Friday, March 28, 2014

Lavender and Iron

There's lavender through rusted iron. The smell goes to my head even as that cold coil is pressed to my ear, your voice low. Languor is the word I meant -- words are seductive to those who live in them.


When with the skin you do acknowledge drought,
The dry in the voice, the lightness of feet, the fine
Flake of the heat at every level line;

When with the hand you learn to touch without
Surprise the spine for the leaf, the prickled petal,
The stone scorched in the shine, and the wood brittle;

Then where the pipe drips and the fronds sprout
And the foot-square forest of clover blooms in sand,
You will lean and watch, but never touch with your hand.

Josephine Miles (1911-1985)
via Poetry, June 2012


  1. i love that image, hard and soft, curved and straight, warm and cool, the duality of life itself.

  2. Ah- to be prevented from touching. Such a sorrow.

  3. Incredible image...and your description is luscious. Thanks also for the poem - I'll go searching, now, for her writing.

  4. I have never heard of Josephine Miles but I love that poem. Her cadences and alliterative word uses are wonderful.

    I love the cold coil photo and your own poem, too!



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