Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Self Portrait Poem

I have written several self portrait poems in my life, but this one is my favorite so far. Many of the stanzas are descriptions of young childhood experiences. I wrote them kind of abstractly, so unless you know me really well you might not get it. I read all of my comments though, and am happy to answer questions. :-)

White blonde hair and a round head
Like corn silk on a melon
Tall and lanky for such a young age
Nicknamed string bean by her parents
Spending all the hours of the day
Out in the garden
Talking to the plants
And fairies

Blankets are placed strategically
Shielding a network of chairs
The center is a table
The stronghold
Stuffed animals line the perimeter
Watchful sentries
Piglet is captain of the guard
Her charge plays with her twin inside

A golden pupil surrounded
By an iris of blue
Then a deeper blue
As the day grows older
The blue turns to
Purple, pink, orange
And reflected gold
A wink of green before a nightly slumber
An event no camera could catch

Lives, kingdoms, seasons, tides
Rise and fall at the turn of a page
A constant fascination
Words that weave tapestries as thick as if
The world in the book really existed
Something she is constantly trying to copy

As she dons pink spectacles
And wiggles her fingers above the keyboard
Placing them on it
She is not always so sure
Where those nail-chewed digits will lead her
But figures it out before long
Not the most common pass time
For a teenager who could be texting
Or blowing out her eardrums
But it is what she chooses

Balls of fluff
Some bigger than others
Some purr, some bark
Hunters and herders alike
She adores them all
And they call a truce
So that they can curl up on her bed together

So far away from any real kind of civilization
That the apocalypse would go unnoticed
The lake melted from a glacier
Even the sapphire has never known that kind of blue
Aspen leaves quiver in the slightest of breezes
Giving the impression of a gale
Wooden dock bathed in the sun
And the fear inspiring dare
When the courage is almost gathered
An embarrassing faux pas
Gasp, choke, splutter
Flailing to get out of the liquid iceberg
And up to the laughter of the on lookers

Evergreens turn to broadleaves
A great river gorge gives way
To sagebrush and cattle ranches
Without warning, the cornfields appear all around
Going on for miles
At long last
The mountains are reached
Immense wildlife and intense beauty
The land of restless earth
Of geysers and mud pots
The full spectrum of colors
In a pool so hot, you would have thought it cold

The steady rhythm of hooves rocking
A form of transportation as familiar as walking
A surprisingly short steed
For a girl of her height
They have known each other too long
To part
The oldest and best of friends
The kind that never judge
And know the need
To fly
Tearing up the earth underneath them
And dodge under and around blackberries
Familiar with each other’s movements
Intuiting what to do next

She knows her twin better than just about anyone
A million inside jokes
No one else could ever guess the meaning
Though used to being called by the name of her twin
It never stops becoming irritated when it happens
They don’t even look that much alike
Even those they have known them for years
Still fall for it


  1. This is a wonderful description of you! I love all the imagery you've strung together here. I look forward to your future creations!

  2. Larissa...your poems are a gift! Nice to know you better through your poetry.

  3. I love this!!!!! Your soo good at poetry Larissa! So descriptive and passionate! :)

  4. I wish I had more time to read too...the books I'm reading now aren't exactly "hot off the press," LOL, but a book is a book....and so happy u like my friday photos. i'll try to post a good one this friday. :-)


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