Late Response to The Sunday Whirl

29 May

The week is practically over! My apologies to those who will be confused by this appearing first in their inboxes and not looking like Tuesday Tryouts. That’s further down in your inbox!

The wordle this week is from my own list. I didn’t know if that would be a problem for me. Nope. I rather enjoy the draft [which Ginsberg holds is a dangerous state]. Thank you for the wordle, Brenda!

The Wisdom of Age and Silence

Once, they had scraped the barnacles from her mouth,
burnished what stayed rooted to her tongue
rough, flinty — brittle as she aged,
like a chalk cliff crumbling.

When life became a blur
she kept her tongue in a cocoon, austere,
no longer drenched in fervent youth.

Be sure, if you haven’t visited The Whirl, that you visit, to try or, to read what others have done.


Posted by on 29/05/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , ,

46 responses to “Late Response to The Sunday Whirl

  1. Marianne

    29/05/2012 at 2:51 pm

    Here you are, Margo! I’ve been waiting to thank you for your great wordle words contribution this week. They were fun to work with!

    Having been out-spoken all my life, I would like to say I have learned to keep my “tongue in a cocoon” in my old age. No such luck.

    “Drenched in fervent youth” is a wonderful line.

    • margo roby

      29/05/2012 at 3:33 pm

      You are welcome, Marianne.

      Re keeping quiet in our old age, not so much here, either. My mother has always been outspoken and now feels good about it [not that she ever felt particularly bad], positively liberated.

      That line took me the longest but worked when it arrived.

  2. whimsygizmo

    29/05/2012 at 3:03 pm

    Love this, Margo. Especially:
    “burnished what stayed rooted to her tongue
    rough, flinty β€” brittle as she aged”

    The proximity of “stayed” and “aged” works very well here.
    Also love the idea of being “drenched in fervent youth.” Ahhhh.

    • margo roby

      29/05/2012 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks, de. I love the sound of the burnished line!

      Oh those fervent youth. They need to get things done or find jobs!

  3. Mr. Walker

    29/05/2012 at 3:06 pm

    Margo, love the title. And your poem, so concise, speaks volumes.


    • margo roby

      29/05/2012 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you, Richard. You must have sensed I wasn’t sure about it.


  4. seingraham

    29/05/2012 at 3:17 pm

    margo – I love what you’ve wordled, so succinctly and yet said so much … and, internal rhymes as well – very cool; I see I’ve probably jumped the gun with my “self” poem, should have waited until next Tuesday to publish it if I’m reading your blog correctly (maybe I’ll just re-blog it or something) – thanks for going there and reading and commenting on it anyhow!

    for these wordle words,I put a poem here, if you’re so inclined:

    • margo roby

      29/05/2012 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you, Sharon!

      No, no, you did it right. I knew I would confuse more people! Many people do post poems the same day I post the prompt. They may post it anytime. So don’t wait! When you have the poem, post the poem. But you can take your time, if you wish.

      I have been by your place already and am taking a break from wordle commenting to catch up on blog comments. Aieee!

    • tmhHoover

      29/05/2012 at 10:10 pm

      Hmmm – we had a week!!?? How do I not know this? It seems so long ago that I wrote my self piece.

      • margo roby

        30/05/2012 at 7:36 am

        NO! Nothing has changed about when the poems come in. What have I said that is leading to the continued misapprehension?

        Poems usually come in the same date as the prompt because people are speedy. They may come in anytime up to two months later. heck, I’ll take it somewhere else after that.


  5. pmwanken

    29/05/2012 at 3:19 pm

    Oh, you make the use of those words seem so easy. This one took me a while. (I’m still trying to figure out whether to thank you for that jumble of words! πŸ˜‰ )

    I was going to same something similar to Richard about your poem, in so few words, saying so much…which echoes the silence reflected in the title.

    • margo roby

      29/05/2012 at 3:40 pm

      Do you see remorse? No? BUAHAHAHA!

      I really like the poems that manage to use few words other than wordle words.

  6. julespaige

    29/05/2012 at 4:04 pm

    I tried to be concise once…it is not in my nature. And as I was already a (cough-cough) quiet and shy youth, you are not getting me to ‘shut up’ now (he-he). Your words reminded me of an aging movie star. Almost like ‘Lola’ at the Cabana – perhaps though your gal hasn’t lost her mind?

    Thanks as always for your visit and support to my ramblings. Goodness it is only Tuesday how is it a late response (she asks and then remembers that some folks must post at 4am on Sunday mornings!)? Thanks for the list πŸ™‚

  7. Daydreamertoo

    29/05/2012 at 4:39 pm

    Oh, I do like this. All of the images it invokes are wonderful. The crumbling chalk is a wonderful visual as I used to live by the chalk cliffs of Sussex. πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      01/06/2012 at 7:52 am

      Ddt, My apologies for the late response. I’m glad I was going back over looking for something. I appear to have missed a spate.

      I have seen those chalk cliffs and think of them whenever chalk and cliff are used together πŸ™‚

  8. Cheryl's Excellent Adventure

    29/05/2012 at 4:41 pm

    I love your wordle, Margo. I think it’s brilliant!

    • margo roby

      01/06/2012 at 7:53 am

      Cheryl, thank you so much. I apologise for the late reply. My alert system seems to have failed!

