Orange Peel

The white inside an orange peel
velvet soft as a water dream
bears the stunned blankness of betrayed wives.
Circles and sections,
heart beats, desires, babies, birds,
all in a grain of sand
or the eternal and silent dome of the sky.

The white inside an orange peel
fragrant with what it has already lost
remains beautiful, sensual, for a short time
but is already dying.
Circles and sections,
heart beats, desires, babies, birds,
none of these are meant to endure--
their purpose is goodbye,
their pinnacle sleeps in dust.

The white inside an orange peel
was/was never/ was/ was never one with the fruit it sheltered.
Lover sweet, lover who stings the knife's cut
all the same, and doomed themselves.
Circles and sections,
heart beats, desires, babies, birds,
all born of the branch and gone to the table,
the plate,
the necessary separation and then--
returned to the garden, the turned soil, the green shoots
and the endless rot and rise of everything. 


Anonymous said…
Oh the pith for the bones .... wow!

what an idea, metaphor, analogy - velvet soft as a water dreams -

this alone is enough to stop us in our reading and inhale sharply!

circles sections domes, intersections, skin, scents, laments .... this is bittersweet for the reading, and yet fully rich, satisfying, and well, the knife blades it well, for what must become of a seed, must return to the earth, and dust - or perhaps in another way, will sprout to live another legacy.

and then, what of the other meanings, the grander cosmic "why" and cycles, and roles, and how we play, interact, decide and by whose hands, do we feed and need, for some greed, others instinct to survive, others simply, biding time ... I just really like this -

it's sweet for the sorrow my friend ...
tonispencer said…
The last verse. It all comes together tied in a neat knot of butcher's twine. I think of the peeled orange, the ripe moist heart hidden in the peel and squeezed until it can give no more. All the juice squeezed until all that's left is dry pulp. The knife slices delicately yet can break down a carcass. The ashes when scattered enriched the soil. The scent of the orange which clings to the hands, but sticky like semen. This poem causes me to sigh deeply. Remembering my time in the kitchen, the deep intense
tonispencer said…
Concentration, the hyper-awareness of all that is going on around yet, deep in the center of the eye of the storm, the placing of food on plates, laying it out like a body ready for burial. This poem speaks to me of life...of sorrow and that last meal eaten slowly and alone
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Brilliance inspired by an orange peel. Like de Mauppassant said, a true writer can write a fascinating tale from the most mundane object. I love the repeated lines, feel "their purpose is goodbye", am left with admiration for your stream of poems, not one of which is anything less than stellar.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Shay, I wish I could properly qualify and quantify what your poetry has given to me over the years.. You continue to astound my brain into new ways of thinking, and for that I am immensely grateful.
. said…
"The white inside an orange peel
velvet soft as a water dream
bears the stunned blankness of betrayed wives."

"their purpose is goodbye"

That brain of yours should be in a preservation jar at the Museum of the Most Imaginative Things on Earth.
hedgewitch said…
There's a Neruda-ish haunt to this, despite the pure Fireblossom chapel it comes from, with its clear vision into the infinity within common things. It twists back upon itself much like a peel falls from a sharp knife in a circular moebius strip, through so many vivid images. Despite my non-quoting habits, I am greatly taken with the lines "..all born of the branch and gone to the table..." and "the stunned blankness of betrayed wives..." I also like the way you've used repetition, in the final stanza especially. Beautiful piece, Shay.

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