This Poem was Submitted By: G. Donald Cribbs On Date: 2004-08-09 21:11:06 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

To Listen to Music While Reading this Poem, just Click Here!

Click Here To add this poem to your "Voting Possibilities" list!

The Helpmeet

Along the underneath, against the shore of my ribs, the doe rests to bathe her tired fur with measured licks. There is no motion quite like this—a mother offering her breasts. And I am one fawn who waits outside the shadowed overhang, prepared to consume the heart. She is a long time stirring her tongue through seed-like fur, tall grasses squalled upon outlying waves. What makes her seem deliberate? When the peak of the wave pauses, reaches for the shore, its eyes are closed, within the womb. I stand against this wall—hope to return, breathe water . . . remember the dust I came from. Now the earth aches for my hands to work its clay-flesh, to put on leaves, subdue it. 

Copyright © August 2004 G. Donald Cribbs

This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-09-02 12:53:45
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Dear Don: This poem contains a peaceful essence which is soothing to this tired soul. The quietness of the doe, her "measured licks" and her taking a "long time" in "stirring her tongue" set a pace that is restful, and yet dynamic. The speaker, the "fawn who waits" in this dyad seems completely assured of time enough for all which is needful to take place. The metaphor and use of pacing, your fresh imagery and gentle diction all make this one of the most outstanding poems of the month. "And I am one fawn who waits outside the shadowed overhang, prepared to consume the heart." The poem works as a whole, much as the doe and fawn, the husband and helpmeet constitute more than pairs, but acts of completion in the making, a kind of divine archetype for creation. The final lines reference to scripture recall the charge given to Adam, as the speaker turns toward his task, reverently. . . . remember the dust I came from. Now the earth aches for my hands to work its clay-flesh, to put on leaves, subdue it. Masterful, graceful and evocatively written, once more. Kudos for this fine work. I enjoyed it immensely. All my best, Joanne

This Poem was Critiqued By: Elaine Marie Phalen On Date: 2004-08-29 20:57:56
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.87500
This is fascinating work! There's something rather pantheistic - with echoes of Adam - about the speaker's "shore" of ribs, his feeling of communion with the tired doe, his awareness of an aching earth that needs his touch to be worked and dressed in vegetation. The mother offering her breasts, ostensibly the doe, may in fact refer to the planet which the speaker/god now oversees, since Eden has moved beyond reach. She has "seed-like fur", a pelt of grass. The waiting fawn, ironically, comes from without, not from within. He imposes his will upon this mother, even as he understands and shares her birth pangs. He will be the First Man in this newness, and his water-breathing suggests the whole of evolution from single cell to full human. I like the way you've blended a Genesis theme with the idea of such development, sea to land. The breaking waves wash more than salt onto the shore. Your poems always delight me because they appeal both to imagination and intellect, while never abandoning an emotional element. The speaker's eagerness for partnership with the earth is an invigorating conclusion. The heart of the beast has given him its strength, much as an ancient hunter/warrior would receive courage from his prey and/or his strongest enemy. How wonderful, to read and work through the images toward a synthesis of these remarkable details! Brenda
This Poem was Critiqued By: James Edward Schanne On Date: 2004-08-22 19:37:50
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.33333
i keep rereading this and wonder if i understand it , as it seems the I in the poem is a baby dear within the womb and then the lines: I came from. Now the earth aches for my hands to work its clay-flesh, to put on leaves, subdue it. seem to run counter to what I was thinking , maybe you can help me out with that
This Poem was Critiqued By: Wayne R. Leach On Date: 2004-08-18 20:29:19
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Don, this is a marvelus tale of "life", loaded with metaphorical expressions/images. Your use of assonance is enough to astound the most avid of poets. [ribs - licks; quite like; mother offering; long - tongue and on and on. You have created an excellent poem, the punctuation seems exactly as I would have done, so I cannot suggest a thing. An excellent and strong closing line, and you've got rhythm, too! :>) Best regards. wrl
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2004-08-12 13:42:38
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Don, Beaver or man? I'm assuming you already read my prior critque of your Holy Thursday poem. I'd say . . . man - it wasn't even a close call here. :) One i imagine you sitting on your deck with a notebook (the old fashioned kind) and a beer - no, you're a young punk with a "notepad" and and a latte (I don't even think I know how to spell the damn thing) or something. :) In the good ole country of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. At nightime, looking at the same star. My numero uno so far. With the good old King James title and all. :) Mark
This Poem was Critiqued By: Jordan Brendez Bandojo On Date: 2004-08-11 01:01:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Hi Donald, First of all, I'm so excited to critique once again after a long break. And I I'm glad I have your poem on top of my critiquing list. You have a significant theme here. It is essential to note the reference of a mother as you artfully mentioned "a mother offering her breasts". Though you have a serious theme, you have crafted this very well. Your use of figurative is highly remarkable. I was deeply amazed by the idea "the doe rests to bathe her tired fur with measured licks" and connecting this to the reference of a mother. I checked on the winners' list last month. No doubt that you are the winner! The tone of the poem is effectively reinforced by the words "shore", "waves", "water", and so on! This creates a peaceful and relaxing effect in my mind. You have all it takes to be in the hall of fame of poetry, Donald! Thanks for sharing this incredible piece. Regards, Jordan
Poetry Contests Online at The Poetic Link

Click HERE to return to Database Page!