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All I can do

by Jibunnessa 

Posted: 21 February 2003
Word Count: 128

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All I can do
Is look at you
From a distance
What I really want
Is to touch you
And the palm of your hand
With the palm of mine.

All I can say
Is nothing
And hope you hadn’t noticed the vulnerability in my shoulders.
What I really want
Is to say “I love you!”

All I can feel
Is the wind against my face
When really
What I yearn
Is the warmth of your gaze
With images of tenderness
Towards me.

And as I am not cold
But a less obvious silence
An invisible jelly
Solidifies around me

And all I can do
Is reject
The burning passions
I hide
Let you
Slip away
Without noticing
The warmth
Under my skin.

And all I can say
Is nothing
As things just fade away.

---Jib, 8.06 am, 21 Feb 03, still lying in bed encased in my duvet, these words started to float through my mind.

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Comments by other Members

Anna Reynolds at 23:24 on 26 March 2003  Report this post
I love that line 'hope you hadn't noticed the vulnerability of my shoulders.' It really gives a clear, poignant visual image that we probably all identify with. And the last three lines are well crafted, letting the thoughts and emotions of the poem fade away, yet leaving us something to think about.... full of dignified pain and regret.

Jibunnessa at 20:18 on 04 April 2003  Report this post
You seem to understand this piece so well. I'm glad that you've found things that you can identify with.


Jibunnessa at 14:03 on 06 April 2003  Report this post
I'm glad you like the poem, James.

As you wrote your comments at the bottom of another poem, I'm repeating it here if that's OK.

"I like 'All I can do' very much too. In the second section, or stanza, I notice especially the long line, which is just right for what it says. It's hard to pin down, but it seems to suggest that the feeling of vulnerability lingers, isn't just of the moment, whereas the rest of this stanza is about momentary feelings or impulses. But... 'The warmth of your gaze' and 'images of tenderness' do strike me as a bit like the lyrics of a musical. Maybe you need something more in keeping with 'The palm of your hand/with the palm of mine', which is so much more immediate. And the last line doesn't seem necessary: 'And all I can say/Is nothing' would end the poem well, echoing earlier lines."

I don't really agree though that certain lines are a bit like the lyrics of a musical. There's nothing wrong with a musical of course. But, I think the words are in keeping with the feelings they convey and the rest of the poem.

I also think that, on the contrary, the line "As things just fade away" is crucial. The poem would feel unfinished to me if I left it as you suggest.

James Graham at 19:56 on 15 April 2003  Report this post
I'm afraid I'm left with the same impression as before. 'And the palm of your hand/With the palm of mine' seems immediate and real; 'warmth of your gaze' doesn't seem to have these qualities. It seems a ready-made phrase, second-hand language. From the former I get a sense of living language (as I do from practically every line of the poem); from the latter, not much of that sense. And the last line still seems a little weak. 'Things' - maybe the vaguest word in the dictionary. I can just about see it this way: maybe what is fading away is clear enough from the rest of the poem, but by the end what is happening is that the experience and the feelings around it have diminished into mere 'things'. That would maybe justify the last line. Again, I hope you won't mind these perhaps rather finicky criticisms. I make them because, as I already said, I find your work full of vitality. These aren't poems to be read once and dismissed. Like all good poetry, they engage the reader. As a result of that engagement, I find just here and there a line or two that doesn't seem to come alive in the same way as the rest. Tell me I'm wrong.


Jibunnessa at 00:16 on 17 April 2003  Report this post
Still not sure about the distinction you make between the '...palm of your hand...' and the 'warmth of your gaze...'. True, the first is talking of concrete physical things, while the other is more interpretive that you glean from the look in someone's eyes or their smile or lack of. But someone who yearns for someone would be looking for both: the physical and the signs that keep hope alive.

As for the last line 'As things just fade away'. This is so crucial. Without it, the overall meaning of the poem changes.

I'm glad you find my poems engaging though.


Stacey at 15:59 on 07 May 2003  Report this post
This is so close to home for me. I almost shed a tear; every word, line and emotion touched me. I cannot pick a favourite part, I'm afraid I love it all!
Thank you, this is beautiful.

Jibunnessa at 09:21 on 08 May 2003  Report this post
Stacey, your comments are much appreciated. It's always satisfying when your poem manages to reach out and touch somebody. So, I'm glad you got something from it.

Glimity at 22:21 on 09 May 2003  Report this post
Awwww Jib, this poem is lovely! I really felt for the subject who just seems to be 'loving from afar' and having to hold all those wonderful feelings of love inside.

(Hmmm, I wonder if someone feels that way about me!) It's a very beautiful poem.


Jibunnessa at 07:46 on 10 May 2003  Report this post
Ahh, thanks Jennie. Glad you like it.

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