Reflections on Rotten

softens and blooms
into the livid greens
and blues of a mouldy
citrus bruise. Once it was firm
and glossy, oiled with fruity
essence; it has become its own
reflection, silently exhaling
spores that dance a tango
with a fading summer

Kim M. Russell, 16th October 2018

Related image

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Beauty in Ugliness, also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

Mish is our host this Tuesday with a challenging prompt. She says that we all know that beauty is subjective and that we are unique in our own tastes, opinions, expectations and the way in which we see or feel beauty. As there are some places, objects, creatures, images that are more pronounced in terms of ugliness, she would like us to look at them with new eyes: find beauty in the ugly; refuse to be repulsed by what we see; embrace the ugliness and transform it into something beautiful – in a poem.

Mish has shared a number of images in which we can explore the deformities of nature, the unsightliness of a cluttered mess or the details of decay. All we have to do is choose an image that we would normally not find attractive or find one of our own.

66 thoughts on “Reflections on Rotten

  1. Wonderful beauty in the mold of a lemon. The contrasts of ripe as opposed to rotting – it draws out the beauty in a wondrous way. Years ago when in culinary school, I remember a fellow student who kept the citrus until it dissolved. the teacher would chide him until he finally said, it is so beautiful I cannot throw it away…your poem reminds me of it that and him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Toni. At the moment I feel a bit like that lemon. It’s almost time for bed. I’ve been up since about 5.30 and I had my flu jab this morning. Now i have an aching arm. 😦 I’m struggling to keep up today. I think bed and my Kate Bush biography are calling…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Kim – you’ve done it! I must admit, I’ve had my share of a spoiled “penicillin” bearing lemon or lime that somehow gets hidden in the back of my fridge. The nose first discovers something is amiss….and I find it and so quickly toss it that I’ve not looked at the colors, the fuzzines, the beauty in that ugly….the ugly, sometimes not quite encompassing the entire fruit. And I love that you’ve rendered the post into a shape poem as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow – I suspect I’d have a total ball with this prompt – because I can see Beauty in the ugly all the time. LOL – and I love the image you’ve chosen – and your poem – I am always amused and baffled when citrus rots itself – especially lemons. It’s just so weird and astounding (and somehow, less offensive and gross) to me, than other types of foods decaying/rotting out. But then maybe I’m prejudicial – I love lemons – only mourn when I’m down to one and can’t use it, because it’s too far gone! But enough about that ~

    I love the way you’ve turned the sour into the silver lining – and how well you’ve captured the powdery bruised essence of it – such a weird shade of blue, green, grey …. this poem screams “making lemonade from the pips” to me …. it’s gorgeous, even if not “sweet.” 😀

    Hope you feel much better soon Kim – and that your “jab stick” isn’t a lingering bugger for it.

    Pat (using my other sign in)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i see that beauty now, in the ugliness of what it can become. just like humans that age and fade into all sorts of ugly colours, the beauty of our youth was once a pleasure. with just one lemon you made a strong statement – really love this Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such an interesting form — the transformation is captured through some wonderful imagery. Loved this bit: “livid greens/and blues of a mouldy/citrus bruise”. And as for those spores dancing the tango, it is such a well-crafted line.
    Great job finding beauty in its rotten state! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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