Shedding Skin

The first time I shed
skin, my tongue probed the blade
of a new language, tasted
unfamiliar vowels and consonants, bled
new words and poems. The second time
I shed skin, the words were mine
but the tune was new, lilting and green.
The last time I shed skin,
the landscape taught me everything
I needed to sing
a new song with old
and beautiful words
that flowed from deep within
the earth –
my rebirth.

Kim M. Russell, 22nd January 2019

Image result for shedding skin Pinterest
Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Shed some light on this today! also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

Lillian is our host for today’s Poetics. She says that as a former English and drama high school teacher, and  with a communications major, an intense interest in language, and a strong belief in the power of words, she is always amazed at the delineation of meanings one spelling can have in the English language. She explains that she’s a bit hung up on the word s-h-e-d, as in: ‘She’d known all along, there was a secret in that old wood shed. And if she knew the answer, it would shed meaning on so many things!’

Lillian would like us to write a poem (any form; rhyming or not) that includes the word, or a form of the word, ‘shed.

75 thoughts on “Shedding Skin

  1. Oh Kim! Amazing image for amazing words. Did you write and then find the image or find the image first. Either way, I’m struck by the blade and bleeding new words…..the shedding of skin painfully and then a shift to a song and then the rebirth with the landscape…perhaps the ultimate rebirth one lands as we return dust to dust? So much to think about here. Wonderful post to the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. an absolutely fresh vision – the opening lines are so gripping, for the blade like precision – I can only imagine how difficult the transition must have been (I presume you refer to learning German?) –
    at any rate, this poem is complete for the airing, – a clean sweep – a shedding of skins – re-birthing to the now – and it’s truly word unique for your fingerprints

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so perceptive! It is about the moves between countries: first Germany when I was a teenager; then Ireland when I was pregnant with Ellen; and finally Norfolk, where I felt at home. After twenty seven years it is time to move again, to be closer to Ellen and baby Lucas. And thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, a well travelled life – and when change is in the air, it will unfold as best suited and needed;
        energy and lives are never static – and glad that you made it home safely despite the weather and losing headlights …


  3. This is a stunning look into change and how we grow as we get older, and I also think it’s a great perspective into the immigrant lifestyle and having to pick up new languages to assimilate into a new society.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “a new song with old
    and beautiful words” wonderful way of looking at aging, at learning. We are so much like crabs, outgrowing our bodies and needing to escape the old shell for a new one, growing stronger each time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jill. It’s going to take a while before we’re ready. Ellen and her husband are currently looking for a place and we are waiting to see where they move to so that we can look for somewhere nearby but not too close that we cramp their style.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Shedding skin is a great metaphor for this resilience and rejuvenation, with the changes experienced in time, language, culture, believes, et al. I love this journey through the physical as well as the cognitive realms. Well penned, Kim! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I enjoyed reading this. Kim. I’m trying to put your thoughts into the the minds of snakes or locusts. That not working very well, it works better not using a literal skin. Symbolic (??) figure of speech, like tough skin, thick skin, thin skin works better for the changing personalities.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such an imaginative take on the prompt Kim

    ” my tongue probed the blade
    of a new language, tasted
    unfamiliar vowels and consonants, bled
    new words and poems.”
    these are deliciously painful lines – you have certainly learned and found your own speech now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laura. I do worry that, having taken all these years to find my voice, with a blend of languages and experience, I might lose it to dementia in the same way as my mother did. That’s one of the reasons I write every day.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh gosh this is beautiful! ❤ Especially love; “tasted
    unfamiliar vowels and consonants, bled new words and poems.” 😊


  9. This is lovely, Kim. I hadn’t realized it was an expression really coming from your own life until I read the comments. I especially liked these lines:
    “The last time I shed skin,
    the landscape taught me everything
    I needed to sing
    a new song with old
    and beautiful words”

    Liked by 1 person

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