Sunday September 2nd, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: tenderness.

Enjoyed a day away from the garden. Getting back to it in the morning, with extra hands to help us out.


The slightest touch,
Skin upon skin,
Brings deepest comfort
To this place I'm in.

A light in the darkness,
Flames against cold;
Gentle as a whisper,
Worth more than gold.

A burden lessened,
Fear caressed away,
Bringing courage
To face another day.


Anonymous said...

a nice flow, marc!


“When you put the chihuahua down, you have to do it carefully,” she said, cautioning me. “It’s not a cat that can land on its feet. A chihuahua’s legs can break if you drop it on the floor like a cat.” 
I had to assure her that her precious cargo would be safe in my hands. 
This tiny, new puppy had been entrusted to me to care for a few hours. If I failed in this assignment, I would be forever maligned. 

But tenderness wasn’t new to me. Gosh, if she could teach tenderness to her toddler handling day old chicks or pedigree felines, she should be able to trust in me.
A new born baby elicits the utmost delicate actions, the tenderest touch and handling, and I’ve had two.
Kittens? Bring them on! I once also had a Husky puppy who adopted our new kitten like one of her own. She’d pick him up and deposit him in her kennel and lick his fur. She taught him to be a dog and enjoy rides in cars. Even big dogs can be tender.
Baby budgerigars, now they’ll teach you tenderness. I nursed a day-old chick against my heart for seven days, all wrapped up in microfleece. I used the dropper from a flower essence bottle to feed her her formula. I changed her swaddling every time she squawked because she’d pooped. It was the same as raising a human child, in that sense. When her feather buds started, I knew her skin would feel irritated like steel wool grating against cashmere. I had to handle her even more tenderly then, but, even so, she died. It wasn’t meant to be. Her departure left my heart crushed just a tiny bit; hearts are tender, too.

Greg said...

Heh, I don't know how you keep getting all these eager farmers-to-be to help you out! Are you channeling your inner Tom Sawyer somehow?
I think you've done an excellent job of capturing tenderness in that poem too. I think "Fear caressed away" is probably my favourite line, both for the sentiment it expresses and the sheer mouth-feel of the words!

"Tenderness is important in whatever cut of meat you've chosen to cook," said the television chef, staring into the camera slightly wild-eyed. Her shock of hair and strong southern accent did little to dispel the illusion that the chef was slightly deranged. This didn't bother Laura though, as she was wondering how on earth you decided if a piece of meat was tender. It wasn't as though it could whisper sweet nothings in your ear, or hug you when you looked lonely.
"If your meat isn't as tender as you'd like, and with today's modern feed-lots and the polystyrene they feel cattle instead of real food that can be an issue, you can beat it until it is tender."
"Beat my meat," said Laura, opening the drawer where she kept her kitchen tools. Her husband, sitting at the dining room table sniggered, but she was oblivious as to why. "What should I beat it with?"
"A meat tenderiser," said the tv chef on cue, "or a mallet, or a rolling pin. Something heavy, and preferably wooden. Wrap the meat in cling-film and then pretend its the aunt who's just written you out of her will."
"Rolling pin...." said Laura picking it up. She whacked the meat experimentally, and it squished. She whacked it again.
"That's it!" shouted the tv chef, white spittle flecking her lips. "Beat the old biddy to death, like she deserves!"
"Darling," said her husband from behind her, his strong hands pulling the rolling pin from her grip. "I think the meat is tender enough, and we need to watch less Cooking Channel from now on."

Aholiab said...

Marc, I enjoyed how your first verse encompassed the entire emotion, while the subsequent ones added nuances of tenderness. Nice details.

writebite, you taught me something about the fragility of a chihuahua's legs. I appreciated your description about raising a budgie; reminded me of our caring for an abandoned mockingbird.

Greg, I may have to start monitoring my wife's viewing habits a little more closely after reading this. I loved the "white spittle flecking her lips"... could almost see Paula Deen with a new technique!


“Where is it tender?”

“Tender! Do you mean, ‘Where does it hurt?’”?

“Yes. Where does it hurt?”


“It can’t hurt everywhere.”

“Yes, it does! Have you ever been hit by a car driving 30 miles an hour?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Have you ever had that car run over your leg when you fell in front of it?”


“Have you ever had your finger get snagged in the bumper of that car and had your shoulder jerked out of its socket?”

“I haven’t.”

“Have you had your face dragged on the pavement until your finger finally pulled free of the bumper on that car?”

“No, I have never had any of that happen. And neither have you.”

“I know, but it still hurts.”

“I know. I think I have the gravel out of the scrape on your knee. Is your bike ok?”

“Yeah, I just hit a rock.”

“Ok, hold still while I put a Band-Aid on your knee. Anywhere else?”

“No. Can I go back out now?”

His mom kissed him tenderly on the forehead. “Ok, but remember, lunch is in twenty minutes.”

Adam Clayton said...

Writebrite, I really enjoyed that. You wrote it really well and it had a sense of humour.

Greg, cool twist, going for the other meaning of tender. The ending surprised me in a good way.

Aholiab, I liked the progression, as the dialogue revealed more about the situation. It felt genuine, too.

Here's my attempt:

I was bored sick when you found me. All the noise and lights still gave me nothing to say. Then you were there and the words and the listening came without thinking. You were tipsy. Couldn’t find him but didn’t seem to mind.

These are the moments when I forgive like water. We need this lost situation. Brought together in the open, at night, with a deafening stage show going on and the crowd around. Your hug found me.

Starved for contact. You smell stronger than waterfalls. Rush up into me like contagion. In weakness and fud-headed, I stumbled into your arms. Sank into your embrace.

I love that you are soft. When you put your arms around me I melt and feel large. When drunk you give the best hugs. Without the obstacles this might mean nothing. You left me speechless for new reasons.

Anonymous said...

thanks folks;

Adam... amazing word knitting again, like your blog, i felt the sinking i to temderness you described in so many ways, "without obstacles this might mean nothing" - yes, a new way of remarking on the philosopehr's conumdrum of why, just why, we might need 'evil' in this dualist world...

Marc said...

Writebite - thanks!

I had no idea you could break a chihuahua's legs like that! Learn something new every day...

Greg - I think people find it enjoyable in small doses, so all we have to do is find enough people that all those doses add up to the entire summer :P

Thanks for the kind words on mine. Yours is a fun, somewhat surreal scene. That's quite the TV chef you've created!

Aholiab - thank you :)

"And neither have you."

"I know, but it still hurts."

That caught me by surprise and had me laughing out loud :)

Adam - welcome to the blog! (if I haven't already done so already - my memory has not been great recently)

Thanks for sharing your writing with us, and providing some feedback on the other comments as well! That's always good to see.

Love your use of language. Particularly liked 'You smell stronger than waterfalls.'