  9. The Happy Amateur

    29/05/2012 at 5:19 pm

    I was seriously scared by this one, Margo…”barnacles scraped from her mouth” and everything else that follows. Don’t get me wrong, I like your wordle, I just couldn’t help identifying with “her” and I don’t want to be “her”!
    Just wrote mine today. Thank you for the words πŸ™‚

  10. Mary

    29/05/2012 at 5:21 pm

    I love keeping a tongue in a cocoon. Often this seems like a good idea! I will have to remember that. Well wordled, Margo.

  11. The Happy Amateur

    29/05/2012 at 5:23 pm

    Oops..looked at the title again, now see the poem in a different light. But cannot shake my first impression of it. Yet.

    • margo roby

      29/05/2012 at 5:37 pm

      Sasha, I am glad your perspective changed, but understand the first impression being the one that imprinted. Remind yourself, you do not have to be her. There may be elements, but you do not have to be her. I think we identify with a lot during our lifetimes that we would rather not be. I create a room in my brain where I put those elements. I choose whether or not to open the door and consider any [there are the occasional ambushes, but I am learning to wrestle them to the ground and toss them back in the room].

  12. wordsandthoughtspjs

    29/05/2012 at 6:12 pm

    Beautifully concise piece, Margo. Love the second stanza and all it suggests.


    • margo roby

      30/05/2012 at 7:31 am

      Thank you, Pamela.

      It’s Wednesday. Hang in there.


  13. purplepeninportland

    29/05/2012 at 7:23 pm

    “chalk cliffs crumbling, tongue in a cocoon”- I can see these images so clearly.

  14. irene

    29/05/2012 at 9:18 pm

    The scraping of barnacles from mouth is terrific. You’re fashionably late!

    • margo roby

      30/05/2012 at 7:32 am

      Thanks, Irene!

      I love that: fashionably late.

  15. tmhHoover

    29/05/2012 at 10:21 pm

    I love this Margo. I know a woman like this… she has become so nice, and a bit dull.

    I however was born with a cocooned tongue. It took 40 years to untangle and now it takes great restraint to keep things in check. I really want to be a nice old lady- but I fear I am rusting and becoming as “ornery as a metal fence.”

    • margo roby

      30/05/2012 at 7:34 am

      Teri, my tongue became cocooned at twelve. I began to break free about fifteen years ago. I will happily join you ‘rusting and becoming as β€œornery as a metal fence.”’. Then we’ll have company.

  16. Laurie Kolp

    30/05/2012 at 7:48 am

    Succint and oh, so powerful, Margo. I find it a bit sad, the second stanza… not sure why.

    • margo roby

      30/05/2012 at 7:54 am

      Thank you, Laurie. I think the second stanza feels sad, because she has given up on having that fervent youth. That’s something we should never let go of completely.

  17. Misky

    30/05/2012 at 5:07 pm

    This one is excellently crafted, Margo. Yes, it does feel a bit sad in the second stanza but life isn’t always a jolly jaunt.

    • margo roby

      30/05/2012 at 5:17 pm

      Misk! How lovely. I am missing your voice and company. I hope you are having a wonderful time.

  18. 1sojournal

    31/05/2012 at 8:49 am

    Margo, love your imagery. My Mother used to often say, “But, what will other people say about that?” I was really happy when it finally occurred to me that whatever they might say just wasn’t my problem and refused to be silenced. And what was even funnier is that my Mother was one of my strongest supporters.


  19. margo roby

    31/05/2012 at 9:59 am

    Elizabeth, As a child, I was horrified when my mother would yell at someone else’s kid [who was doing something naughty and being ignored by his mother]. She never had any compunction about doing this. It took me many more years. I love the liberation. Mom remains outspoken when needs must.


  20. Tumblewords

    31/05/2012 at 10:52 pm

    Oh, I do love this!

    • margo roby

      01/06/2012 at 7:55 am

      Tumblewords, thank you, so much.

  21. Hannah Gosselin

    01/06/2012 at 11:03 pm

    You wowed me with the fact that there’re so few other regular words incorporated, Margo, and it makes sense!! I really liked the visual you created with this line:

    “like a chalk cliff crumbling.”

    This was multi-sensory for me, hearing the silted chalk fall, visually and even almost a fine powder felt in the air.

    I enjoyed your wordle, Margo!! Smiles to you!!

    • margo roby

      02/06/2012 at 9:33 am

      Thank you, Hannah. I’m liking that my mind went in a somewhat odd direction with how to use the words. Go mind!

      • Hannah Gosselin

        02/06/2012 at 12:40 pm

        Yuppers!! Very refreshing and I love that you’re your own mind’s cheer-leading squad…good example of how to be!! Go Margo!! Smiles!! πŸ™‚

  22. Traci B

    02/06/2012 at 10:01 am

    Excellent poem, Margo. So true to life (if we’ll learn from our youthful blunders and missteps, that is).

    • margo roby

      02/06/2012 at 10:05 am

      Thanks, Traci. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not that we straitjacket our mouths, but at least we learn [maybe] to look before we speak!

  23. brenda w

    02/06/2012 at 10:01 am

    I wish someone would scrape the barnacles from my mouth. LOL I love that image, Margo, and understand it from my own warped perspective as all the biting comments I’ve made that I wish I could pull back… I love this piece. I loved the words, too. Thank you.

    • margo roby

      02/06/2012 at 10:07 am

      Brenda, My image is of Whistler’s Mother mouth agape and full of barnacles! I’m glad you like the piece. I enjoy the heck out of it, so thank you for wanting a list!


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