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feather : you {somehow still alive}

by Richard Paez

feather : you i found
beside the street one day
as if by god’s design--
you : beautiful, forsaken, forgotten thing
you : a bit of heaven mine

feather : you i kept in my pocket
feather : you i kept closest to my heart
on lonely days, in times of hurt
to pull you out and feel your touch

isn’t it amazing
how much love and life
can be found in one moment?
incredible how many faces
pass us by like heartbeats

feather : you i kept
for the wings i never had

born the apple of your parents’ eyes
you fall, you roll away
you know you’ll never see that tree again
so you hand the apple to your favorite teacher
let your first love cut you to the core--
as that first kiss tears into you
like teeth into your flesh

in time you’ll heal
pick yourself up

in time you’ll kneel
with bare hands dig
plant what’s left in hope
hoping you chose the best spot
for big, strong branches--
for a shade on summer days
like a lover’s arms around you

pray for rain
pray for the skies to open up again--

pray for rain
that the gods take pity on you now
realize your mistake
that this was somehow all in vain--
you’ve reached twenty-five
and are somehow still alive

feather : you i found
beside the street one day
as if by god’s design--
you : beautiful, forsaken, forgotten thing
you : a bit of heaven mine

feather : you i found
riding the wind one day
a remainder divine--
you : beautiful, forsaken, forgotten thing
you : a bit of heaven mine

feather : you i kept in my pocket
feather : you i kept closest to my heart
on lonely days, in times of hurt
to pull you out and feel your touch

feather : you i kept in my pocket
feather : you i kept clenched in my palm
till a new wind came, stronger than i
to teach me how you’d fly again

isn’t it amazing
how much love and life
can be found in one moment?
incredible how many faces
pass us by like heartbeats

isn’t it amazing
how one moment
can change everything?
incredible how one breeze
stole you away from me

feather : you i kept
for the wings i never had

born the apple of my parents’ eyes
i fell, i rolled away
i know i’ll never see that tree again
so i handed the apple to my favorite teacher
and let your love cut me to the core--
as your first kiss tore into me
like teeth into my flesh

but i can still see you
despite my tears

but i can still see you
hanging from your branch
so red and fresh
i will not pull you down, no
i’ll wait here
as long as it takes
for you to fall to me

i’ll be praying
praying for the skies to open up again--

i’ll pray for rain
that the gods take pity on me now
realize my mistake
that this was somehow all in vain--
i’ve reached twenty-five without you
and am somehow still alive

i’ve been so long without you
yet i’m somehow still alive

06/15/2004

Author's Note:

Two poems in one, done a little differently than I usually do it. The apple and feather images are trite, that is true, but there's not much I can do about that--and regardless, I like what I have done with them. Any suggestions, criticisms, or thoughts are highly appreciated. Thank you. |m|

Posted on 06/15/2004
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 06/16/04 at 06:48 AM

there is no criticism on this planet that could alter this heart-wrenching piece... tears have welled up in the eyes of this one absorbing this more than brilliant piece... my chest hurt reading this and i felt as if i was falling, softly, yet swiftly, at the same time... the style, in fact, lends major emphasis to the subject matter... the punctuation and words usage superb and intense... having read many of your other poems of this subject matter, i felt immersed in it's raw and true emotion... this is a masterpiece, richard, in my opinion... blessings...

Posted by Richard D Frederick on 06/18/04 at 04:53 PM

repetition is rarely used skillfully, and i'm glad you didn't fall into the norm. it made the poem, it drove in the emotions harder and harder each time. lovely.

Posted by Teri T Lahmon on 06/22/04 at 03:17 PM

I agree it is very trite. However, for me at least, triteness (and sometimes cliche) is not always a negative thing. Especially in this piece. If something becomes "trite" because it has lost its power to evoke from being worn and overused we should look at the cause for this wear and tear. Why would we turn so many times to a specific image or metaphor, what does it mean or reflect, and does it reflect it more keenly, more clearly and definately than other images and metaphors? Okay I'm rambling. Let me hone straight in on the point. This piece speaks to me of the process of triteness. Of becoming worn and faded of losing voice and the power to evoke because one is being used and turned to repeatedly, (it's all tied up in the feather and "the born the apple of your parents eye" for me, perhaps I'm projecting my own meaning, but ~shrug~ everyone does, it's part of the process of art). However part of the beauty and paradox of the piece (of said triteness) is that the speaker still sees in these overused images the original attraction, the original truth, the original inspiration and in the simple gesture of picking up the feather and pocketing it reinvests it with its power to evoke. So in the end, it's trite but not. Paradox is good. Thanks for sharing. ~T

Posted by Beth K Hannah on 06/25/04 at 12:33 AM

oh, this was so wonderful...it made me sigh with sadness but smile with hope.

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