Zarephath

Unknown Artist

 

Zarephath
Tankas


I
Living on the edge
Of your warm breath’s precipice
Right before the sigh
Invisible, relentless
Traveling on the exhale

II
Counting the seconds
Of a beating crimson heart
Hallow muttering
Muttering and muttering
Resounding, lub dub, lub dub

III
Still — its sound unheard

Rhythm undetectable
Under the plectrum
Plucking the harpsichord strings
Beneath the Venetian lid

IV
Of cornflower eyes

Sick with tears, leftover fears
Trained myself to walk
Instep with cinnabar coals
On my tippy-tippy-toes

V
Rested a moment

Consumed the red temptation
Slept beautifully
Waited for resurrection
From a nine-inch nail slumber

VI
Woke to find myself

Stained, in a worn flaxseed shroud
Handfuls of spent soil
Pushed aside, while digging out
So I can stay on the edge

 

“I wake abruptly, my breath jagged and heart racing, my mouth stale, and I know immediately that’s it. I’m awake. The more I want to be oblivious, the less I can be. Life and light will not let me be.”
― Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train     *


The Kills — “The Last Goodbye”                                      
                          Breakthrough

 Originally posted — March 03, 2016

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115 thoughts on “Zarephath

  1. Splendid, from the title to the edge at the end. Very impressive and you even managed to weave The Kills song in. 🙂 Thank you for this. Have a great evening and I hope tomorrow treats you well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everything nice, image, clip, words, a nice start of inspiration. I have a sweet evening and night and a great Wednesday morning I go I have so many things to do.
    See you soon my friend.
    Hello Mia 🙂

    Soul-

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mia, this is a very powerful piece. Very strong emotions involved. I’m not completely sure of the interpretation, but it seems like it could be some type of religious analogy towards a relationship. Hahaha. And that photo is phenomenal. It tells a story. I like photos that tell a story. That’s the type of photography I’d like to do. Maybe one day. Who knows. Anyhow, I’d love to know a little more about your thought process on this one hmmmm……
    Have a lovely evening.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Staci, I want to thank you for asking. Exactly, I do use religious analogies here to explore death and the resurrection of self. I hope you are familiar with the story, The Widow at Zarephath, where her son is resurrected. In Hebrew, the word “Zarephath” means, test or more specifically, testing metal. The title is meant to have a double meaning, one is to recognize the fragility of life, while the other is to test the strength we find within ourselves.

      The poem itself talks about the tragic loss of a loved one and the dying process. Further, metaphorically it touches on some of the issues faced by those left behind as well as the spiral of behaviors we participate in just to make it through the process. Sometimes we intentionally hang on to the emotionally hurt in order to feel the perpetual pain of the loss until that pain no longer serves a purpose. Once we come out on the other side of grief to acceptance, represented oddly by the shroud, we are in a sense “digging out”, resurrecting ourselves so we can keep on living.

      While it may seem like a sad poem, in actuality it’s not. It addresses the forward motion of life and events captured in the process of living. Life is short, my mother always said, “it’s for the living” and “there is plenty of time to rest when you’re dead”, her words will always stay with me.

      As for the photograph, it could not have been more perfect. I think it really captures a lot of the emotions contained within the poem. Even the song included talks about “The Last Goodbye”. I hope I didn’t bore you too much, or give you more detail than necessary, ha-ha! 🙂

      I hope to see you post some of your photographs, that would be wonderful. Again I would love to hear more about it. Interesting, there’s an entire movement on cellphone photography and it’s really pretty amazing. Wishing you a lovely evening as well, have fun tonight! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mia, thank you so much for your reply and explanation.
        In the mornings I like to have a quiet time where I pray and read. I have this book called, ‘Daily Reflections on the Names of God’. It’s a devotional book, and every day there is a verse to read from the Bible, and then a reflection. I couldn’t believe it when today I opened up to it and it just happened to be about Zerephath, and the woman that Elijah met there. You are so right, it is a place of resurrection. Elijah asked her for some food and she said she only had enough for her and her son for one meal. Then they were going to die. She went ahead and gave him food, even though she didn’t have anything to spare. And then the food just kept coming daily until the famine was over. I love that, because it shows amazing values that go against the values we often see in this world. It shows the value of giving and receiving, instead of buying and selling. She gave out of her little, and received faithful provision in return. I could not believe it, considering it was only yesterday that I read your post.
        That photograph is phenomenal. It’s too bad the the photographer is unknown. I would love to see more of his/her photography.
        Bore me? Are you kidding? I’m so glad you took the time to explain this further to me. So grateful.
        Oh yea, the photography course. It’s actually more of an artistic photography workshop, focusing more on the artsy side than on the technical side. I’m sure there will be technical stuff involved, actually there needs to be, but the focus is more on the art. At least that’s what I understood. It goes until July, and then we will put on an exhibition.
        When my mom visited, I took her to Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires (I lived there for around three months back in 2005). All of my photography was done with her iPhone. I really want to post those, because I got some amazing photos. Only problem is that they are on my mom’s iPhone and she still hasn’t sent them to me. Now if it wasn’t an iPhone, I could have just uploaded them to my computer. Ugh. I have a feeling I’ll have to wait until I go to Canada at the end of the year to get them.
        Once again, have a great weekend Mia.
        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Staci, you’re so welcome. I hope my explanation made some sense. The early mornings are my favorite time of the day. That’s delightfully amazing that you read about that today, it must be kismet. I absolutely adore when those types of things, coincidences, and or happenings occur. The timing was perfect. Yes, she was generous with the little that she had, she was then blessed in so many ways. I’m with you, I would love to see more photos by the same photographer as well.

