Solace in a metaphor

Empty bottles on the counter
mean apologies in a dressing gown
For the slurred words that broke
a petal from this rose
and crushed it into velvet spiders
With the soles of his slippers

I drift along the wooden floors
a mass of scarlet petals scattered
Groveling, looking for a crack
To swallow me in some metaphor
Like ikebana or kintsugi
Far away from the truth
I am preserved like dried flowers
and crackle with a departed fragrance

The punctuation of a belted loop
looks much too final
But I am a broken bloom,
an ellipsis returning to the arms
of my comforting metaphor
Some presentable arrangement
or at least the relief
of a glass at my lips

For some reason I was in the mood for a resurrection…

Artwork: Gabriel Moreno

104 thoughts on “Solace in a metaphor

      1. Thank you G!! You know how to make my day. I was worried this poem may be a bit… too oblique, rather than unique, so you have no idea how happy this makes me. I would say the same about your work. Thank you again ! 💛💜

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for letting me know this comment may be in my spam folder. I am very sorry about your Aunt. Alcoholism and abuse unfortunately often go hand in hand…. If this reminded you of her, I hope that at least some aspect of this reminder is positive. I am sad for her…

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  1. I love that the poem starts and ends at the same place- not to mention the usual yadda yadda about how beautiful the lines are “Empty bottles on the counter
    Means apologies in a dressing gown– or at least the relief
    of a glass at my lips”

    I’m inclined to agree with the mysterious mass of experts that some of the most effective works are those that start and end in the same place- they have a fable-like ring to them that just feels so damned good, even if the poem isn’t quite the happiest.

    Just. Fub-lucking. Beautiful.

    Keep existing my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Goodness, left speechless by these incredible words of understanding. I love how you read my poems, you always seem to give them something I did not think they had… Fab-lucking beautiful- possibly the best compliment I’ve ever had. Thank you, I really appreciate this so much. One question, does it seem like the drink at the start is by the same person as the drink at the end?? Curious to know how this is read by someone outside my own mind! Have a happy everything my friend and thank you, again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you!!! No, not a bad thing at all, I was just trying to understand the impression a reader and writer I respect a lot took from it.
        And, you are not selfish dammit! Encouraging and supportive much more like it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I truly enjoyed your metaphors, and abstractness adds to the mystery and beauty of your poem…
    “A petal from this rose
    and crushed it into velvet spiders
    With the soles of his slippers”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ivor. I am so glad you found the abstractness of this appealing!! Sometimes it’s hard to know how much is ok, and when you have a particular thing in your mind, how much others will be able to see it, and how much you want them to see!! Many fine lines to tread. Thank you so much , hope your trip is going well 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this a few times before finally realizing what I wanted to say. There were so many things I loved about this poem, R, but I will say that these words give me a sense of triumph over the pain and also a longing to escape the chaos. We can be beaten with obstacles, until we feel as if we are nothing but powder, but somehow we are able to become something beautiful from a tragic change, something more. The pain of how we got that way is never forgotten, but we can look at the scars and remember that we survived. These are the thoughts that come to mind when I read this poem. Such a beautifully written and heartfelt piece, my friend. Really love this. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gosh, I actually feel a bit emotional reading this… it was quite an emotional poem to write to be honest and it was one of those ones that arrive in your mind kind of unexpectedly, and in a kind of flood. I am so pleased you saw triumph within this. Your positive words mean so much. There is beauty within pain and so much to be learned. Pain can make us stronger if we can hold steadfast through it and not get swallowed by it. You truly are lovely, and a great friend. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aw! I am so pleased to know that my comment touched you, R. And I understand what you mean about those emotional and deep pieces that come from a deep place within. I like to think the soul knows when it needs to be heard and it tugs at our hands to pick up the pen and start writing. I’m glad you decided to go with your feelings and let them lead the way, because you wrote an amazing poem here. Pain can definitely make us stronger if we let it and I think that’s why I saw triumph in this poem. It’s like we all find our ways of dealing with the pain and trying to overcome it. Then one day it happens. We accept everything – the scars, the memories, etc. That’s where the kintsugi comes in. We make the best out of the situation and become something beautiful in the end. ☺️

