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Woman of a Certain Age

By Cameron McClure, Apr 27, 2017.

More work by Cameron McClure
  1. Cameron McClure

    Cameron McClure Half man, half banana Supporter

    Ignore the glaciers on your first attempt,
    get a toe-hold, tie yourself on;
    this mountain might shrug,
    throw you off, if you approach armed
    with ice picks, crampons and maps
    for the trek out.

    This is no extinct volcano after all,
    ramrod stiff and waiting to be conquered;
    the core still churns and boils
    somewhere below the surface,
    no-one knows how far, or when it will erupt,
    but she could tilt the land and flush the rivers
    on a whim. Once started,
    she could divide the ocean, found continents,
    explode the earth across the sky.

    This mother knows better than you.
    Ducts that nourished a generation
    still flow with dreams for a new world.
    She might wait forever and be content
    beyond the reach of travellers, hidden
    from the explorer’s eye, or she might shift
    and drop a tear that vaporises rock,
    makes the ocean sizzle on my shore.




     
  2. Tom Riordan

    Tom Riordan member Supporter

    Overall, powerful and memorable, Cameron.
    One small and larger hitch for me.
    The small is a distraction in S1: wondering why the maps etc. are for the trek out, as if unuseful for the trek in.
    The larger is getting lost in who's who among the narrator, the "you", the "she", "this mother," and the final "my."
    Tom
     
  3. maggie flanagan-wilkie

    maggie flanagan-wilkie Well-Known Member Supporter

    Ignore the glaciers on your first attempt,
    get a toe-hold, tie yourself on;
    this mountain might shrug,
    throw you off, if you approach armed
    with ice picks, crampons and maps
    for the trek out.

    Throw all that away.
    Concentrate on the sex of the volcano N has created.


    Some thoughts below.




    This is no ramrod stiff, extinct volcano waiting
    to be conquered; her core still churns
    and boils
    below a crusted surface covering a wealth
    of tempered anger. no-one knows how far,
    or when she will blow, but her outburst could tilt
    land and flush-
    dry near rivers on a whim.

    This mother knows better than you;
    ducts, that nourished past generations,
    still flow with dreams for a new world.
    She might wait forever, content beyond
    the reach of travelers, hidden from an
    explorer’s eye, exposing herself only now
    and then to vaporize rock with an errant tear,
    or cause an ocean to sizzle before it makes
    its way to shore.
     
    Jenn Zed and Jordan Trethewey like this.
  4. Dale Patterson

    Dale Patterson Well-Known Member

    Also thinking S1 could be cut, the remainder is molten.
     
  5. Anna Ruiz

    Anna Ruiz I have the same religion as that tree over there. Supporter

    Mother Gaia has a hold on everyone, I think it's called Gravity. (Which was a pretty good movie and song.)



    ~~~

    Enjoying the poem, Cameron.  I tend to agree with cutting S1, depending.
     
  6. Cameron McClure

    Cameron McClure Half man, half banana Supporter

    Logical, but I wanted to convey no commitment to stay.

    You're right - the N is the voice of experience, I'll change the 'my'. She and this mother go with the metaphor so might be harder to change. Thanks for comments.

    I was trying for more than just sex. When some women commit they do so with a passion that is almost unapproachable and stronger than any man's - a mother's protective love for example; some adopt a cause with fervour; some chose or have forced upon them, an intensely private life after children have gone. I was trying to hint at these in S3 and the passion in S2. Its really helpful knowing how you hear it and I'll look at this over the week-end.

    Dale, Anna, thanks for your thoughts about S1. The woman in this is real and lives in a remote area in S Island New Zealand. She is hard to approach and can appear cold. You have to persevere to win her trust. The original title of this was Climbing Mount Improbable so the metaphor hadn't been revealed in S1. Maybe the new title does indeed render it redundant. Would you get the metaphor if there was a different title? I would like to salvage S1 if possible as it was the the original thought that sparked the poem.
     
