Of Roots, Cut Grass ...


Of Roots, Cut Grass ...

On a high plain in Kashmir
surrounded by mountains,
in charge of a flock,
he wanders them here and there
across this changing plateau.

The days are hot, 
the nights are cold.
Moving through the old realms,
is one bell enough?
Who marches at the head?

Evening. Men 
who had promised 
craftsmanship 
sat, talked, refilled glasses,
looked out the window. 

He never speaks. 
The animals twitch with energy,
smell of death,
confront, adapt,
flow where they will.


Erasure poem, excerpted and rearranged from two short pieces of fiction: Hazel’s Haircut by Rob Swannock Fulton and Some Roots of Grass, author unknown.

Shared at Poets United's PoetryPantry #433

Comments

  1. I love this. You took me right into the scene. Just lovely.

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  2. I can picture this scene vividly, feel the heat and the cold, and see the man who never speaks! Clever erasure poem, Rosemary.

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  3. I, too, let the images carry me. I particularly enjoyed the questions and how they lead to "flow where they will."

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  4. Though being Kashmir, that would be cups of Kashmiri tea-kahwah!! Like that visual of animals twitching with energy...

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  5. I haven't written any found or erasure poetry for a while, Rosemary, and your wonderful poem has prompted me to look for some! There is something intriguing about the life of a shepherd - I wonder what they think about, especially when they are all alone in the mountains.

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  6. Once were simpler lives, tasks done similar to that which had been done for centuries. You certainly took us there Rosemary.

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  7. Love this!💞 I can picture the man who never speaks! A brilliant erasure poem, Rosemary💞

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  8. Being able to flow and adapt is not always easy, but oftentimes it is a good option. People could learn from them.

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  9. Thank you for taking along on a bit of shepardind in Kashmir, how eonderfully exotic... :-)

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  10. This had the feeling of moving through the day, breath by breath. Really enjoyed this.

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  11. I've loved roaming with the shepherd and his flock on this evening after the sizzling sun has gone down and both man and beast are finally experiencing some relief from the heat. Have a wonderful year's end, and an even more wonderful beginning to your new year!

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  12. Are they going to be butchered? I'm intrigued by the smell of death and I imagine the men filling glasses also playing checkers.

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  13. Hmm, perhaps we should look to "evening women" marching at the head instead.

    This is a very strong poem.

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  14. Such a picture you paint Rosemary and, yes indeed... "Flow where they well..."

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  15. the magic of erasure poetry, Rosemary. :)
    i really like the last stanza. this is so true.

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  16. This is a poem that stirs something inside... to be there with the animals feels so familiar even if I've never done anything close to it.

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  17. I love how this was done, beautiful.

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  18. The tone of the last stanza is so ominous. The quiet, the smell...

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  19. Vivid image you painted by words! I enjoyed.

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  20. You have sketched this scene brilliantly, Rosemary … so much so that the effect is somewhat haunting, as if, I am intruding upon the agrestic still, that wafts with the smell of death ~ wow: the juxtaposition of danger and calm: so impactful.

    And thanks so much for the introduction to an erasure poem.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Wendy. There are various ways to do it. Here I've tended to select out whole phrases rather than taking single words to make a new sentence, which is often done. Magaly does wonderful things with erasures.

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  21. It must be difficult to tend a flock, as who knows what will happen in the wilderness
    of life.

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  22. in charge of a flock,
    he wanders them here and there
    across this changing plateau.

    Tending to a flock done smooth and easy, Rosemary! Great opening!

    Hank

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  23. I don't know what an erasure poem is, but the meaning must be in what's left out. It makes the poem pulse with a hidden energy.

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    Replies
    1. It's a form of found poetry, and akin to blackout poetry.

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  24. Within the warm embrace of nature, you have the interlude of the uncertain in a not pleasant odor. Interesting juxtaposition

    Much💖love

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  25. I love erasure poems and centos as well. Like the reality hit at the end with the twitching and the smell of death.You have captured the night mood
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Rosemary. See you next year.
    For you me and old egg

    we three aussies
    from down under are
    a cultcha'd lot
    we've travelled afar

    westward leading
    still proceeding
    bumbling along in the dark
    oh....ohhhhhhhh

    star of wonder
    star of light
    star with etc

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    Replies
    1. *Big smile.* Same to you, rall, and ta for the verse. Yes, there's an extra little feeling of warmth when I spot you two fellow-Aussies around the traps.

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