Where have these old hands come from?

For my wrists are still young

With smooth brown skin

Underneath layers of long sleeves

Tucked inside cuffs of fabric

Protected from abrasion


Firm wrists, supple, yes

Now, attached to deserts—hands  

Showing ripples from sands

Grey reflected waves

Oceanic tides of dry sky ways

pale moonscape dunes

Bare upon the surface,


High above my hands,

Arms of softness and will

Whose definition, a lost and found of

Strength, reflected by a thousand instances

Along timelines of attraction

Forever pulling my grip up,

Out of rejection into touch

Balanced by bony mass

Intertwined with vessels


My hands hold ground

Picking up dust, layers found

years, polished and tarnished

A rough silver, black geography

Of film, a celluloid life soot

Upturned, exposed indexes

Fingers of palms, bared to catch

Hold, caress, passion’s heat hatch

Now I am ashy, burnt and keloid

If I pick up fire, I will not feel pain


Perhaps, my hands have

Brushed against the wind too often

Saved too many of my falls

Answered endless phone calls

Worked on many projects

Eyes, ears, mouth, checked

Over touched, always touching

To a slippery comfort, clutching


I clench my fists

One more time

All wrinkles and softness fade

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Clench

  1. 121minutes says:

    Nice love the symmetry between the earth and the flesh

    Liked by 2 people

  2. TheOriginalPhoenix says:

    This is so well written!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowwrites says:

    exfoliators, moisturizers, and masks work wonders to cover over roughened skin…
    wonderful words 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful! I can see the hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rebecca says:

    This pulled me in so immediately and I was delighted by your words! I, too, have the “fire” hand and, in fact, your picture looks just like my hand!. Excellent, excellent job!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jon says:

    That was a GREAT poem! Interesting analogies with what hands do. Keep it up!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This, my Dear, is timeless! There are numerous protege’s of you and i number I as 1 (hyuk!) and therefore I ask thee when you shall forebear my self and then they all will know that it is so. Bye!


  8. The Old Man says:

    An old fist may not show the wrinkles ~ but it cannot hide the weakness


  9. Frank Prem says:

    Lovely work Elan. An excellent contemplation.



    Liked by 1 person

  10. oldepunk says:

    Incredible poem Elan. I so enjoy your work. You are a master craftsman and an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Misha says:

    Wow this poem is so beautiful! You have true talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Rae Longest says:

    Incredibly beautiful. One of your best.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. dornahainds says:

    Such excellent beauties, beauty of revelations and experiences. 🌹🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  14. sittingpugs says:

    Reading this poem is like watching a Martha Graham or Alvin Ailey dance.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. belocchio says:

    I held my breath as I read. Words wrap around me. I am gone. Thank you, Virginia

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Hand(le) With Care – Tell Me More…

  17. grantman says:

    Wow…. Loved this…at the end had me staring at these old hands of mine and rethinking all of the places we have been…. Happy Holidays…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Leina K says:

    This is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Mel Gutiér says:

    I think my brain is weird because I have a whole novel planned out just from reading this work of art. Loved my walk. Thanks Elan.


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