Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Suspended in Time and Space"

This is the freebie for the August [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alatefeline. It also fills the "loneliness" square in my 8-1-16 card for the Survival Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Tripping into the Future.


"Suspended in Time and Space"


You remember
(your hands recall)
how to make a hammock.

It is easier here, because of
the cactus vine that plumps up
when the rains come and then
shrinks down in the dry season.

Dried and pounded to remove
the flesh, it leaves a tough skeleton
that make rope without needing
to be twisted or woven.

Your fingers fly
(opening and closing
like the wings of a bird)
as they make the knots
to hold the cords together.

It is lonely work,
but then, everything
here is lonely.

When it is done,
you hang the hammock
between two alien trees.

You climb into it
and sway in the breeze.

Suspended in time and space,
you can almost forget what
you have done (your hands
remember, but you are not
listening to them now) just
for a few minutes.

There is no one and
nothing to disturb you,
and if it is lonely, it is
also peaceful.

The quiet interlude
is broken by the sound
of screechers getting
into your garden.

You bail out to chase them.

Behind you, the abandoned hammock
waits patiently for your return.

* * *

Notes:

“A hammock is the best place to spend a midsummer afternoon. When you climb into a hammock, you are linked to reality only by the narrowest of cords. Suspended in time and space, you shed any sense of weight or corporal substance. As you sway with the gentle rhythm of the breeze, you drift and dream between heaven and Earth, glimpsing the blue truth of sky beyond the wagging treetops.Then suddenly the spell is broken by a dog’s snout poking you, a rumble of thunder or a child’s cry, and you are brought back to a world you temporarily left behind. But the hammock’s solace is not forgotten. Its gentle crescent lingers.”
-- Robert S. Kyff in Hartford

Hammocks may be made in various ways. Read some simple, intermediate, and advanced instructions for making a hammock with rope.

Loneliness can actually kill people. Here are some things to do when you feel lonely. Some of them work anywhere, but most require that you not be stranded alone on an alien planet.
Tags: creative jam, cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, weblit, writing
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