Sunday 20 November 2016

Rush of the World

Image result for big dipper
'and, like a needle slipped into your vein—
that sudden rush of the world...'

Any Common Desolation - Ellen Bass

can be enough to make you look up
at the yellowed leaves of the apple tree, the few
that survived the rains and frost, shot
with late afternoon sun. They glow a deep
orange-gold against a blue so sheer, a single bird
would rip it like silk. You may have to break
your heart, but it isn’t nothing
to know even one moment alive. The sound
of an oar in an oarlock or a ruminant
animal tearing grass. The smell of grated ginger.
The ruby neon of the liquor store sign.
Warm socks. You remember your mother,
her precision a ceremony, as she gathered
the white cotton, slipped it over your toes,
drew up the heel, turned the cuff. A breath
can uncoil as you walk across your own muddy yard,
the big dipper pouring night down over you, and everything
you dread, all you can’t bear, dissolves
and, like a needle slipped into your vein—
that sudden rush of the world.


  1. Thank you Siobahn. I didn't know this beautiful, poignant piece... poignant for those of us just enjoying a beautiful Autumn, for those of us whose wives just gave them new socks to keep their feet warm (!), for those of us who lost our Mums this year...and for those of us with a thing, or two, we dread hanging over us. Thank you. Alan M

    1. Hi Alan, thank you very much for your lovely comment. Glad to hear you enjoyed this poem. It is a beauty and I stumbled upon it just by chance, just - as is often the case with poetry - as I needed it and as I always feel with posting it here, that others will too. The power of poetry to uplift is untold.

      Best wishes,



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