Ladders new & ancient at Tsankawi

Ladders new & ancient at Tsankawi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Achieving Spiritual Exile

In the background, golfers prowl the green at the Olympic Club,
stroke small white balls towards an elusive hole.
Vistas of San Francisco splay across the 48” screen
where talking heads move lips, spew words I cannot hear (Muted!)

From time-to-time
I see an image
flashing in
my memory.

Early morning: scents of Tide and Bounce,
the churning, sloshing washer, and the touch of soft linen,
yield to the undulating voice of a professor
blathering theories of historical authenticity—
sounds emanating from my Bose, (a Teaching Company CD.)

From time-to-time
the image flashes
on the screen
of my imagination.

The girl-dog followed me into the garage
when I toted a bag of garbage and an empty cardboard box.
I closed the door, entombing her inside that darkness
and wondered why the boy-dog barked.
It took a while before I noticed she was missing.

From time-to-time
I sense the presence,
a hand that stretches
out to my unknowing.

I walk the dogs before the heat of noon.
My cell phone rides in the back pocket of my jeans,
the Blue Tooth in my ear.
Necessary calls completed, leaving my hands free
for picking up their excrement.
(Forgot to check the level of the Truckee and the oriole nest).

From time-to-time
I tell myself
to think about
that image.

Dishwasher beeping end of cycle,
turn up the volume, Tiger’s teeing off,
fold the clothes and make the bed,
don’t have the time to think
about that dream.

The ladder propped against the loft
(too high, too full of danger).
Strong hand that reaches down to me,
(familiar guide from long ago)

It’s safer here, well-trenched within the land of doing.
Find comfort in the work.
Security eschews change.

From time-to-time
an image

Posted in response to Manicddaily’s prompt at dVerse Poetics where we’re asked to write about EXILE. You will want to read this wonderful post, learn a bit about James Joyce and visit the work of some other exiled poets! I took my poem in the direction of spiritual exile…there are times when we receive gifts we just don’t want to look at!

20 thoughts on “Multi-Tasker

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    Intriguing. I like the ending …


  2. I really responded to the tone and style, the knowable intimacy of the speaker contrasted with the unknowable mystery (yet that sacred intimacy is always available). We lose contact to the self-imposed exile of our lack of mindfulness. Wonderful!


  3. Beautifully done, and I especially liked this verse:
    “It’s safer here, well-trenched within the land of doing.
    Find comfort in the work.
    Security eschews change.”


  4. shanyns says:

    Very good, I enjoyed this a lot, love the italics!


  5. aprille says:

    Oh … that inward eye!
    Has a lot to answer for.
    Great and revealing sequence victoria.


  6. hiroshimem says:

    “It’s safer here, well-trenched within the land of doing.
    Find comfort in the work.
    Security eschews change”
    I so relate to that! Out of fear of the unknown, avoiding signs that something could be much more relief, could be much more… Thank you for the reminder! I like how your poems alternates between concrete images and your imag…ination (or maybe it’s not your imagination). It gives a song-like quality to your poem.


  7. dfb says:

    Victoria, I really enjoyed this ‘stream of consciousness’, a virtual indictment on our lives, the way we are so (or can be) connected to the whole world, yet spiritually isolated.


  8. Claudia says:

    love how you split this like into two parts, two worlds, two different spheres and connect them so seamlessly…this is what i like with household and everyday task when you don’t have to think much and the mind is free to go wherever it takes you…loved it victoria


  9. vivinfrance says:

    The spiritual is confused and confusing, daily routine masking inner loneliness. A very clever poem.


  10. jmgoyder says:

    I am crazy about this – it’s wonderful!


  11. Chazinator says:

    Amazing. Everyday life itself becomes a form of exile, here it seems welcome compared to a feard reality that intrudes into the mundane. I think you have crafted this in such a way that it contrasts these two realities and brings in that element of mystery that makes the poem deeply meangingful.


  12. This is strangely powerful; wandering–muted, then not–through a day in the life of–so many. I really enjoyed the way you put this together!


  13. hedgewitch says:

    This almost has a stream of consciousness feel to it, but it keeps snapping itself back into that routine of sober, awake quotidian minutia–works really well at getting the message across–how we have to compartmentalize, and the price we pay for doing so. Liked it much.


  14. I like the repetitive lines of strong image or guide, weaving with the ordinary everyday life ~ A reminder perhaps of what is lacking in us ~ Enjoyed the visit ~


  15. ManicDdaily says:

    Victoria – this actually has another feel from Ulysses, which is the stream of consciousness of the day – the in and out of what is before and inside you. It’s very well done, bringing up to the exile from those things that drive our spirits, but that may not be what we want immediately to think of. K.


  16. brian miller says:

    wow this is pretty vivid victoria….it is a fresh aproach to me…i do know the retreat into the doing and how it makes me feel…like i am actually accomplishing something and for me that grounds me a bit more in reality…and also the withdrawl into the imagination as well….that is often where you will find me…smiles.


  17. Laurie Kolp says:

    Sounds like you could have been over at my parents house where, if he’s not playing golf, he’s watching it all the time. Love the image of you walking the dogs.


  18. Mary says:

    I feel as if I have just read a slice of your day. Sometimes I, too, feel like an ‘exile’ in the land of doing! And I hear you regarding walking the dogs.


  19. K. McGee says:

    I love your perspective on the prompt. It is far different from the way I approached mine. Funny – dog poop! I actually have a line on my bio page that tells of me doing just that.


  20. I really like where you took this. Yes, we can voluntarily spiritually exile ourselves too. I smiled at picking up the dog poop, always that to do if you have a dog…LOL
    A lovely write Victoria


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