disarmed the sun

she bathed in sweat just
from breathing, shoulders 
rouge in the evening blaze

        as she balanced on the edge
                                     of hope

        the decisive rain
        disarmed the sun,
        a zealous s t u t t er
        that drenched her to a start

        and she smiled

                   as she fell headlong into


63 thoughts on “disarmed the sun

    • My 6-yr-old just asked me what this poem is – he saw the picture of the woman. I read him the poem and he drew a big smile. “I LOVE it, he said.” Ha ha ha. I’d never thought to read him any of my posts!

    • Kevin, though technique is part of art (something I’ll be talking more about), the two are separable. I would hope it is clear from my work that I am not just about technique. =)

      I am SOLICITING your opinion:

      If I removed “her,” would you prefer that version? There are pros and cons to it:

      she bathed in her sweat just
      from breathing, shoulders
      rouge in the evening blaze

      she bathed in sweat just
      from breathing, shoulders
      rouge in the evening blaze

      • I prefer with the “her” as it seems more possessive / defining to me. It is not sweat, it is HER sweat.

        To be honest, my brain added “her” to both hope(s) and expectation, too. This “troubled” me. I concluded styles are just different. It seems I am more verbose that you.

        Another interesting aside (for me), posts come to me via email and I have to remember to click through to the original site. In the email, the image precedes the poem. On you post, the poem comes first. This simple transposition completely altered my initial emotional response to the work. My initial response was that you had cheated me (the reader) of my imagination. The text also came across rectangular.

        My response: “Yes” was to viewing the actual posting on the site.

        As I have never used images with my poems, this is something I will have to be more aware of when reading others’ works. I guess I am still seeing “a-space-b-r-o-w-n-space-c-o-w” after all.

      • “To be honest, my brain added “her” to both hope(s) and expectation, too. This “troubled” me. I concluded styles are just different. It seems I am more verbose that you.”

        FASCINATING, Kevin. And are you digging this? The facets of your mind/awareness you have been seeing the last few days?

      • So you see I don’t always write to inform. Yours is a question I think will fare better in the light of a forum, to open up to the readers. Such a great question! What is art? All my posts are self-expression. But they are careful. I have a standard. It doesn’t mean others don’t have one. But they write more freely. Part of the caution is to nail my intent. I want to get across exactly what I’m seeing.

      • I am mostly the opposite.

        There are two expressions (well, one saying and one expression) I learned in the military:
        1) no plan survives first contact with the enemy; and,
        2) the fog of war.

        Generally, I write to create an impression, a framework, for you to imagine (or find) your own detail. The reader’s response is beyond my control. “Control” of the reader is an illusion.

        If I have any intent, it is usually to create a sense of alternative possibilities in the reader’s mind.

        This is why I try to make only the briefest of comments about any quote I post.


      • “I write to create an impression, a framework, for you to imagine (or find) your own detail.”

        Well….this is a viable intention.
        And I’m not trying to control anyone’s response. That’s pretty nuts. (I know you weren’t being negative.)

        By intention, I was referring to a focus one has in writing – not aimlessness.

      • I guess I misunderstood your (and S. King’s) words. I thought the use of precise language was to create a visceral reaction in the reader for the purpose of leading them through the rest of the story / poem?

        I have not read much of King’s writing (Carrie and Salem’s Lot), but my reaction to both works I have read was exactly as you describe / quote from his book on writing. (Maybe I will have to pick up a copy…)

        I don’t think an effort to control a reader’s response is “nuts”. That is what most of political advertising tries to do. Movies, TV, video games, photography, etc. If there is any difference, it is in your choice of medium (wordsmith) rather than some other art form.

        You are correct. I don’t mean these comments in a negative / accusatory sense – merely as an observation of my previous experience with trying to express ideas precisely. The more precise, the more difficult.

        One of my favorite sayings used to be: “When words are used precisely, they mean exactly what they say.” To which one of my bosses replied: “Until they don’t.”

        He meant prevarication, but there is a more general truth in his response. I can control what I say, but I cannot control what you hear, understand, or your reaction to my communication.

        This is also a part of the inherent beauty I find in words.

        And I would NEVER wish to imply your writing was anything but focused. Your “skill” and “aimlessness” are non sequitur. (Unless you were referring to me? LOL!)

        Thank you, again, for another fascinating conversation!

      • Rather than explain King, whose only book I’ve read is the On Writing for writers, I best refer you to a copy. And that’s what King was saying when he quoted in it the best advice he ever got: Write with the door shut, and rewrite with the door open. At first you write for yourself. Once you release it, it’s no longer yours, but the reader’s.

