Beauty is in the Eye…

26 Jan

This was particularly fun. We Write Poems had a great prompt about one person’s beauty being another person’s ugly. It took me about two minutes to settle on the American and Mexican desert. You know: the scrubby one. I have had a passionate love for it since I was twelve. I jotted a quick paragraph and a note that a haibun might work well.

Last night, when I checked my inbox, Brenda’s word list was in for The Sunday Whirl. I copied the words down and, while doing so, my brain noted that many of the words fit my concept of the desert. Yup.

pulled for revision

Remember, The Sunday Whirl won’t open until Sunday, very early morning, and We Write Poems doesn’t post until Wednesday. Hm. I’d better write myself a note to remember to post.


Posted by on 26/01/2013 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , ,

45 responses to “Beauty is in the Eye…

  1. anjum wasim dar

    26/01/2013 at 3:19 pm

    Great writing Margo-reminds me of a line I wrote ‘I am but a speck of dust’ Hope you are well.Wish You a Happy new Year 2013

  2. tmhHoover

    26/01/2013 at 10:34 pm

    I was 14 when I fell hard for the American desert. My husband and I are in the throws of dreaming of how to retire there. Your poem captures so many of the reasons why we yearn for all that space That last line leaves me with a sigh. Scatter me-

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:30 pm

      Teri, I was twelve when I first saw it and determined right then that I would marry a rancher. Okay, didn’t quite manage that, but we are retiring to San Antonio, very affordable and within driving distance of desert!

  3. Annette Mickelson

    26/01/2013 at 11:30 pm

    You captured our desert exactly. When I was a kid, I hated our scrubby deserts preferring the pine filled mountains. But as an adult, I came to love the clean lines of the desert – even its torn and raw edges. I love this poem.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you, Annette. I stayed on a ranch the other side of Eagle Pass, when I was twelve, and have loved the desert ever since.

  4. rosross

    27/01/2013 at 5:28 am

    I think anyone who grows up with an awareness of and exposure to desert cannot help but have a powerful bond. Australia has so much desert that despite the fact few people live there, it remains a rich and beautiful metaphor for the country and its culture.
    Your words capture that.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:32 pm

      Thank you, Ros. The Australian desert has a mythic quality to it because of its vastness. We never got a chance to see it, but only the edges of the continent.

  5. Laurie Kolp

    27/01/2013 at 9:52 am

    I love this, Margo… especially:

    When I stand and look to where you curve along the horizon, I see
    the earth, the sky, the stars, the scale of your existence and I am but a grain of sand.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:33 pm

      Laurie, thank you. You live in Texas, so you know that curve :-).

  6. anl4

    27/01/2013 at 10:17 am

    I live in high mountain desert, and I love the desert. Your piece was wonderful! Touched me.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:33 pm

      That’s the highest compliment, annell, that it touched you, and on a subject dear to me. Thank you.

  7. Misky

    27/01/2013 at 11:07 am

    You certainly captured the desert well in your poem. There’s a majestic and isolated feel about it — like Greta Garbo “I want to be alone” — the desert has attitude.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:34 pm

      Misk — love the Garbo comparison. I might laugh next time I’m looking at it, picturing her.

  8. Veronica Roth

    27/01/2013 at 11:07 am

    Really lovely Margo. I love Death Valley and always wonder why people clal it that but then I realised I’m usually there for a visit in April and it’s green-ish and pleasant and warm. Lol, I really should visit in August. I love the tumbleweed-freedom feeling of your poem. (I wish I was in the desrt right now instead of dreary, wet Vancouver) 😦

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:36 pm

      Are you still wet and dreary up there, Veronica? We are down here. We get tossed a sunny day every so often when we all start snarling. I hadn’t thought of Death Valley having a spring outfit. I’ll have to visit and see it.

  9. pmwanken

    27/01/2013 at 12:18 pm

    My favorite is the closing haiku…I can so relate to that!
    (I haven’t been keeping up with WWP…or, for the past couple weeks, being thorough with my perusal of your roundup. Something I wrote last night would fit WWP…I’ll have to also make a note to post.)

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:37 pm

      Yes, you are quiet, my friend.

      I started with the closing haiku. Everything was easy after that.

      • pmwanken

        07/02/2013 at 1:16 pm

        Ack. And…see…until I was notified of your reply, I had forgotten to post my offering at WWP.

        (and big hugs)

        • margo roby

          07/02/2013 at 1:24 pm

          Big grin. As I wrote, “I thought: I bet she hasn’t posted…”.

          Big hugs back

  10. Stan Ski

    27/01/2013 at 2:30 pm

    Start and finish are really good, but that middle section is something special!

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you, Stan. I have come to like haibun as a form, very much.

  11. brenda w

    27/01/2013 at 2:44 pm

    “I am spread and strewn.” Wonderful. Into the vast you bring us, the words do work well.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:39 pm

      Brenda, you should have seen me trying strewn and spread, spread and strewn, until my mouth was happy with the order.

  12. julespaige

    27/01/2013 at 2:48 pm

    You love your desert as I love different sand, the sand beach lining and part of a warm ocean.
    There are so many things to like about your verses. How we are but grains of sand and how there is more than meets the eye on different landscapes. Even ones that some folks might think harsh.

