Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dry, but...

Sweet Memory by Osnat Tzadok

You graced my life for one year
but dazzled my imagination for Ever
and do you know why
because you asked me if I liked flowers
(though you already knew the answer)
and then looked at me as if to read my eyes
but your eyes were not there to read
only to make promises they could not keep
promises that would dry out and be defeated.

But does it matter?

And you bought me a rose
from the lady bent over herself
wearing a red scarf wrapped loosely
around her thinning hair
a single red rose gowned in clear cellophane
and you smiled quixotically and said
This rose is more special than a dozen
and I smiled thinly and thought
Maybe there is plenty in scarcity, oh well.

But does it matter?

And I will not ask if you remember our train trip
from Grasse to Menton
our heads resting one against the other
while we slept for minutes that seemed hours
and dreamed of that city of people living by the sea
but when the train stopped
we grasped at pieces of our dream
(and this, I knew you wouldn’t forget)
our hands trying to hold the scenes that
escaped like dust particles in air
and you said Give me your hand
as we stepped off the train into a nameless town
two stops earlier than our intended destination
a town that would readily forget us
though we had vowed to remember it forever.

But does it matter?

You might recall that we made it to Menton
(and this, too, I knew you wouldn’t forget)
and the salt-sprayed wind ruffled our hair
but the clouds tangled the kite we wanted to fly
and the sea licked our footprints from the sand.

But does it matter?

And would it have mattered
if we had stayed and not gone?

And if you had stayed…

in a crowded room
you would have looked at me
I would have looked at you
our eyes like muddled pearls
and your eyes would have said
You are beautiful
and my eyes would have said
You make me feel beautiful.

We would have learned
one another’s intimacies in foreign places
in rooms with numbers on their doors
on unfamiliar beds where others before us
had unraveled their bodies
in the honeyed circles of momentary lust.

We would have departed and arrived
only to depart again
while leaving the eyes of others
rimmed by the redness of our absences.

We would have been carried along
by exotic breezes
sometimes with a smile
sometimes with our heads bowed
for the force of our emotion
or for the red lights of our own secret Amsterdam.

We would have completed one another’s sentences
and stopped one another in mid-blunder.
We would have wanted what we could not have
and had what we did not want.
We would have used given availabilities
and invented those we lacked.

But does it matter?

I still have
my red rose
and it is
but undefeated
and beautiful


  1. Wow...I simply don't know what to say, Nevine. This is one of the best of yours I've ever read. The love, the passion, the beautiful meaning of your words - together, they are breathtaking and so endearingly profound.

    Your words transported me. I was with you on that journey, a silent observer of human emotion. These lines really had an affect on me:

    "You are beautiful
    and my eyes would have said
    You make me feel beautiful"

    So true. So deeply powerful.

  2. "we grasped at pieces of our dream
    (and this i knew you wouldn’t forget)
    our hands trying to hold the scenes that
    escaped like dust particles in air . . ."

    These lines were so graphic that they ceased to be words and became a painting. Nevine, you are just amazing (this adjective seems so wanting, here).

    How beautiful you express the all too familiar feelings and emotions. I think of the times I've waited for my sentences to be completed. You paint memories, times, emotions and life with your exquisitely crafted words. I can always be captivated by it.

    A feeling of contentment of having read something nice like the chocolate taste that lingers after a lovingly consumed chocolate flavoured ice-cream.

    Joy always dear Nevine.

    ~ Susan

  3. speechless....

    Steven Anthony
    Man Dish~Metro Style
    Life in the Fish Bowl

  4. Certain experiences, even when just dreamt never get dry, well they might, but for sure it does not matter because they'll only die when we pass away and maybe not even though...

    Nevine, when I tell you, 'hey Queen' you know what I mean, you never cease to astound me, never.

    hugs my dearest

  5. I cannot single out one thing in this that brings me to climax, but does that matter? I think not. I have never been about the ending. I have always been about the journey and those special moments that we hold dear and remember forever even though other things might fade and disappear. I guess its like when I was say 15 and handed my girl friend a four leaf clover as we sat in grass under a shade tree. I do not remember her last name but I will never forget the moment.


  6. Wonderfully evocative, as ever, Nevine.

    "..but the clouds tangled the kite we wanted to fly
    and the sea licked our footprints from the sand."

  7. Love this piece, it is full of vivid brings me some of my sweetest memories...thanks to you!! I stood out the phrases.."your eyes/my eyes would said you make me beautiful.."
    I also love the repetition of words.."But does it matter?" it is so rhythmical and fits perfectly.

    True love never dies and it is really undefeated as years go by and we are growing old.

    Hugs to you!

    B xx

  8. This is so universal. Everyone always asks the question of "what if" with regret and nostalgia and love all tangled up together. What if we were still together? What if we'd never left that place? What if things hadn't ended?

    And at the same time it's all a fantasy. The idea of someone saying "I would have" done this or that and "you would have" done this or that is simply fantasy. There's no real way of knowing.


