The Unfollower

A stark stone winters wall

Collects the spent Oct snow

A winding length of cobbled rock

Which follows where I go


The stubborn cling of early cold

Settles where it will

revealing breath along the way

falls grey against the chill


The season exhales in suddenness

With alabaster breath

A final proclamation

marking Autumns death


The stark stone winters wall

keeps a creviced, crimson bloom

Resisting winters stern command

it ignores the alabaster tomb


All who pass the cobbled wall

applaud the defiant stem

A virtue found in people

too often times condemned.

Comments 57 comments

whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

Wonderful portraiture and fine in its message. We defiantly and stubbornly hang on to our dreams and desires, despite a harsh winter's blight. Thank you for sharing this marvelous work, arb.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Beautiful poetry Alan. The metaphor of the "defiant stem," defying Winter's approach works so well, and then you expand it to a human dimension which gives the poem thoughful impact. This is "Frosty."


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

This is beautiful written Alan, we do often fail to acknowledge the virtues of others!


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

Mmmmm...bravo, sir - your pretty words weave a winding path in my mind..

i understand that brave yet doomed flower..

i also believe there are things worth dying for..

me gusta, mi nuevo amigo!

i'd un-follow you anywhere..lol

voting up and sharing with the hub-munity!


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

I'm mesmerized with the spoken truths presented by your quill sire . . .

Tim


Valleypoet 4 years ago

Very elegant my friend, definitely not one to be condemned......a chilly treat with some impressive depth of meaning. Awesome:-))


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Well hi there Karn! Me thinks there is much that weaves through your pretty mind. I suspect you do, indeed, know this flower. Doomed is relative, it is after all, the "what" we left behind.

It is good to please one so easily pleased.

To one who does not follow, an un-follow will suffice. They are both in the same proximity. Un is simply the predeccesor of all that follows. :)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello again Tim! Thank you for the kind comment. I suspect such virtue is only understood by those who keep such possession.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Good day Valleypoet! I suspect you are not far from Winters clutches yourself. A gracious comment from one I so esteem. Be well my friend.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

mmmmm...i knew i liked you for a reason..i'm a big fan of smart, sane, imagination and balance..

un-evening...and all that follows..


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

This is mesmerizing, chilly poetry, my friend. Well done. Puzzled though by the shape of that winding rock wall. Had to be a labor of love, not economy.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Maybe it is me, but this whole thing is a trip (in a goodway). I see a way wind around trees, then your word to challenge conventionality. Well... thank you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

What magnificent poetry reminiscent of the Rubáiyát in its classic clarity and elegance, Alan.

A tad sad but somehow perfectly right for its subject.

I have to admit that I was arrested by your illustration. It so reminds me of images I used to doodle all the time, with those full 3D twists and meanderings. They lacked snow, of course, since I saw so little of it! But do I dare to imagine that we share some primal twisted, winding imagery in our beings?

". . . A winding length of cobbled rock

Which follows where I go. . . "

Ah! What a great parting thought before I retire on our first really chilly night of the season!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Good morning Karn! You undoubtably reserve impecable taste in men for I am indeed, smart and imaginative. I prefer insanity to being sane, but, 2 out of three ain't bad. I didn't mention balance because it is proportionate to how good the beer is!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

It is a wall dedicated to all thats good in non conformity. It doesn't have any notion about where its going, perhaps the reason we share our walks!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

As always hatter, you see well. thanks my friend!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Good morning butterfly! I will have to read it again with Omar in mind. I've actually committed about 15 verses to memory. One of my all time favorites. I wonder if elegance is perceived because it remains your filter? I suspect so.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

The Rubáiyát was among my mother's favorites and has always seemed magical to me.

I needed to read it again to strengthen my sense of comparability with your poem, with the result being I'm even more convinced. It's not only the sharing of that purity of classic styling, clarity & elegance, - but their authentic inspiration vs. a kind of 'laundry list' mentality which too often creeps in and robs the effort when folks 'SET OUT TO write poetry'. That's a subtle difference which requires a subtle difference in perceiving the difference which might be compared to recognizing a difference in singing 'from the heart' and just being meticulously, technically exact; - not that it couldn't be both, but 'heart' is the main requisite for it to be memorable and treasured; often effort boomerangs.

