Thursday, September 9, 2010

birth giver


From a proper distance
I envied your forbidden arms,
right hand open, not in striking,
but in tenderness,
ubiquitous child
snuggled to your cheek.

The silent night
my mother pulled her plug
without remorse,
your surprise arrival,
Hunter-Gatherer,
was ferocious with pity,
a maternal force unfamiliar
to this protestant daughter.

Carefully instructed to point
a condemning finger,
yet I recognize,
Queen of Heaven,
without a doubt,
the swaddling clothes
of my newly orphaned spirit.



Tess Kincaid
September, 2010



To join Magpie Tales creative writing prompt blog click HERE.
Photo entry as "Silence Lies Broken" in The Tenth Daughter of Memory.


120 comments:

  1. You sure can write! ... brilliant :o)

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  2. So nicely paced Willow, well done.

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  3. This is so touching Willow....i can feel the depth of that relationship and loss...not just because I have experienced it, but because you are such an amazing poet! :-)

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  4. Deeply felt and done with so much skill.

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  5. it is sad, sweet, and gives hope.
    pretty darn good!

    xx

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  6. I did see the image of the figure, but I guess for me the other part of the reflected images was very powerful, too. I guess we all give different importance to the things we see. What you did was amazing!

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  7. Amazing how religion affects us. Is this address to Mary?

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  8. I'm in awe. Oh how you can turn a phrase Willow, it's enviable.

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  9. As everyone else I am in awe of your skill with words. Brilliant, Willow.
    QMM

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  10. Wonderful imagery -- the piece reminds me of a friend of mine, newly converted to Roman Catholicism, who said she liked praying to Mary because Mary, as a woman, could understand...

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  11. I'm not a Catholic, myself, but I am overwhelmed with her comfort and peace in recent years.

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  12. Terrific piece... How more poetic can loss be !!! It was very touching, loss is something we all have endured at some point but we can never get used to it, can we?

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  13. I'm having difficulty with this one, Willow. Maybe it's my strict atheist upbringing, maybe being male, or maybe my simple lack of understanding of such situations.

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  14. Hello Willow,

    Can't believe it's nine days since I last visited! But all caught up now.I enjoyed your three poems; "Silence lies" seemed very different for you and today's is also very touching.
    Your hummingbird pics were very good Sean will have to teach them not to be so inquisitive! Plus films, funny words and pork chops. What more could one need?!

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  15. ...I have been there willow...

    I love this photo too...do you take all the photos for Magpie tales?

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  16. "my mother pulled her plug without remorse," oh so sad. "ferocious with pity," original. not with sorrow, but pity. "swaddling clothes of my newly orphaned spirit," ah so lovely.

    I, a protestant, have always been drawn to the rituals and mystical auras of the catholic church, in particular to mary and the saints. I have done a few 3D art pieces, sort of assemblages, with a sort of mary figure in them. people are drawn to these works, I sold several. I dont' know what it is about her, or a sort of generic her which crosses perhaps through varios religions (such as Quan Yin and other godesses) that is so moving and feels so protective.

    thanks for this lovely poem

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  17. wow- it took me back to when my mother died. Powerful piece.

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  18. The words are great. I was pulled in thinking of beginnings.

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  19. Oliag, thank you, yes I so enjoy taking the photos for Magpie Tales!

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  20. Creatively written! I always love your selection of words-very appropriate! Somehow they all come together so perfectly to form an amazing poem! I can feel the pain and heartache in this one.

    P.s. I've just taken a look at this week's prompt, and I must say, it looks so enticing! Can't wait to get my creative juices going. :)

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  21. A most amazing poem.
    There was such a strong emotional current under those clinical, well-chosen words.
    I really love this one.

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  22. I'm in that room too, in that silent night when you were orphaned. How we change in those circumstances, how we change our perspective in a sudden blow. The title is intriguing, a bit puzzling, just like the instruction to point a condemning finger in that quick moment. Stunning scene!

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  23. Mary is the perfect Mother figure because she gives unconditional love. And that is what we all wisehed for from our own Mothers.
    The stautue is glorious!

