Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Icy Slough



The slough of despond
is lined with
dead bullrushes
and cattails,
broken stalks
poking through
the ice
that covers
the pond,
thick frost
etching
every leaf



does every heart visit it
in winter
to look
with the same
deadened eyes
upon a vista of
nothing living?



how does it remember,
in those times,
that spring will come
again,
when no birds sing
and chirp
in the winter garden?




Traveler,
you have choices:
one can trudge
right through,
sinking into the sludge
with mud-filled boots
that get caught fast
and will
never rise again,


or one can go around
by the
marked pathways
where others have trodden,
signposts pointing the way,
to wait for
a better day.


one can visit briefly,
then turn one's back
and search for a sunnier slope.
what makes the difference
between the one who puts
her head in the oven
and the one who hangs
grimly on
to hope?




whatever it is,
please believe me
when I tell you
that despondence
is a temporary
station.
take the next turning
you come to
and believe,
for winter is short
in duration.


Weary Traveler,
take the path
we've left
behind
for you.
There lies
a beautiful valley
on the other side
of the slough.



The talented Victoria has set us an intriguing prompt over at dVerse: The Medium is the Message . Victoria asked us  "to write a descriptive poem in which you will use images to describe a feeling, a truth you hold dear, a person, using primarily surroundings—in other words, an imagist poem that has an embedded message about whatever…"

Do zip over to dVerse, for some good reading!


28 comments:

  1. The descriptions and photos herein--even the one of slough--are quite beautiful. That was always my fear when deeply depressed, that there was something I liked about being there that I clung to. It's good to have a guide to the alternative landscapes or staying there is a real possibility. You guide well here.

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  2. it is a temporary station, that is for sure...too many though get stuck there...nice use of the frozen over landscape and pond...we all walk through those winters...

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  3. Sherry, a powerful image for me of hope and perseverance. A great life metaphor. Photos are perfect, too.

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  4. The slough of despond took me straight to John Bunyan - as I'm sure it was meant to. The temptation to linger too long in depression and despondency is powerful, but nothing is ever achieved by that. There is hope, even when we can't see it.

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  5. The slough of despond took me straight to John Bunyan - as I'm sure it was meant to. The temptation to linger too long in depression and despondency is powerful, but nothing is ever achieved by that. There is hope, even when we can't see it.

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  6. The slough of despond took me straight to John Bunyan - as I'm sure it was meant to. The temptation to linger too long in depression and despondency is powerful, but nothing is ever achieved by that. There is hope, even when we can't see it.

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  7. very nice... one of my favorites... great fullness in your poem

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  8. I really like your pictures, and the words, well they speak total wisdom. May we all go around to find the peaceful valley beyond whatever slough is in our life. Great writing Sherry.

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  9. It better be a temporary station as a long winter will make me a very weary traveler ~ I like the ending iamge of the beautiful valley, such hope here Sherry ~

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  10. wisdom and beauty in these lines!

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  11. A wonderful journey, with a great message...enjoyed my trip. Thank you :)

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  12. Hopeful encouragement, written in a lovely form!

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  13. I enjoyed your message, Sherry. There is always beauty around the bend.....somewhere!

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  14. Your pictures mixed well with the poem’s theme; I also liked the sense of perseverance.

    When winter’s dead comes out in leaves
    We close our eyes and living green perceive.

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  15. Sherry, despondency certainly seems to link to those frozen images and yet so much icy beauty too. A lovely message of hope :-)

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  16. thank you for sounding the angel trumpetAloha from Honolulu,
    Comfort Spiral
    ~ > < } } ( ° >
    > < } } ( ° >
    > < 3 3 3 ( ' >



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  17. dang..that nod to sylvia plath..excellent pics to go with the image that talk about these winter times in our lives...and oh how to survive them..sometimes tough..love that you close with the beautiful valley waiting...

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  18. Beautifully done,Sherry! The pics and the verses blend most appropriately. Never venture on unknowingly as the path may be wrought with problems. Great advice! Some still persist to regret later! Nicely!

    Hank

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  19. loved this...
    And your message delivered wonderfully....

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  20. The pictures were a nice addition but not necessary - your words provided all the clarity and the sharp imagery needed.

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  21. loved the crisp photos that enhanced your words..words that touched the very heart of winter's enigmatic existence.

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  22. Sherry, for so many reasons, this poem resonated with me. The idea of choosing one's path, of deciding whether or not to embrace optimism, is crucial in my continuing battle with My Brain Hates The Grey Days. Seems like today, I'm winning. Love, AMy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/01/11/zen-man/

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  23. Every now and then, like seasons in a year, those winter years arrive, setting us back a notch or two or more. And yet they leave a bittersweet grip in our lives - appreciation of lessons learnt that we did not know then.

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  24. Wisdom in each word Sherry. The photos are pure magic and carried me through the journey with awe at each turn.

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  25. oh weird... after I left the comment above your blog background and links returned... when I opened your link a few minutes ago from poetry pantry... everything was on a solid gray background, hmmm.

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  26. The images are beautiful as is the wisdom in your words.

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  27. hopefully, not too many are putting their heads in ovens these days!

    at least so far, winter does always give way to spring at some point!

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!