Show me, please
any true
replacement.

I can think
only
of things we might believe
are so.

A light globe
burnt out
has swallowed coal
and earth
and the prints of the fingers
that formed its filament
or sealed its box.

The mesh of this mandarin bag –
not the first I’ve ruptured
and yet
each orange web
will never be again;
not its fibres and weave
or the machine
that knitted it
(and one day
will sit breathless
on soil or cement
that is also abundant
yet unfillable).

That blue bright body
laying spent
while the rest of her hive
still swarms. The nectar
or sting
she drank or gave –
microscopic, but distinctly
once off.

And of course
this precious man
first day back
to his last year of school
plugging in his earbuds
(seventh pair since June);
setting out for the tram
on a journey familiar
yet unmade
and unrepeatable
in its blithe
and bleary
scat
of traffic lights, sights, cells.

And yours:
whoever you gaze upon
and gasp –

them all.

Acknowledgements

With thanks to WordPress for the prompt: replacement. (Funny, I’d thought I wouldn’t have a post for that today … and then started art journalling, then this came).

And with thanks to Bernadette Haddon’s 52 Weeks of Thankfulness challenge. Here’s mine for this week.

Today’s art journal words and art were again inspired by a poem of Mary Oliver’s. So I am thankful to Mary Oliver – for showing us the thill and value of waking, looking, listening, loving, creating, offering it to the world.

Oh, and I’m thankful too for Fergus who has again popped along to play again with the art “offcuts”.

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Here are the lines of the specific poem of Mary Oliver’s that came to mind when I saw the prompt “replacement“. They’re also written on the tag on the journal page.

Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
to ask
of anything, or anyone,

yet it is ours
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.

Mary Oliver, from ‘Snow Geese’