        “thought the use of precise language was to create a visceral reaction in the reader for the purpose of leading them through the rest of the story / poem?”

        Hmmm. I have never aimed at any reaction. Not once. But gracious readers have told me how affected they’ve been. I did just say to a supporter who asked for some guidance in better blogging:

        I write from the deep places. From conviction. I explore in my posts the things that excite me to insomnia and blow the warmth out of my lunch bc I’m catching them on the napkin at the restaurant. Sometimes I see online “…ramblings….I wasn’t sure what to post today….yada yada.” I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, YOUR time, with even a sentence like this. Go right to the heart. Yours to your readers’. If what you’re writing doesn’t light up your eyes, you can’t expect it to ignite anyone else.

        And I trust (hope) you meant NONaimlessness ;). Thanks for the praise. You’ve given me yummy food for post thought!

      • 🙂

        No. Your skill and aimlessness makes no sense. Your skill and NONaimlessness makes perfect sense. Now you’ve made me feel like I have to go look up non sequitur, to see if I used it correctly!

        LOL! 🙂

      • Kmabarrett, in asking if I ever read/write ‘merely to express” or just for the pleasure of it, you were implying it’s a viable option – which it most certainly is (and yes, which of course I do. But appreciating the technique deepens the beauty for me.) So you leave me to wonder: would you LIKE me to write a bit more aimlessly? Do you enjoy other (people’s) writing that is less purposeless than mine? Do you feel you do get more bang for your buck (value per time) from me than someone who’s rambling random thoughts? I am not fishing for kudos. It is a logical curiosity that follows your question. And it helps me on the Art post I’ve been inspired to work on.

      • Your writing is beautiful and I would not change it a bit. I found the garage door story enormously funny (and a bit close to home).

        There are two scenes in the movie: “The Last Samurai” which remain with me… In the first, the general tries to define discipline for the America. He says – this is a paraphrase, not a quote, “A man may spend his whole life in pursuit of the perfect cherry blossom and even if he does not find it, it is a life well spent.” Finally, just as he is dying he looks up to see a tree losing its blossoms and says, “They are all perfect.”

        If you ask me for a preference, it would only be that you write more. More frequently, more purposefully, more aimlessly… The choice is yours. They are all perfect.

        Now, if you wrote, “2day I m 2 tired 2 write” (once). I would find it funny coming from you. More than three times in a row, annoying. More than ten in a row and I would probably unfollow. Not because the expression is any less valuable for repetitions sake, but because I already have come to expect more from you. “From each according to their ability.”


      • LOL! LOL!!

        Kevin, you and your way with words. As I mentioned (perhaps not very clearly!), it was a broader question of art I was asking. Your answer – again – is a most interesting one. Subjective. In any event, I’ll save the thoughts you have prompted for the post I hope sees light in a week or two.

        What an exquisite scene and quote on the dying blossoms. I can just see. It’s been so long since I watched the movie.

        I shared with my husband your movie reference and the sweet, sweet response to my writing.


      • All things in their time… Any pressure you feel is your own. You are not competing for time; you are contributing to a life well spent (mine!).


      • I did not miss it! And, thank you very much! As far as I know, that is the first time I’ve been quoted in another blog. I’ve had my blog mentioned / linked / awarded, etc, but that’s the first for me personally.

        What an interesting emotional reaction it has generated… a mixture of pride, humility and laughter (joy).

        Namaste 🙂

      • Proof again, that no matter how well crafted, a post, once released, is in the mind of the reader.

        We are rarely in the position to judge the impact or profoundness (profundity) of our posts.

      • Kevin, you helped me understand better why some bloggers – at least you – post a lot of quotes. You’re the first one I’m admitting this to: I had a confused bias against such blogging because for my time on those sites, I have been left to wonder, “Where is the original work??” I didn’t get why those bloggers were racking up likes on someone else’s thoughts. Through our talks, I hAve come to see that at least with you they are thoughtful postings. Having said this, I would love to see more of your own work. You really do have a way with words and I think you’re shorting yourself and your readers by gesturing to others.

      • My quotes started off as a collection (posting) of items from books I was reading or had read. My intent was to gently prod any reader (of my blog) to possibly go find the original.

        Over time, I started including quotes from my journal and from other blogs or websites.

        I feel a bit like the child on the beach finding little stones and shells of particular interest to me, which I am gathering in my little bucket (my blog) to show to my friends.

