How May I?

Where is this place your camera stills?
I want to step inside, kaleidoscope left behind,
a monochrome to soothe the soul.

Bedspread created long ago,
thread-circle trails of small stitches
smoothed by generations’ rest.
Wooden cupboard beside the bed
holds graceful, long necked pitcher
inside smooth china bowl,
poised to share cooling waters
rinse woes from worried hands.
Single curtain draped in gauzy folds
lacks taut crease, pressed edge or hem.
Pulled gently to one side, reveals stone wall
somehow softened through old glass panes.
Flowers blossom just beyond,
lines blurred between petal, stem and earth.

No black, no white, no bright cacophony.
The serenity I will surely feel,
if I could step within.


Photo Credit: Kaz Gosper. Thank you Kaz for allowing me to write a piece about this stunning photo from your trip to the Port Arthur historic site in Tasmania. I truly enjoy following daysandmonths — Kaz’ site where she shares her absolutely stunning photography. Please drop by and enjoy her work!  Also sharing this piece with dVerse Poets Pub, open link night #164 where Gayle tended bar last evening!

26 thoughts on “How May I?

    • lillian January 22, 2016 / 3:13 pm

      Thank you! I was so drawn into this photo when I first saw it — it literally pulled me into the room.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 22, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    This is like Van Gogh in monochrome.. Your words rings with sepia, with memories and past. There is a harmony between the words and the picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 22, 2016 / 3:14 pm

      Thank you Bjorn. You words are so very appreciated. So glad you felt the special qualities of this photo – wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all just take out a photo and walk into it? 🙂


  2. Bodhirose January 22, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    Your writing is a beautiful complement to the photo. I like that the photo is in black and white, it lends itself perfectly to your description. I could picture the room in my mind before I saw the photo. Lovely, Lillian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 22, 2016 / 3:16 pm

      Thank you so very much. Especially your comment about picturing the room before seeing the photo. That’s the real test, right? But I do so love writing from photographic prompts and this one was just magical for me.


  3. Mary January 22, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    You have really written a beautiful poem in response to such a serene scene. You have captured so many details that might otherwise be overlooked. From the photo and your words, I almost feel like I CAN step into the setting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 22, 2016 / 5:22 pm

      Ah that we could step into photos……scenes like these……laughing pictures with loved ones no longer with us……..wouldn’t that be magical?
      Thank you so much for your kind words — so glad you liked it!


  4. whimsygizmo January 22, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    What a beautiful photo. Your ability to describe a scene is astounding. I was there, in the picture with you. And then I reached this line:
    “The serenity I will surely feel,
    if I could step within.”

    There’s such a wistfulness there. A reminder that you are NOT in the picture, you are outside looking in. This was a clear, concise juxtaposition for me, and (for me), the center of the whole poem. Wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 22, 2016 / 5:26 pm

      Thank you thank you 🙂 Yes — when I first saw this photo I just allowed myself to “slip into it”….and then, reached for my coffee cup and realized I was on my couch, in my study, in winter/cold Boston! Kaz (Karen) posted the picture a second time, separately, and I did the same thing — it sort of consumed me in its serenity. So the description is what I see (plus some “connections” with feelings to the object itself — cooling hands, rested many generations)….and then the shift at the end to….yep, here I am again, this time with my evening glass of wine….Wistful indeed. So very happy with your reply here. Many many thanks! 🙂
      Have a wonderful weekend!


  5. Melinda Kucsera January 22, 2016 / 4:51 pm

    your poem was a poetic photograph in words! I could picture the entire scene and it was exactly the image below the poem. Fantastic details!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 22, 2016 / 5:30 pm

      So glad you liked it, Melinda. When I first started my poetry classes last February, my mentor stressed the importance of specific details rather that always using generalities. At first that sounded counterintuitive to me….use generalities to appeal and connect with more people…but I did find that in so many instances, she was correct! I love looking at a photo and trying to zoom in — to the details and the feelings they’re evoking from me. So glad you connected here! 🙂
      Have a wonderful weekend, Melinda~

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melinda Kucsera January 22, 2016 / 6:33 pm

        You have a wonderful weekend too! The details offer more connection points I’ve found and they make for fascinating reading!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Grace January 22, 2016 / 6:26 pm

    I would love to peek and come inside ~ You painted an inviting and relaxing scene ~ These lines are magical:

    Flowers blossom just beyond,
    lines blurred between petal, stem and earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 22, 2016 / 6:42 pm

      Thank you, Grace. Lovely words to warm my cold Boston evening…..truly appreciated!


  7. MarinaSofia January 23, 2016 / 2:22 am

    You capture the peace and serenity, the old-fashioned feel of that photo perfectly with your words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 23, 2016 / 8:16 am

      Thank you so much…..your words here do also: peace, serenity and old-fashioned. I really loved the texture of the bedspread in the photo. Thanks for your lovely comment! Truly appreciated.


  8. katiemiafrederick January 23, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    27″ inch iMac..
    globe of world..
    vanilla flavored
    metal file cabinet..
    Statues of Greek
    Gods’esses’ Hebes
    and Apollo stand watch
    atop a lap-top computer..
    in front of 24″ window..
    and the saddest
    pArt of aLL so
    far away
    from ART
    iS School
    and Work
    for so many
    people is a
    metal file
    that relatively
    speaKing is dead
    and stays the same..
    With Infinity staring now
    back from the WiNdow..
    i’m here for the essence
    of Apollo and Hebes
    and forget
    the rest..
    i E-SCAPE
    to InFiniTy FREE..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Victoria C. Slotto January 23, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    Lillian, this is truly a wonderful interpretation of the photo and, like it, conveys a sense of calm, of serenity. I enjoy your imagery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 23, 2016 / 6:17 pm

      Thank you so much, Victoria. I so appreciate your read and kind words! 🙂 Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


  10. Gay Reiser Cannon January 24, 2016 / 12:11 am

    Beautiful ekphrastic brought me into the picture without even having to see the picture. The words give us the look, feel and texture as well as an invitation into it. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 24, 2016 / 5:34 am

      Thank you so much, Gay. I must admit, I just Googled “ekphrastic”…I just keep learning in this endeavor that combines writing with this thing called blogging 😊. Thanks for the “teachable moment!” So glad to read your comment this early morn – tipping my coffee cup to you ☕️.


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