Memory's a thing of the past.
Hoards of fragments, dredged
and fired by desires to cling, to tell
to forge all those thens as now.
In laying down layers of bedrock
we mine our personal geologies.
One word can begin the dig,
It halts now at mineralogy.
Yet long before my tongue twisted
round such a cumbersome sound,
I was hooked. Along the classroom walls
glass cabinets of curios, unearthed.
Fabulous petrified forms
some clear as ice yet warm
To touch, kaleidoscopes of crystal.
And myriad metallic glitters
- enough to tempt a Midas.
Rainbow haematite in silver-grey
and locked within, a prism.
My small hand chipped one sliver.
Such modest greed and yet it seemed
I too took fire from gods.
Windows of glowing gems
still captivate, for moments only.
I've diamonds from a grandmother
emerald engaged in a ring
and two small rubies for my ears.
All closeted away but on the windowsill
a clear quartz cluster
pointedly picking out sunlight.
For my Poetics Prompt, we recall something from our past or write of what evokes our memories: In The Light of Other Days
54 thoughts on “Magpie”
I remember those ‘cabinets of curios’ in museums – the Natural History Museum has some great ones. Nowadays museums go over the top trying to make the surroundings so fancy you lose the impact of the artefacts. This evoked fond memories for me!
thanks Ingrid- these were schoodays when nothing was dumbed down!
Oh yes, and we were traumatised by railway safety videos!
This is gorgeously rendered, Laura! I especially admire; “One word can begin the dig, It halts now at mineralogy. Yet long before my tongue twisted round such a cumbersome sound.” 💝💝
thanks Sanaa – my memories are readily triggered by either a word or an aroma but that word is hard to say!
Oh yes, I can relate 💝💝
Ah, memory triggers…hard to define. Love these lines:
“Such modest greed and yet it seemed
I too took fire from gods.”
thanks Ron – geology surprised me with its trigger!
I love that ending – the generosity of semi-precious stones – not valuable enough to hide away, beautiful enough to lift the heart. And I loved those old museums. The Natural History museum in Dublin was like a museum of a musem for years. I’m not sure if it’s been redesigned yet.
a perfect summation of the semi-precious Sarah
Words, images and smells–all triggers and gateways to the cloistered treasures of yesteryear, and the traumas and joys connected to them. An evocative and clever piece; I enjoyed it.
many thanks Glenn
The language of this is crystalline, quarried by memory from vaults located somewhere between the imagination and the heart. A precious lode, this poem. And the identity in these facets goes far beyond human time. The inhuman includes the plant world, the mineral and the stellar too. Old memory in those cases. Great poem, well carved.
Brendan your geological comment is a wonder! Thank you for all that
In a poem packed with treasured lines, I found “I too took fire from gods” just so powerful, and all leading up to it. Thank you for such a lovely poem.
thank you finding some treasured lines here
Very vivid and visual.
just like the minerals!
I like this more each reading – very evocative and moving
For me it is smells – wet fern and chamomile recalls childhood holidays in Cornwall; Maxwell House Coffee my Uncles’ farm in Kent; cedarwood incense the retreat centre in Shropshire…
And music – certain songs from the sixties and early seventies. A Whiter Shade of Pale and I’m back at the local lido; early Leonard Cohen and I’m my teenage bedroom…
quite some memory journey – I’m still in the classroom with the rocks!
Sorry, I went off on a tangent!
WOWZA! This piece rocks!
spot on Ron!
The mind weaves its own web, a gathered glittering. (K)
love your epithetical comments – thank you
This is wonderful Laura. Beautifully written, and very captivating! Such splendid memories, so well expressed. I have a “?relative?” (husband of my wife’s cousin) who is a dedicated “rock hound”, as he is self-proclaimed. Going to their house is amazing, like being in a natural history museum. He takes the family on spelunking vacations.
thank you Rob for your generous feedback – I need to go spelunking with your ‘relative’ though until now I would not have not what that required
I love the way you have personified your personal geology dig! Such great memories to reflect on many from those we love!
thanks Dwight – digging deep there
You are welcome!
What a lovely memory! I still love the look, touch and feel of rocks and semi-precious stones. I feel the energy from em ☺️💕
they never fail to captivate even after all these years
Beautiful, Laura… I like your opening line a lot, and this one also stands out to me:
I like the metaphor you used throughout 🙂
thank you David – just happy that so far I have not suffered the same fate as Prometheus!
Amazing imagery, and you had me with the very first line!
And you have the gems (enough to tempt a Midas) to go with the memories. How precious this is. I sure liked the lines: To touch, kaleidoscopes of crystal.
And myriad metallic glitters
– enough to tempt a Midas.
Thanks for sharing, Laura. Lovely.
my pleasure Selma – thanks for your appreciation of this magpie’s memories 😉
I too, am fascinated by rocks and minerals. I absolutely love the way this poem flows and that ending is spectacular Laura!
thank you to another magpie Linda 😉
What an engaging poem, Laura. I share your fascination.
thank you Bev – I hear you!
I really enjoyed the first stanza set-up connecting memories to geology.
thanks for noticing that – it set the poem off literally and figuratively!
Nice work. You have mined the deep and rich vein of metaphor without mullock hill or slurry dam in sight.
digging with clean hands – thanks Sean
A thoughtful poem. I love the metaphor of the magpie!
thank you Owl
Beautifully crafted, Laura, you brought me right along.
that’s good to hear – thank you
I am a magpie around stones.Each one I bring home comes with that memory. The map of Africa I use to sign off my blog posts – I remember where and when, the walk together on a busy road, quietened for major repairs. And now it all sits comfortably in the palm of my hand.
exactly Diana – I have a tiny face stone I found on a beach years ago and remember where and when and who with
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