        I don’t know if you were following me back in May, but here’s a posting to look at: http://kmabarrett.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/undiscovered-ocean/

        Thanks for the complement on my own work. I try to do that as much as I can, but, time constraints being what they are, I’m usually limited to only two or three per month. I flatter myself to think that (occasionally / rarely) my own offerings are as shiny as some of the quotes.


      • My husband says I can’t control how some phones and tablets format some posts. I wrestled with the lines over an hour. When I clicked PREVIEW just before posting, the words I wanted dangling off the edge rubberbanded themselves back into the poem (westward instead of hanging toward the right of the page). After finally getting the format right, I was so bummed to see on Hubby’s phone that those words still didn’t quite tail themselves out.

        I will bear in mind your and Savioni’s input on the image for poems in the future.

      • We do what we can and accept that the universe is full of quirks. No worries (about the images)! I’m making it a practice to go to the original site rather than view from only my email.


  1. Kmabarrett, I figured you meant “nonpareil.” Sounds like I’m flattering myself — but I just got it from the context and the non. 😉 Thanks, either way. Golden praise from a golden heart. And I fixed the problem. It was bc my comments were nested so many levels deep. Staff said nesting is for blogs that don’t get a lot of comments. I don’t quite like it this way, all straight, but the narrowing was awful.

    • Thanks, edgarone2. I’m just getting back into poetry, as the “bereft: poetry reborn” explains. I was pushing myself to flout all that line breaks have to offer. I enjoyed my own visit today, btw.

  2. She must have breathed hard,
    In the evening.
    And you wonder about such women,
    Who hope like this
    As the rain fell for no good reason,
    And the sun stared.
    But, I wonder now as the decisive rain
    Disarmed the sun, which grammatically
    Stuttered, but did the rain not drench her
    Or was it the sun, or did she smile both
    Because of the disarming rain
    And the staring sun?
    By this image, I see no expectation,
    But indulgence.
    I see no men or women lovers
    Or perhaps, a woman simply loves herself
    In the in-between.
    For beauty has a waiting list
    And a line, which apparently
    She is not conscious,
    Or at least not interested.
    May she always be free to choose
    And not be burdened.

    • Sv, beautiful as always. Love the ending. What an interesting, interesting interpretation. Where do you see indulgence? How does beauty have a waiting list and is it distinct from the line? You mean a line of suitors?

      • I saw indulgence in her hands outstretched (pic). And I corrected for the uncertainty in my mind as to whether a waiting list would be enough for a line. I think as writers, we are writing until we are corrected. We are social animals, as least we should be and this is a theme I am thinking to discuss about artists and their need to get together and be less afraid of others stealing. We need to help each other to battle the corporate world, or perhaps to support it to do what is morally correct.

    • Savioni: Oh, I guess you meant “her” in the poem. Hey, did you end up getting my response to kmabarrett? I’ve had to remove the thread nesting, which Staff told me is for blogs that don’t get a lot of comments. The comments were narrowing ridiculously, becoming unreadable. But because I’ve removed the feature that organizes comments back to a particular reader, I’m concerned that innocent commenters could be bothered by a reply intended for someone else.

  3. Pingback: A Paraphrase/Response to Diana, The Holistic Wayfarer’s poem “Disarmed the Sun,” posted Aug 9, 2013 | Musings

