Treating Myself

On looking through my seasonal poems, I found the following, originally called Pumpkin Shell (written  circa 1999).  It comes from my first book of poetry, Be a Teller of Tales.  It’s always strange looking back on something one wrote years earlier – sometimes I cringe, sometimes I’m astounded at my own perspicacity, infrequently I cannot remember writing it nor does it seem like something I would ever have written.

Then there are the few poems I’ve developed a particular fondness for.  Usually, it’s because I’m particularly impressed by combination of craftsmanship and content that meets my own standards of “good”, whatever that is.  These are poems that stand up to my inner critic, not anyone else’s; ones that over the years, continue to creep into readings.  But, there are also verses that aren’t particularly notable.  I just like them.   I think its because these poems expressed exactly what I was feeling or thinking when I wrote them.

This is one of those poems, one of those little landmarks that delineate a change in one’s life or psyche…  I don’t think I’ve ever read it aloud in public.  It references chakras (a Hindu concept about energy centers in the body).  Not everyone knows about chakras, and I’m not someone who thinks a poem should have to be explained beforehand to the audience.  Maybe that’s why I never read it.

But, Thursday we were challenged at the d’Verse Poets Pub by Lillian Hallberg to treat.  So I am treating myself and setting out one of my favorites for your delectation.  (After changing the title and tweaking the line breaks a little – can’t help myself shrug emoji.)

Dogsitting For My daughter


Last Tuesday, nosing

along the irrigation ditch,

Wizard the dog finds

a remnant of Halloween,

round pumpkin shell

beached in backwater,

wearing second chakra colors.

Lodged behind my navel,

sits a two-faced frightened


seeing opposites everywhere,

longing for control,

knowing nothing

of letting go.

Watching Wizard




freewheeling through familiar scents,

abandoning each one

to follow up the next,

something loosens.

Like the pumpkin skin

drifting unexpectedly by

this Saturday morning,

a dense piece of shell works itself

out of my abdomen

and floats away.

                                pumpkin floating


This entry was posted in Animals, Consciousness, Halloween, Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Treating Myself

  1. memadtwo says:

    The synchronicity of those little moments. If we let ourselves get lost in them, who knows what we will find? (K)

  2. A lovely loose and light poem meandering with Wizard and letting the thought come and go as the sniffing dog. Beautifully stated lines too
    “beached in backwater,
    wearing second chakra colors.”
    And of course the crux
    “Lodged behind my navel,
    sits a two-faced frightened
    seeing opposites everywhere,”

    P.S. I am just putting together a collection of early poems – only lightly edited with the aim of keeping the purity of naivety in place – for we learn so much from our past and can lose some of the gems in the process of moving on. This poem is just such a gem..

  3. Colleen@ LOOSELEAFNOTES says:

    I like this rolling wizardry of words. You don’t have to explain chakra color to me!

  4. msjadeli says:

    What makes poetry magical is how it can capture and experience and make it shine in eternity. It’s a distillation of one’s soul. I’m reading a book right now about “how to read poetry” and it’s got the density of osmium but the lightness of a feather. Your poem and introduction to it made me think of what I’ve been reading there.

  5. lillian says:

    Ah the pure curiosity of dogs….their unconditional love…..the sniffing noses and wagging tails. How can we not help but let go of some of our hardened shells when we are with them? So glad you posted to the prompt!

  6. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice lines: “longing for control,
    knowing nothing
    of letting go”

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