Thursday, August 2, 2012

Seal Legs

Seal Legs

Wobbly, wobbly world,
the water is being called up
into the air, bees walk away
from all that used to bring
them joy, and any wildness
we learn of, we leash.

If your house was burning,
what would you take to the lawn.
If your world was backing away
from you, still holding everything
you own or know, what would you
say as you waved, as if to a ship.


  1. What would I say? I guess we lose each other.

    So much delving in your poems. Unique thinking, too.

  2. Ah, "any wildness / we learn of, we leash," alas!

    I took nothing to the lawn, but was glad to meet my family there.

    I'd say goodbye.

  3. I always wonder what I would try to take with me...wobbly world indeed, and why did the bees lose their taste for what they liked!

    lovely poem as always...

  4. Another powerhouse, Hannah--and again a bit different from you'd been doing--obviously line lengths, visual differences, but also more abstraction, a more overtly global or cosmic perspective. This one could have easily fallen into didactic sentimentality, but you don't let it.

    One reason is the variety of topics under and within the big topic--wobbling world, evaporation (and drought?), bees, burning house, ship. Assignment: put all these together into a coherent piece of writing. You have.

    (I don't know much about the current bee crisis. Is it related to the drought?)

    As much as any other one smart thing here is your making the last line a simile. Somehow that offers all the power of an actual ship's fading away with everything, but without your actually claiming it IS a ship, which would probably have been too much.

    Finally, the word play keeps the brain as well as the heart involved. Wobbly world and "we learn of, we leash" are most obvious, but the seemingly plain language of a world that's "backing away" is curiously powerful. What does it look like when a world backs away? I don't want to know, but I also have a hunch that I do.

    I could probably go on, but I'll just leave now--I was going to say, quietly, but . . .

  5. P.S. I'm not sure about the title--I guess you're after the way a seal "walks" but that image seems far from the poem, even if there is a conceptual connection. I hope others weigh in on this.

  6. That image of the world backing away, holding everything we know...that's amazing.

  7. thank you

    and then rather sheepishly,

    more, please



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