    Thank you for writing such an amazing poem, my friend! You truly have a gift with words and I admire your strength in sharing what’s in your heart with us. Sending you plenty of smiles, hugs and sunshine, Mind Twin! 💕✨💚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. every line is pure magic R! but this stands out for me “and crackle with a departed fragrance”, the crushing of a dried petal and releasing that last scent it holds. your poem describes the emptiness we feel some days, like the marrow has been sucked out of us, but we drift looking for that something which will glue us back together again and come stronger than before. Oh how I love this and miss just basking in your beautiful writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you are going to bask in my writing, then that is the best motivation to write that I could ask for. Yes, sometimes that emptiness, the feeling that there is nothing left, can make us feel hollowed and dry… Until we find the thing that makes us whole.. thank you so much for your beautiful words my friend ❤️

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      1. my pleasure my dear, yes please keep on writing! as the inspiration takes you. your words give me much hope, like there is someone else who understand what I am feeling too, its not just me

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for commenting. This is really interesting and could apply to many things. If you turn pain into a metaphor it somehow softens it, or allows you to feel more in control of it. So in a way, it’s out of sight, out of mind …

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    1. Aahh, thank you!! This poem was an emotional one for me to write and would these lines sounded w little odd to me, I did not want to remove them as they actually described something I could find no other words to describe.

      Thank you, so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You went good with your instinct.

        When it comes to expressing something always re-read and make sure by using your heart and instinct, follow it and you’ll have the results.

        Powerful write and bless you my friend.

        You are welcome. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I really appreciate this Charlie. My heart tends to get over-ridden by my over-thinking mind. I find it hard to be true to myself and my heart sometimes.

        Bless you too my friend. I value your thoughts snd insights.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I already upgraded you from a “a bit lovely” to “more lovely than you could ever imagine” – now I have nowhere to go, and you have gone off the scale. Like, “double the amount of lovely that’s even possible?”

      Thank you, this is a HUGE compliment. No, I am not a writer incognito, but that would be a great story!! Wow!! Thank you 💜💜

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  7. What amazing first lines you have here! Going from empty bottles to empty apologies to the crushed rose petals to the relief of a bottle at one’s lips, to me, is like the concept of Kintsugi. Something broken repaired.

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    1. Oh, I love the way you have read this, like you were reading my own mind, but adding something to it – you have a knack for this! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it, and saw something broken, repaired. Thank you, so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely work, Rachel, with lots of lines to decipher.
    I am immediately struck with your careful use of ‘mean’ in line 2.
    And, of course, ‘the punctuation of a belted loop’ – excellent!
    You are clearly an accomplished writer ‘unconcealed’ 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Nick. I’m glad you liked the punctuation line. And yes, the use of ‘mean.’ I like how you read my poetry, you see the parts of it. I’m not an accomplished writer by any means! In fact, I think this poem does not make clear enough that the person leaving the bottles on the counter is not the same person that drinks at the end… that is really bothering.

      Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts xo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d like to put this whole comment in quote marks and commit it to memory
      “a tight rope suspended over a pool of hungry crocodiles, and you traverse it in ballet slippers.” April, you know how to make me feel amazing and you read my poems perfectly. You create poetry effortlessly and grace us with these beautiful poetic gifts of understanding. I could curl up in your words sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Frank. There is a lot going on here, not sure how well I communicated it from my mind to decipherable metaphor, but, I guess sometimes that’s the way it is. Always makes me happy to see your gravatar pop up. Thank you for your kind words.

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  9. You write these amazing poems of fragments and brokeness with a wonderful, vivid magic that brings the jigsaw pieces of your soul to life. It is as if your words are reconstructing a puzzle making yourself whole.
    You do broken like no one else.
    Weren’t we just talking about this?
    Bravo Rachel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we were just talking about that…. “It is as if your words are reconstructing a puzzle making yourself whole.” The jigsaw pieces of a soul. How do I say what it means that you see this when you read this? Thank you doesn’t seem enough. I was lying awake fretting that this poem is so cryptic that the puzzle pieces may not fit together for someone who reads it. Each line is a part of a story, a metaphor that makes perfect sense to me, but I don’t know how it reads to others. I sense that you might decipher those pieces.
      “You do broken like no one else”. Well, I will take this as a compliment, and think of it like kintsugi. You know that Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with gold and they are more beautiful for their brokenness? Hopefully that’s what you meant.

