Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Isis Ward

One by one, another gurney girl, some waddling the hall to gain gravity, then lying-in for a few hours of personal gethsemane

They say there're flashes underneath the lids, gembursts, pain novas betokening new space and time

The métier -- splitting the physical self, inside-outing at the crux, doing what's ever been done like it's never been done, then

Catching the one tune that becomes the other, childsong lungful of itself after the lungshriek of the she

And at its denouement, in the spotlit aureole of the O.R. or dimmer shine of the recovery tableau

Every one of them a just-now Maryam, each, for the now, a Queen of H



  1. "Personal gethsemane" is brilliant. I wish I had thought of it. And denouement is one of my favorite words. It will be repeating in my sleep tonight. Love this piece.

  2. I so enjoyed this
    thank you for this gift on this cold and sunny morning
    and thank you for your generous comments
    may I say..Merry Christmas kind gent

  3. Bang on, yet over the top, sir,
    for you have somehow unearthed
    the existential root to the whole
    season and scene, rendered down
    the virgin birth to embrace, to
    include the entire history of
    civilization, and warbled a true
    hosanna, honoring every girl
    and woman who fulfills her
    destiny and her hormones
    by repopulating the planet,
    continuously, ad infinitum;
    and you gently remind us that
    Christ was mortal for those
    33 years, and that even He
    had to make his entrance
    onto this plane of existence
    in the prescribed way, down
    the canal and bursting into
    chaos and breath, just as Horus
    had before him, and we have,
    after him. This is not just a
    good poem and a nifty sentiment--
    it is a great one.

  4. In France, we call it " l' éternel féminin".Motherhood and pain are the same whatever religion or nation.You make me feel like an egyptian goddess.


  5. Tess,

    I'm glad you reacted positively to 'personal gethsemane'. Since it's quite an opposite NT reference point, I wasn't sure whether one would 'honor' the other or not. Or seem misplaced. Frankly, to some readers, this might be simple blasphemy.

    We know better.

    As to word choices, I've been flipping 'denouement' around in classrooms for so long (usually with comic twist), I thought I'd give it a try. I like its sound.

    And in keeping with the anglicized French, I inserted métier (the accented 'é' appears to be the English spelling as well as the French), a word that stands out for me every time I watch Chinatown, when Jack Nicholson applies it to his detective work.

    Thanks for your approval!


  6. Suz,

    And Merry Christmas, to you, kind lady! I did love your blog entry which shows a true heart.

    I'm glad the poem was received as a gift. I felt it to be so during its final execution.


  7. Glenn,

    Strong praise!

    These themes have been percolating within me for decades, sometimes coming out in poems and sometimes in conversation or casual writing.

    My friend, 'it's bigger than both of us!'. So big our mythic vocabularies stretch and bulge like the pregnant woman.

    I was stumped by the prompt whose lovely stained glass image -- as any good image -- 'locked me' in place, wanting to describe it, simply, it.

    For days I played around and walked away utterly unsatisfied with what I verbalized.

    Then certain phrases rose, line 'conceptions' from the phrases, then some kind of critical mass. Despite the difficulty of the start-up (it was at dud-zero!), I came to be 'filled'.

    Thank you for your response -- wonderful to have it!


  8. Isabelle,

    Eternal. We have the fact; we feel its fundamental importance. Doctors have come to explain it. It takes myth to make it 'eternal', myth and its 'expressive technician': poetry. The arts, generally.

    And I always knew, from your writing, the 'Isis' connection! (Didn't need mine).


  9. what a fantastic word tour.
    lovely imagery.
    Happy Holidays.

  10. Jingle,

    Sometimes I just put on my touring cap, hop in the roadster, and head off!