Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the death of a slipper and a poem

In all the world, there is nothing quite so comforting as woolly socks, except for woolly socks paired with woolly slippers and flannel jammies. This week, I replaced my worn red slippers with a fresh new pair of oatmeal Haflinger woollies. I couldn't bear to throw my dear friends in the trash, so not only did I spare the girls from the landfill, I gave them a noble Viking funeral, as well.  This event sparked the interest of my muse, but aside from the slippers, I think this piece stands very nicely on its own.
























Ignition


Take me fast, quiet,
two guards at every door.
Wrap me tight in your extravagant 
straitjacket where the strangling 
is clean and silent, since when I kiss,
it will not be as a sister.
You have seen my complete dossier;
I would have made a great man,
but I am a woman, subtle,
but effective. Do not toss
me, deranged, in your landfill. 
It is more palatable to give me 
something rich and strange,
tribal, like a Viking funeral. 



Tess Kincaid
November, 2010


Would you like me to read it to you?


95 comments:

  1. Well Tess ... you take us places we never thought we would go! Bye, bye old slippers.

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  2. Only you could give an old friend such a sendoff, wonderful. Your new slippers are drool worthy. I am in my favorite 20 year old sweatshirt and Uggs (with a hole in them) today and quite content to be so.

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  3. When I saw these beauties in the fire my spirit said, oh no! And then I read your poem. And then I listened to your poem. And now I know it is perfect. All of it, beautiful and just right.

    Willow, you are something.

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  4. You never cease to delight and amaze! They were beautiful slippers, and they were given a truly fitting send-off. May your new slippers inspire an equal devotion.

    I'm so glad I dropped in today!

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  5. A tribute worthy of your old friends...

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  6. Goodnight, dear sweet red slippers. -J

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  7. I LOVE it when you read to me! Although I'm sorry to hear of the demise of the slippers, I'm grateful for their inspiration and do love the new ones!

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  8. C'est Magnifique!

    I love this story of the slippers as well,,,,,for it touches my heart in an very endearing way.


    cheers,
    joanny

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  9. ironically this sending off is so full of life... a liveliness and fervor in coming to an end... full of fire! nice.

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  10. Brilliant post Willow,
    truly.

    Your muse is on fire!

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  11. that's very sad...
    and happy!

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  12. Willow,

    This may be the best of yours I've read. It works along with the slippers, but independent of them even more so.

    Just now I tried to 'sample' good lines or phrases and I could mention some, but found myself reading the thing as a tight unity. The entirety should be left as is.

    This cooks!

    Trulyfool

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  13. Totally agree about slippers. I'm in need of a new pair since we put in our hot tub, I need to keep my toes warm on the way out to it. The poem was just lovely, just perfect.

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  14. Trulyfool, although the slipper Viking send off inspired me, I did write this piece to stand independently from them. Thanks for your kind comments!

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  15. Dear Willow, A fitting final farewell to such a comfortable pair of companions which, as you say, have seen and steadfastly endured so much. The stylish newcomers look as if they have already made themselves at home!!!

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  16. Oh, listening to you read that poem took it to new heights. To be honest I've never really got into poetry before, but you and Martin at Square Sunshine are slowly converting me.

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  17. I have requested a Viking funeral ever since seeing the movie Rocket Gibraltar with Burt Lancaster and a very young Macaulay Culkin. Hopefully my children will be up to the task.
    p.s. in the winter I live in my rabbit fur-lined moccasins.

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  18. Thanks for commenting and signing on at my blog. I really like what I see here. I love this poem! If you don't mind, I'm going to tag along...
    Patrick Tillett, Extremely Overdue

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  19. i LOVE those new slippers
    :-)

    bye bye old slippers...

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  20. Slippers, eh? I think I'll check your area's missing persons reports for clever euphemisms. ;)

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  21. Slippers in the fire..perfect ending to their life of giving warmth and comfort.

    Rest in peace dear, departed slippers. Welcome the new!

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  22. Excellent! I know it's hard to get rid of old friends like slippers and comforters, but there's a moment when you look at them through a stranger's eyes and realize it's just gross to continue the charade.

    Burn, baby, burn!

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  23. Oh, I don't know...I love the color of those red slippers and would have had a hard time getting rid of them. But, really, what does a person do with an old pair of slippers? You can't recycle them, although I'm sure there are quite a few shoe-less people who would be happy to have them for sure. At least the new ones are wool. There are some days that getting out of the slippers, socks and jammies is quite unappealing, to be sure. This poem of yours: lovely. It reminds me of the theme that I seem to have been on this week also since the notice and funeral of a friend of my husband's. At least if we have to go, let us go up in a blaze, right?

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  24. That's fine farewell to those faithful slippers, willow. Consumed by flame, alluded to in poetry

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  25. nice...when it is my time...i want to go like your slippers...

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  26. OMG, you have an American accent!

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  27. Yep. I am an American. Can't hide it.