  4. 1. A child is oft simply a young adult.
    2. We agreed that removing the word “her” was not just a solicitation, but a commandment.
    3. I see “blaze” was removed too, and it sounds better in this context, I am not sure how it bodes in the actual poem.
    4. Possessing is implied; we know it is her sweat, she is alone throughout and thus your brain kmabarrett (KWA) added “her.” Verbose would be the key if “her” was kept.
    5. The image does qualify the interpretation, which is a problem for using images that don’t actually reflect all the aspects of the poem/work, and may in fact add more than was intended. And I too agree with KWA about cheating the reader by providing an image.
    6. I think the “fascination” is less about the techinque but about the fact that words posed in this way implies that interpretation. You say something and that is what it means. Language is just how you use it.
    7. What is art, you imply that it is the result of being careful, of reaching standards. It implies intent is nailed. To get across exactly what you are seeing. Tolstoy called it sharing the artist’s emotion.
    8. No plan survives first contact with the enemy, could this be the reader? In the fog of language there is the interaction of writers’ intent and readers’ impressions of the facts, grammatic facts, where KWA writes to create an impression for the reader within which to view the experience. In the reading, the reader finds or makes up her own detail. This is beyond KWA’s control and he says having such control is an illusion to which I agree – language may seem definite. His intent is with creating the sense of alternatives.
    9. KWA was not being negative. He is kind and communicative
    10. Your intention HW is focused.
    11. KWA says he thought the use of prcise langauge was to create a visceral reaction, for the purpose of leading. I want to address teh issue of precise langauge, where one can write with precision, precisley saying what was intending which is hard enough, but then that communication is left to the mind of the reader to have the same experience with those words. I don’t think that is possible and I believe people are lifted off the page with certain words and the script has to follow a universal logic finding reference in language and with previous or possible experience to the find justification of an existence in the readers’ imaginagion.
    Aiming for a particular reaciton is unwise becaue I believe that the muse, if we listen closely, is providing an important message that synthesizes reality with intent to touch the heart cathartically, because the writer’s observation is timely and original.
    And when we share from ‘deep places,” and through exitement you haven’t wasted anyone’s time, which of course shouldn’t matter. People are interested or not. They can read or not.
    This also leaves me cautious, because a man like Shakespeare, for example, probably planned everything, like God, such that we have no other alternative reality except to see what he is showing and go where he is leading.
    12. “Merely to express,” where an appreciation for the expression completes the communicative desire to be heard.
    13. Which is better? To write more aimlessly, less purposefully vs. rambling? I don’t think this matters, so long as the output touches the reader/listener, who may enjoy a running monologue or not, for example. I am sure the writer’s intent is at issue, but what the reader views is his perfect cherry blossom or not.
    14. KWA is correct in advocating more writing. Julia Cameron, author of the Artist’s Way advocated focusing on quantity and not quality because you can always edit later, this implies however moving toward perfection.
    13. You cannot know what readers are getting from your writing unless they give you a blow-by-blow of that they are thinking as they read, which is fun for the writer.
    15. How do you get rid of nesting comments?

    • 1. I forget now the possible redeeming value of the “her.” Soon after I deleted it, I saw it was better without. It is precisly because it would be no one’s sweat but hers that I wanted to delete it. So very tired at the time of posting, I was frustrated to see in the preview (just before the click of ‘publish’) that the words I wanted hanging off the edge of the lines would not cooperate. I wrestled with the formatting for over an hour and finally got it to how I wanted it with the help of the friend who set me up on WPress. The next day I saw I could do without “her.” I think I’d been distracted by the formatting trouble the night before. But remember, I’m allowed to miss the blue-moon blip in integrity. I’m only human. Nowhere did I say I was perfect. I also went back and not only added to the Save Spit post you read a while back but made minor improvements. Am always revising. You should get the Stephen King. I requested Sin & Syntax from the library.

      Chk out the quote on King:

      15. Dashboard, Settings, Discussion. I settled on nesting my threads 3 levels down. A good compromise. Going too deeply will narrow the comments ridiculously.

      That must be all for now. Long day tmrw.

    • 3. Kept the blaze that provided the explanatory context of a sun that needed disarming.
      5. I told Kmb I’ll bear the influence of the image in mind for future poems. Thx. The photo conveyed something close to what I was seeing.
      7. “What is art, you imply that it is the result of being careful, of reaching standards.” Not strictly. In fact, not so with a lot of what I see on the blogs (not saying that’s for better or worse.) Am working on the post.
      8, 11. I told him I have never sought to control anything on the part of the reader or lead him, her to a reaction. I just went as far as to say in WHY WE READ that it is good to take care that the writer resonate in the reader. HOW s/he does is up to the reader and depends on his, her own story. I planned to allude to the artists of highest caliber in the new post. I don’t think the reader is straight-jacketed to Shakespeare’s interpretive architecture.
      14. I wonder if J Cameron had kids. The rah rah on quantity to get to quality applies more readily to those who can squeeze the extra hour from their day that the centripetal forces of time snatch out of my reach. I know there is merit to the method. I am just way in over my head against time to be rambling to myself in the hopes of spinning some gold.

  5. The page mapping enhances the trepidation of the subject’s optimism and expectation. In contrast to the layout the poem scans fluidly (without implying a pun with rain and sweat). I enjoyed this smiling and very feminine piece. Well done.

    • Mike, you did it again: the flourish of insightful, poetic comment your readers appreciate you for. I can feel how you “got it.” Oh my, thank you for the thoughtful reading and follow. I sincerely look fwd to writing together.

  6. Magnetic. I also really enjoyed the layout of this, especially at the end when I had to chase expectation across the page, it really served the flow well. Such a visual poem, I truly love reading anything that elicits such wonderful images in my own imagination. Beautifully done, thank you for this.

    • Hi, Michael. I’ll take magnetic. =) What thoughtful feedback – but it only came from the thoughtful read. I really appreciate your time and pledge of support. Welcome to this amazing community of artists and thinkers.


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