Diane Hine

(25 July 1956)

Ice, Silk and Flowers

The wooden cart bounced.
An arm flopped over the side and dripped
another pink flower into ice slush beside the track.
In the field hospital, an army surgeon
cut open the plain cloth sleeve.
Cyanotic skin was deemed deserving
of silk-suture embellishment.

With skin like silken tofu or melting lard, Rubens’
knobbly nudes seem as buoyant as oil on canvas.
Their rosy blushes perhaps an expression
of his own hot pain as uric acid crystals
like tiny ice picks, bloomed in swollen joints.
Venus Frigida ignores a taunting vittle-laden satyr.
Maybe her misery foreshadowed his own
if gout curtailed a courtly diet.

A Luftwaffe bomber’s wing blossomed orange.
The wireless operator opened the hatch.
A dusting of ice crystals melted away. He floated
down to a field of pasture, cow pats and primroses.
Village women, scissor-armed, assayed a crusade
and stole his silk parachute for new lingerie.

Joy dressed her fruit cake with a brush of warm jam,
a layer of almond paste, two layers of royal icing
and a border of five-petalled fondant flowers.
Almost perfect.
On the celebratory day she lifted the cake down
from the shelf. Oil had leaked from the almond paste
and risen to the surface. The white icing was streaked
and shadowed like water-stained silk. She frowned,
tilted her head to one side and considered.
Yes, she could almost see it. She pressed her little finger
into the dry icing and oiled in a missing eye.
Now it was complete; the face of Jesus.

Submitted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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  • Dinesh Nair (6/23/2013 8:19:00 AM)

    When poetry becomes an intellectual piece Diane Hine`s face is seen behind. I don`t know how you retain this pace of imagination, diction and brilliance of tell a tale attitude every time.
    We [ with the exceptions of Valerie and Valsa ] the other poets often turn pale as you continue to be the Venus of the firmament of the starry sky.
    Diane, you are amazing me again and again. (Report) Reply

  • Anthony Di''anno (6/21/2013 12:04:00 PM)

    Wonderful story telling Diane. A captivating piece that illustrates perfectly your amazing talent for writing. Absolutely brilliant :) (Report) Reply

  • Lyn Paul (6/20/2013 8:16:00 AM)

    Incredible story telling Diane. It does make me think you should be writing a mini series. (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (6/19/2013 12:17:00 AM)

    This is terrific! ! .....The most ingenious piece from an exceptionally brilliant brain! ! I am spellbound! I bow myself before this talent. I am never jealous.... but am thrilled... thrilled beyond measure! !

    Amid the frozen face of death and chaos, there is space for humour too! How the village women stole the parachute for new ligerie! How Jesus's disfigured and crucified face emerged from the tattered fruit cake! ! This deserves a 10+++ (Report) Reply

  • Danny Draper (6/18/2013 5:46:00 AM)

    A bold and creative piece, diverse and as disparate as its 3 elements. The last line says it all, bloom'n' wonderful. The imagery of line 1 of the third stanza is exceptional. (Report) Reply

  • Douglas Scotney (6/17/2013 9:34:00 PM)

    Aside from being a poem of great lusciousness, Diane, enviable adjectives and deserving of being revisited, I thought I was being clever today using 'calf' for the first time in a poem, but 'Cyanotic'! (Report) Reply

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