Friday, January 20, 2023

Emphasis of NO



 "I often question my sanity. Occasionally, it replies."
- Darynda Jones.

In the weedy, overgrown
garden of my mind lucid
stomps its foot like an impatient child,
and demands I pluck dandelions
from the edge of my teeth
to at least form a sentence 
of more than one syllable.

I feel saying no doesn’t demand
adjectives, excuses, or explanation.
There isn’t an obscure essay buried
in my throat filled with paragraphs
of reasoning…just two letters, 
a verbal stop sign, NO.

The blackbird in me, dare I say Raven,
prefers the watcher’s perch to the
chattery bluster of raking my thoughts
to reassure sanity I haven’t slipped 
into my dotage.

So, what if I appear to be a faded yellow magnolia.
Consider the flower’s pod that appears to be
a mere dried cone, but inside is bright blooded
with red berries…I’m not everything I think
nor everything one sees.

Rather than hold court in my own head
arguing there is more than enough evidence
I have not lost my mind, I just address the
pestering interrogation with my sworn
testimony of truth, “No.” 

Susie Clevenger 2023



6 comments:

  1. I was saw a cat meme with a black cat looking at the viewer and saying "No. Does 'no' work for you?" Ever since i saw it, I say this quite often, though usually only in my head, to myself, when someone wants me to do or be something that i am not interested in doing or being. Then there is always the popular hard no, and the very definite not only no but hell no. I recommend them all.

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  2. This is wonderful Susie! I love the stanza about the obscure essay in your throat because that's me. I wish I had the flat no ready but I am always excusing myself. This is full of great images and concepts. Excellent.

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  3. When I lived in the south, I was fascinated by the dried magnolia pods. Yes, the hard "No" that we all need to learn. We often weaken it with explanations. Love "... lucid stomps its foot..."

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  4. it was my favorite word when i was 2, and still my favorite word at 52...no, i haven't changed much.

    "The blackbird in me, dare I say Raven,
    prefers the watcher’s perch to the
    chattery bluster of raking my thoughts
    to reassure sanity I haven’t slipped
    into my dotage."

    that was my favorite part

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  5. Fantastic. You nailed it. Perfect integration of the words, and lines like these: "lucid / stomps its foot like an impatient child, and demands I pluck dandelions / from the edge of my teeth" And everything works back to the Jones quote, which is terrific.

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  6. This is beautiful, Susie! Love all the wild unsettling tumble of images! And how you describe what is actually a magic word. For we sometimes forget to respect our own boundaries, don't we? And give more than we can instead of saving our good energies for ourselves. It's good to say no sometimes :-)

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