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Original Poem: "As Cottonwood Feathers Swish" with Commentary

Updated on December 12, 2017
Maya Shedd Temple profile image

Poetry became my passion, after I fell in love with Walter de la Mare's "Silver" in Mrs. Edna Pickett's sophomore English class, circa 1962.

Cotton Tufts on the Cottonwood Tree


Original Poem: "As Cottonwood Feathers Swish"

for Ron

Cottonwood feathers swish around outside the window,
Sometimes galing like a snowstorm.
After a few claps of thunder, the rain came

And then stopped after a few minutes.
I've spent five hours alone in this room
While you attend to your business across town.

The luxury of five uninterrupted hours—
To think, to muse, to write, and rewrite—
Shine like diamonds on a freckled neck.

And I have about three more hours left
Until your welcome return.
We will go eat and shop and explore the village.

I will look for things to put in poems, things
Like mountains or cowboys or the laid-back
Style of the some of the college students.

You'll look for trinkets to take back to the kids
And encourage me to buy a dress or another turtle pin.
Maybe we'll splurge on rich dessert and coffee.

Back at the hotel, we'll maybe take a dip in the pool,
Or just relax and converse in the quiet love we cultivate
For each other—a love that grows far beneath the skin.

Cat Writing


Introduction: Commentary

The original poem, “As Cottonwood Feathers Swish,“ affords the speaker the pleasant opportunity of looking back on a delightful event that occurred in her life.

A writer's life is filled with hours of writing, yet many writers, especially if they hold down full time jobs do find it hard to cobble together several consecutive hours to engage in nothing but thinking, musing, writing, and rewriting.

The speaker happily celebrates an occasion wherein she was allowed a five-hour window of writing opportunity. This original poem will appear in the forthcoming collection tentatively titled, “As Tulips Dance and Sway.”

First Movement: "Cottonwood feathers swish around the hotel"

This movement reminds me of the townhouse we lived in while Ron was stationed in that city, during his stint in the military. There were cottonwood trees whose leaves constantly moved shedding their cotton filaments.

On one of her visits to our village townhouse, my mother mentioned an old adage about winds never stopping in the cottonwoods or some such. A lovely thought, glad I can remember it along with my beloved mother.

Second Movement: "And then stopped after a few minutes"

The speaker of the poem is enjoying some time alone attending to her writing with luxury of several hours all in a row. She reports that some rain came and went during those “five hours” she has spent “alone."

Third Movement: "The luxury of five uninterrupted hours"

The speaker then likens those wonderful five hours to diamonds shining on a freckled neck. Any writer can identify with having five uninterrupted hours to concentrate on nothing but getting words put down.

Fourth Movement: "And I have about three more hours left"

To put some icing on the cake, she has three more hours until her husband returns. At which time, she will be ready for some diversion—a pleasant trip including eating and shopping and exploring the colorful little city which they are visiting.

Fifth Movement: "I will look for things to put in poems, things"

Always the dedicated writer—or maybe obsessed writer—she states that she will be looking for "things to put in poems"" as they enjoy their vacation-like business trip.

Sixth Movement: "You'll look for trinkets to take back to the kids"

Hubby will look for souvenirs for the kids and also encourage the speaker/poet to buy stuff for herself—what kind of lucky gal is she?

Seventh Movement: "Back at the hotel, we'll maybe take a dip in the pool"

Then they will return to the hotel, relax, and enjoy that fact that they have a rare kind of love that affords them a soul-refreshing life.

© 2016 Linda Sue Grimes


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