Insignificant (repost of an older poem)




for S                           




You think small, but inside this house
you’re too much body, all elbows, knees
and hollow heart banging against hard walls.

So when the ache in his voice,
his words, echo inside your head
like discordant church-chimes in a winter blow,
you settle for these:
the looming tall of tree on tree,
blistered bark. A deepening shadow.

Such cloistered stillness. You can hear,
distinctly, the soft slip of your footfalls,
one following the next in illusion
of meaningful direction. There’s
no defined space where you belong,
nobody likely to happen by and smile
as if you matter – only a branching off
toward a thickening indifference.

Yet there’s something comforting
about this darkening canopy,
the way oak-woods lean close, sway
a whisper through old, leafy boughs,
something timeless, primeval and serene
that takes you in and rocks, rocks you tenderly,
until you’re lost and more lost to whatever was.

© belcanto 2017
critique and comments welcome.

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12 Comments on "Insignificant (repost of an older poem)"

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an older poem i remember well, and a reminder that you have a half-a-dozen poems that are as good as anything ever submitted to this august site, this being one of them. “too much body…hollow heart banging against hard walls.” …the soft slip of your footfalls/one following the next in illusion/of meaningful direction. There’s/no defined space where you belong.” graceful, and throbbing.


Just stunning, quite the best I’ve read in a long, long time. Thanks for posting this beautiful work.


This is beautiful- you have captured the sadness of change , of loss so well.
‘towards a thickening indifference’ took my breath away. Yes, beautiful.


Brilliant, Bel, just brilliant. That last verse especially is exraordinarily poignant and beautiful, the ending to a superb poem. Worthy of all accolades!


I too remember this poem, although you have edited it significantly from when I first saw it. It has only improved the piece and made it, if possible, all the more poignant. I’m glad it was nominated.

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