Skip to content


July 30, 2012

and now there will be time
to unclench the raptor grip

slow drip
+++++ e x h+ a+ l+ e.

for eyes to soften
in their sockets,
muscle-sinew-flesh unfurl.

intricacies of memory
well and brink,
rolling into bloom –

Rose of Jerusalem
fingering the air

lemon with morning.


Linking tonight to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night:

From → Uncategorized

  1. sigh….i feel the relief in your words…and it feels good…love the image too of the rose of jerusalem fingering the air…and the lemon scent…

    • Happy to hear you’re feeling those things Brian.. thanks for reading. I think you must be my top visitor 🙂

      • that makes me feel good…your word play is always inspiring so i get as much as i give…smiles.

  2. I love that last line! The whole poem is both invigorating and relaxing.

  3. So happy to re-read this exquisite poem, Becky. It’s always a “treat” to read your work.

  4. I am hearing shades of Prufrock in this with such a different and delightful twist. k.

  5. I do love the favt that i see that dead looking but weirdly alive plant doing its thing as i read –

    this gets better and better the more i think about it !

    • Thanks Arron! Yes, the ability to rejuvenate is so visual in that clip. Happy to hear you enjoyed the re-run without the vid 🙂

  6. hedgewitch permalink

    Very vivid appeal to the senses in the ending, after a rather intellectually tense opening–and now that Karin has pointed it out, it does have a sort of Eliot moodiness to it. My pleasure to read.

  7. the unclenching…the breathing…the scents…release…can feel this and love the Rose of Jerusalem
    fingering the air especially…

  8. Oh wow, this is gorgeous:

    “Rose of Jerusalem
    fingering the air

    lemon with morning” … What an interesting pairing. The sourness and unpleasant flavor of lemon with the freshness and dawn of morning. A new beginning after a painful ending. A resurrection after a death. Perhaps you are talking about Jesus. Perhaps you are talking about a type of rose. Perhaps the hand was clenched around a rosary and is now letting go and moving on.

    I’m wondering if the speaker was keeping prayer vigil at a sick person’s bedside, and now the person has died. I think there is relief in letting go, be it of a person who’s died or a person who’s moved on without you. Whatever the object of your love and attention, sometimes we only find freedom in releasing our grip, slowly exhaling, and allowing ourselves to feel the lemon juice while welcoming the morning.

    This is beautiful, Becky. Even just surface level as a description of a flower opening, it is exquisite.

    “intricacies of memory
    well and brink,
    rolling into bloom” … This is so powerful, the way we replay events, words, feelings—particularly when we’ve lost someone or are in the midst of losing the person.

    And then of course, there is a spiritual level, as this could be related to the resurrection of Christ.

    The title means “Search,” so clearly the speaker is feeling his/her way along, trying to find “morning.”

    • Shawna.. I love that your comments are longer than the poem.. thank you for delving deep.. as you always do!

      Yes, this started as a simple description of what it feels like to relax at the start of the holiday, to actually have the time to re-visit memories and unwind. When I was looking for images to help bring that to life, the Rose of Jerusalem seemed apt.. it soaks up water and springs back to life just as I imagined the connections in the brain surging and linking as memories are brought to the surface. Here’s a video clip:

      Recherche is a nod to Proust’s well-known exploration of re-visiting lost/past times. Sometimes memories jolt us unprepared (often through the sense of smell or sound) and sometimes we have time (as here) to wallow in the past. Yes, this is a conscious search.

      The imagery, I think, allows readers to find many different ideas and scenarios to relate to. Jesus is rarely on my mind, nor figures in my poetry, but I see exactly what you mean. Wonderful how words can trigger such varying responses, so depenedent on our contexts as readers.

      Thanks for your thoughtful responses.. always appreciated.

      • And I appreciate that you allow me the freedom to share what I see, even when it is not exactly what you intended. I have left such lengthy responses for others and have been told a few times that, no, I am completely incorrect. I don’t revisit.

        I really enjoyed your response, particularly the part about Proust and your description of the rose. Thank you, Becky. I always learn so much here.

  9. Love the word play & imagery, Becky….it’s the release & letting go of pain….love the lemon morning…such good writing 🙂

    • Thanks, Louise, delighted to hear your response. I’m fascinated to hear each reader’s response.. the release and search was central to my thinking and I think everyone will read it slightly differently. For me, that is a definite plus.

  10. The open rose of J. is such a neat reflection of the relaxation that opens the poem. So well done, and with so few words

  11. Really enjoyed this especially the opening to the e x h a l e

  12. Becky, you have such a way of bringing readers into your moment, whatever that moment may be. This virtually breathes relaxation, I can feel it in every word and it’s wonderful. The way you’ve formatted exhale makes it feel like it’s flapping loosely in the wind, or even mirroring the slow release of breath as one sits down and just is. Wonderful poetry– as always 🙂

    • Isn’t it wonderful when we make space for that stillness? Thanks so much, Emma, I’m thrilled to hear how this is working and appreciate your interest and support very much 🙂

  13. Nicely done….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: