life is poetry

copyright © Adelheid Manefeldt

poetic works of Adelheid Manefeldt written over a span of more than 15 years (to date). Most poems are freeform verse dealing with a wide range of themes such as relationships, love, loss, bereavement, life, womanhood, feminist issues, lust, parenting and nature.

| poetic works 2000 – present |

RICE

Rest
Ice
Compression
Elevation

It doesn’t work for a heart.

I rest it –
Make it lazy.
Deprive it of any exertion.
Force sleep on it.
Like a little baby confined to its crib.
Where I forget it;
as one does with a broken thing.

I ice it –
Make it cold.
Deprive it of company or care.
Expose it to the elements absurdly.
Unguarded and uncossetted out there.
Where I forget it;
as one does with a broken thing.

I compress it –
Make it small.
Deprive it of acknowledgement.
Squeeze it into a little nook invisibly.
Where I disregard its existence
And forget it;
as one does with a broken thing.

I elevate it –
Make it forgetful.
Deprive it of silence and reflection.
Fill its days with spectacles of distraction.
I entertain it.
And it forgets me;
as broken things do to us.

Rest
Ice
Compression
Elevation

It doesn’t work for a heart.

Lost Narrative

Can you see the inarticulate nature
of my effervescent feelings?
How they surge up so disjointedly –
frenzied bubbles fixing in my throat,
dislodged by some intrusive axiom –
an obdurate obstruction impaling
that hollow pit in the middle of me.

I have forgotten to speak – do you hear me?
These oratory affirmations escaping my lips –
are but the ghosts of ghosts; a preservative automation.
It is a default antiphon – the lorem ipsum of my heart.

But I shall speak again one day;
One day I shall speak again.

Indelible Waiting

I sit on a rock and watch children playing
in the park below
They don’t see me
Or know my thoughts
Or that you haven’t called
But I forgive them their indifference today
Above me a crow caws
Perhaps he smells the crumbs on my dress
Or my anger
But he flits away over the trees
Probably has a home
Probably has a wife
Probably knew to call
The children leave
The coffee in my can turns cold
The wind nips at me
Some street lights flicker on
But I won’t move
Not yet
I will wait for the night to chase me
Back where I came from
Up the empty street
To a quiet house.

Expectation

The thought of him
had been sitting in that smoky corner of the room
in her mind
For months.

Framed in bad lighting
and burlesque music.

The thought of him had been
beckoning.
Furiously.
Beckoning.

She had also been waiting;
to wrap her mind
around him
considering ways
in which the idea of him could
Slip inside her.

And gentle though she wanted the
thought of him to enter her,
she’d let him linger there too long
not to let her mind be thrust upon him.

She’d been forging a
coming together
out of whispers and air.
Out of imagined partitions and positions of flesh and
long anticipated twitches of satisfaction.

A forbidden patience that wept like a wound
and wound tight around the thought;
Of him
waiting.
In that corner.
Waiting to be
wanted.
Wanting to be
worn out.
Wearing out
her wisdom
and resolve.

Consummation

My back is half a moon
arched across the smooth expanse.
Silence
tickles my lips and drips from
the silver skin of
the round light
flare.
As you slowly pace yourself
into
consummation of our blue-black dreams
taking time,
to push me
over
the glowing horizon,
just as the hot-light starts to
flicker,
so we wake in panting
breaks
sweet wetness,
on our minds,
euphoric sheety scents
of you…
left in my
morning after,
after,
aftertaste…

Anatomically astronam-us

I’d orbid any suns with you,
or earths.

Together casting shadows,
Proclaiming insignificance
of light or night or day or
time.

Silently swooning weightless,
airless.

Compositions of magnificence
crashing through stars
and holes of darkness.
Big, bold balls of deafness
with graves of blazing fire.

Nautical pilots of our sky
orbiting each other.

Departure

The bell has tolled
The toll is paid
Hereafter called
Your bed is made

A giant falls
The earth has shook
The temple walls
Our calls forsook

A tree uprooted
From the ground
A heart is looted
without sound

Yet heavens burst
with violent blare
Professing worst
That feels not fair

Yet fare is set
The ferry sails
No more regret
or angered wails

For God will greet
as sure you know
And as you meet
​I must let go.

Essence of being

My toes squirm
like fat little worms
through this moist soil
they let go of their convolution;
disconnect from the brain that tells them
each day
what they are
and are not.
Here they are just so.

My hands grab
like the beaks of birds
these golden blades of grass
let go of the rocks they carry;
wipe clean the slate of crumbs they leave
each day
their way home
to evidence –
now left just so.

My lungs burn with life
a crisp morning air
razors through them
ecstatically.

My eyes caress such
fine tendrils of light
called dusk and dawn and
mystery.

My ears collect an orchestra
of locust song and wood
bursting forth in a crackling
warmth.

My mouth kisses a
saturated breeze impregnated
with ocean and pine and flirtatious
berries.

Their juices stain my chin.
These feelings stain my skin.
And draw out pricks
from parched follicles
with neural fingers
that trail over
and into
and through
my being

“this is it”

My breath whispers carelessly
in an ice-shackled cloud
that veils my face
with its truth.
A maternal gesture
of nature
towards itself.
For it is I
and I surrender
to this sensory onslaught.

“this is it”

Being alive is a wondrous
wondrous
thing.

Thanksgiving

It was like a pouring out
The thing my soul did that day.

And you –
I knew you felt its soaking
Like torrents
Of neverending retribution.

And you –
I knew you felt its heaviness
Like weights
Of unfulfilled absolution.

And yet you took it all.
Without qualms or queasiness.
You took it with a strong and determined nod.

Thank you for that.

A little death

There’s a red circle on the calendar

It marks the day that
Someone compressed
Your chest
To divert
The squirt
Of blood back to your heart

It didn’t work, of course.

You never quite cared for
Defibrillation.
Or feeling tied down.
Or being needed.

That is why
There’s a red circle on the calendar.

RICE

Rest
Ice
Compression
Elevation

It doesn’t work for a heart.

I rest it –
Make it lazy.
Deprive it of any exertion.
Force sleep on it.
Like a little baby confined to its crib.
Where I forget it;
as one does with a broken thing.

I ice it –
Make it cold.
Deprive it of company or care.
Expose it to the elements absurdly.
Unguarded and uncossetted out there.
Where I forget it;
as one does with a broken thing.

I compress it –
Make it small.
Deprive it of acknowledgement.
Squeeze it into a little nook invisibly.
Where I disregard its existence
And forget it;
as one does with a broken thing.

I elevate it –
Make it forgetful.
Deprive it of silence and reflection.
Fill its days with spectacles of distraction.
I entertain it.
And it forgets me;
as broken things do to us.

Rest
Ice
Compression
Elevation

It doesn’t work for a heart.

A letting go

​Oh loneliness,
injunctive beast!
A vivisection scalpeling
these holding arms,
Letting blood be bloodlet.
Reassembling my me;
scatterling parts
segregating known things –
a once knew
from a once had
from a once loved
and then mechanises that
beating, bleeding, bondaged
part apart.

Oh loneliness,
stealing so furtively
into my days and nights and days.
Amassing agendas
at a pensive table –
round and hard –
my thoughts laid bare
sectionally
under a sunbright light
beneath the cold dark night
for scrutinisation
for analysis
for discussion
for disambiguation.

Oh heart,
Oh heart,
be still.

Oh heart
Let go!
Let go!

Beautiful things

Beautiful things break
as readily as the brittlest rock
The quake rattled me;
your seismic words
unearthing the foundation
of this thing we’d built

Beautiful things shatter
like fragile china under feet
The tempest tore through me;
your rumbling thoughts
flung through the air
shrapnel slicing cartilage

Beautiful things ignite
as swift as finest kindling
The flames engulfed me;
it was your carelessness
doused in abandonment
setting our souls alight.

Beautiful things sink
like anchors of pure Osmium
And here it drowned me;
in a depth unknown
a depth I’d never thought to see
the deepest, darkest depths of me.

The Calculation

I lay in your hands
like coins
jiggling before a
fountain toss.

“What is your worth?”
you ask.
Without asking.

You weigh up the risk;
mull me over in your mind.
Extrapolate the terms
for the term of usefulness.

“What is your worth?”
you ask.
Without asking.

Your eyes calculate
the circumference of my waist
the bounce of my breast
the pout of my lip
the thrust of my hip
Calibrate my voice
Weigh up your choice

For there are suitable dimensions –
one must be sure.

“What is your worth?”
I wish you’d asked me
asking also.

I could have reciprocated
this mental melee;
measured your manliness
deconstructed your youness.

I could have righted your formula
for wear and tear –
incorporated Newton’s clause
for relativity of ownership.

“What is your worth?”
you ask,
in breathy whispers.

I can barely make it out
thus I carry on
shrug it off
for you would have asked.

And time moves on
Like a season
Like a snail
Like something slow and natural
And it moves in
and it moves through
and between
the me and you.
And I try to recall
that whisper.

“What is your worth?”
you ask me
so finally.

But I do not grasp
the accumulation of this question
the anguish it’s piled
the anger it’s amassed
I do not see
the mechanics behind the math
or the permanent berth
where it’s docked for years
I do not understand
the infinity of the solution
or the ever-changing variables
which infest your weary mind.

“What is your worth?”
Had you but asked me first
Granted me insult
Homoured me with worthlessness
Given me the freeing power –
of derision under your division
And if asking then
I’d have have answer, once only;
that the question
makes me worth the more.

“What is your worth?”
Beg – ask no more.

Please, ask no more.

The winding mind

The sickness of sorrows that skip

over pebbles that lie in the flow

of the roving river that rolls

through the doors of the mind that lead

to the shores where our souls can stroll

on the beach where all waves break

there we can bring all thoughts to a

stop.

Want more?

buy Years: a book of tiny poetry

 

Just $0.99 | R12.87

 

Adelheid Manefeldt

Adelheid Manefeldt

poet

request custom poetry for your special occasion or publication