Settling Smoke

We were assembled,

all together in that room,

together yet separate.

I could see nothing of the others through the smoke

and the words of so many

different tongues.

Oh,

I could probably have caught something in their eyes,

yes,

even through the smoke,

and across the tongues,

but the eyes were too personal.

The eyes were too deep.

I was kin to each,

yet we were unknowns,

strangers with strange names.

We were kin through our questions,

and through our methods of finding the answers,

answers to questions like,

“Why are we here?”

and

“where do I belong?”

The smoke settled a bit

and the features started to become recognizable,

acquaintances?

But,

the eyes still eluded me,

the eyes were still too personal,

and too far away to touch.

I still avoided those questions,

those deep question I knew we all shared.

I avoided the questions,

but I began to perceive

how each had tried to answer them.

We were still together,

yet separate,

some more together than others,

Some still more separate yet.

Those questions bound us,

but the methods for answering,

the methods began to divide.

I longed to become a part,

a part of this group,

to belong.

I yearned for a place in the group,

and I reached out.

I reached out to take,

but held back

in my giving.

Like so many others,

knew the danger

in giving.

Giving leads to vulnerability,

and that lesson,

oh so painful in the learning.

10.19.98

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20 responses to “Settling Smoke

  • hmv

    These painful stories
    somehow so easily shared…
    Broken heart show and tell.

    Well done, dtdeedge!

  • AdonaiShekhinah

    Synchronicity being what it is, I was just journaling about my feelings in respond to my therapy the other day…and how we hit a nerve, but what I wrote was really about how I don’t want to feel so disconnected, or afraid the eyes when it gets personal. So I don’t know…that’s what your post reminded me of….

  • Holistic Wayfarer

    Nice voice.
    “We were assembled, all together in that room”

    What do you think of using just the all or together? One or the other, I mean.

    I like the:
    I was kin to each

    • dtdeedge

      Hmm. I don’t know. Maybe something there.

      • Holistic Wayfarer

        Because assembled already connotes the all and the together. A triple hitter.

        On saving spit:

        https://aholisticjourney.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/the-writing-process-save-spit-part-2/

      • dtdeedge

        Right right.

        There is a subtle distinction I’m not expressing well.

      • Holistic Wayfarer

        Well, great…meaning, I’m glad if I helped you tap the distinction. I’m not speaking of categorical brevity. In the writing process, one benefit outwins another. But as writers, we ourselves have to stay clear to what we see and then communicate that clearly. Lovely poems. Cheers.

      • dtdeedge

        No, I understood you weren’t speaking of categorical brevity. And, in prose, I wholeheartedly believe in an ultra-strict frugality of words. One of my favorite reads, “The Style of Writing” by White and Strunk also advocates brevity.

        With poetry, however, I am not fully in agreement. I believe that the medium often allows, or even celebrates, bending or abandoning of certain truths of prose. So, while in a prose piece, a triple positive is doubly redundant, it might be seen as fully acceptable reinforcement in the freedom of poetry.

        That being said, in this particular case, I think you have found something that does need attention. I think that the ‘assembled, all together’ not only fails to convey the subtlety that I was hoping to express, but actually negates my point. So, I agree with you completely. I will definitely rephrase that section.

        Most of my poetry is almost free association, and I don’t think I have actively crafted any of my poems. Sometimes it feels dirty to do so – like I’m sterilizing some of the emotion.

        thanks for the tips. I’ll be sure to check the spit saving link.

      • Holistic Wayfarer

        I mention Strunk and White in my most recent Mafia post. I point out one area where I disagree with them. I couldn’t resist the leather-bound collector’s copy a few yrs back, as much as I dislike redundancy – even of personal belongings. I thoroughly appreciate your position — and largely agree. One can argue that poetry of all things demands the succinctness. But I am with you on how we as poets weigh differing (often conflicting) elements and objectives for what we want to achieve in our work. Happens with prose, too. Ahhh…look at us….all these words, back and forth….over those three little words of yours. LOL

        Xxxx Diana

      • dtdeedge

        I have honestly been hoping for more critical comments. Your investment is appreciated.

      • Holistic Wayfarer

        I was going to say just you’re welcome. But let me share this:

        http://aholisticjourney.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/the-writing-process-ii-keep-it-real-part-1/

        No obligation to respond in any way. It’s simply the stuff of blogging, the organic exchange of ideas between writers that jazz and live. Take care.

      • dtdeedge

        I had been hoping for more constructive criticism, and indeed, that was my original intent in starting this blog. I must say that I have been humbled by your talent. Reading your work has given me pause, and set my bar a little higher in terms of judging my own work.
        I have always known that writing is a skill that, like may others, requires continual practice and immersion for improvement. Finding that time has been difficult lately, and the realization of how much room there is for improvement is somewhat disheartening, especially in light of the few precious minutes each that I can devote to crafting.
        I do thank you most sincerely for your comments, and I look forward to what you may have to say down the road.

      • Holistic Wayfarer

        I thoroughly appreciate this heartfelt, personal feedback – a glimpse into your world and your art. TIME – tell me about it!! I shooed hubby off to the beach with my boy an hour ago to play catch-up and work on the next post, which is what I’m doing at the moment (Why We Read). Oh, it really is a journey for everyone. I am endlessly revising myself. I hope you don’t take offense to the Mafia post. I have the deepest affection for my readers. Thank you for the thoughtful connection. Tty again. =) Diana

      • dtdeedge

        no no. No offense. Just a new outlook on where to direct the ship.

      • Holistic Wayfarer

        And be not disheartened! My About and Lessons from my 30s (no need to go there…you’ve given me enough of your time) describe how I’ve only just begun reclaiming my writing and self. I started posting in March what I’d started pouring out in Feb, and was so clueless about the ins and outs of blogging that I didn’t even know to tag. My stuff started showing up on the Reader in April – duh. Point is, I wrote blindly at the start, like one gasping for air. You and I will only sharpen ourselves as we go. =) My self-defense coach said yesterday that when you tap out, i.e. surrender to your opponent (because he’s about to dislocate your arm), it just means you need to get better. So off you go and train. A good thing, a wonderful thing. Xxx Diana

      • dtdeedge

        Right on. I’m sneaking in some training time this afternoon.

      • Holistic Wayfarer

        I’m back! One final note that begs singing: this clueless blogger has come to see the beautiful gifts blogosphere has to offer. If we invited no feedback, we ought to keep our stuff in the journal. If we didn’t want constructive exchange or only wanted to be read (and not read), we ought to hop off and get to work on our book. The dynamic back-and-forth has been so enriching, and growing relationships so precious. =)

  • dtdeedge

    I had been hoping for more constructive criticism, and indeed, that was my original intent in starting this blog. I must say that I have been humbled by your talent. Reading your work has given me pause, and set my bar a little higher in terms of judging my own work.

    I have always known that writing is a skill that, like may others, requires continual practice and immersion for improvement. Finding that time has been difficult lately, and the realization of how much room there is for improvement is somewhat disheartening, especially in light of the few precious minutes each that I can devote to crafting.

    I do thank you most sincerely for your comments, and I look forward to what you may have to say down the road.

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