Two Lives – Metaphorically Speaking

He lived a crab’s life
sidling through his world
without confronting anything head on.


She never knew who she was.
Today, servant to his whims
yesterday his foil.
Tomorrow, his jewel case on display.

In her youth, the obedient child.
Perfect pianist stretching to reach the pedals
daddy’s little girl,
mama’s protegé.

Turn this way, look here.
Here, not there.
Do this. Do that.
Twisted. Manipulated.

She’d led a kaleidoscope life
until all the pieces crumbled,
reduced to shards.


Two poems, one short, one a bit longer, written for dVerse. Today, Bjorn hosts and asks us to write metaphorically. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.  For those who need a quick review from their highschool poetry unit, very basically stated, a simile is a comparison using the words “like” or “as.” A metaphor is a comparison without using the words “like” or “as.”  Both photos in public domain at

31 thoughts on “Two Lives – Metaphorically Speaking

  1. paul scribbles September 14, 2017 / 10:44 am

    A tale that I suspect is not too uncommon. Delicate but potent weave of metaphors Lil.


  2. Charley September 14, 2017 / 11:04 am

    Your words are marble under a master’s mallet and chisel. You bring light, life, shadow and depth with each chipping away of the unnecessary extraneous matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 14, 2017 / 11:58 am

      Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for these very kind words!!! When you think about them , you’ve created a metaphor comparing word smithing to sculpting. 😊
      You made my day😊


    • lillian September 14, 2017 / 3:16 pm

      Thank you… glad you stopped by.


  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 14, 2017 / 2:23 pm

    I love both metaphors.. the crab’s life is excellent, and in the second especially the kaleidoscope shows all the tragedy in the way too many women are being brought up as property… great use of the tools.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian September 14, 2017 / 3:16 pm

      Thank you, Bjorn. The crab metaphor presented itself on our low tide walk 🙂


      • Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 14, 2017 / 3:18 pm

        I think that observing the world around you makes the metaphors coming… to me it’s usually easier to start with an image and then find a resemblance

        Liked by 1 person

  4. jillys2016 September 14, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    Hmmm – do I see a hint of Amy Tan in that last one? Really captured the metaphor world with these two, Lil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 14, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Many thanks, Jilly. Ashamed to admit I had to look up Amy Tan…
      So glad you enjoyed! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • jillys2016 September 14, 2017 / 4:32 pm

        Joy Luck Club – the chapter called Two Kinds, which stands alone as a short story quite nicely. Your poem should be an addendum to it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lillian September 14, 2017 / 4:43 pm

        I read Joy Luck Club many many years ago. Will have to check it out of library again😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. kim881 September 14, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    I love the metaphor of living a crab’s life, Lill, and I especially love the lines:
    ‘She’d led a kaleidoscope life
    until all the pieces crumbled,
    reduced to shards’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 14, 2017 / 3:39 pm

      Thank you, Kim. So glad you enjoyed. Our time here on Cape presents itself with seaside metaphors 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. alisonhankinson September 14, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    I really enjoyed this, I liked the two sides. For me this was the line- she never knew who she was- it really reminded me of my mother, this is how she sometimes felt. Perhaps this happens to us all at some point in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 14, 2017 / 3:40 pm

      I think you’re correct, Alison. There is at least one point in our lives, I’m certain, when we stop and reflect and say, gosh….who am I and what am I doing???? 🙂 Hopefully, one moves on and doesn’t allow others to pull the strings as much as the character in the second poem does.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Frank Hubeny September 14, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    I liked the last stanza. Kaleidoscopes as pieces of colored glass seen in mirrors seem to fit this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 14, 2017 / 3:41 pm

      Thanks, Frank. And I was especially thrilled to come upon the illustration in Pixabay as it looks like her image is in a kaleidoscope! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Adda September 14, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    I had to think about your first poem for a bit.. I really like it.. and then I figured out you were writing about the President.. the poem became AWESOME at that moment! 🙂 The second poem reminded me of my mother, in the end she was shards of glass, broken and obtuse, unconnected. Loved the second poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 14, 2017 / 5:37 pm

      Oh tooo funny. The crab-poem was about a fictional person — but after reading your comment, I read it again — hilarious!!!! Yup – could very well be a comment on the donald 😜🙃😁😂


  9. whimsygizmo September 14, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    “She’d led a kaleidoscope life”



  10. Bev September 14, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    From crab to kaleidoscope, this is a wondrous journey of metaphors!


  11. nosaintaugustine September 14, 2017 / 7:46 pm

    I like the metaphor of the kaleidoscope life, reduced to shards, cut into the different facets that she was expected to be for her parents.


  12. sarahsouthwest September 15, 2017 / 1:41 am

    Oh, that kaleidoscope life! What a powerful image. Great pair of poems.


  13. Gospel Isosceles September 15, 2017 / 5:28 am

    Oh wow, that crab metaphor is perfect to illustrate cowardice.


  14. ZurkPoetry September 15, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    I love how the two separate poems bounce off each other, clanging with rhythm and offsetting each other.


  15. qbit September 16, 2017 / 8:28 am

    But if that crab lived on the Cape, we don’t feel *so* bad for it, lol!


  16. dornahainds September 17, 2017 / 5:23 pm

    Magnificent portrait of today’s and yesterday’s children. 🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀


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