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Poem: "The Ocean of Her Eyes" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Ocean of Her Eyes"
Fully funded 2/11/11, second half filled from general funds.

So far aldersprig has funded $10 of this $20 poem.  Who wants to chip in toward the other half?  I am posting the first three verses of the poem now, the rest to follow as funding comes in.


This poem came out of the February 8, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from eseme and cosponsored by aldersprig.  Here continues the tale of the seer who scrys with the ink of sea animals; this poem is a sequel to "The Fisherman's Daughter" and "Atramentous Visions."


The Ocean of Her Eyes


It is not the visions in the bowl of ink
that captivate her,
but the visions inside her own eyelids.

As the seer ages, her sight begins to dim.
Bright eyes cloud over
until she can scarcely see
the dear faces of her family circling near.

Yet her Sight never wavers,
strengthened by myriad drops of ink
and the viscous swish of magic.
The seer can no longer gaze into the scrying bowl,
but she does not need to do so.
The light and the darkness are one,
and within her.
The smooth bone that cups her brain
is bowl enough for her now.
The world within and the world without
are barely separated by a thin, rippling surface.
Shadows swim like krakens
through the gathering gloom.

Her face is weathered now,
its furrows worked by the waves of time.
Wrinkles bracket her mouth with the footprints of gulls
forever facing into the wind.
Years of tracing an inky fingertip between her eyes
have left their mark there, like a dark line of horizon.
Soon the tide will roll out
and take her with it,
take her home.

For now the seer waits,
and whispers what she observes
into the shell of her daughter's listening ear.
The old woman Sees far more
now that she can no longer see.
These visions are filled with colors for which she has no names,
and shapes that she can hardly understand.
They flicker with electricity like strikes of hidden lightning
and follow currents whose patterns she can almost begin to grasp.
The seer finds them more enchanting than siren song.

Sometimes she thinks that
the world's dreams have gotten lost,
marooned in the white-capped ocean of her eyes.

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8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: February 10th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)


This: The smooth bone that cups her brain
is bowl enough for her now.
is really cool. Glad I could demi-sponsor it.

As an aside: I have a short story half-sponsored; posting part of it is a really good idea. Thanks!
eseme From: eseme Date: February 11th, 2011 02:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes - that description of the visions also stuck with me as well. I thought you might like that.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 11th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you liked this piece.

Yes, I've been doing partial posts of material for a while now. I find that it does help to entice people to finish sponsoring stuff.
eseme From: eseme Date: February 11th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry for the edited comment - Reply decided to fail on me!

I can say that the rest of this poem is equally good and philosophical.

Edited at 2011-02-11 02:06 am (UTC)
laffingkat From: laffingkat Date: February 15th, 2011 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Very nice. Wonderful imagery throughout. And again, it's nice to revisit characters we've already enjoyed meeting--they start to feel like familiar friends. But not too familiar. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 15th, 2011 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm happy to hear this.

Yes, for a poem about vision fading, this one is heavy on imagery. I tried to include references to other senses beyond just sight.
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: July 19th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes she thinks that
the world's dreams have gotten lost,
marooned in the white-capped ocean of her eyes.


I really like the multiple interpretations of these lines, referring to cataracts at the same time negating the meaning of 'blind' that would normally be associated with them.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2011 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm happy to hear that.

This poem runs heavy on the imagery, and yes, several of the terms have multiple layers of meaning. The whole series deals with vision, insight, the way we see things, what we fail to see and why. Sometimes people are blind, and yet possessed of vision; sometimes the sighted do not see what is right in front of them.
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