Upon Awakening

image

When I finally emerged
from my hibernation,
the light had long
since moved on.
My image transcending the sidewalk
as I shed my winter coat.
I looked down through the stars,
the earth no longer beckoning me.
TheΒ voices of a thousand
nightingales singing hopefully,
stirring the air like cream.
I sit nestled in the arms of the trees,
tipping my hat to the wrens and willows.
All life’s little delicacies are stored away
in my knapsack for later. As I descend
into the night the moon begins to glow,
alighting the darkness like a thousand
movie screens. In the distance a
church bell rings, and for a moment
I don’t feel so alone.

-Tosha Michelle

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136 thoughts on “Upon Awakening

  1. This is such a lovely, delicate and zen-like verse, Tosha. A perfect poem to read upon first waking (which I am). And “stirring the air like cream” — love that image! Have a great day! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

      1. You know, I had to look at the calendar this morning to see what day it is — if that tells ya anything about my day so far! LOL You, too, have a productive, creative day!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I find that your poem here, Tosha – with so many seemingly conflicting images, is like a tantalising logic puzzle. πŸ™‚ This is what it does to my mind:
    What or who are you? Are you a Tosha or a butterfly or maybe a grizzly bear? Are you a combination of all these things and more? And what is this light that has moved on. Hibernation generally starts towards the end of the year, when the light is lessening, and ends at the start of the year when the light is getting brighter – but the light would tend to be about the same, with the only difference being the direction of travel: darker to lighter, colder to warmer. So have you come out of hibernation too early? Has something happened to the world or the sun to make the light move on? The word ‘finally’ could indicate that you have been too long in hibernation and have emerged due to lack of sustenance in the body and that the conditions are still worse than they were when you went into hibernation. Of course, poetry being poetry, it’s much more likely to be a metaphor, simile, allegory for your life or the state of your heart. Perhaps a relationship ended and Tosha went into her shell and she only emerged after the depths of the winter freeze in her heart had thawed enough. The light in this sense would then be either the (former (or not)) object of her love – and that person would have moved on taking the light of that love with them. Hence the ‘moved on’.
    What is this Image? Transcending suggests going beyond. A picture of Tosha going beyond the sidewalk. Walking along and yet, in her mind being far, far away from the humdrum scenes of city life. Still half asleep as the hibernation releases its grip on her. Still only half awake in this new world that has no light. Mourning still, and yet coming to peace with being awake into the dark. And there – the darkness. The light moving on. Perhaps a physical thing. Perhaps an acknowledgement of a physical occlusion of light. Perhaps nothing at all to do with love lost.
    Looking down through the stars is a particularly beautiful image for me. It suggests that the earth is up and the sky is down and is an indication that the world has turned upside down. Everything in this new world is strange and the earth no longer holds the same attractions as before. Stars are a powerful symbol of far, far away and could indicate that Tosha would rather be far away from where she finds herself – a world without light. A world where the only light is far away and out of reach. The light of love. The light of life. The light – full stop. Poignant. Saddening. Giving up. And yet, if we remember the previous verse, transcending. There is an element of the mystical here. An element of reaching into inner spaces that hold an experience that cannot be reached in this paltry earthly dimension.
    And there we are – the sweet sound of birdsong. Both as a physical thing and as a symbol, the nightingale’s song is a thing of beauty. To those that have no sight, sound becomes the platform on which to build hope. The sound of sweet things. The sound of love. The sound of life. Here is something to orient Tosha to new possibilities. And look – a beautifully evocative phrase – stirring the air like cream. Here we have another sense being brought into play – that of touch. Cream is solid and real (and rather fattening – but hey – something’s got to give) and can be touched and tasted (another sense). Here, we are building a picture of what can be enjoyed without the benefit of light. Lovely, tantalising and tasty.
    The inner vision comes into play here. Where outer light recedes, the inner light takes over and furnishes Tosha with images of beauty (wrens and willows), safety (in the arms of trees) and convivial company (tipping my hat). You notice that she is sitting and not standing. She is not waiting or travelling – she has arrived and she is comfortable here, as if she were in the living room of her favourite auntie.
    Life’s little delicacies stored away in a knapsack sets Tosha on her travels again. The resting in the tree was more a temporary stay. It was an opportunity to revisit things that she loves and an opportunity to say goodbye. She knows that some things in her life were good and she sets them aside in her memory (knapsack) and saves them there so that they can be taken out and examined and loved whilst she is travelling to her new destination. There is a hint here of Tosha moving from life and into the unknown, unknowable next place, but there is no sadness here. A time has been and time was enjoyed and a time can be left with peace and love in the heart. Some believe that important things are taken to be used in a new realm – a golden place, or perhaps to be used in a next birth. Only the essentials. Only the beautiful things. Only the delicacies. Of course the bag could just as easily be full of Tosha’s favourite chocolate – the name of which eludes me right now – but she knows it.
    Again, the descent into the night – the topsy-turvy world where the earth is up and the sky is down. This makes it all the more easy to travel forwards. Sinking into a silky-smooth, velvety, ultimately comfortable night is how I imagine it. And here is not just an image of moving on, but a reminder of how sleep takes us. But there is more than darkness here. There are the children of the night – the stars and the moon come out to play. More than a simple night – this is a splendour of night. A splendour of light. Here we find echoes of a verse from Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita (XI,12): ‘If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendour of the mighty one.’ Instead of the sun, we have the moon – friend to all travellers alike and a beacon to those immersed in darkness, both physical and metaphorical. Moving into the light. Well, we all know what that phrase signifies.
    And there, at the last, before the curtains close on this mortal stage and bring the drama to a beautiful and poignant close, we hear the final symbol of the left behind world: the bell ringing – far away and behind. A reminder perhaps of a faith left behind and perhaps a faith that can still sustain at the end. The ringing of the bell could be retold as ‘the tolling of the bell’ and, as imparted to us by John Donne in his prose work ‘Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions’ one should ‘never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee’. Reminded thus, by church and by tolling bell, Tosha realises that, although we all must make the final journey alone, we are, in fact, not alone at all – for our Father loves us and he gathers us up in his loving arms at the final moment, and not just this – at all the moments that we turn to him, whether we are in light, or in the profoundest darkness.
    And those, my dear friend Tosha, are my thoughts as I read your lovely poem. Thank you so much for sharing this and every poem that your marvel filled heart bestows on this world.
    Kind regards – your British mate – Robert.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to tell you as I read your comment, the tears started flowing. You captured the essence of what I was trying to convey in such a profound way that I had an awakening from my awakening. This has to be one of the most in-depth analysis of one of my poems I have ever received on WP. I truly appreciate you taking the time to get me.