          The photography class sounds fantastic. The artsy side is also important, you can have all the technical background in the world, but you still need to have a good eye! Can your mom email the photos from her phone directly to you? If not we will just have to wait to see them at the end of the year or the beginning of 2017! 🙂

          Thank you Staci, it’s always a delight to share thoughts and Ideas with you! Likewise, again wishing you well and a wonderful weekend. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hahaha, unfortunately my mom is a little technologically challenged. I tried to teach her how to use wetransfer to send them to me, but with no success. Ugh. Maybe I’ll try and teach her how to email them directly to me from her phone. Hopefully that will work. Hahaha.
            Thank you Mia. I also consider it a delight to share thoughts and ideas back and forth with you.
            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  4. What a masterful coming together of ideas and feelings in these series of tanka. Your words evoke strong feelings in me and Carpe Diem urges. Exquisite picture to match the setting of these lines.
    Loved it!
    May you find peace and rest, and joy to live life to the fullest!
    ~ Dajena 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dajena, for your lovely words. I’m delighted to read that you enjoyed this. As I was sharing with Staci in a comment, my mother always told me, “life is for the living”, so naturally I’m pleased to hear about Carpe Diem urges! I was quite lucky to find such a perfect and powerful image, however I’m sad that I was unable to give proper credit to the photographer. Thank you for the beautiful wishes. Please have a fantastic Friday and glorious weekend! ~ Mia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your mother surely said a very wise thing to you Mia. We say something similar in our language too.
        I have seen the photograph before while browsing black and white pictures on pinterest, but I agree, I have not been able to locate the author.
        Smiles and tons of happy wishes for you!
        ~ Dajena 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is amazing ~ rolled through your words so smoothly and with heart beating. The very first stanza it seems I’ve lived through many time, and you have put it into words so well: “Living on the edge…traveling on the exhale.” Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful! I love this form of using multiple tankas. Very well done, Mia. I read in the comments, the interpretation and you evoked those feelings wonderfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vic, thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words. Life is interesting, taking us down so many different paths. I’m of the belief, that we should try to keep an open mind and experience it all. Maybe that’s my own form of pretzel logic, but it helps me to make it through the tough times. Wishing you a wonderful day, please take good care. ~ Mia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. I try to be open minded and go with the flow and it does make things easier. Much easier than fighting everything. 🙂 You take care as well. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly Mr. Cake. To answer your question, I do, I have and I will again.

      Sarepta (modern Sarafand, Lebanon) was a Phoenician city on the Mediterranean coast between Sidon and Tyre, also known biblically as “Zarephath”.

      => I do use religious analogies here to explore death and the resurrection of self. I hope you are familiar with the story, The Widow at Zarephath, where her son is resurrected. In Hebrew, the word “Zarephath” means, test or more specifically, testing metal. The title is meant to have a double meaning, one is to recognize the fragility of life, while the other is to test the strength we find within ourselves.

      The poem itself talks about the tragic loss of a loved one and the dying process. Further, metaphorically it touches on some of the issues faced by those left behind as well as the spiral of behaviors we participate in just to make it through the process. Sometimes we intentionally hang on to the emotionally hurt in order to feel the perpetual pain of the loss until that pain no longer serves a purpose. Once we come out on the other side of grief to acceptance, represented oddly by the shroud, we are in a sense “digging out”, resurrecting ourselves so we can keep on living.

      While it may seem like a sad poem, in actuality it’s not. It addresses the forward motion of life and events captured in the process of living.

