The Thirteenth Metaphor

Ink waves on tide-planed shore
disappear in foamy imprints
in sand, where poems die,
amber corpses
in my hand. I exhale
a breath into frozen
pebbled mouths until
their bones heave, paper
miracles unfold
and I rediscover ebb
and flow of tides
that cannot alter
the progeny of my flesh.

Kim M. Russell, 2018

Image result for waves inky metaphors on a beach
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My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads NaPoWriMo April 13 – 13 Is Poetry

Magaly begins her prompt with a quote from The Thirteenth Tale because, on the 13th day of the Toads’ 30/30 in April, she wishes to celebrate the number 13 and metaphor (as a poetic device). She would like us to choose 3 to 13 (nonconsecutive) words from Setterfield’s quote and use them in a poem that is a deliberate celebration of metaphor:

“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.” ~ Diane Setterfield

32 thoughts on “The Thirteenth Metaphor

    1. Cheers Paul! I had to kick-start myself this morning. I even forgot to have breakfast so I’ve just done a bowl of fruit and yogurt. I enjoyed this prompt, though. It’s like found or black-out poetry and you can bounce off the words you pick out of the quotation.
      I’m beginning to feel the pressure of NaPoWriMo – I’ve been trying to keep up with several prompts. From 21st April I’m moderating GCSE Spoken English, so it’s gong to be even more of a struggle. But I love writing poetry and just can’t stop myself! Hope you’re keeping well and keeping up with the prompts!


  1. My goodness this is stunning!💞 Especially love; “I exhale a breath into frozen pebbled mouths until their bones heave, paper miracles unfold.”💞

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First, you always find the coolest images–you have such an eye! And about your poem, wow, Kim! that ending… I can see her standing at the shore, being caressed (and sometimes smacked) by waves that touch her but never wash off her Self. She is magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your metaphor. I am not sure if I did It because I rarely use metaphors. your’s is magnificent – the tide that ebbs and flows, that washes away and replenishes…I am doing the NAnerrpomo myself. I have gotten to day 13 because this is the first time I haven’t gotten bored by the prompts. I am only doing the prompts from Real toads because…I think you are doing an amazing job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Toni! I might not be on top of NanaPorno (that did make me laugh – the only kind of porno I’m interested in these days!) for long as I’ll be starting GCSE exam moderating and examining after next week – and it goes on right through until the beginning of July. Let’s see how that pans out 🙂


  4. kaykuala

    and flow of tides
    that cannot alter
    the progeny of my flesh

    One remains one’s own being and others may not unduly influence the stand! Good strategy, Kim!


    Liked by 1 person

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