Monday, January 15, 2007

Ode to Toe Nails

Memes are all very well, but if you really want to know what I would say about clipping my toe nails:

Ode to My Toe Nails

O to be clipped and repentant,
groomed and discreet;

O to wander these rooms like a God
leaving crescent moons all over the furniture,
trailing chipped constellations on the carpeted night;

O to be free of the debris of living –
shedding hair, clothes, cuticle, Love –
everything bloodless and too soon outgrown;

O to believe in the smallness of sacrifice,
abandoning claws and the hardening of flesh,
growing the pain out, then cutting it away;

O to stare down at the provinces of my feet
watching them encroach on territories of emptiness
savage colonies of the body’s imperium;

O to be a farmer of the incidental,
gathering the fruits of my bitter harvest
from beneath society’s downtreading toe;

O not to fear the sound of Death’s clippers,
learn not to mourn these everyday losses,
the imagined hurt of what we had to let go.


Aadisht Khanna said...


ggop123 said...

You need to go for a pedicure :D

Anonymous said...

Two lines -

"hair, clothes, cuticle, Love – / everything bloodless and too soon outgrown" & "learn not to mourn these everyday losses / the imagined hurt of what we had to let go" ... brilliant, but then adjectives fall short of what one feels. Ah well, nail-clipping is never going to be the same again.

The bit about a God leaving moons had me laughing though. Felt a little out of place when compared with the general tone of the post upon rereading.

More of your poetry please.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

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Listening and talking to children about their concerns can reassure them that they will be safe. Start by encouraging them to discuss how they have been affected by what is happening around them. Even young children may have specific questions about tragedies. Children react to stress at their own developmental level.

The Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign offers these pointers for parents and other caregivers:

* Encourage children to ask questions. Listen to what they say. Provide comfort and assurance that address their specific fears. It's okay to admit you can't answer all of their questions.
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* Focus on the positive. Reinforce the fact that most people are kind and caring. Remind your child of the heroic actions taken by ordinary people to help victims of tragedy.
* Pay attention. Your children's play and drawings may give you a glimpse into their questions or concerns. Ask them to tell you what is going on in the game or the picture. It's an opportunity to clarify any misconceptions, answer questions, and give reassurance.
* Develop a plan. Establish a family emergency plan for the future, such as a meeting place where everyone should gather if something unexpected happens in your family or neighborhood. It can help you and your children feel safer.

If you are concerned about your child's reaction to stress or trauma, call your physician or a community mental health center.

Aditi said...

The act of cutting your nails has disturbed the last anon. deeply, apparently. May your nails rest in peace.