Posted in Poetry

Self

I cannot see myself except
I look down and here I am
hands, knees, feet

I cannot see myself except
I look in the mirror and here I am
face, bodyyouconnectwithme

I cannot see myself except
I look in your eyes and there I am
you love me, hate me, disdain me,
dismiss me, envy me, findmeinaccessible

You cannot see myself except
what I let you see, here I am
little girl hiding in the high branches
of my cottonwood tree
wind catching the waxed-paper leaves
clack, clack, clacking
afraidandunafraid

I cannot see myself except
I know I am here

some

where

ยฉ Jilly’sย  All rights reserved

Join me as I host Poetics at dVerse Poet’s Pub this week where we will explore things unseen!

 

Author:

A wild soul writing poetry.

66 thoughts on “Self

  1. I know I am here somewhere — the spacing of this in your post is just perfect! We used to live in Iowa, near the Amana Colonies and the Amish. They do not have electricity — and they do not believe in mirrors. I’ve often thought about a world without mirrors….and perhaps in the strict sense, that would be no photographs as well. No images of the self. We still can see our feet, knees, hands, belly….arms, lets, back if we crane hard enough. But not our faces. What would that be like? Ah, you’ve got me thinking here, Jilly. The mark of a good writer indeed! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love the prompt….see you at the pub! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s hard to not catch a glimpse of one’s own image, hence the Narcissus story. Not sure how they manage to avoid it. Personally, I think the truest image is the one we see in each others’ eyes. Appreciate your reading!

      Like

  2. I really enjoyed reading your poem and your reading of it, Jill! We can never see ourselves as others see us and sometimes we cannot see ourselves as we are. I love he lines::
    ‘ittle girl hiding in the high branches
    of my cottonwood tree
    wind catching the waxed-paper leaves
    clack, clack, clacking’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was an actor, I took your wistful premise further, for each of us has multiple faces & personalities that don’t have the opportunity to emerge. Being assigned a character as an actor, is like given a prompt as a poetg.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like how you see yourself in the eyes of others, and they see what you want them to see–or what they want to see–but they don’t really see you. I also loved your reading of the poem. I listen to Frank reading his poems often, and I think that someday I too shall read mine. I have a SoundCloud account. It’s just a matter of doing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The scrunched together words, the final couplet that spills across the page, making poignant the ironic — your clearest image of self (says your poet voice) is what you perceive in the eyes of others… the beholders. And you are left to their mercy… or lack thereof. Certainly it would be better to remain treed than face the task of nailing down self-image. Brilliant, Jill!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahh! I loved listening to your reading of the poem, the way you stressed some of the words, it opened up the meaning for me better than I understood on first reading. There’s the physical “me” that is mostly out of our control and ever changing and then there is the true “me” that we convey to others or conceal from them. Appearances don’t count for much in comparison. Great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this as its own poem:

    “little girl hiding in the high branches
    of my cottonwood tree
    wind catching the waxed-paper leaves
    clack, clack, clacking
    afraidandunafraid”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I always enjoy your poetry, but hearing you read it gives an added layer of meaning and helps me understand more what you meant.
    Your poem reminds me of something I read once about ancient sculptures of female figures, it was always assumed they were done by men but no one could figure out why the proportions were so wrong until they realised that they could have been done by women from the perspective of looking down at themselves, they made what they saw.
    There are so many angles we could define ourselves from, yet they’re all us!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I felt you in each line. Beautiful. Love these a lot:
    little girl hiding in the high branches
    of my cottonwood tree
    wind catching the waxed-paper leaves
    clack, clack, clacking
    afraidandunafraid

    Like

  10. Such a clever piece. I loved the progress of ideas in this: where is the self and where does it stop? we only see bits of it (the back of my head is a foreign land) and then the parts we show to others while we remain hidden, perhaps lost to ourselves. Terrific.

    Like

  11. There’s no better place to hide than in the friendly branches of a tree. What we really look like to others is an unanswerable question, but I think we know when we have been understood, and that’s what counts. Children know that ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  12. A proper meditation on the hidden — and surely what makes relationship so difficult, two visible people and their hidden selves, all coming out of the tree.

    Like

  13. It is beautiful that the solid corporeal connection to the deep drinking tree is a sharper image of the self than seeing the body, the reflection, or the perception of others. But the connection fixes the poet in the lovely arboreal air, rather than the solid ground. Closest I have come to flying in a long time. Powerful piece. Powerful prompt. My future self has written a response to the prompt for later that involves a mirror. So much of my life I have been able to imagine myself as I really am only when in front of a mirror. Getting past that. Better to just be with a tree.

    Liked by 1 person

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