Thursday, August 30, 2018

Telling It Right

In the beginning there was Dust, and in the end there will be Dust, and in the middle there is Dust, Dust, Dust!
~Catherynne M. Valente



photo by sookie

Today's poem seemed to me like a variant of a "Where I'm From" poem. Here's "Communion of Dust":

Communion of Dust
by Iris Jamahl Dunkle

It's how I arrived in this place. Dust. Blood.
Thin figures. Shadows stretched like bars
against a farm gone fallow. Gone dust. Gone wind.

My grandmother said, Steinbeck never got it right.
The place. The leaving and how it felt:
to be child in a world gone back to dust.

read the rest here.

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Life on the Deckle Edge has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Robyn!

10 comments:

Linda B said...

It feels desperate. the grandmother wanted so much to tell it right, to have someone, the granddaughter especially, to understand. I guess we all want that to happen when we share our stories. Thanks, Tabatha.

Robyn Hood Black said...

What a haunting and touching poem - thanks so much for sharing, Tabatha. Layers and layers, like the dust itself.

Michelle Kogan said...

Well I had to read all three of Iris Jamahl Dunkle's poems and they are powerful– they fit together as she weaves a yarn of these horrific events–though she leaves us on and upbeat note. Thanks for sharing her poetry Tabatha.

Mitchell Linda said...

There is a line in a poem that Liz Gilbert reads in the Calm Masterclass that is so poignant she reads it twice. It's about how we should not let anyone direct our dreams not this, person, that person etc...and the line is "and no mother looking for misplaced buried treasure" . For some reason, 'Dust' brought that line to me. Sometimes, in the intensity of wanting to pass on....we place expecatations and responsibilities of the young people. I agree with the desperate tone of this poem. There's cautionary warning there...and expectation of?

Kay said...

Such a haunting poem of desperate times.

Diane Mayr said...

Perhaps Steinbeck got it right for himself? We each need to tell our own stories. If you get the story right for yourself, you can consider it a success.

Ruth said...

"A world gone back to dust." This makes me think of a day this week when I ran home on my lunch hour because I'd left something behind. There were multiple dust devils on the road as I rushed back and forth.

Brenda Harsham said...

I guess our stories become dust one day, but we are still here. In the swirling winds. The fall makes poets contemplative.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

I appreciated your comment about this poem being like a "Where I'm From" poem. I think you're right. Of course it's powerful however you interpret it.

Carol Varsalona said...

Tabatha, the poem and the photo you shared of the dust storms have made a significant impression on me. I have always been fascinated by the Dust Bowl era. This poem is raw, penetrating, and reveals the desperation of the times. I plan on using the poem and photo along with others in my PD program this year with English teachers. Grapes of Wrath would be a great mentor text although as a teenager I loved Giants of the Earth that describes a "Norwegian immigrant family's struggles with the land and the elements of the Dakota Territory as they try to make a new life in America."