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  28. Yes, this poem is strong on its own! But that slipper...it looks like it has eyes and one big gaping, screaming mouth!! I kinda felt sorry for them....

    Rick

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  29. That burning slipper is eye-catchingly glorious! A funeral pyre indeed. And I loved the poem (though the slipper wasn't on my mind) while your reading gave me an extra pleasure. (Is it hard to record the voice as you have done? I'd love to be able to do the same.)

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  30. A Viking funeral? Would that be good for their soles?

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  31. I'm sad for the slippers..and I have no memories of them to keep them alive. But it's clear it was time to let them go...

    If it were me I'd struggle with the decision to keep them but then I'd watch Hoarders and have no problem letting go :)

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  32. Love the Viking funeral and the of course the rest. Wish I had something used up and as worth of burning as honorably.

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  33. Trulyfool put his digit right on
    the beating heart of the piece;
    for it is completely a stand
    alone. If you had used it for
    a magpie, it would have sent
    us scurrying for espionage,
    romance, tragedy, a strong
    heroine that will not bend
    to the will of men, who is
    only a woman this lifetime;
    for it is Ian Fleming meets
    Dashiell Hammett, rife with
    sensuality and madness.
    If we had not heard the tale
    of the red slippers, and did
    not see the viking funeral
    pyre, we would have seen
    a sequined clutch with a
    Baretta in it, lipstick with
    knockout drops in it,
    blackmail, murder most foul,
    with our heroine framed,
    standing proudly, daring
    her captor to take her life
    with dignity, or not at all.

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  34. I'm not a fan of slippers, or socks, or anything I have to put on my feet because it's too cold to be barefoot, but your new slippers look wonderfully cozy. And tossing your old slippers in the fire seems so very civilized - I'm surprised it's not an old tradition.

    Wonderful poem, and what a treat to hear you read it! How'd you do that?

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  35. Wow. I love the drama in this poem. And you're right it stands alone without the slippers.

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  36. and in this little loss, as is the norm of living, you have opened the door to visit losses of a greater and more sacred kind...with due reverence.

    peace.

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  37. There's always something so sad about a worn-out pair of slippers. (They've given so much, but who would want them?) A noble send-off.

    A minor quibble: It looks like there are bare feet in those new woolen slippers. What about the woolly socks?

    btw, I am LOVING my sheepskin slippers these days.

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  38. I understand your reasoning --the landfill is such a sad end...

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  39. Bee, you are so very observant. I did take these shots in the pre-woolly-sock morning. :)

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  40. It is now one of my favorite things to hear you read a poem to me.

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  41. Thank you, Deb! Are you quite sure you didn't mean "bomb"?

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  42. Glenn, Ian Fleming meets Dashiell Hammett?! I love that. I did intentionally write this piece to stand on its own. The slipper funeral was just my inspiration.

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  43. Loved the name change, Tess. You're full of surprises. And if the poem is already magnificent in its own right, read by you acquires a new dimension. Many thanks.

    Greetings from london.

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  44. Wow - that came from getting rid of your old slippers? Kudos! It's really wonderful.

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  45. Wow - that came from getting rid of your old slippers? Kudos! It's really wonderful.

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  46. I agree with Angella's assessment... the poem is perfect and the idea of the Viking funeral is beautiful. I love the poem & the photo... you captured the moment perfectly.

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  47. Im afraid my Shari Lewis LambChop slippers are heading for the Viking funeral as well. I am just not ready to part with them as they are so cute & comfy♥

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  48. What a creative mind you have! It's appropriate that something that has warmed your soles...should go out in flames! Well done, Tess.

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  49. Items with such emotional heft cannot be discarded too coldly. Fitting, and dignified rite.

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  50. I tend to bury well-loved, but deceased, shoes.

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  51. Your funeral pyre is indeed fit for a viking. Odin would probably be kind of proud of you . . . provided we can count the shape of the fallen slippers as that of a ship!

    Kind thoughts,

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  52. Cro, I actually thought of burying them, but the Viking method was less messy. ;^)

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  53. A Viking funeral is absolutely appropriate for a good pair of slips. Mine are starting to show signs that they have passed their prime. So sad!!

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  54. I have simply got to get me a fireplace, I feel many a humble end coming...do old Birkys burn as well???

    s

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  55. Sharon, I think old Birkys would do just fine. ;^) I will have to tell you, though, the woollies must have been full of fire retardant stuff, because they took forever to burn. I expected them to ignite quickly with all that footsy build-up!

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  56. I love your accent. It is an American one but so sophisticated, just like I had expected it from you!

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  57. That was wonderful. Bringing up emotion from deep within....and a slipper none the less. Brilliant

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  58. The muse is definitely upon your feet as well as upon your shouder! How marvelous and prolific your poems have been!

    I have been in early mourning for my warm, wonderful slippers. They are the second pair of the same brand I have worn for more than 25 years now...I still wear them knowing how close they are to being threadbare...and soleless. I am mourning because I can no longer find the same kind and I cannot bear to change. Silly?