  9. Sam – Thank you for your truly kind words… so encouraging… and also very sincere. I really appreciate your presence here, Sam, more than I can tell you. My heartfelt thanks to you.

    Susan – Chocolate… ah! I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful analogy. And if you are feeling content, Susan, then my contentment at that is beyond bounds. Thank you so much for your very personal words; they make me feel like my words don’t only belong to me, and that is the way poetry should be. Hugs to you from across the world.

    Steven - ;-)

    Dulce – And you never cease to make me smile. And that’s because you are the Sweetest! Hugs back!

  10. Sir Thomas – “I cannot single out one thing in this that brings me to climax, but does that matter? I think not.” I love this! Thank you for including my words in yours. And thank you also for your honesty. You know, the idea of memory is not that it should bring us to climax, but rather that it should bring us to a plateau of peace and contentment and satisfaction. Your shared memory is much appreciated, and so very appropriate to the atmosphere of my poem. Thank you so much.

    Martin – I appreciate your sharing your favorite lines. If it’s not too strange for me to have favorite lines in my own poem, I choose those two lines, as well. :-)

  11. Betty – So happy to have brought back sweet memories. That is what poetry is all about, I think. There is something wonderful about reading the words of another, and having them take us back on a memory round of our own. I’m smiling, Betty. Thank you. Big hugs back, dear friend!

    Jai – “This is so universal.” You don’t know how much this comment means to me. Achieving a feeling of universality with a piece of writing is one of a writer’s highest desires. Well, Jai, you know that, too. And as for assumptions, you are absolutely right. We always build these scenarios in our minds, thinking we can read the future. But we never do know.

  12. You have unraveled me with this

    As one who has travelled by train in Europe with long lost young love, I can only nod my head, and wonder if it mattered...

    But I think we know the answer to that...

  13. My beautiful like you describe is unforgettable, the sensuality, the passion that you so engrave within my loins with your words, the wild ecstasy you paint in my mind...lust , desire and the rendezvous in hotel rooms... and the amazing train trips. How can i forget them yet it's not me but you dripping these vivid pictures and thoughts on my mind and wetting them on my you for these and all the magic within your soul darling.

    These lines concluded the roller coaster so well...
    'But does it matter?

    I still have
    my red rose
    and it is
    but undefeated
    and beautiful

    Never can i forget nor would it have mattered honey~

    Love & hugs to you my sweet,
    Wild Rose~

  14. what beautiful words, you have a great blog!

  15. puts me in mind of this:

  16. Nevine, please allow me amidst all the loveliness, the never-ending highest quality of your say I think it does matter.

    I was age 5 when I gave my first love-gift, and I remember her whole name--grin! I touched her. To this very day 72 years after, I can still "feel" all that, her eight-year-old body, and my exploding insides. It mattered then--it matters now.

    The bricks of my present building of happiness and joy were thus mortared together.

    YOU Nevine, are the master: "...we would have...we would have...we would have", etc. I love those lines, the outlines of stories of what could have been...or maybe what IS to be!

    OH! Thank you, Queen! Look here-at first you left me speechless--grin! And then ! wrote another blog post...We are who we are!!!

    Love and Peace.

  17. As always, Nevine, I am in awe of your craftsmanship.

    Sometimes I forget my memories (when you get to my age, that is possible) then I read something like this and discover they are all still there, waiting for someone like you to unlock them. Thank you!

  18. Definitely one of your very best Nevine, brought back many memories..

  19. Ma belle! "You graced my life for one year
    but dazzled my imagination for Ever"

    Thank you for the marvellous trip;o)

    Un beau bouquet de bisous et une belle semaine bien étoilée*******

  20. Dear Nevine,
    We would have wanted what we could not have
    and had what we did not want.

    And can we bend it the other way around?
    Should we?
    Love to you, Greatest!

  21. i love the repeating "but does it matter?" -

    because it doesn't. but, of course it does.

    like how "the sea licked our footprints from the sand" - here and gone but for those who lived it. stunning.

  22. Wow. You carried me as if on one held breath from beginning to end. Then when I let the breath go I sat back and said, Wow. I can't begin to recount just how many similar experiences in my life you captured here. One in particular that I had not thought of for years. Nor had I thought of him. I wonder now if he ever thinks of me.
    But this is what you do so well, Nevine. You spin magic. Thank you for catching me in its web.

  23. Vina...oh such deep longings expressed here. The longings of the perfect ideal of love, the longing you know you always want but know can never have. Oh how I've missed your words, and you!

  24. Owen – Yes, we do know the answer. If you remember those trips, Owen… well, then… I suppose it can’t but matter. Everything matters, at the end of the day, right? Even if it happened when we were young… It seems those are some of the most unforgettable memories.

    Wild Rose – What lovely words you always have for me, dripping with their own honeyed poetry. And I’m so happy to have left you with such sweet feelings, and so happy to have left an impression. Special moments are special moments, and they are made so they can be remembered, aren’t they? Love and hugs back to you, Wild Rose. *Smiles*

    Rose – Thank you for your visit, and your words.

