She collects

broken tea cups, rescuing them all,
chipped, without handles, cracked
on the sides, at the bottom, one
split open like a skull, its eyes no
longer seeing the emptiness —

everything cannot die in a landfill,
become unrecognizable matter,
reincarnate into other utensils,
useless, freshly coloured, waiting
for a touch on a sterile shelf —

some objects have stories – of lips
they kissed, of leaves that were
picked on the low mountains, of
a song she hummed as the water
boiled, of a truth he spoke after
the second sip, that shattered
one, more than one universe —

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39 thoughts on “She collects

  1. Being a tea person, this is very appealing to me. We select our utensils with great care, knowing that the oddly shaped and somewhat dinged have a story to tell, and their stories are needed especially at particular times.

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  2. She collects the broken. Because they are the most worthy and beautiful and have the most stories to tell. They have been used and loved and held and kissed. They are not truly broken, just experienced.

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  3. My goodness, this is gorgeous. You are such an incredible poet. I keep reading again and again; it’s digging into me deeply. It makes me think of abused children, maybe being picked up by their mother and saved from their father, or other scenarios in which a woman becomes motherlike to the downtrodden. I’m instantly taken back to my days of working with broken and hurting children at a church when I was a teenager. Thank you for writing this piece.

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  4. I love the way the subject of your poem gives broken teacups another chance and rescues them and their stories from landfill. I also love the imagery and detail: the teacup ‘split open like a skull’, the kips that kissed them, the leaves, the song and the shattering truth. Such stories in teacups, Rahani!

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  5. Ah yes some of us art great at the art of collecting. I collect perfume bottles and recently did a set of Pinterest boards called Stylish empties

    Have a nice Wednesday
    Much❤🕊❤love

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  6. This is gorgeously worded, Rajani! 💖 I especially love; “some objects have stories – of lips they kissed, of leaves that were picked on the low mountains.” 😊

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  7. I wonder how many of those broken cups make it to the landfill, and how many are glued back together before they get that far? What regrets, what angers, what joys and tender kisses move to the shelf in this sad little collection? I’d like to think some end up back in circulation, they are cherished that much!

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  8. Humans are makers of Things, users of things which extend our reach and define us by our reaching. How many communions are transacted by teacups? How many are lost by the same devices? Such a dramatic conclusion of that thought in the final lines, you really delivered it! Poets are collectors of those cups, for sure, and our poems bring each of them back to life. One suggestion: The last cup described in the first stanza needs sharpening, it’s a dramatic description but I couldn’t quite visualize it reading the lines–what part of the cup would have eyes?

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    1. Thanks so much, Brendan. Appreciate the critique as well. I think the cup as a witness to the story unfolding around it, has eyes- at least if you take enough poetic licence 🙂 If you ever get a chance to read my book, would love to get your feedback!

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