Sunday, April 21, 2013


In an electric age,
what of Pandemonia,
a calm girl
oddly named?

The books at her fingertips
contain words of every language,
depending upon her mood
and the angle of the sun, or her delicate wrist.

She shames the stones
set so solidly, by men, in place
with the softness of her body
as on the steps she sits, alone.

Pandemonia's dress, all of a piece designed,
made from common cloth; cornflower blue, and white,
is one of three she owns, the same,
but she has need of none, in her rooms at night.

In an electric age,
she dreams of trains,
an odd girl, lovely,
calmly strange.

thank you to my BFF Joy Ann Jones, who knew I would love this picture.


TexWisGirl said...

this was my favorite part: and she shames the stones
set so solidly, by men, in place
with the softness of her body
as on the steps she sits, alone.

Rune said...

Oh man, that ending is hilarious, especially when taken with her name. You are so clever!

I just love how you reworked the language from the opening in the last stanza. And also, I love that she's either dreaming about "trains" and an odd girl ... or just about "trains," being the odd girl that she is. Either way, she's longing for the old way of doing things.

Great rhyming: "named," "contain," "shames"; "language," "angle"; "stones," "so," "alone," "Pandemonia," "owns"; "softness," "body"

I love the stanza about her dresses, especially "all of a piece designed" and "cornflower blue." I just love the word "cornflower."

Oh, and this:
"an odd girl, lovely,
calmly strange"

She sounds like the absolute coolest.

P.S. You left out a "J" in Joy Ann's name. That IS an awesome picture.

Anonymous said...

"an odd girl, lovely,
calmly strange."


hedgewitch said...

This is an intriguing one, Shay, like the picture-(-and just what *are* those things falling, confetti, snow, petals?-)-the poem seems to pick up that idea of symbol and visual and human all mixed in one place, bobbing up oddly as strange bedfellows in something larger, which is elusive and unnamed. Your colors and other descriptions are lush and the odd syncopation and unexpected rhymes all blend well somehow for a cohesive if somewhat surreal mood. First and last stanzas are both really strong, but I have a weakness for the next to last. Glad you liked the picture.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautiful photo, beautiful girl, beautiful poem! Doesnt get any better than that!

Shawna said...

Hedge, the things falling are "shredded books." She is made of books --- she's packed her suitcase full of books, beside her is a stack of books, falling from the sky are book particles. She herself is a book. Shredded as well, I presume. Only still presentable, somehow. Holding herself together with hardbacks and firm bindings.

Lolamouse said...

Love all the slants rhymes in this. Emily would be proud!

Cloudia said...

Is it odd to say that I relate to Pandemonium as I discover some gently magical powers of my own at a late youth?
from Wacky Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3
> < } } ( ° >

Daryl said...

thank you to her from me as well for inspiring this poem

Anonymous said...

Ha! 'she shames the stones' ~ so evocative ~ 'as on the steps she sits, alone.'

I love her dress ... and that she's 'calmly strange'

Lynn said...

What a great name - Pandemonia!

Helen said...

However did you dream up her name? I'm thinking Electronica might have been her last name .... that calm of hers, so deceiving.

Anonymous said...

sweet. soft. beautiful.

Abin Chakraborty said...

the world wold be served better by a few more of such anachronic oddities.

Kerry O'Connor said...

The juxtaposition between name and nature really makes this poem. There is an underlying tension and I wonder if there is more to her than meets the eye.

Susie Clevenger said...

What a beautiful piece. It caught me from the first stanza..The books at her fingertips contain words of every language,depending upon her mood and the angle of the sun, or her delicate wrist...I especially love these lines

Peggy said...

Love the girl's name--and her story.

McGuffy Ann said...

Wonderful photo & poem!

Laura said...

"an odd girl, lovely,
calmly strange." beautiful!!!

Anonymous said...

Great imagery and symbolism. Blessings.

Ellecee said...

What a lovely and unique poem,,,I love this " odd girl, lovely,
calmly strange."

Anonymous said...

The final stanza is one of the best things I've read in a long time. I like the presence of so much "near rhyme"--e.g, stones/alone, age/named, age/strange--which serves to emphasize the somewhat out-of-place, out-of-time (but just slightly so, it seems to me) nature of our heroine. This is some truly top-shelf stuff.

Margaret said...

No need of clothes, but of books, yes! This has very nostalgic feel to it.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Great ending!
Loved this one.
xo jj

Anonymous said...

"Pandemonia." Only you, Shay, could conjure this girl. The stones being shamed, nice, and your use of random rhyme was best appreciated on second reading, aloud.

Really great work here, girl. Still enjoying our email back and forth! Amy

Kay L. Davies said...

Trust you to give a plural name to a singular girl.
Loved the whole thing, Shay, especially "She shames the stones...with the softness of her body!" I almost expect a horde of workmen to come running out, apologizing.

Marian said...

love your end: "calmly strange" instead of what might be expected, strangely calm.

Mama Zen said...

Delicate and surreal and completely beautiful!