is fabulous!!! I am in awe of what you've done here. Seriously.

  3. Loud and proud, girlie. That's where it's at. Love this.

  4. Oh, Sara, I love lots of this, but most especially the horsification stanza. You always take things in such an imaginative, unexpected direction.

  5. Hello SARA -- Wow, do I love this. I'm so in love with the language here but also the attitude. Thank you.

  6. I love how this is all pushing and reaching and discovering...until the end, when it turns quiet and bends back down.


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