The wound

tree with oragane blaze

The wound wells like a mirror
with the squandered coins of younger,
more legible selves, which otherwise
would’ve dulled from daily transactions
with weather, lovers, commerce.

A wound is the only way to wear
the heart on the sleeve again.
It salivates, eager to fold in upon itself
& complete the feedback.
The shadow of a butterfly shrinks
& vanishes in the middle of the field
& you turn & raise one hand against the sun,
unreachable in its crown of blazing thorns.

heart pod

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

8 Comments


  1. Oh. That is an astonishing photo…..can you tell me a little more about the tree (please plesae don’t tell me it’s paint)? Have you started marketing your photos yet? I still want to buy that one of shadows, tree, snow from last year.

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  2. Wonderful play among images in the second stanza. I like how, dreamlike, the wound’s folding flower becomes (for me) the butterfly’s shadow, but the real wounded one becomes the sun that causes the shadow. (It becomes another way: I infer that the butterfly rises, maybe into the sun, for its shadow to disappear. And so we’re headed for that final line.) Wounds may make me unreachable, and wounds in me cause wounds in others. This and more, from flower (folding in upon itself)/thorns, mirror/feedback (I see two mirrors facing, welling), salivate/feedback, fold/shrink/vanish, corona/crown. I love the idea of wounds salivating. Loop is the right idea, but for some reason the word doesn’t work for me.

    One of my all-time favorite stanzas.

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  3. Hi Jo – Yes, it’s fresh paint marking a half-healed surveyor’s mark on a propertly line tree.

    You’re still welcome to take a file of any of my photos to a print shop. I’d be happy to email you a full-sized file of that photo from last winter, or any others you like. I’m not in this for money.

    Peter – Glad you liked it, and yeah, that was the correct inference about the butterfly’s shadow. (Follow the “similar posts” link to “Chasing shadows” if you want to know where that came from originally.) Your criticism of “loop” prompted me to rethink that line, which should properly end with “feedback,” I think (I substituted “complete” for “close” to preserve the rhythm). Thanks for the comment.

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  4. I thought it was a hatchet mark oozing sap. But that didn’t really fit with the wound.

    Your devotion to nature is inspirational. I know I’m always saying that. It’s true.

    I think you should publish a book of your poems and photos. Yes, I do.

    This line: “…you turn & raise one hand against the sun” is as powerful as a photo. It was the place in the poem that stopped me.

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  5. Oh yes, please, that would be wonderful. Your generosity is admirable, and I mean that.

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  6. Wonderful combination of photos with the poem. The second stanza is powerful. I love the lit pod.

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  7. A rich and complex piece and, once again, in perfect partnership with the accompanying picture.

    Reply

  8. Thanks, y’all. I’m exploring kind of a strange space these days. I’m glad I haven’t lost everybody.

    Reply

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