      Oh and Godiva chocolates..
      always Godiva!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah yes – Godiva – how could I forget! If I ever get around to visiting Carolina – that’ll be the first thing I buy. πŸ˜‰
        And you’re welcome, Tosha – it’s always a pleasure to read your poetry because you write from your heart.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. AWESOME imagine!! I love how you think it’s just of the moon (as beautiful as that is,) until I scrolled down and beheld it flowing into the waterfall.:) It amazes me that somehow, you implement the perfect image accompaniment to your equally beautiful, profound and timeless poetry. Very well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The picture pulled me in, what a wonderful work, then the poem was tantalizing, sending my soul hurtling into creative reverie, and warming my being, and then the song (so gorgeous) to finish off this incredible blog: Wow! Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Truly a beautiful vision, so vivid it reaches into the soul, to open my heart & mind.
    I read your poem the second time aloud, asΒ the dust bunnies gathered to listen.
    For a moment, I didn’t feel so alone. β™‘

    Liked by 1 person

      1. wwwpalfitness

        You’re welcome, I know it may not be your thing here though you do voice yourself here and your show and I think it would be interesting.:)

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Grandtrines

        I live in Dallas, and grew up in the “oil patch” as well as the “cotton south.” (So, I will leave that open to speculation! πŸ™‚ )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Grandtrines

        She could ride horses better than most men, and, on an intellectual level, let’s just say it was easy to “underestimate” her (However, most people did not make that error more than once.)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Upon Awakening | By the Mighty Mumford

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