    Thanks for visiting my Elfje trio. I don’t think I had posted the story verse yet.
    Here it is if you are interested:

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:40 pm

      Jules, I hadn’t though of beach sand, which I don’t like. Odd. But then we people are odd.

  13. Pamela

    27/01/2013 at 4:41 pm

    Margo, you have captured my landscape perfectly. In Oaxaca it was drier and much more barren than here. You managed to return me to those memories, thank you. I miss you too! I seem to have so little time lately. I am very busy with work, which is a good thing, right?


    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:42 pm

      Pamela, my very first sight of the desert was a ranch in Mexico, over the border from Eagle Pass, maybe a two hour flight in. We stayed a week and I was enslaved from the first moment.

      Spring Break coming! Take a breath.


  14. 1sojournal

    27/01/2013 at 4:49 pm

    Beautiful piece of writing Margo. Your love of the landscape, and how it speaks to you, comes through loud and clear. I prefer trees and lots of green, but your poem lets me stand beside you and see and feel your own experience. That’s good stuff!


    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:44 pm

      Thank you, Elizabeth. It’s funny. While the desert has the strongest hold on my soul, the ocean holds my heart, and the mountains my mind.

  15. laughwithme45

    27/01/2013 at 5:32 pm

    I also thought about combining these 2 prompts! Your love for the dessert is felt in your final lines!

  16. Irene

    27/01/2013 at 5:37 pm

    Never been to a desert but I imagine that’s how I’ll feel – a grain of sand! Hmmm..perhaps that should be on my bucket list.

  17. seingraham

    27/01/2013 at 6:05 pm

    Nice combination of prompts Margo and boy can I relate to this one. For half a decade or more my husband’s been extolling the beauty of this very desert, telling me how stunningly stark it is, how much he loves it and so on. Last January (2012) – we took a week’s holiday in Palm Springs and over one day, drove from there to Mesa, Arizona and back. I felt like we shouldn’t have been there in a car. Like no highway or other roads should ever have been built there. I didn’t quite see the beauty my love sees but then we were on the road too many hours. Driving back to Palm Springs through sunset, dusk and finally dark – that was gorgeous – such a sky! And yes, it did make me feel insignificant … not the best feeling in the world for an easily depressed soul, I suppose…But, I think, at another time, in a different frame of mind, I might feel altogether different. Or not.

    I did want to thank you for coming to my blog earlier and reading and commenting – I do appreciate the time it takes to do that and know how busy you are…so again, thanks.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:48 pm

      Sharon, how wonderful to hear from you. That is interesting what you say, as I fight bouts of depression, but they are triggered by other things. The desert’s vastness is balm to me.

      I try to swing by your blog when I see your name. That’s how my brain prods me into a reminder that I haven’t visited in a while. Thank you, in turn.

  18. nan

    27/01/2013 at 6:44 pm

    ethereal feel to this. I love the first and last stanzas and the way the layout feels in this. Expansive and windblown.

  19. jasmine calyx

    27/01/2013 at 6:58 pm

    Love the ending!

  20. Linda G Hatton

    28/01/2013 at 5:28 pm

    Really lovely, Margo! Nice work!

  21. oldegg

    29/01/2013 at 6:00 am

    Despite the deserts cruelty you depict its attributes so well. They are beautiful places where man is not in control.

  22. Hannah Gosselin

    29/01/2013 at 7:24 pm

    I’m ridiculous, Margo!! I read your desert as dessert. Why?! Mostly because I’m craving something sweet…partly because I flub up these things. Any way, once I realized that I was not trying to decode this for some kind of dessert I began again and loved it fully. Your descriptions are delectable all the same!!

    This is profound:

    “When I stand and look to where you curve along the horizon, I see
    the earth, the sky, the stars, the scale of your existence and I am but a grain of sand.”

    Someday I want to visit the desse…I mean the desert! πŸ˜‰

    I didn’t know haibun could have two haiku mirroring like that…I really like the balanced look and feel of that. πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:51 pm

      Dessert… mmm…what kind of dessert? I’m not laughing, really. Not much. Maybe an escaped giggle as I think of you decoding. I think that’s rather fun.

      Haibun can have a haiku at beginning, or at end, or both!

      Now, you can have your desert and eat it, too πŸ™‚

      • Hannah Gosselin

        07/02/2013 at 3:10 pm

        AND now I’M laughing!!! SO true…hmm chuckle…”dessert and eat it, too…” SO true.

  23. purplepeninportland

    29/01/2013 at 10:48 pm

    Margo, this is fabulous! Love the idea of `the winds scatter me’.

  24. 1sojournal

    30/01/2013 at 5:49 pm

    Back again, for WWP day. And still find your images both vibrant and enticing. Thanks Margo,


  25. Mr. Walker

    02/02/2013 at 11:39 am

    Margo, a good combination of prompts. I like the flow of this, the change in stanza form and language, the shift from I to they back to I again. I just love “lost” and “free” in the same line. Beautiful.


    • margo roby

      07/02/2013 at 12:52 pm

      Thank you, Richard. Good to hear from you. I have two of your poems in my inbox waiting. I am so glad you are one who understands long pauses.

  26. margo roby

    07/02/2013 at 12:25 pm

    My apologies to everyone for being so long in getting back here. I read and appreciated your comments greatly.


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