23 Poems Before I Turn 23 Challenge: A Song from the Suds

Poem number 4

A Song from the Suds by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott is among the queens of queens and I dote on her. She is one of the authors who have permanently been on my reading list and I do hope I can someday strike her name off that never ending Neverland of a parchment. I have grown up watching the Little Women anime and the 1949 adaptation has been a favourite. Although I must admit that I’ve quite forgotten the specifics of the tale since I last saw the movie 6 years ago or so. This challenge has reminded me of my teen love and I will surely fall back into its arms as soon as I get the opportunity to sweep away the mundane dust of life (which is pretty much the theme of my next poem).

The Poem:

Queen of my tub, I merrily sing,
While the white foam raises high,
And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring,
And fasten the clothes to dry;
Then out in the free fresh air they swing,
Under the sunny sky.

I wish we could wash from our hearts and our souls
The stains of the week away,
And let water and air by their magic make
Ourselves as pure as they;
Then on the earth there would be indeed
A glorious washing day!

Along the path of a useful life
Will heart’s-ease ever bloom;
The busy mind has no time to think
Of sorrow, or care, or gloom;
And anxious thoughts may be swept away
As we busily wield a broom.

I am glad a task to me is given
To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health, and strength, and hope,
And I cheerfully learn to say-
“Head, you may think; heart, you may feel;
But hand, you shall work always!”

My Thoughts:

I adore the simplicity of the poem. The words mean what they appear to mean, yet Louisa’s art of writing is pretty evident in the crafting of her sentences: they are short, crisp and lyrical. Her sense of humour is unparalleled and philosophical, if I might call it that. Her thoughtfulness is evident, but it is the clarity of her thoughts and words that I love the most, for clarity is something I strive to achieve in my writing. I have a muddled mind and I am a frazzled human being. And anybody who is not so inspires me and captivates me and enchants me.I am enthralled by this poem.

This is going to be one of the poems I will read to my kids someday, for it is beautiful and funny. Louisa compares a washcloth, out of all the things in the word, to life! And anybody who can pick up such a mundane and common thing and find beauty and grandeur in it is gifted according to me. She reiterates my philosophy of life: make yourself so busy that you have no time to think about the dullness and trauma surrounding life. This is something I’ve been doing ever since I took a lone trip this summer to satiate my wanderlust and realized that I’ve been fooling myself into believing that I’m not a loner. I realized during my sojourn just how beautiful life is when you do not have to depend on anybody else, but march to the beat of your own heart. Relationships are treacherous; they fool you into believing that you cannot survive on your own, when in fact being your own wolf pack is spectacular (and addictive). I’ve become so involved in myself that I barely have the time to think about unnecessary complications (but I still do drown in my misery sometimes, for I too am human).

I guess Louisa has found the answer to Alaska’s question, “How do you escape the labyrinth of suffering?” Dwell on thoughts, be angry and sad and broken, but do not stay idle. Work towards something. Work for something. Goals are one of the things that breathe sensibility into human existence. And all I do to stay sane is keep my eyes on the prize, when every inch of my body wants to stand and stare.

4 down, 19 poems and 24 days to go!

© That Girl in the Fray, 2015. All rights reserved. 

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The Raven that Flew Far and Far and Far and Far Away

A Raven once flew too far away from home

It ended up in a barren iced wasteland, all alone

Miles and miles of white devoured the black of the little being

It saw nothing for years on that icy scene

Heard no voice nor felt the beat of another heart

No one to confide to, no one to help heal its scars

no heat

no heat

No Heat

The ache of the thirst.

Fading memories of smiles laughter and mirth .

Starved of love and food

and affection and hope that never renewed

For days it prayed for its breath to stop, its blood to choke in its veins

Anything to stop the blinding tears and the endless pure honest pain

Alas, silence was all that answered its screams

it screamed and screamed

and screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed

The White haunted even its dreams

But it is all untrue.

It is all an illusion.

The battle had left her blind and deaf.

On Days When You Feel Lost

On days when you can’t see the stars at night

when the demons in your head won’t let you sleep

when the insipid illusion of life turns you into a nonchalant drone

when all is but a barren sunless dystopia

I promise to hold you in my arms

to tell you that you are loved and cherished

that I will be there through hell

I’ll be there through heaven

I’ll be the knight in your night

and the blue sky in your day

And the smell of iron rust of routine and dailyness

will, thus, be marred by the promise of May.

Comfortably Numb

Hath time been an enslaved dove I keep chained in the chamber,

My bidding an edict etched in stone for its survival,

It would fly to the cinematic moments I lack the strength to delete

The photographs I speak to night after endless night,

So I would stop myself from feeling I finally belonged.

To moments so I would hold my tongue from giving away a thousand hidden sentiments.

I would scream at myself, think, think for your mind is but a padded lock,

Think, you fool, for you know it is but a masquerade.

