Wednesday, August 1, 2012

After Falling Asleep In The Bath

Let me touch your broad sweet head, dear.
I promise there will be no gaudy head dress,
No gondola of fools upon your back--
Just me,
With a humble sponge to wash your simple face.
I'd like to ask you of your sisters, your mother,
The hot afternoons,
The water wallows and the long,
Oft-trod road back home.

for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads


Anonymous said...

I love the picture and your accompanying poem. It's truly a tribute to the humanity of all animals, not just humans. We often forget that animals do have families and relationships with them.

Susie Clevenger said...

So beautiful...I love this. No demands on the elephant...just a soul who wishes to give comfort.

TexWisGirl said...

so sweet.

Susan said...

"After Falling Asleep in the Bath" "may every dream you dream come true!" This one is sweet! You replace the "gondola of fools upon [her] back" and treat her like a person you know. And it would be so fine as well to have your own head sponged and your own family and day asked about. sigh.

cloudia charters said...

that was a gem of a poem!

Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Vesper said...

No gondola of fools upon your back--
Just me,

I love this, and the peace in it, where all beings are alike...


hedgewitch said...

You take this into the very warmest wallows of the imagination, where children know they can talk to animals, and animals can talk back, where magic is. It's a gift to create such a sense of peace, Shay. (Dances with elephants would have been my tag. )

Margaret said...

Awe. Hedgewitch said it all! Truly lovely, this "humble" poem.

Kateri said...

I love the gentleness in this poem.

Anonymous said...

"and the long,
Oft-trod road back home."


Your precious beast of burden must do a lot of walking, leaving home and returning frequently. I'm sure your sponge baths and sweet words are a soothing balm of comfort and restoration. It's very kind of you to say upfront that you will not require her to wear a costume nor to carry any weight.

I wonder if you are dreaming or if you two are in the bath together. I wonder if she has fallen asleep with her head pressed against yours, with you whispering in her ear things only her subconscious can hear. I wonder if you are imagining it all in your wild meanderings through the dream world.

Isn't that the most amazing picture?! It is so clear that they are best friends, connected at the soul even with the impossible language barrier. Beautiful. I love that they are both closing their eyes and that the girl is touching her heart, her lungs, or both.

Anonymous said...

P.S. She may not like her head being described as broad---unless you are just describing her brilliance and wit. ;)

"Elephants are amongst the world's most intelligent species. With a mass of just over 5 kg (11 lb), elephant brains are larger than those of any other land animal."

The elephant's brain is similar to that of humans in terms of structure and complexity - such as the elephant's cortex having as many neurons as a human brain."

"Due to the high intelligence and strong family ties of elephants, some researchers argue it is morally wrong for humans to cull them."

"Aristotle once said that elephants were 'The animal which surpasses all others in wit and mind.'"

Far Beyond The Ridge said...

Ah, the simple understanding between child and beast. We should all see in that way.
Another great write, fb

Laurie Kolp said...

Sweet, tender...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

OH! MY! GODDESS! This is my favorite poem - EVER!!!!!!!! This is just so loving. You might like Elephant Winter, a book by Kim Echlin, about a young woman who spends a winter in a barn living with elephants - she is pregnant - and walks them to the river every day - over time she begins to understand the different meanings of the varied sounds they make..........and they are very intuitive about her being pregnant. It is incredibly beautiful - like your poem. Sigh. I feel I have been to a feast with my morning tea this morning.

Sara said...

Wow. I have never heard of Zuihitsu writing. I don't know if I can judge how well this poem fits, but I can tell you I liked it, especially the last lines and the "water wallows." That was GOOD.

It was also a gentle writing, the words soft and kind. I liked how you used "humble" sponge with "simple" face.

Well, you know me I not a poetry analyst, but just know I liked this one very much:~)

Kerry O'Connor said...

Aww, just so lovely, heart-rending actually.. words to create the tender bond between respectful souls.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Exquisite. This captures what I always felt was an innate gentleness of the elephant. Bril.

Sioux said...

What a lovely poem, Shay.

Hannah said...

Wow...hmm this touched a deep cord within...I love the matronly bond of elephants and right now my sister and I...well the post for this challenge explains it all but in any case...I've had some really close times with my grandmother and your beautiful poem feels like a metaphor for where I've been emotionally and spiritually.

Wow. Thank you for writing this,Shay, it is a gem.

Mama Zen said...

"gondola of fools"

I love that. This is just really beautiful work, Shay.

Anonymous said...

love the poem, love the image, love the song!