Sigh. Reading Omar merely translated surely isn't the same as it would be in its original language. I'm a bit suspicious of translations in general because they inevitably miss some subjective fine-tuning of the author's original intent in preference to the translator's own. I think of numerous examples!

Would be lovely were you to record and share your recitation of the verses you committed to memory! Even a hub about it would be good.

Thank you for the compliment. Rest assured, though: the filter means that elegance is perceived only where it abides! I cringe and am silent when it's absent in writing where it ought to be as inherent as it is in yours.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I am, unfortunately, stuck with interpretations. Much of what I like about the work is the marriage of classical poetry and philosophy. Two of my great loves. Omar gave much more credit to the grape than I, but, I suspect it was greatly responsible for the beauty of this work. He and I have opposing views, none the less, his thought and poetry are not diminished by his philosophy. It is the way with all the arts I suspect; We esteem them for the beauty they possess and not because we champion the particular view of the artist. In other cases, we can see a view we endear presented with all the blaw in the world. To possess such gift as to marry them is more than the heart is willing to forget. Perhaps the reason I am so drawn to your poetry!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Perhaps it is the conviction of the artist which lends the work a kind of authenticity it could derive from nowhere else. While being its foundation of rock rather than sand, the artist's conviction merely supplies his/her nucleus around which its electrons spin. It doesn't demand agreement in order to simply BE and to be appreciated by the recipient. It is part of the whole. While his conviction may be foreign to our own, we could not respect anything less than his own sound nucleus in another. Authenticity itself is a common denominator.

When it's fruits are beautiful and inspiring, we are enriched and nourished by them, no matter differences of conviction or of language.

If truth were fully known, and if our own conviction is true, kinship with 'the other' may be closer than we realize and polarization may be the imposter. At the nucleus level there is unity. We are drawn to it magnetically because we, too are part of the whole.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Good morning butterfly! You are right. It is the authenticity that captures and keeps us. Running my daughter to the airport. She's going to Chicago to supervise the movers. Boy are they getting a handful. I shall pray for their sanity!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

All who pass the cobbled wall

applaud the defiant stem

A virtue found in people

too often times condemned.

Great words and I look forward to so many more .

Eddy.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

What a Wonderful Poem, so Deep and Rich in tone...So Expressive. You've taken such an Interesting Picture and chosen such Beautiful words to expressing the thoughts behind, "This Stark Stone Winter Wall"

My Votes of UP, Amazing, & Beautiful go to YOU!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I don't envy them that move. But how lovely it will be when it's done and they're securely in their new home close to those they love who love them!

Watched an amazing movie this afternoon on the Sundance channel: "The Man In The Chair". Another kinda good one, but pale by comparison: "Forces of Nature".

Have a slight sore throat so I'm taking it easy. Did I catch it from you? haha


c-m-hall profile image

c-m-hall 4 years ago from York, Maine

cool man ...


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you Eiddwen for the kind words and I will look forward to your return!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I too, am fighting the encroachment of cold, or flu, but, I keep falling asleep in the middle of every movie. Either bad movies or I like sleeping.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

thanks women...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Ah - yes - maybe both! haha, though sleeping is one of our bodies' best remedies for many ailments, especially those, like colds, which do it their way & must 'play out'.

I'm falling asleep in the middle of things too!! y-a-w-n - - !

I'm redoubling my efforts with all my 'Dr. Mom' remedies to be able to be as aware and alert as possible this evening for a very important meeting with my ranch allies. I made a list of imperative things to be discussed & resolved & had to stop writing after #12. If we get through 1 through 6 of the MOST critical & RIGHT-NOW ones, it will be an accomplishment. 7:00 PM isn't my most efficient time of day even in the best of health! haha. But they're in Sherman & this was the only time all of us could get together for a face-to-face.

