16 December 2013

What We Carry

File:San francisco in fog with rays.jpg
San Francisco fog with the Golden Gate Bridge in the foreground
and the 
San Francisco skyline in the background.


Let us talk about the dust of years,
the sands of time and the difference
between dust, sand and fog.  Weight matters.

Once while sunning on a sandy beach
on the Pacific Ocean I slept
and woke to a thick fog that erased

Everything.  (See that stanza break? 
How scary to move past it without
sight!)  Contours of the shore walked me home.

To the car, actually, where I gasped,
slowed my pulse, licked the blood off my lips,
prayed thanks and shook sand out of my shoes.

The fog did not stick like the sand did;
I escaped it but still felt sand grit
in my hair and ears, still swept it up.

In the car, especially, I think
of that fog when I hear sand bragging
from the corners and cracks where it lies.

The dust of years covers all of this
now.  I've stopped competing with it for
possession of mere things and times past.

I let go of dust and sand, carry 
them no longer through foggy spaces—
experience is weighty enough.



Posted for 

Poetry Pantry #181

 at Poets United.

Copyright © 2013  S.L.Chast




28 comments:

Brian Miller said...

they will build up and weigh you down much as anything, so best you let them go and keep on moving....i like how you address the poem directly....its humorous a bit, unexpected...fun...the bloodied lip gives it a little grit...

the short story was post before last: http://www.waystationone.com/2013/12/zoo-keeper.html
have another to pop out in the morning. it was what i wrote pre-poetry and i really have fun with it...i forgot how much fun actually and they are just popping out right now...smiles...so there will probably be several over the break with poetry sprinkled between.

Robert Bourne said...

do we ever completely cast away all the grit that builds up over time?.... interesting thought I had when I read this...

quest4peas said...

This poem "took me there". I was on that beach, waking up to fog. The stanza break (and the poetic comment about it) was brilliant. Beautiful piece of poetry! (and man am I ever looking forward to dVerse returning in January!!)

Mary said...

Oh how familiar I am with the dust of years, Susan. How it builds up with time, doesn't it? We can no longer continue to carry all that dust and sand. I think, with time, we have to let go of many things. Perhaps keeping the experience though, which is indeed weighty enough!!

Gabriella said...

"The dust of years covers all of this / now. I've stopped competing with it for/ possession of mere things and times past." Great lines, Susan! I think that with time we learn to let go of a few things and are better able to weigh what is important and what is less so. At least I hope I do.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Letting go. Now, there's the trick.

Sumana Roy said...

the weighty ones stay forever...beautiful lines....

Jinksy said...

The dust of years covers all of this now. I've stopped competing with it for possession of mere things and times past.

Now there's a profound thought...

Nataša Dolenc said...

love the imagery here.. the first verse sweeps you in, and the last one is very meaningful.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I love this. Experience is certainly weighty...and with time often our past experiences become rather foggy. Excellent writing.

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

Susan,

I know and have seen that creepy San Francisco fog, as it rolls inwards, in such a sneaky manner. It hangs low for so many hours. The Golden Gate Bridge has such a strange atmosphere in any weather, but particularly when lost inside this fog.
I can sense your panic in the fog, though with sandy particles to keep the memories strong...Loved this Susan as I could feel it while reading.
Happy Christmas and New Year to you and yours this festive holiday time, Eileen:)

madhumakhi said...

It must have been so frightening to have blundered your way through a fog that blinded you. Yes, experience is weighty enough. But can we be fully rid of the weight of experience?

Ankita said...

Beautiful poem with lovely imagery....:)

grapeling said...

oh, this is brilliant, Susan - what a way to compare those three elements (as it were), and the break of the '4th wall' with the line break comment. (And in pen the Day? a Phoenix, perhaps? Or perhaps just a hummingbird.)

Mademoiselle Modelle said...

I got caught up in this brilliant poem.....especially the letting go of sand & dust.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A fantastic write, that surely resonates with me....I most love the closing line, "experience is weighty enough". So true. LOVE the photo of the San Fran bay in fog. I was in a deep fog like that once at the beach. It was amazing.

Victoria said...

Wonderful metaphoric dance, Susan, but I also enjoyed the reality of the details that I lived in and commuted in (over Devil's Slide) for many years when I worked at UCSF and lived in Half Moon Bay.

ND Mitchell said...

A very unusual poem. I really enjoyed where you took us on this unexpected journey. Nice one.

kaykuala said...

Most frightening these foggy mornings. While one is extra careful the same cannot be said of others. Pile-ups on highways can be tragic. Nicely penned Susan!

Hank

Wolfsrosebud said...

I like the maturity of this... test of time and how you use the elements of nature to reveal a truth you've learned... nice

Vandana Sharma said...

As we proceed in our life, we need to realise that somethings are better left behind.

K said...

Loved it. Love the use of natural elements and the message behind it. I may have to read it again...or twice, to fully let it all sink it. Well written.

dsnake1 said...

excellent poem! yes, experience is weighty enough, without the assorted baggage collected over the years. :)

Stormcat Poetry said...

Susan this is exquisite. You've made my short list of poets. I so felt the weight of experiences as I read,
"I hear sand bragging" just blew me away . . .
Thank you

Susan said...

I deleted the duplicate.

Susan said...

I deleted the duplicate.

WabiSabi said...

I LOVE this poem! You took me by the hand and showed me not only the experience of the fog but the experience of years! LOVE!

Karen said...

The contrast, the weight, the bragging sand. Unbelievably good. Powerful!