How we grieve the simplest
truths: we are

the scatterings,

relics of
the mind’s

less than the sum
of our bodies. I cannot see
the word

but it smokes like
the color green
burning, but not of
flame, and once

the knife enters
you must avoid
its secretion

and peel the flesh
to reveal
what hides within:

the stem’s
purchase, pith,

the irretrievable

of a word
my lips cannot


“Irretrievable” first appeared in a slightly different form in Vayavya, in December 2013.


28 thoughts on “Irretrievable

  1. I love ‘the irretrivable shape of a word my lips can not form’.

    Part of the poem reminded me of another one of yours about what an orange feels on being cut (i think it was an orange?). Could you share a link to that please?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Reblog: Irretrievable — O at the Edges | Sarah Jayne Nantais

  3. We definitely share a wave-length, Sir Robert. Your poems often seem resonant of my own, so much so, that if I told you every time I noticed a phrase, a thread, a philosophical musing in one of your pieces that I had just formulated or revised within a week of your posts, I’m sure you’d be creeped out. Lol!

    But I am now feeling inspired to post the one in particular that “Irretrievable” brings to mind. Mine is also about that *something* in our nature — purportedly something we’ve either willingly given up, or simply lost by default — which dictates that the words must elude us, and stirs in us a sort of nostalgic grief. It is called, “Unvoiced.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Unvoiced | slharperpoetry

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