She Melts

blue ice                                             cold as cold can be
cleft from frozen earth                 abandoned
floats alone                                      drowning
so deeply down                               in sea of despair

deplorable evidence                      scarred inside and out
man’s neglect                                   his indifference
temperature rises                           her tears flow in melting fear
frequent fissures                            pulled asunder
disaster nears                                  she dies more each day


Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Paul asks us to write a contrapuntal poem. The term is taken from the musical world and means counterpoint…a piece of music with two or more independent melody lines.
Read this poem three ways (IE three melody lines if you will).
1. left column only
2. right column only
3. from left to right in total – as in all the way through the first line, ignoring the big spaces between the columns; then all the way through the second line etc.
Iceberg photos from out trip to Antarctica. Eyes photo from

36 thoughts on “She Melts

    • lillian May 25, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      Thank you, Bjorn. I did add the photo of the eyes which gives that other meaning away a bit….just in case some didn’t catch it 🙂


    • lillian May 25, 2018 / 12:13 pm

      Thank you, Paul. I must say, cruising through Antarctic was a thrill but at the same time, heartbreaking to see these huge shelfs of ice broken away….such a reminder and evidence of the problems global warming is bringing to the earth and its creatures.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Gospel Isosceles May 24, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    This is a beautiful lament. I really like the shift from solid to liquid as portrayed by melting tears in fear, going from certainty to the ultimate unknown.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 25, 2018 / 12:14 pm

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed….either of the three ways it can be read…all are indeed meant to be a lament.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sarahsouthwest May 24, 2018 / 4:15 pm

    I like the way the lines are translated within themselves. It’s almost like you’ve translated them into a foreign language, then translated them back into English. It works so well, like a round-song, or an echo, but with subtly different meanings in each poem, and then the great merging into one. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 25, 2018 / 12:17 pm

      Thank you, Sarah. The breaking away of the ice shelves in Antarctica are breathtaking to see….as in the calving of ice shelves we saw in the Alaskan glaciers….but as thrilling as they are to see (and hear) they are heartbreaking to realize the evidence of global warming and the effect it is having on our planet and its creatures. And the right column….shifting to the abandonment of a young woman…a different image but equally as “chilling” in a different way, yes?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sanaarizvi May 24, 2018 / 5:49 pm

    Such a beautiful lament, Lillian!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 25, 2018 / 12:18 pm

      Thank you, Sanaa. So glad you enjoyed.


  4. Vivian Zems May 24, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    This is great! From climate change to human emotions…and a merge! You did well😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 25, 2018 / 12:19 pm

      Thank you, Mary. What a wonderful compliment to read! 🙂 Truly appreciate it!


    • lillian May 25, 2018 / 12:20 pm

      Ah Reena…..sadness in the imagery and words can be beautiful….I’m not so sure about the actual feeling…unless it’s mixed perhaps with a joyful memory???

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Adda May 25, 2018 / 8:23 am

    Beautifully done. Mother Earth certainly is crying from human indifference to her. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian May 25, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      Glad you enjoyed, Adda. It was breathtaking to see these huge broken away ice shelves in Antarctica…and to see and hear the calving of the glaciers in Alaska….and then you realized what it meant in terms of evidence for global warming and it did indeed become heartbreakingly sad as well.


  6. annell4 May 25, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    Oh, my goodness…the last of the poem, really got me! “She died more each day.”


  7. annell4 May 25, 2018 / 2:04 pm

    Thanks so much for reading my poem and your comment. Something is wrong with my outer? I didn’t get a notice and I can’t comment on my own?

    Liked by 1 person

    • annell4 May 25, 2018 / 2:05 pm

      I meant my “puter.” The spell check fixed it to “outer?”


    • lillian May 25, 2018 / 2:15 pm

      Did you change the title of your poem after you first posted it? I did that once which then meant the second poem, which was the real one, didn’t send out notices to folks. Or it may have been a previous post that I tried to amend and same as the same title….which wasn’t recognized by WP and so no notice was sent.


  8. merrildsmith May 25, 2018 / 5:34 pm

    Such despair! I like how the she could mean a person, or some aspect of Earth (perhaps even Mother Earth).


  9. mhmp77 May 25, 2018 / 8:23 pm


    deplorable evidence
    man’s neglect
    temperature rises
    frequent fissures
    disaster nears

    It is most unfair for nature to be allowed to take its own course headed for disaster. Man ought to take responsibility to avert it!



  10. willow88switches May 26, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    The clipped words add a depth unexpected, and I think help carry the idea of despair and falling to pieces. As you’ve noted in the comments already – to see the wonder of ice shelves collapsing and breaking away, is both awesome for the power and beauty, but it’s equally hard, especially knowing we are adding to what may be a natural cycling of earth, but at very alarming rate. Upsetting and more than troubling. As for the poem? It’s a really good counterpoint – the one for the other – and I especially enjoyed (okay, that may sound weird) the “cold feeling of the narrative voice – painting the “other” responsible for “her” (human) despair. For me, I felt that distance and indifference, on both sides and across in all 3.


  11. JoHanna Massey June 5, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    Oh this one is serious and a new way to construct and read poetry for me. So many layers. Thank you.


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