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  24. Oh, so extraordinary--your poetry moves my soul. I have felt this way--but didn't know how to put it into words. But you did.

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  25. Willow, I have started a meme called FAT Tuesday, where I showcase various artists (poets and writers, as well) who've inspired me. I would love to showcase your poetry one of these times--would you be open to that?

    It is also a place where artists can share their own work, too--I hope you will join us!

    ((hugs))

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  26. Thanks for the invitation Beth! I'm on my way over to check out Fat Tuesday...

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  27. Having had this unfortunate experience, I really felt this one. Very moving.

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  28. dang willow...the finger in that last stanza...so much said in so few words...think this might be a fun magpie...

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  29. I really like the way you write.

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  30. Willow, and others--it doesn't matter to me WHAT you pronounce or renounce. Only I DO think it is important for me to have--believe in--a power greater than myself. And that Power wishes me no harm.

    She's also named "Queen of Peace"!

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  31. This is an amazing photo Willow and your beautiful words make it more so. My own mother is nearing her last days and this raised such sadness but gave comfort at the same time.

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  32. Outstanding, willow. Memories of stautes in school, churches throughout southern Europe and La Pieta all swum through it for me; beautiful meditation and I love the jarred touches.

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  33. I think your poetry gets better and better willow.

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  34. Like several others this fine piece
    drove me into maternal reflection,
    and as you know, my mother
    passed away at 39 years old.
    I had written an ode to her
    40 years ago, and looking back
    at it, it seemed naive, touching,
    and of course rough around its
    edges. So I re-wrote it today for
    my magpie challenge, and it
    rejuvenated the full spectrum
    of that experience; brief as it was.
    Your poem is rife with wisdom
    and it touched us all. Your
    sorrow became ours, your
    worldview spread out for we
    hungry ones who come to
    your table of poetics for
    sustenance.

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  35. Hehee...poetic sustenance? I don't know about that, but I do aim to please. (your comments are always so very generous. thank you.)

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  36. Oh it has been too long since I stopped by the Manor. Beautiful poetry as always. I'm still playing catch-up from my little hiatus. So sorry it's been a while!

    Happy Thursday,
    Jen

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  37. In your hour of darkness...?

    By the way, you know that photo entries are allowed at 10thDoM, right?

    Just sayin'

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  38. You are a poet of the highest degree, Willow...this piece is so beautifully layered, so moving and endearingly profound. My favourite line is,

    "the swaddling clothes of my newly orphaned spirit".

    There is something magical about those words.

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  39. Sam, those are my favorite words, as well. They arrived packaged just so, out of thin air. I am grateful for the gift.

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  40. Okay, thanks for the suggestion, Jeff. Just added my photo to 10thDoM!

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  41. magnificent...i am speechless once again

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  42. a very moving and touching poem- gentle yet powerful too.

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  43. Wow Willow,
    you are continually getting better at this poetry stuff.. you're amazing... you're a winner in my book! :) The Bach

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  44. "..a maternal force unfamiliar
    to this protestant daughter.." Loved it, willow.

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  45. Is there a more comforting image in Art than the pietà?

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  46. another beautiful poem.
    touching and tender :)

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  47. Lovely, Willow. And wonderful image here with it.

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  48. "ubiquitous child"
    I like saying that.

    "from a proper distance"
    that line combined with the pane of glass between the Mary and the viewer, to me it is very fitting.
    her back being to the viewer strikes me as well.

    all kinds of thoughts conjured,
    thanks!

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  49. Beautiful poetry, beautifully written, a story of loss and filling the spaces of your grief.

    We all seek solace in ritual, even if it is meditating with 'ommmm' or sucking a thumb.
    But on another level, do you ever wonder that the Catholic Mary figure is dressed so much like a modern Muslim woman in hijab and waht that says about us?

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  50. Very deep emotion breathes in your writing here.

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  51. Excellent and thought provoking point, Stafford. That's going to be a topic at the manor dinner table tonight...

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  52. Very powerful words, "swaddling clothes of my newly orphaned spirit", wonderful.

