Ode to Dust & Grit

Ode to Dust & Grit

A Poem by Zoe Jay

Just a girl, standing against a smooth, dull grey wall
Grit underfoot, sharp and black and sparse, on dust
Tiny glimmers, born from the smooth, dull grey sky
Reflected back, in tiny crystals of grime, underfoot

Languid dirt, ground into the smooth dull concrete
No movement, no tiny dust winds, just flat grey dirt
Even the dust is… exhausted, submitted, inert, dull
Tiny strewn sparkles, a galaxy of grit glinting in dust

Below black shoes, plain, slim ankles in cheap nylons
No speck of dust, for the dust has no energy to cling
One long, grey scuff on one shoe, two tiny wrinkles
In a pale flesh stocking, one lace pooling in the dirt

Grey, smooth wall, warmed and feeling a little alive
Feeding on graffiti and dirt, absorbing impassively
Successive years of meaningless, hopeless scrawl
Quietly returning to that smooth, gone-away grey

A not-there wall, almost a shadow behind her form,
Insubstantial, not even reflecting her shadow image,
Just one inky black shade, deep as an ocean trench,
Stark, just where her angular elbow makes contact

Delicately, with the smooth grey surface of the wall,
It opens away behind her like the maw of a monster
Pulling her by the elbow into a smooth grey oblivion
Punctuated by the swirls of faded generations’ dust

Black dress to the knee, ugly chunky block of colour,
Reprimanding the universe, with hard, straight lines
Reflecting her face… deliberately, aggressively plain
One long crease slashes her from hip to collar bone

Skinny shoulders protruding, smooth dull grey skin
She stands both defiant and cowering, head down
But eyes up, grey and wide and wild, burning grey,
A panorama of neglect and hauteur, siren and harpy

Dark hair, matted, hanging, with a single saline drop
Of bittersweet sweat, frozen in its’ perfect moment
Forming a perfect teardrop at the end of one strand
Glittering, trembling, an ornament entirely her own

Slightly disarrayed, a foot soldier for life’s vagaries
She has slept rough in the streets of social injustice
But she is a teacher, a learner, an icon of rectitude
Within the galaxy of glittering grey grit at her feet

© 2013 Zoe Jay


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Featured Review

I agree that you shouldn't change a thing. Sometimes there is good reason to give feedback and help in giving advice on how to make someone's work flow better or what have you, but in this case.. I wouldn't touch it. It drew me in and and made me really pay attention all the way through to the end of it. Very well written. It was as if I was entranced and could see every detail as if it were right in front of me. =-)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Awesome.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I agree that you shouldn't change a thing. Sometimes there is good reason to give feedback and help in giving advice on how to make someone's work flow better or what have you, but in this case.. I wouldn't touch it. It drew me in and and made me really pay attention all the way through to the end of it. Very well written. It was as if I was entranced and could see every detail as if it were right in front of me. =-)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I had to read through this twice to get the full feel for it.. great work.. anything that can hold my attention through it twice deserves a high mark.. I am not one to make suggestions on how to improve this, as writing is so personal, and with changes made, it would change the meaning for you.. I enjoyed this very much!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like what you've done very much. My suggestion to refine this and make it more powerful is to make it a bit leaner. I realize that these alterations make little difference if you're reading it aloud, but I'm thinking of reading it silently, e.g.

Just a girl, stands against a smooth, dull grey wall
Grit underfoot, sharp, black, sparse, on dust
Tiny glimmers, born from the smooth, dull grey sky
Reflected back, in tiny crystals of grime, underfoot

Also, in this section--

Dark hair, matted, hangs with a single saline drop
Of bittersweet sweat, frozen in its perfect moment
A teardrop at the end of one strand
Glitters, trembles, an ornament entirely her own





Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The poem is amazing. Your poem had to be read a few times. Such strong and powerful statements. Life is to be lived. We learn by trial and error. I like the last lines. True words to live by. A outstanding poem.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I felt as though I was riding a roller coaster reading this...it was fabulous....sorry I am not much of a reviewer...except to tell you what I like and this I like :)
Peace
Robin


Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I love the use of the english language, it is not an unromantic way of speaking, like some may think.
You have proven that here..I enjoyed reading your words, and how your lines were formed, the messege, and content..
Thank you
ice

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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.
. oh wow ... this is immensely intense ... all your words ... and all the stanzas ... all your thoughts ... and all your emotions ... reach my core ... am overwhelmed and nearly speechless ... and as i re-read the last two lines ... over and over again ... all i can do is applaud you for your spirit ... determination and grit ... oh, you inspire with skill and sensitivity ... and how ... superbly written poetry ... extraordinary, exquisite and beyond compare ...

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

excellent imagery, you brought a blurry scene into sharp detail. i especially liked, "gone-away grey".

what is most impressive to me about this piece is that you are working with shadows and grey tones and yet you convey a huge spectrum of depth and emotion. you tell a story through inference and association and what we learn about the character is most effectively communicated by her relation to the wall.

i really enjoyed this. bravo!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I could see it like it was right before me. Good Job.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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10 Reviews
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Shelved in 1 Library
Added on November 24, 2010
Last Updated on July 28, 2013
Tags: descriptive, people, loneliness, life, defiance, experience, wisdom, juxtaposition, society, homelessness, pride, outsiders, redemption, humility

Author

Zoe Jay
Zoe Jay

Los Angeles, CA



About
I come from Fife, in Scotland, and I now live in Los Angeles and run a business in the music industry. I've been writing poetry for about as long as I could write! I had a poetry collection published .. more..

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