      Thank you Andrew, your thoughts are very precious to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ok dear friend, so we were talking about your poem a while ago, and as I said, I think it is a masterpiece… you asked if I thought it was clear, about the beginning vs the end… rereading it now, I will say that in a one word answer, “no.”

    However, when I first read the poem, I did not draw conclusions one way or the other, but rather went with the flow of it… I sensed, in this poem, an “abuser” and a self-aware “saviour” (if we choose to sort pegs)… and the self aware “saviour” sees that she, delicate flower though she is, is seeking to be the kintsugi gold that fills the cracks of a previously-broken person. (That entire stanza was such a beautifully crafted subtle work of art, by the way.) Ergo, she does not see herself as entirely blameless in the relationship with this person who crushes her petals (with *his* slurred words, that much is clear, I think, to anyone who takes the time to understand the poem)…

    So in sum, whoever is the leaver of empty bottles, whether it’s the “he,” or the “I” in this poem, or anyone else for that matter, I don’t think it’s entirely relevant to the reader… each of us will take a stunning piece like this and interpret it according to our own mirror… but I don’t think many can deny that this is constructed with real skill, and so many astonishing and enchanting/disturbing images, in a very short space of text. And though there is a bit of a puzzle to it, it’s not too obscure to get the essential ‘drift’ of the “scarlet petals scattered” across the floor, so to speak.

    And yet, all that said, because I care about you, as I believe many others here do, I’d love to know more about the background story of this poem… as I expect many of us here would. So, maybe it’s time for more poems. ;)))

    I hope this little ramble makes some kind of sense.

    Much love to you my dear… and I hope it’s okay that I answered here. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If ever there were a comment that leaves me emotional and speechless, this has to be it. How can I thank you enough for the depth and wisdom that you have gifted to me here? “each of us will take a stunning piece like this and interpret it according to our own mirror”. My friend, I have angsted over how people would interpret this and to hear you say this, that it doesn’t matter, that people will take what they want… this is like a loving hug or a breath of fresh air.

      As for your kind words about the poem itself…. I am completely humbled. Nadine, I can’t convey the depth of that. I am so glad and lucky to have found you.

      I hope you are taking care of you too sweetheart. I emailed you xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rachel… as always you just blow my mind with your wonderful words… I am in the midst of trying to reply to your email every spare moment I get, and yet I keep moving away from it, back to my WP addiction ;)), because, to be blunt honest, I’ve been procrastinating about it. I don’t really know how to respond to something so heartfelt, true and beautiful, with something of my own that is bound (in my mind, when trying to write it) to be comparatively, and completely, utterly inadequate. I’m just being totally honest here, and again taking the easy route in this moment by replying to your comment instead. Know that the email page has been open on my desktop, started, deleted, started again, deleted again… and in short, your email was a gift that I treasure perhaps too much for words. But still I will try. Again. 😇 Since we can’t hope to succeed unless we at least try. 😈;)) Thank you for everything that you are and especially all that you give of yourself; it’s a gorgeous, stunning thing. Much love, xoxoxo n ❤️❤️❤️

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  11. Most beautifully written ,my dear!!specially-“i drift along the wooden floors………and cracle with a departed fragrance…..” wonderful lines as i am seeing that process with amazing metaphor.but have a touch of pain.all poetic lines are awesome and gorgeous,amazing poet.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Dear lord, this is so good, Rachel. I am beyond grateful to have found your poetry!

    “For the slurred words that broke
    a petal from this rose
    and crushed it into velvet spiders
    With the soles of his slippers”

    Just wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It is because of poem like this that I love Poetry. It is so rare to come across one as subtle and deep, as this. I read it a dozen time and each time found something new (as if I was going through a flooded drawer😅), to contemplate, to understand. Keep inspiring ✌️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This comment is incredibly special to me. I am so humbled that you think this way about this poem, that you read it and saw more and more things each time. It means a lot, I can’t really say thank you enough, but, thank you 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Gorgeous writing. “I drift along the wooden floors
a mass of scarlet petals scattered
Groveling, looking for a crack
To swallow me in some metaphor” beautifully descriptive. I think we have all had a night like this. Lovely imagery. Stay safe. Love 💕 Joni

    Liked by 1 person

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