I must say that my Dr. Mom remedies are helping my cold a lot! Was really happy to find a ziplock bag of dried horehound from the ranch, - picked & dried the last time I was able to do so - in the fall of 2003! I brew it and breathe the steam from it under a towel-tent It's very effective, though this batch has lost some of its virility; but still helped. I thought I had none left, though, so finding it was like a godsend.

Mainly I want to not spread germs to Trent and Casey, so getting coughing under control and having plenty of Kleenex handy are major. Sprayed lots of surfaces with Lysol spray I do feel it's breaking up, which is a relief. I can't afford to put them out if commission - or to be out of commission myself! I'm my own caregiver! :-) (Thank you - such a nice shoulder!)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

PS - the meeting went well and we made headway through all 12 items! I served a bowl of Hall's Mentho-lyptus drops! :-) Trent and I both resisted taking the last one, so I replenished the bowl for us! I offered Casey dark chocolate nuggets but he resisted, knowing he'd be hooked and unable to stop with just one or two.

I also got a first-hand lesson in the pump at the bottom of my 712' water well! Casey brought the actual pump that was in there before it was replaced with a bigger, stronger one. Amazing thing!


Call me Jon profile image

Call me Jon 4 years ago from Clifton, Virginia

Fantastic poem arb! Such profound lessons can be taken from the most mundane of things, as you so elegantly prove with this piece. Brr, and not without a hint of "good-writing chills"


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I have apparenty made a slow turn for the better. I pray the same upon my friend. I've confined myself to home this week, although I have forgone my walks. I will resume today. Shoulders are a necessary appendage and used for so many things. Mine is always yours.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Happy that things went well. The Hall's are my favorite.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Welcome and thanks for reading Call me Jon. Look forward to returning the visit.


d.william profile image

d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Great poem. thanks for sharing


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I'm feeling much more 'myself'. I think I've started to conquer the horrid thing. Thank you for the welcome shoulder! They are very necessary appendages!

Hope your walks aren't too chilly when you resume. Of course, no doubt, you've all the proper gear for the weather.

I'm VERY concerned about Hurricane Sandy. Do I recall your having relatives in that area where it's wrecking havoc? Hope I'm wrong but it not, my prayers are with them, as well as all those folks. in its path.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

d.william! Thanks for reading


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Well Nellieanna, I'm so glad you have turned the corner. I too, have made the turn, but, it lingers, apparently fond of my charming company. I've decided to walk every other day for a while until I am a 100%. We have family in N.Y. on my wife's side and they are encountering their fair share of Sandy's wrath, but, are holding up. Be well today butterfly. (:


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Sorry I’m late, but I’m taking a brief sabbatical until the political heat of the season cools.

An amazing poem hails that which is unique…the defiant stem that leaves its path where it will. It follows not the straight and narrow but etches its way along the new, rebellious of the familiar. Its “alabaster breath follows where I go.” This is one of my favorites, Alan. It melds so beautifully with the photograph of the winding length of cobbled rock. Voted up and much more.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you Genna! It is always good to see you, late or otherwise. Your brief sabatical may last longer than any of us might endure. Good luck.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hi, Arb. I’ll be back right after the election. It just seems that there’s a lot of arguing going on in Hubville, lately. By the way, your hub on the Presidential Debates Merry Go Round was a breath of fresh air!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks again Genna.


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 4 years ago

Too often times condemned indeed arb. Beautiful description.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thanks sweet pea! Man is so afraid of all he doesn't understand!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

The season exhales in suddenness

With alabaster breath

A final proclamation

marking Autumns death

Such beautiful writing arb--just gorgeous!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you Audrey, your comments are most appreciated. An indication of my esteem for your poetry.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Good morning Alan - First, the picture left me breathless and full of longing...not sure what I am longing for precisely, but I want to be there. I want to be "in" that place. I have always found autumn and winter the more beautiful (perhaps striking) of the four seasons and I like the bones, the skeleton of things - bridges, building when only the steal girders are in place ... but this is something deeper. I shall ahve to think about it awhile.