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  53. interesting how the curtain obscures and reveals at the same time

    is it magic?

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  54. Beautiful poem, unusual prompt, well done!

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  55. Wow Willow,
    That is really well written. I read it, went away from it, came back to it, and read it again. It is very moving.

    Also, this weeks photo was perfect for a short story I wrote earlier in the week. Thanks for such great prompts. Kristen

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  56. The words are beautiful
    and the images remind me of my upbringing as a Catholic.

    I struggle with the meaning of it all, yet I keep coming back.

    And I too, find Mary very comforting.
    When I think of what she pondered in heart...
    I pray for that kind wisdom, grace and strength to get me through my little trials.

    Rene

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  57. I didn't even see the image in the window until I read your poem - I thought it was part of the curtain.

    Love this tribute to Mary - who says she can't be for all of us?

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  58. Powerful piece. It breaks my heart.

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  59. I just keep reading and re-reading this poem. There are so many layers that each time I go over it, I find another image, emotion, memory. Very profound.

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  60. Willow I absolutely love your take on your Magpie...a totally different direction than mine. Such a lovely piece of poetry.

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  61. I love the line -"the swaddling clothes of my newly orphaned spirit"

    "ferocious with pity" is wonderful.

    This one took two or three readings..but I like that better than poems that give up their meaning too quickly.

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  62. This made me think of my own mother, who is still alive, totally unaware of her surroundings and of who I am. It is so sad and I felt saddened. She is breathing but dead in so many ways.

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  63. Having just posted my mag31, then coming to read yours before others, I am more than curious to see if everyone else will see the image for what it really is. I surely did not, as evidenced by my poem - and I hope it won't offend you since you took the beautiful photo and then composed this sweetest of poems. In a month I will mark ten years since becoming that orphan and I've gained much solace walking at a nearby monastery, though I am not Catholic.

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  64. I read many different meanings into your poem and that is your great skill - to write in such a way that it can be understood on many levels.

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  65. Great poetry,
    both in words and pictures,
    very poignant too!

    I find it fascinating that Catholics have a female saint like Mary, probably the most progressive mother ever.

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  66. @ Stafford Ray ("But on another level, do you ever wonder that the Catholic Mary figure is dressed so much like a modern Muslim woman in hijab and waht that says about us?"):
    That's Mary who lived 2,000 years ago!
    Jesus is not depicted in jeans either. ;-)

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  67. This is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time... the "ferocious pity" and "the swaddling clothes / of my newly orphaned spirit".

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  68. Oh my, this is extremely sorrowful. I had no idea. Hugs to you.

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  69. Hi Willow -- long time no comment/blog/antything since I started working full time... I thought of you several times this weekend as we were in Charlottesville VA and a realtor friend was telling us about several houses he had walked thru, shown or rented that he was sure were haunted. I mentioned your experiences, and we marveled that people like us would have to hightail it out of there and others love it (one of his renters, who stayed for 2 years)or at least cohabitate well with one (you among them).

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  70. Hey, Sydney! Nice to "see" you again! The ghosts have been relatively quiet this summer.

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  71. Ak, I didn't mention the most important part. The poem is brilliant and beautiful.

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  72. "...the swaddling clothes of my newly orphaned spirit."

    This poem really stopped me in my tracks... Just so profound on several levels, Willow.

    Rick

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  73. Brilliantly stated!

    The depth of this one will touch many on so many levels. Great poetry!

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  74. there is much that can be said in just the picture. it feels rather cold for the woman in the window.

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  75. Willow, Willow, Willow... the last stanza is pure bliss. BLISS I say! Great write. Bisous, Love and Light, Sender

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  76. Sydney's comment, and your reply
    peak my interest as the urchins
    of synchronicity flutter past our
    peripherary golden and red and
    beating their wings like hummingbirds
    on speed, for dang me if I too don't
    inhabit a domicile where spiritual
    interlopers slide through portals
    and dimensional shifts, and stop
    by sometimes, sit on our furniture
    and watch TV with us, walk into
    our bedroom. We have been in this
    house for 18 years. My three daughters
    still when they visit are uncomfortable
    , especially about visiting the basement.
    But here too, over the last couple of
    years, there is relative quiet, and no
    visualizations. Small world, small
    universe. We must compare ghosts
    sometime.

