Posted in Poetry


Can we not live with greater grace then at birth
red-faced, angry, shuddering with throttled
fists and brutal demands?

Shall we not live out seven, eight fearless decades
as a still-surfaced pond teeming
with silvery fish whose
surface is only broken by the rain?

IMG_0088 (2)
Photo by Jilly ©

© Jilly’s   All Rights Reserved

We are writing Quadrilles tonight over at dVerse.  Exactly 44 words, including the word ‘Fear.’  Join us!



A wild soul writing poetry.

58 thoughts on “Rhetorical

    1. Thank you! The beauty of poetry is in the reader completing the cycle using their own filters. The weakness here is in having the poet on the other end of the poem to explain what they meant. That only destroys your meaning, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jilly, that final stanza painted such a serene picture. Having worked with the elderly most of my nursing career and now being in that “class” myself I’ve learned we will morph into a more intense version of whoever we are all our life (most of the time, anyway). So practice it now, kiddies! That sounds preachy, doesn’t it. Just sayin’

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  2. Intriguing stanzas that are almost diametrically opposed and yet both describe easily recognizable ways of dealing with fear and adversity. Love the image of the baby throttling it’s fists! Great contrasts in this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do like the contrast of coming into this world kicking and screaming and then as wisdom sets in, we become the still water that’s surface is only broken by the rain. The quote “still waters run deep,” pops into mind 🙂

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  4. I’m not sure if I like the beginning or end of this poem better, I could read it in a continuous loop. The feeling your teeming pond of silver fish gave me is still seething slippery in a well of possibility inside me. Absolutely love it!

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      1. To my mind, the first thought is that they could be swirling emotions in my stomach, the fishy quicksilver seems to match nervous butterflies. They could also be ideas and thoughts darting through my body or sparks of connection through my nervous system. It’s definitely a fun image to play around with anyway. Perhaps the fish are all the makes us human, makes us, us. 😊

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  5. Oh how I love this….the questions draw in the reader…at least they did me. I read it three times — love the images you’ve chosen. Yes, images, as in two. The first is in your words — the “red faced angry” baby at birth and the second, the beautiful photo accompanied by your words. It strikes me that before we were each so rudely pushed into this world, we were floating in a pool, a pond, that warm enveloping womb. So, in essence, yes — we then can become this beautiful serene pond you’ve described, with ideas floating in our heads like fish, occasionally upset by rain/anger/etc….or we could continue to be angry and transpose ourselves into an angry level 3 rapids that hurls itself through life.
    My — I’ve gone much farther afield that your poem here but you see, Jilly? Your writing here gets me thinking…connecting…moving from and with your words.
    I just read it again….I do love this. You’ve had many many good posts my friend…I do think this is one to store with the best 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lillian, Your words thrill and humble me. Thank you for the encouragement and also for your depth of insight. The fish was so essential to me in the writing and were often overlooked, what with that screaming baby, and all 🙂 The photo is right out my back door and before I wrote this I spent about an hour just sipping coffee and staring at the water. It all fell together as I considered how we choose to live. Your analysis does not go far afield at all – it is spot on. Thank you! You have made my day.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is a fascinating contemplation..there are however exceptions right? Water born babies come out very different and I wonder if Grace follows them all the way through. I’ve met many an older person whose outer was that still pond but whose inner was turmoil. We dance between these partners all the way through the decades. Enjoy the dance I say 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Can we and shall we, that is the question. A life lived with grace and fearlessness is a process of intrepid self-discovery and calm contemplation. Not all are up to it. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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