      => From the arrow forward is what I had written previously, explaining Zarephath. Probably more information than you wanted The poem holds a lot of significance for me.

      ~ Miss Cranes

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Miss Cranes, you never write a bad line and I can never have too much information about your thought processes. I am honoured to have the acquaintance of a talent that I truly admire (you know that I don’t do gushing). Thank you as always.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you Mr. Cake. Likewise, it’s wonderful to have such an acquaintance with talent, the honor and admiration is shared. By the way this is an old poem. I had nothing finished to post this morning, no pointing in rushing. I see you’ve posted a Toyen. I’m heading out shortly, when I return I will visit you at once. You’re most welcome.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I am thinking of doing a week of Toyen like my previous week of max Ernst… researching it now…by the bye I read your post magical thinking earlier…
            Interesting, I only knew Hubbard, I will post a comment soon

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Mr. Cake, I think that’s a splendid idea of a week of Toyen! Looking forward to this.

            Ha-ha, “Magical Thinking”, yes that was a bit of a rant. Truly the others aren’t worth knowing. I’m hoping you weren’t offended. Don’t you just love the quote by J. Z. Knight? So pretty!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I am certainly not offended and this kind of dangerous and appalling muddled thinking certainly needs to be eradicated. I will admit to a fascination with L. Ron because he was such an out and out scoundrel who basically willed his own reality and made others swallow it. Plus the utterly bizarre Jack Parsons incident, and the fact that he was a sci-fi pulp writer ( I am a huge Philip K Dick fan). Horrible quote from an obvious fraud (I read a bit about her after reading you post, an obvious rip off of the tired tenets of the Madame’s theosophy). My interest in the esoteric is kooky but I retain a little intellectual rigour ( I hope so anyway).

            Liked by 1 person

          4. That’s good, I just never know who is following some of these spiritual leaders, *cough* shysters. Remember, I lived in Hollywood with the Scientologists, *cough* cult members. Oh, you do, you do maintain intellectual rigor.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. My favorite lines mia:

    Rested a moment
    Consumed the red temptation
    Slept beautifully
    Waited for resurrection
    From a nine-inch nail slumber

    Brilliantly well written. I love that you added Nine Inch Nails. My all time favorite band in the world. 🙂

    Awesomely! done my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Charlie, for a kind and lovely comment. Delighted that you liked those lines, and the Nine Inch Nails, my favorite song, “Only” the dirty version of course. I will be by for a visit later today. I hope you’re enjoying your Monday, wishing you well. ~ Mia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ve been a hardcore die fan of Nine Inch Nails since 1995. I was in middle school when my gothic friend got me into them. 🙂 Pretty hate machine, Broken, & The Downward Spiral are my favorite albums. I love more the downward spiral. Put it this way, if it wasn’t for Trent Reznor’s voice I would not be here today. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. 🙂 I was a victim of bullying i don’t know if you knew that already. If you didn’t then now you know. He’s music is the one thing that saved me from me committing suicide long time ago.

            I get flash-backs from time to time. Poetry however is my medicine to escaping reality. I cry here and there, and sometimes I’m afraid of people or I stay indoors. I got PTSD.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Seriously, Mia…? This is redonculous (However that is spelled or whether or not it’s even a word). Each tanka can stand on its own and together they make for a seriously great poem. There are tabs open across my screen as I’m trying to figure out your intentions and rest assured I’m still “digging.” So many interpretations and your explanation in other threads is awesome… Be well, Chris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha-ha, seriously Chris, thank you for a great comment! I’m really glad that you liked this. Still “digging”, is the ultimate compliment, thank you for making my evening. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed my explanation. Thank you again, please take good care. ~ Mia

      Like

    1. Daniel, thank you for your lovely words, I’m very touched by your comment. In my mind I was attempted to convey the idea of loss and the process it takes to bring those left behind back to life. Please have a wonderful evening and enjoy the rest of your week. Take good care. ~ Mia

      Like

  9. Wonderful lines.Zarepath is as d spritual feeling,surely purification of spirit in fire.hey mia !! It is an amazing thing for mine dt u believe in spirituality.weldone.video is as mirror of human.wow.some madness and wildness present in all guy’s inner side.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful dear mia.i read urZarephath again n again.it seems new every time.purification of soul in fire-according ur zarepath,i think dt u believe in spiritualism.good dear mia.video tells d truth dt some madness n wildness is presented in human nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely words Aruna. Everyday is a new day, a new opportunity to be the best we can, thank goodness. Human nature is challenged for sure, I think we hold on to hope so we can keep going. Be well. ~ Mia

      Like

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