And the poem -- stark, commanding, stirring, quite amazing. I am struggling to isolate favorite and most meaningful lines. I hear a bit of Frost, but mostly I hear you.

THE SEASON EXHALES IN SUDDENNESS

WITH ALABASTER BREATH (brilliant, sharp, like a silver stiletto)

A FINAL PROCLAMATION

MARKING AUTUMNS DEATH

___________________________________

THE STARK STONE WINTERS WALL

KEEPS A CREVICED, CRIMSON BLOOM

RESISTING WINTERS STERN COMMAND

IT IGNORES THE ALABASTER TOMB

Something in me is drawn to the thing that, or the person who, survives against the odds, against all expectation, even against all reason.

ALL WHO PASS THE COBBLED WALL

APPLAUD THE DEFIANT STEM

A VIRTUE FOUND IN PEOPLE

TOO OFTEN TIMES CONDEMNED.

The whole verse reverberates, but what speaks to me most is, "applaud the defiant stem." I shall have to read this several more times and contemplate the pull the picture has on me. Thank you for this "gift." Theresa


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Theresa! I apologize for my prolonged absence. I see I have much to catch up on. Comments, reads, and for some reason about 35 new followers. I've little time as we have been attending a medical crisis in our family. My sister in law has contracted a very aggressive and invasive type of breast cancer. She has completed Chemo and is going in for a double mastectomy and the removal of her ovaries. She has no family which may come and assist her recovery so we are lending ourselves to her need. I've had little time for Hub but felt a need to let someone know what I was up too. Pray for Cecile. She is only 42.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Alan, I and I'm sure others have wondered about your absence. Anne and I will hold good and healing thoughts for Cecile. Anne, a breast cancer survivor for 20+ years, was especailly moved by Cecile's plight.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Jim! Thanks for the kind words and well wishes. Hope to return soon and catch up. Until then be well my friend.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Alan, my thoughts and prayers echo Jim’s thoughtful and encouraging comments. I hope that Cecile recovers swiftly; she is blessed to have you and your lovely wife by her side. Hugs and good wishes to you all.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Alan, my thoughts and prayers are with Cecile and with you and your family. You all must be so disatressed about her. The poor dear. I'm so glad she has you and your precious family to assist and support her, as only family can.

I've been concerned about your lengthy absence and have checked your hub site frequently, hoping to see your return here. As always, no day goes by I don't send my thoughts to my very dear friend. But they'd begun to be seriously concerned for your well-being and hoping you were all right your own self. I'm relieved you are.

Not to worry about rushing to catch up. You know all your devoted friends understand and wish you and Cecile only the best now, which is the main priority. Her attack of cancer which seems to have affected more of her system is dreadful, and she's so young, too. My heart hurts for her. As Jim says, there is hope, though, and he and his Anne know that.

Thanks for posting the explanation so we can focus on the actual situation rather than fretting about any possible other one.

Take care of yourself and we'll await your return when the time comes, hopefully with good news for Cecile.

Hugs.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Alan - My thoughts and prayers are with you, Randy, Cecile, and the family. Hoping and prsaying for a good outcome. Theresa


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you Theresa! Hope to return soon. Tried writing today but withered in the want.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hello dear Nellieanna, I've neglected your garden far too long and left comments unanswered. I am thankful for your prayers as at times, we've nothing else. Perhaps they should be our first resort rather than the last. I've tried to write today for Ceci. I wanted to say something but after an endless stream of deleted waste I will settle for what the day allows me. I miss you, be well.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Hello dear Genna. I do covet your prayers and thank you for your visit despite my long respite. I know that you have written during my absence and I do so look forward to reading. I will be returning early next week while my wife stays another 10 days. Be well my friend.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you. No problem whatsoever. You've not neglected.

At risk of a reply causing you to feel pressed to reply again, I can't help but want to remind you that you're very much held in tender thoughts and prayers, along with Randy and Cecile. I pray that the danger will subside for Cecile and that the tension and anxiety subside from each of you.

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