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The Small Picture

March 3, 2010

Why do people always say – focus on the big picture?

What’s so special about “the big picture?”

Unless you’re making a god damn collage.

I like the small picture.

Details. Nicks.

Iridescent. Mumbling.

Within them I see everything I need to know.

Take this little gem, for example.

Can you count the lines that mark its face?

How about the chips and cracks that claim its age?

Did you count the creases of the skin it hugs? Weathered

with traces of travels,

and god knows harboring how many secrets.

Do you wonder?

And would you believe me if I told you that every single fragment of the sea

gave away, as I threw myself onto them

and then

quietly crawled close and

pressed into me?

That each one felt like a memory yet to be claimed,

a wonder yet to be understood,

a dream faded before it was known…

Would you believe me if I said

That I actually don’t know what I’m typing half the time,

That I sometimes look away and just tap out patterns of what feels good,

That sometimes the jumble of words stare back at me, wild-eyed,

And I stare back in return, wild-eyed.

That maybe I string them together like pastel shell-shaped candies,

Into little neat stacks of

Short lines that rhyme

Just so people can

Call it poetry.

That maybe I do that just to feel the rhyme.

That maybe I do that just for an excuse to post photos of seashells.

That maybe I am a seashell.

That maybe I just want an excuse to be the girl that fumbles in seashells.

That maybe I just want to be that girl

In itty bitty little pictures.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2010 9:11 AM

    Very nice. . . made me space out and wonder, like listening to a soft mellow melody while sitting on a beach watching the sun set.

  2. hm15 permalink
    March 3, 2010 10:22 AM

    poetry is the sincerest form of vanity.
    and i like your poetry.

  3. March 3, 2010 12:42 PM

    Atoms are highly complex structures, and look how small they are. And any good writer knows that no detail is unimportant. In music, too, my favorite interpretations are the ones that pay attention to details that are often missed, in addition to the overall structure of the piece and its emotional impact on my senses.

    “That maybe I am a seashell” reminds me of Chuang Tzu not sure if he was a human dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was a human.

    Grace: I think you mean ZhuangZi: The Butterfly Dream is an amazing poem.

    • March 4, 2010 12:58 AM

      According to the link you just gave me, it looks like his name can be spelled a zillion different ways (including the two ways you and I spelled it), but yeah, we’re thinking of the same person. :-)

      Grace: Yeah but there’s only one correct spelling using the proper Chinese PingYing system… :)

  4. March 3, 2010 7:11 PM

    Would you believe me if I said

    That I actually don’t know what I’m typing half the time

    I love those two lines. Probably because I know exatly what you mean :)

  5. March 7, 2010 12:22 PM

    I wish more filmmakers and screenwriters thought about this, stock characters and stereotypes would be banished in favor of the particular and the spectacularly specific.

  6. March 9, 2010 9:43 AM

    I really like the title, I don’t always get the poems though. You should write some more.

    Don’t Be a Plum

  7. Nan permalink
    March 10, 2010 2:08 PM

    great post, not sure how it got on my feed but it made me smile, thanks!

  8. March 29, 2010 11:04 PM

    as a girl who was taught to always try to see the big picture… and was sold on that hook like and sinker… i loved this! A breath of fresh air – but, somehow, all your little glimpses that made great points and stood well on their own, still seem to speak of bigger things… whether you want them to or not. Maybe, it’s just me.. ;)

    Grace: It’s only fitting to quote my favorite Blake poem here:

    To see a world in a grain of sand,
    And a heaven in a wild flower,
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
    And eternity in an hour.

  9. October 13, 2010 12:39 AM

    Pay no attention to Mister Smarty. This is all beautiful. XOXOXOX

  10. April 5, 2013 6:48 PM

    Love your pics! :)

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