    LW – Love these treats you always leave. Thanks, LW! Much appreciated. :-)

  25. Steveroni – Of course I allow you… because it does matter. And your memory is priceless… and I can’t help but feel so very special that you shared it. You are the master of kindness, Steveroni. So, thank you for always being generous with your kindness… and with your wisdom. And again, I agree that it matters. I still have my rose, remember? And although it’s dry, it’s still beautiful in my eyes. ;-)

    Pauline – Our memories are always there, waiting to be unlocked. How privileged I feel to have helped unlock some memories for you, Pauline! Thank YOU!

    Turquoise – Thank you, and I’m happy to know you had a memory splash!

  26. Cremilde – And thank you for taking the ride down memory lane with me, and enjoying it. Merci pour le bouquet. J’en ai besoin après une semaine de travail bien exigeante. Merci, ma belle! ;-)

    Adriana – Of course we can bend it… or at least we can try. Sometimes, when we try to bend something it breaks… but sometimes, it cooperates. Oh, to have what we want! And oh, to be able to deny and refuse what we don’t want! Yes, we should definitely try… Always! And you always make me feel so very special, Adriana… Truly, I mean that! Thank you humbly. :-)

    Joaquin – The master of contradictions says it doesn’t matter, but it does. I agree. Though I said vehemently that it only does matter. But I have to agree with you, Joaquin. You seem to understand my poems better than I do, sometimes. And thanks tons for the “stunning”. Coming from you… I rest my case.

  27. Judy – I can bet that he thinks of you. Just like you hadn’t thought of him for a long time, until reading something triggered your memory, his memory gets jogged, too. Sometimes, we think of men as having an indifferent emotional recall, but I’ve been stumped by another reality so many times. Men do remember… I’m thrilled to have brought back memories of things left dormant for years, Judy, and I appreciate your sharing that experience.

    Cat – How lovely to see you here! Yes, the longings. We all have them. But can only realize a very few of them, though we shouldn’t be so greedy. Those few can work out very nicely, in their own way. I’ve missed you too, Cat.

  28. This one pierced me right down the middle. Or maybe up on my chest, centre to left. I can almost hear the voice of the protagonist talking to herself as she finds the rose in a book whilst tidying up. Maybe the flower fell out whilst she was dusting the cover up. I'm speechless. Many thanks.

    I'm almost back, but not back yet. :-) However, I always try to make time to visit my favourite blogs.

    Greetings from London.

  29. You must have a heart inside your head along with your creative mind because honestly Nevine, this was an emotional and cerebral read at the same time. The nostalgia was there, but there was also the realistic view. Sometimes things are as they are and we have to make the best of memories. This was an awesome poem, and I could hear your voice.

  30. If I had to answer this question,
    yes It does matter, and had it been my story, I would have said, it matters much more.

  31. Nev,
    I love your language.
    and of course it matters, knew it right away.

  32. Cuban - Thank you for stopping in while on your holidays. I feel very privileged, indeed. And so glad you'll be back back soon, Cuban. Yes, those roses just appear quite without an invitation, sometimes. But they're always so very welcome! :-)

    Nancy - You are absolutely right that we must make the best of memories. Sometimes memories can be painful, but I think that, given time, any memory becomes beautiful in its own way. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Nancy.

    Blasphemous Aesthete - I think memories matter to everyone. It's just that sometimes, we have to ask ourselves about certain memories... about whether or not we would like to retain them. I don't suppose we really have the choice, do we?

    Rick - And I love that you stop here every now and then and let me know what you think. Thank you so much for that.

  33. Sounds like it was beautiful while it lasted.

  34. It's just so bittersweet and wistful. I enjoyed this one tremendously, but it's the fine line between bitterness and sweetness that makes the difference to our memories. Mine teeter into bitterness too often. I wish I had your perspective.

  35. Jen - Most of what I write is fiction, but I'm imagining that it was beautiful, yes. Thank you for stopping in.

    Mme. DeFarge - I agree about the fine line. Memories are so often tinged with bitterness, but I think that, with time, the bitterness fades away and we are just left with the sweetness.

  36. A beautiful poem Nevine, I could say a lot but one particular line is gonna stick with me for a while.
    "...leaving the eyes of others
    rimmed by the redness of our absences."

  37. Pat - Thank you for sharing your favorite line. I really appreciate that.

  38. Beautiful poetry, so intimate and evocative. Some memories will last a lifetime. In the end it is people that we'll remember. Our lovers most of all.

  39. You are so right about people. The places serve as a padding of sorts, while it's the people who make the event what it is, and make of it the cherished memories for years to come. Thank you so much for your kind words, Steppenwolf.

  40. In these flowers petals so many secret meomries, so many sweet sighs are stored....You show it all so beautifully Nevine!

  41. Merci, COL. Comme toujours, t'es gentil! :-)


Your thoughts are deeply appreciated.