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  77. Thought provoking and beautifully written,
    I particularly liked:

    'was ferocious with pity,a maternal force unfamiliar to this protestant daughter.'

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  78. Thought provoking and beautifully written,
    I particularly liked:

    'was ferocious with pity,a maternal force unfamiliar to this protestant daughter.'

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  79. Really good, Willow .... but I'm not surprised since you write so well.

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  80. Awesome post! An excellently crafted magpie! =)

    -Weasel

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  81. That was beautiful!!
    It's my first time visiting your blog and I'll be back.
    Best,
    gabriele

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  82. This is the third time I have come to read this poem and I am still not sure that i understand.

    Form and texture are what a poem should be and I certainly appreciate the art.

    There must be a meaning I simply cannot follow.

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  83. This is very very good, Willow. The power of belief resonates.

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  84. This is a beautifully written piece of poetry, but I must confess, as a few others have, not to truly understand its meaning.

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  85. What does this mean? I must be daft!

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  87. Powerfully, powerfully written. You've refined pain and come up with something beautiful.

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  88. What should I say.. You touch peoples heart by your incredible thoughts.. A mothers love is unconditional and fearless...

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  89. What an unsettling mix of images!

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  90. Excellent. Hauntingly sweet.

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  91. As always Willow, it's your word pictures that do it for me, such as; "mother pulled her plug without remorse" and "the swaddling clothes of my newly orphaned spirit." Brilliant!

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  92. a beautiful, moving tribute to the Mother of God. Truly divine, Willow. This reminds me I need to get a magpie posted soon before the next one comes out because I absolutely love this photo! Also, BTW, I tagged you in a short meme, which you can find HERE Feel free to do if you like, if not, no worries! Thanks.

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  93. It's always so fascinating to see where your image will take you being that you took the image.

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  94. Beautiful--and wrenching--poem. Beautiful photograph; I hope you frame it.

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  95. willow , the photo is truly incredible.

    but the poem,
    I don't know what to say.
    it's tender,
    powerful,
    and sad.

    wishing you peace.

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  96. Strangely enough I was more tempted to read the second stanza as death rather than birth. But maybe I just went over the life cycle, entering it the wrong way.

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  97. oh...lovely and very moving too!
    I love the way you use those words, Willow! They really have a way of reaching across..

    I rally liked this take on the amazing pic!! The magpie prompts you put up are just brilliant!!!

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  98. 100th participant, what a sweet surprise,
    love your kindness,
    your poetry is the most elegant treat!
    Cheers!

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  99. you have a special way with words..
    heart warming piece.
    masterfully done!

    Happy Tuesday!
    Happy Belated Monday!

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  100. i found something peaceful and reassuring about it :) Love your way with words.

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  101. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  102. You have left me speechless and it is very touching!! Well penned my friend, it is an honor to have you linked with Poetry Potluck, your support means so much!! I thank you. Hugs xx

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  103. You are a very talented word weaver!

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  104. Thanks, everyone, for your kind and generous comments. Like I always say, you are the best readers ever. It's pure joy to share my poetry with all of you. xx

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  105. Your poem left me in a deeply reflective place ... raised a Protestant, convert to Catholicism, questioning today, loss of my mother. Beautifully written, Willow!

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  106. Always the tension of the arrow fired and its flight. Thanks for reading and ommenting on my poem. Hope your week goes well

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  107. very very intense I enjoyed this very much. I did not have time to do a magpie this week but I am glad I made time to come see yours!

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  108. You have captured the contradictory, almost grim glory of Catholic ideology. It comforts us and holds us at arms length at the same time. A very thoughtful, poignant piece.

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  109. Willow,

    Rituals scare me, and their symbols. They scare me because they carry an old stamp of authenticity. They're authentic, not literal, by tapping into the very moments one of which you handle in this poem. Poems can scare me, too.

    TFool

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)