by Stephanie Sears
Heat soaks the mind:
an elliptical ocean of sweat
atop the skull of a gibbon.
Beyond cerebration and concern,
in geometric shadows,
white veils levitate and ventilate
lava hair smoldering with rubies.
Drip drop, hush, the frost beads
on a sterling tumbler play ball
with a vermilion spider
as florid as a drunkard.
Menstruating earth leaks
liquors of corruption
into giant rivers
that usher mud and fleshy creepers,
sway raffiah tubs tethered to perspiring banks.
The crossed blades of lovers
screech in torment.
Hope’s golden snake
lies lethal in a gutter
and black eyed despair,
as pretty as a scarab,
is soothed into submission.
0 thoughts on “Tropic”
This is the kind of poem that is so lush with imagery thruout that you can just close your eyes and feel like you’re in it–and feel what the writer does. Wonderful research and rapport with the subject! Or perhaps the author lives in the Tropics and is merely describing what she sees and feels. Either way, this poem has a very poetically crafted description–a ‘still-life’ of the breathing terrain and its occupants… but with poetry rather than painting–except everything is moving and so alive!
When i read ‘tropic’, i automatically think hot wet jungle but the poem extrapolates upon this by including man-made items perhaps encroached and overtaken by growth. The jungle and occupants in turn take on human qualities in “Menstruating earth leaks liquors of corruption into giant rivers that usher mud and fleshy creepers” and “with a vermilion spider as florid as a drunkard.”–nice personification. Early on in poem the words ‘elliptical’ and ‘geometric’ also incite a personification of human thought upon a natural setting. Although we are also talking about the mind and its perception–“Heat soaks the mind:” –first line of poem. These are just random thoughts i am having–i’m still drinking my coffee. lol.
There is a dark feeling i get from reading this work as if mankind and nature have combined into something ominous and even evil. Again, i think mostly we’re talking about ‘frame of mind’ here–the ‘tropic mind’ in the mind of the poet rather than any intentional political/philosophical statement on man’s corruption of nature though i’m sure that maybe a tangential thought affecting the mood here.
Words from poem:
“Tropical” is sometimes used in a general sense for a tropical climate to mean warm to hot and moist year-round, often with the sense of lush vegetation.
“Florid”: a obsolete : covered with flowers 2a : tinged with red : ruddy b : marked by emotional or sexual fervor .
“raffiah”: rafÂ·fia (rafâ€²Ä“ É™)
1.a palm tree (Raphia ruffia) of Madagascar, with large, pinnate leaves
2.fiber from its leaves, used as string or woven into baskets, hats, etc.
1.An African palm tree (Raphia ruffia) having large leaves that yield a useful fiber.
2.The leaf fibers of this plant, used for mats, baskets, and other products.
Great poem! thx!
Great lines to begin this one. I\’d like to see more Sears.