"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Friday, June 10, 2016

Dear Ophelia

"I can't work completely out of my imagination. 
I must put my foot in a bit of truth; and then I can fly free." 
 ~  Andrew Wyeth

Dear Ophelia,

I hear you each time
I hold a seashell in my hand.

We were summer,
first love, bold initials
heart framed in sand.

I found you in August of ‘59
when waves splashed
incessantly toward September.

Eternity arrived with your smile,
but youth was our demon.
Forever couldn’t survive distance.

We became a memory
even before we spoke goodbye.
We were too star blind to see
the cruelty in horizons.

Ophelia, I am an old man
trying to find eighteen again,
trying to bottle the sea
so waves will never reach September.

©Susie Clevenger 2016


blueoran said...

"So waves will never reach September" -- that is the imagination and desire which is like the mirror opposite of the Wyeth epigraph. Maybe reality and imagination must hinge each other so. Great take on the Wyeth painting. The dogs of time devoured Ophelia, as September washes the summer away: the shell is all that remains, but how it sings. Great work, Susie.

angie w said...

Ophelia is a gentle washed word and gentle feeling here. I want to hold your poem close

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is just so downright beautiful, Susie. So many associations with the name, Ophelia, the seasons and all.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What a poignant image is that old man "trying to bottle the sea". Beautiful, Susie!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

This is the poem my heart sings to Gracia, my first love in 1983. Well done.

Kim M. Russell said...

I love that final line!

brudberg said...

The melancholy of parting so very well described. Amazing work.

telltaletherapy said...

a true Laundry Goddess with such clarity of word and washes of feeling

Debi Swim said...

That last stanza is so beautifully sad

kaykuala said...

rying to find eighteen again,
trying to bottle the sea

How one would wish for the good old days to stay on and not to age! Rightly so Susie!


Bekkie Sanchez said...

I had a few loves like this. Forgotten as soon as the miles separated us for I was too young to know then how special some loves can be. We all find regrets in old age don't we? Wonderful write!

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