Image Envy


27 of 31

You, you find a single image.

You caress it,

And become one with it,

in the palms of your hands,

you gently hold it and examine it–

Inside out,

Upside down

Backwards forwards,

You become that image.

And from that image

You find a new metaphor,

Or an old one expressed in a new way.

With words gently crafted

In a way the image deserves.

Connecting with the image and

Manifesting the voice of humanity

The themes that we all share—

Lost love—longing—grief—deception—hope—despair—fear.

I, wrestle with your images

Seeking the nuances of meaning,

As the words leave the page and become

That image, that idea, that theme.

Even your poem about distractions,

Takes me down a road

With a single image or scene in my head.

For once, focused on a single image—

I have image envy.

I, I take an image

I toss it around for a moment.

Sometimes I write a short poem,

attempting to hone in

On that one little image

Because a stanza is all I can take.

I fling the image aside and grab a new one.

I meander.

I have image envy.

I want to take a single image

Become the image,

Live through that object

Finding the metaphors that live within it,

Staying with that image long enough

so it gains a life of its own on the page

Longer than a one night stanza.


I take an image,

I grope it in my hands,

and I grapple with it

then give up.

Thank God there’s a stanza break here,

I can move on to the next image.

I can embrace the distractions that keep on

Taking me in—I can meander—flinging

Aside each image at a moment’s notice.

When I am done meandering

Stanza after stanza,

I can only hope that

I can weave these stanzas together,

In some sort of magical way

That somehow my multiple images

Can lead back to that one idea

Forming a tapestry of my words,

And I, too, can cry forth with the voice of humanity

And I, too, can call myself a poet.


5 thoughts on “Image Envy

  1. Call yourself a poet – your distractions left me with an image of a hummingbird feeding to the sounds of Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’. Well done.


  2. Paul

    “One night stanza”…that is BEYOND classic! 🙂 You play a neat trick here, presenting an impression of scatteredness when really you’re working over the same idea — variations on a theme, like a symphony or concerto (love Mike’s Rimsky-Korsakov reference). You aren’t meandering, but circling, circling.

    These are the words of someone being too hard on themselves. You’re a poet and a great, interesting writer. There is a clear and compelling voice in all you do.


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