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  59. I did not expect that voice at all!

    You know how I feel about Scandinavia and Vikings (and funerals, for that matter).

    Loved the poem!

    My dad had a pair of shoes that he wore forever and we associated them with him. We drove to the landfill site (he had them in a shoebox and was prepared to dump them), but unbeknownst to him, we substituted a different pair in the box. He tossed the box into the dump and came back to the car with a tear in his eye.
    When we got home, my sister and I presented him with the box and his "old friends". He kept them for years afterwards.

    Kat

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  60. ----------A Worthy Progression.Walk---> Run----> Fly To The Sky-----^

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  61. My favorite line ~ "I would have made a great man".
    ;-)

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  62. "I would have made a great man,
    but I am a woman, subtle,
    but effective. Do not toss
    me, deranged, in your landfill."

    My favourite lines. Striking, yes, clean and striking. It was fun listening to you give voice to your works as well. Thank you!

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  63. Good verse comes from many strange sources. Maybe there's a book to be written, revealing the true origins of the great poems. (Certainly there's a droll meme in attributing them speculatively!)

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  64. I have always wanted a viking funeral too. So romantic.
    I felt like that about my car I just traded in.

    yvonne

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  65. A fitting end to those loved ones. Aren't viking funerals often on ships that basically fade into the waters themselves? I was always intrigued by that whole concept. Just entrancing, Willow.

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  66. Kind of made me feel sad inside ...

    I am always surprised at my ridiculous nostalgia over old things. I have been trying to discard them, truly, knowing full-well that my children would shudder to discover them. :-)

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  67. The poem for the slippers - a finer poem never penned as an honor to a faithful pair

    Thanks Tess

    What a One Shot inspiration

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  68. Tess, you know me...romantic as I am.... (and also a wearer of wooly socks and slippers)....I was really moved by the poem and by the gesture of the "Viking Funeral"... I know the slippers were glad to soar immediately to "Valhalla"....

    And I must repeat how much I love to hear to read your poems aloud!

    Love,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  69. Tess, this is so good. It's so typical of a poet to notice things that would go unobserved by others. Loved it.

    http://liv2write2day.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/one-shot-wednesday-monotone/

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  70. The intro and image set a nice tone; and the poem was superb. The imagery from straitjacket to Viking funeral suggests a great deal between the lines. Awesome.

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  71. This is such a great send-off for your dear old friends. I love the poem for it's own merit without the story as well.

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  72. I love the poem and Yes, it does stand very nicely on its own...no matter what sparked the flame...love the tribal and primal feeling in the piece...very nice write Tess...bkm

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  73. Those socks sound divine! I might have to run right out and fetch a new pair!

    xoxo
    Sarah
    theweatheredword.blogspot.com

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  74. Willow,
    This is too much! I love it!! You're something else!
    :) The Bach

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  75. Burn, baby, burn. Extraordinary lives should receive extraordinary ends.

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  76. beautiful and touched my heart..!
    loved the ending line..great!

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  77. They warmed your feet right to the end as they vanished into smoke...Nice.

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  78. What a fitting tribute to a pair of old friends. My daughter has always said she wants a Viking funeral, but I think she envisions floating out to sea with flaming arrows lighting the funeral pyre while she lays there all decked out with long braids.

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  79. Oh Tess,,, I am always thrilled when I read your work. Just beautiful. Love and Light, Sender

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  80. Like viking funerals- two guards, intriguing,male and female-I guess androgyny is good. 'rich and strange,
    tribal' interesting! thanks.

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  81. Perfect way to send your faithful friends to the great beyond.

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  82. Such a soft heart, Tess, to honor your slippers so. Nice One Shot!

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  83. Good piece, I especially love these lines:
    Wrap me tight in your extravagant
    straitjacket where the strangling

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  84. with such sweet parting
    do we say adieu.
    adieu mon petit pantoufles
    adieu

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  85. Thus spake the faithful slippers..
    Well, they sure deserved the Viking funeral... I am sure they appreciate what you did for them!
    A very noble thought, Tess...
    And superbly written too! :)

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  86. MOTH will love this Willow. His dream is to be sent off Viking-style. He wants me to shove him in an old wooden rowing skull, set the whole thiing alight & float it down the nearest river. I think our local Council officials may take a dim view of the whole proceedings, but hey, what the heck! Those red slippers look like they had a few thousand miles on the clock!
    Millie ^_^

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  87. Everything was wonderful!
    photo, poem, you read ...
    the slipper was a final tribute
    fair and deserved!

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  88. I can almost hear the fire crackle from here. wonderful indeed.

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  89. Dear Tess

    Its beautiful... I enjoyed it so much.. thanks for sharing...

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

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  90. That was amazing. I love that you burned them. They were such a effective companion until they were not. Like a flag, it was the right thing to do. Thank you for sharing that ceremony, so personal and so meaningful. It makes me wish we were neighbors.

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  91. you? are very creative. I love it!

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