The surge & still

I had a friend
who, grown on corn in south Texas

lamented the lack of people

for she saw

only dry land stretched like a fried gut spotted with tumbleweed

I had a friend

who grown on concrete and painted faces, bricked up in city smite

longed to rid herself of bussle

walk out into emptiness like

a star explorer 

I knew both the longing and insilubrious pull 

of city magnet

its desolation and feeling apart in a crowd

the surge and still 

of expectation and liquor 

I knew the raw blister of

a pure and scathing emptiness 

nursing a need to create syllable of void 

two extremes, no unity

can betwix between as jugglers, relieved of balance will continue motion

I was born in cold city breast 

disgorging from its loins the dour faced babes of 21st century ad-lib 

my elbows broken at gold vein

between reaching and closing off

crowds or empty skies? 

noise or bird call? 

city folk looked agast as I packed into concertina, the music of my life and let it out in one sonorous exhale

how will you bear the solitude? They asked

nothing is more lonely than isolation in a crowd, I replied

but what of the museums and new trends and restaurants? 

I can live without the majesty of men, I said

It has always seemed inflated and grandiose

there is more meaning in a dessert rose, than anything we in our dominion, believe worthy

we are spectacle at best, a blight in our thirst to take up all the room

the richest man is one who inhabits an unkept land

with all the wild flowers come into bloom

25 thoughts on “The surge & still

  1. Its strange isn’t it Candice, how we see our environments in different perspectives.. Each searching for different things.. Showing us how no one thing is perfect within the eye of the beholder.. All dependant upon what it is they are searching for..

    To me, that dry land with tumbleweed would have held much magic..
    Beautifully written Candice xxx ❤


    Here in this city
    In this mockery of life
    Life eluded me
    It eluded everyone
    While few noticed its absence

  3. How wonderful, the fresh perspective that the glory of human achievement, seen in the sculpture and creation in cities, is nothing compared with the untouched beauty of nature. I also loved these words, highlighting the opposite perspective:

    “for she saw

    only dry land stretched like a fried gut spotted with tumbleweed”

    Some see that – the ugliness, the bleakness of the country or desert. I see a landscape of stubborn resilience; of life blooming and thriving despite the harsh environment. Such a beautiful thing.

  4. I love the “richest man…..ending ” and the truth in that. Makes me think of Thoroeu if I spelled that right. Just read a little about him….amazing how small is cabin was and the perspectives he developed. Wonderful writing. Thank you!

  5. Never had a desire to live in the city (the suburbs were tolerable)…. Can’t agree with you more on the theme. The older I get the more I love whatever is wild and natural and quiet. Our lawn is mostly clover, buttercups, and unnamed ground covers with tiny flowers – all of which attracts honey bees. Must tip toe across the yard so as not to step on them…. Hard to imagine anyone preferring cement and noise… bottom line, I love your poem!

  6. “I can live without the majesty of men, I said
    It has always seemed inflated and grandiose
    there is more meaning in a dessert rose”

    This really speaks to me. As a city boy who is always searching for the little bit of wild that still wrestles free from the grip of so called civilization. The day before yesterday I was watching how a man torched weeds (because they make the pavement look uneven???), instead of celebrating the green spots they’re adding to the grey and couldn’t possibly imagine why someone would waste so much time and energy… Love this poem!

  7. This poem highlights so many stretches of life. From the expanse and emptiness of land to the city and the busy. Both places can be irreducibly lonely. This poem really touches me. Beautiful. A powerful line, “we are spectacle at best, a blight in our thirst to take up all the room.” The need and greed for ‘more.’ Contentment is found within.

  8. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your lovely words! I totally agree with you about contentment being allusive until we realize wherever we go there we are and it can only be found within. I am so honored that this poem touched you that means the world to me. I thank you dearly.

  9. Thank you so much! I am so very glad you liked this poem and I really appreciate your kind words. I grew up in the city and just like you wanted that ‘bit of wild’ so much. Have you seen Living Below Zero? Really about that. Thank you so much!

  10. Dearest Girl from Jupiter. You know how much appreciation I have for you to read my work and take the time to leave such a lovely comment, thank you. I do agree that nothing compares with nature you are so right. I’m so glad I’m not alone in seeing that all we have achieved is nothing compared to what stood before us. xo

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