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A Story Unfolds

Updated on May 5, 2015
AudreyHowitt profile image

Audrey is a poet, classical singer and voice teacher, recovering attorney and licensed psychotherapist.

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My #29 for National Poetry Month



your script calls

for life's scenery to shift

like set changes in a blackout.

So, in two minute increments,

i move, feeling my way in the dark,

searching for traces of light's aura on the green of my days.

.

"cue lights," you call,

as another story piece unfolds.

characters whose scripts

entertain their own agendas,

spout wisdom unabsorbed

before moving offstage in the dark.

i sit in an old chair and watch,

searching for the way back.


my garden's clock is longer,

measured by months,

crowding out the tearful,

leaving space

for the simple;

watering, weeding, pruning.


i find my fingers

reaching for the moments

when, squandering time

and attention,

i turn my sight to my garden,

its needs matching my own

so perfectly.


copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

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    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Audrey, this was a beautifully written piece you have such a gift! thanks for this delicate snapshot showing life intertwining. Well done have missed your poetry.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Very nice poem, the garden does need the same care and feeding as our physical bodies -- and our souls.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      There is a lovely moral in there somewhere, Audrey. Thanks for reminding us.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Audrey - I like this.

    • James-wolve profile image

      Tijani Achamlal 2 years ago from Morocco

      Very talented.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 2 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Hello Audrey :-) Firstly, I appreciate the poetic sharing with the simplicity of gardening bringing such delights as the amazement of life lived with its complexity. As a gardener I too experience what is shared. I strongly recommend a moment of pause reading with your sharing . . . maybe longer pondering seeking the treasures hidden within each of us.

      tim

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      It's an interesting concept that some people and parts of our life can be pruned back. Makes me smile. Much enjoyed!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Suzie!!

    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 2 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Okay Audrey: You know--if you don't, you aren't paying attention--how deeply I respect your work. You are hands-down one of the top poets anywhere on the net. But with performance at that level comes a price--when your Muse sputters a bit, nerds like me are all over it. And a lonnnnnng time ago, in a masochistic moment, you said you wanted me to be hard on your work . So I'm just doing my job.

      It's pretty clear by the end of this brief piece where it is trying to go, what it is trying to do. Whether the opening is a successful launch might be another story. Now, before the more impassioned of your fans jump all over me for rewriting your poem to MY liking--uh-uh. All I'm doing below is getting into the text of the poem , turning, and looking back out at the reader (and at the poet) and asking some questions that arise FROM the text. There's no 'right' or 'wrong' in my heart or mind.....just some questions for you to do with what you will.

      STANZA 1 --

      life's scenery shifts focus............metaphoric transfer could be clearer.

      like set changes in a blackout......If sets change IN the blackout, where

      cue lights....................................do the LIGHTS come in? Oh! 'cue'

      and another story piece unfolds..means we're back 'ONstage' (actual set

      and moves offstage.....................HAS changed)...but wait! now 'story'

      end scene...................................is introduced. 'Story' is the action that

      'unfolds' in FRONT OF the set. But it is not the set itself. But the metaphor announces its two parts are changes in life itself paralleled to SET changes. For the metaphor to be fully effective, should the terms not be drawn more precisely?

      And I wonder if the metaphor might be stronger if 'then' were substituted for 'and' in "......and moves offstage". The conjunction makes the 'unfolding' part of the movement to the offstage. The intent of the metaphor, however, seems more like that of frames on a film strip. Life = scene...FLICK...new scene ...FLICK....new scene, and so on. If that is correct, THEN would produce a slightly greater separation and serve the interests of the metaphor better.

      STANZA 2 --

      my garden never seems to adhere..........If the garden NEVER adheres,

      to these 10 minute explanations of life...why have the 'set change'

      Its clock is longer,.................................metaphor at all? This stanza is

      measured by months,............................untypically 'prosey', wh. tends

      crowding out the tearful........................to break the potential spell cast

      leaving space........................................by the stage metaphor in St.1.

      for the simple;......................................In fact. the language here tends

      watering, weeding,................................tends to break down its own

      some pruning when needed..................metaphor, in that the change in

      a seasonal garden is so slow, one might ask on that evidence alone

      whether the 'scene change' metaphor is entirely appropriate here.

      Perhaps an adjusted transition between the two would be worth considering? KB--I think "ten-minute" corrects for the hyphen and looks a little more elegant

      STANZA 3 -- Here is the Audrey-strength of the poem! An affectionate, bemused reflection that--even as with the garden's more unruly tendencies, you might eagerly reach for those "moments" when you can snip out this or that aspect of your life--PERFECT transfer within the elements of the metaphor, and on various levels as well. This closing stanza pulls details of Stanza 2 forward and offers the subtlety and depth that we expect in your work. It rounds out the experience of the whole poem (excepting stanza 1) and invites the reader in, perhaps sharing a slight sardonic smile with the persona as both take a 'moment' to snip out another weed from their lives!

      So, them's m'thoughts. If you agree that there might be a stumble of two in Stanza 1, you can probably deal with them with a word or phrase. I really ENJOYED this poem. I "got it", of course, and appreciated the insight.....as well as enjoying a smile with the persona. How often does one get THAT combination?

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Oh Clark --I can always count on you! I know the first stanza is a problem--and yes, when you are all over it, I do appreciate it. I am going off to practice, teach and perform tonight, tomorrow and Sunday--I need to think about this a bit--and I won't have time until performances are done--

      then I am back at Metaphor with a new pile of stuff--it has been a productive month

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting poem with thought provoking imagery, Audrey. I always enjoy reading your work.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 24 months ago from london

      Much discernment; wisdom-flowers in this your exquisite poem. Have a great week-end, Audrey.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 24 months ago from California

      Ok--Since HP won't keep the original before the edits, I am pasting the original here--and thank you Clark---giving this another go--edited version above--

      Original:

      life's scenery shifts focus

      like set changes in a blackout.

      cue lights

      and another story piece unfolds

      and moves offstage.

      end scene.

      my garden never seems to adhere

      to these 10 minute explanations of life.

      Its clock is longer,

      measured by months,

      crowding out the tearful

      leaving space

      for the simple;

      watering, weeding,

      some pruning when needed.

      i find my fingers

      reaching for the moments

      when, squandering time

      and attention,

      i turn my sight to my garden,

      its needs matching my own

      so perfectly.

      copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

    • snerfu profile image

      Vivian Sudhir 24 months ago from Madurai, India

      Lovely poem. Good work again.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 24 months ago from SW England

      'Life is a stage...' as someone once said!!

      Wonderful as always. You capture many aspects of life so well.

      Ann

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 24 months ago from the short journey

      Mmmm…enjoyed…it's difficult to explain the depths. This is wonderfully thought-provoking, yet peacefully simple.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 20 months ago from California

      Thank you AliciaC!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 20 months ago from California

      Thank you Annart!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 19 months ago from California

      Thank you for reading this one James-wolve! Much appreciated!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 19 months ago from California

      Thank you MizBejabbers!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 17 months ago from California

      Thank you drbj!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 16 months ago from California

      Thank you Mike!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 16 months ago from California

      Thank you RTalloni! Glad you enjoyed this --

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 15 months ago from California

      Thank you Manatita!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 15 months ago from California

      Thank you Flourish! You make me smile!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 11 months ago from California

      Thank you snerfu!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 11 months ago from California

      Thank you tim!!

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