I would cry a thousand tears at once

to not have enough for the single drops that fall for a thousand nights.

I would inflict enough wounds on myself to be numb to the fight.

Numb, for I am numb now to every star every thunder,

My soul embracing the deep slumber.

Beauty is dead, my sorrow is a vacant stinging hollow.

Never Let Me Go

It scares me to death when he puts his arm though mine and we walk into the soiree.

I hold my breath because I’m constantly waiting for the reverie to shatter.

For Cinderella too had her midnight, so shall I in this melancholic story .

I steal a glance at him while walking through the crowd, his ethereal fingers laced through mine.

The brown in his eyes stabs my soul a million times.

I am so in love with him, it breaks me to pieces and I fall apart in a clatter.

He holds me by the waist before even an inch of me caresses the marbled floor.

He knows every movement of my every muscle, every molecule of my breath, every beat of my cracked heart.

He recognizes the look in my eyes, his eyes reading the parchment of unspoken words in my core.

I can sense the gold of his aura drawing in the darkness of mine, turning to an odious grey.

Because that is what we are: mud, and ashes, and rotting vile corpses left unburied in a gruesome fray.

I’m an ignominy, a misfit to the incomprehensible mess his world calls art .

His lips part to say the words I know will melt my fire, sway my conscience for sure.

I refuse to be his hamartia anymore.

I step away from him, every inch of distance a ray of relief, a knife in my heart, a pin in my eye.

Never let me go,” I whisper as a last goodbye.

Skinny Love

Her breath pierces his soul.

She heals in the aura that is his.

Her laughter a thousand symphonies in gold.

His touch, a million electric heartbeats amiss.

She makes him dance in front of strangers in unknown towns.

He pushes her to embrace her storm, the parts she tucks away deep down.

She is his frozen lake in a summer breeze,

The fear of breaking her, he can hardly ever breathe.

She believes him to be a chimera, a mirage all in her head,

She knows the crinkles near his brown eyes are in her heart eternally etched.

The unspoken words in the graveyard between them mount high,

In the gentle wind, they kiss dandelion dreams of the other goodbye.

Her

There is this agony that I fail to define

This want, this need beyond the comprehension of my mind

Her lips, Her eyes, Her glistening smile,

Your phantasm of Her walking down the aisle

I know I’m the one

who told you to seek out the stars

I know I’m the one

who told you to follow the flight of your heart.

Tragic, though, I’m not the one.

The air stings this face that cannot breathe

The sea rises in infinite rays across the pier where I lean

salt meets salt, the clouded eyes that cannot see.

Wasn’t this charred heart enough?

The shards of glass in my soul, weren’t they enough?

The sting of your words dedicated to Her,

The bruises you never saw in your grand gestures on the spur,

You lifted Her in the air and crowned Her in all glory

I, the antagonist of my story

I helped you bleed your own heart

and hid the joy of the daggers I’d sunk in my part

The suffering, the pain, the loss, the darkness, how much was enough?

What a waste, the salt, the sea, the scars my nails dug in the wood leave

My silent scream at Her indifference, your unrequited love, your salt, my salt

Your broken heart is my burden to bear.

Funeral for a Dream

We are gathered here to say farewell to my dream, that as of now is dead, and to commit it into the hands of God.

Tonight I’m letting myself cry my soul out, I’m letting myself break down in the most grotesque way possible. Tonight, I’m not forcing myself to be strong, to hold it in, try and bottle it up. I’ll do all of that when I have to face the world tomorrow. But tonight I take off my mask and within the confines of my room, I’m allowing myself to scream as I writhe in pain. Tonight I bare my wounds and let them bleed.

Tonight, the darkness isn’t within me, for I am the darkness.

Tonight I’m a mess, shouting my lungs out trying to stop these voices in my head. Tonight I’m all things vile, malign and inimical. Tonight I’m not brave. I never was anyway.

I really don’t care about the things people say about me. I never have. What makes me scream right now, the thing I’m most scared of is this part of me that hates me for giving up. This part that knows how weak and vulnerable I was when I took the easy way out and abandoned all that I cherished. This part that will never forgive me for letting it all go and not fighting until my last breath. Guilt and regret are the only things that scare me to death and as they engulf me, I scream again and fall to the ground as my legs don’t have the strength to carry me anymore. I fall to the floor and lie there, cold and broken in dystopia, with no hope.

My eyes are as dry as a bone and I’m empty now. I can’t summon the energy to scream anymore. I just want silence and stillness, to be put out of my misery and sleep in a peaceful perennial slumber, so that my mind stops blaming me. So that my conscience stops blaming me. I just want to forget.

But forget I shall not. I’ll remember this day for my entire life. The one day that changed my life forever. The one decision that has altered everything forever now. The one dream I let go of.

I therefore commit my dead dream, dead wishes, dead hopes and desires to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life. Amen.