    Tom Riordan likes this.
  7. maggie flanagan-wilkie

    maggie flanagan-wilkie Well-Known Member Supporter

    Not sex as the act, sex as in female voice.

    What about going to 1st person to differentiate the two?

    I tried something different.

    I am no ramrod stiff, extinct volcano waiting
    to be conquered; my core still churns
    and boils
    below a crusted surface covering a wealth
    of tempered anger/feelings. no-one knows how far,
    or when I'll will blow, but the outburst could tilt
    land and flush-
    dry near rivers on a whim. This mother
    nourished past generations, and my ducts still flow
    with dreams for a new world.


    She, on the other hand, might wait forever, content
    beyond the reach of travelers, hidden from an explorer’s
    eye, exposing herself only now and then to vaporize rock
    with an errant tear, or cause an ocean wave to sizzle
    before it makes its way to shore.


    If you're new to these mountains, ignore the glaciers,
    get a toe hold and tie on; be always and ever alert
    for the first sign of a shrug.


    This is probably right out there!

    Maggie
     
    Anna Ruiz and Jordan Trethewey like this.
  8. Anna Ruiz

    Anna Ruiz I have the same religion as that tree over there. Supporter

    Ahh, Cameron, you tell the story of one of my favourite stories--one I retell of rather famous nonduality teacher, Roger Linden.  (From a box of cassettes I received of mostly Tony Parsons talks.)

    I won't be doing justice to his story, especially with his mesmerizing delicious Brit accent:

    ...you see this man was determined to be enlightened; he had heard about this wonderful guru living in a cave on top of a treacherous mountain.  It took him weeks of dangerous exhaustive and snow-blinding climbing.  Looking every bit the disheveled, dirty, hungry and sodden seeker he was, he finally reached the cave.  Warming his body near the cave's fire, he heard a woman's voice asking him what his question was.  As she approached the firelight he saw that she was so beautiful.  So very beautiful.  Again she asked him what his question was.

    "Will you marry me?"

    ~~~~

    It's like that, eh, Cameron?   Something does happen; we may not know what for along time, but the fire inside is a perpetual one.
     
  9. Cameron McClure

    Cameron McClure Half man, half banana Supporter

    Warning: the wind that damps the candle also fans the flame - you have to keep the fire fed or it can go out! But then again analogy and metaphor are myth; the facts, however we apprehend them, will speak for themselves. Your story made me think - whatever she answers he will have found the meaning of life - then laugh; I mean it was OK for him but what about the rest of us? - there aren't enough caves on top of treacherous mountains to house all the beautiful women in single households, and if we have to approach this solitary one then she must answer 'no' to each so the meaning of life must be found in a different quest or different question.
     
  10. Cameron McClure

    Cameron McClure Half man, half banana Supporter

    Maggie, thanks for clarifying and your time; you've given me food for thought. C
     
  11. Anna Ruiz

    Anna Ruiz I have the same religion as that tree over there. Supporter

    Apprehend is such a beautiful word.
     
  12. kevin mchugh

    kevin mchugh Well-Known Member

    I like the metaphor Cam.
     
  13. Cameron McClure

    Cameron McClure Half man, half banana Supporter

    Thank you Kevin. C
     
  14. Jenn Zed

    Jenn Zed Solid State Gynoid Supporter Editor

    I like the ideas here though am always wary of object metaphor being used to describe women.

    This is a bit different because the objects are being used to describe something utterly powerful, self-contained and primal.
    It could easily be the way a story was told about meeting an ancestor spirit by a shaman long, long ago.

    In that sense, very good.
     
  15. sonja benskin mesher

    sonja benskin mesher Well-Known Member

  16. Cameron McClure

    Cameron McClure Half man, half banana Supporter

    Thanks Jenn.

    Thanks Sonja.
     
    sonja benskin mesher likes this.