Shutters VI


The sixth of a series of twelve written at a shuttered window. Originally published in the anthology Terra Firma in 2004, with a reappearance on this blog in 2014.

Shutters VI

For instance, the pear blossom’s coiled
descent, whispering its way to the
earth, or a cold spiracle

releasing air in time to present a new flower,
the exhalation entwined and open
like a small door to a place the sun won’t

touch, the center trembling and pale.
The between, the interval of now and
now brought to fruition. A sudden thought.

What carries it aloft cannot be held.


21 thoughts on “Shutters VI

  1. Bob, this is a beautiful poem, diction and enjambment and the totality of how it hangs together. If you haven’t lately (and have any time), you might like to visit (or re-visit) Eliot’s Four Quartets; its concern with time present, time-past, and time-future (or “the end” and “the beginning”) and how words and music move only in time (for only time conquers time, he says) mirrors a few things (it seems to me) that you’re doing here. While I don’t subscribe to Eliot’s faith, one has to admit there’s something to it (language and philosophy, for me; faith for others) that is thought-provoking, subtle, and lyrical. I’m sure other poets have influenced you much more, but since Eliot is whom I am most familiar with, it’s him I cite! Keep those (12) Shutters coming! [In fact, you’ve probably subliminally influenced me, as I opened a flash fiction piece I wrote last evening with a character looking out the window of a spacecraft onto the icy volatiles banging around in the Oort cloud (which, at this point is theoretical; but I made it definite in my story!).]

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  2. I like this one very much. It seems vastly different than the other five poems entitled Shutters. It seems to talk about the instant that life begins. The blossoming of a flower, the striking of a match, the inception of a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robert, your poems are meditative, calming, a kind of, I will venture to say, oriental subtlety whose symbolism can be discerned between the lines.
    For example (and this is my interpretation) in the seemingly two separate lines, through the decline and flying, through birth and death, bending.. rising.. I glimpsed the symbolism of Icarus flight and there are many more engraved messages (universal) about life, in your poems. I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Leila. I use archetypes in this type of meditative poem for that reason – they bring much more to the poem, to the writing, than mere images. The psychology, the symbolism, is embedded in our psyche. Of course one must be cautious of overuse.

      Liked by 1 person

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