Pokeweed Prayers

Time rows backwards,
like a boat,
sighting on what's behind
to find the way ahead.
You live life lost, not seeing where you're headed
till you've been there--
kinda like love.

Love rows backwards,
like mending,
steady dip and pull
mating what's parted
It'll heal your heart or rend it again and again
till your patches sprout patches--
kinda like pokeweed.

Pokeweed rows backwards,
like a poor man's bet,
a scratch-n-win patch through emptiness
when a real meal can't be found.
It'll fill you or empty you
till you're steady on your feet or shivering on your knees--
kinda like faith.

~Nara Malone
Photo Credit: Tennessee Warbler by Kenneth Cole Schneider on Flickr

Sometimes when I write I know exactly what I'm saying. Other times it's like the words are a message from a deeper part of me and I study them trying to grasp the meaning. You'll probably get this before I do. I may not know what I'm saying but this is my first contribution to  The Sunday Whirl. And now that I figured out where dVerse Poets OLN got off to, a contribution there as well. Drop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.


  1. This is a great write! Original... and definitely a message from a deeper place. Welcome to the Whirl.

  2. love rows backward like mending...very cool...actually i like how you built this...all the allusions play well together to build a feel behind it...and i like the patches on patches...the filling or emptying you until you are ready...

  3. Interestingly rowing forward is like being backward and the other way around.. and yes you have to keep your eyes fixed on the same point behind you to get forward.. what an excellent thought...

  4. This is excellent. You're right. It's all kinda like faith. Welcome to the Sunday Whirl. You are a great addition.

  5. Welcome to the Whirl, indeed. Our words will take us where they will. Sometimes all we can to is follow them. I like the flow and connection.

  6. You live life lost, not seeing where you're headed
    'till you've been there--
    kinda like love.

    ...indeed. Pokeweed Prayers...luv that title :-)

  7. Really like all the layers of associations that pile up one atop another. And I too, often don't know where the writing will take me, focus on the words and it's like rowing, or pokeweed, or love...


  8. I like "time rows backwards" and sometimes we float without oars!

  9. time and love rowing backward... i like how you counter-weigh this... the being empty or filled adds another dimension...

  10. I imagine that to move forward we also need to have our eyes on the past and that, at times, we feel we are rowing backwrard.

  11. Sometimes we have to move a bit backward before we can see the forward direction we want to pursue. I like it when sometimes poems seem to write themselves & even the poet has to figure out the message.

  12. Ooh..we do like..wisdom certainly moves forwards in this piece..the scratch-and-win patch poked out at me..so hard to fill up the emptiness..but such a pretty bird and branch..maybe it is worth having a little bit of faith

  13. Love the orginality in this, Nara. Your second stanza is outstanding. Welcome to the whirl.


  14. well-crafted, the repetition works well ~


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.