Wednesday, July 28, 2010


though a fierce wind, I caught her
centered in thought, whirling flight --
this female lamp, this spirit
of flame, contagious light!
Nina Tai Ling

Let the wind loosen
and drag away
anything that binds --

barrett, bodice
an obsession with
staying bone-thin, skin-pale

Let me whirl, hair-long
into the hot breath
of Summer
serving risk, calling down
the scavenger bird
not a savior dove.

Let the wind level
my defense, unleash
the light of bones,
their bright marrow burning
inside this female
torchiere, her presence
stretching boundless
as shadows on the sand.
Based on Marie-France's gorgeous and free-spirited painting, "Le Chapeau de Mireille" and its allusion to the fierce, Mistral winds of Southern France. View the painting here --

Marie-France's beautiful painting, Le Chapeau de Mireille, captured my imagination with its wild impulse and feminine freedom. I loved the swirling motion of the wind and the young woman caught up in its raw power. This became the inspiration for "Torchiere". My poem studies a woman who is confined by her fear of passion and life. She has kept herself from sunbathing on the beach, falling in love and indulging in food that could cause a slight weight gain. She has been obsessed with staying safe, untouched by risk until now when her need to break free overwhelms everything else. Her heart wants to beat with an exciting rhythm. Her bones yearn to be lit by a vibrant flame springing from the rich marrow within. Her figure whirls into the gusty air; and she is transformed into a slender torchiere, a female lamp whose presence is seen, felt and destined to influence others beyond the boundaries of location and time. Her confidence is strong as the ocean wind and her breath of light, contagious!

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