Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Year's End

"A Year's End"

It is quiet at this year's end.
Winter whispers through heavy coats.
I lace your boots. You catch your finger
in my loose curl.

The prairie isn't white
like we imagined.
Through dead leaves we see
a hidden sun, lost mitten
the drawbridge we scaled last summer.

You are six and know the language
of distant fields, the sudden surprise
of purple branches
praying to ice.

You have come to know the beauty
in what has been lost:
the way your hair curled at three
the child you were before you learned
the names of things--

the woman I was before
I carried you through three seasons
then set you free
before winter.


The waves turn toward a season's
end: pink sky, snow remnants.
The shore holds the place
where water turns back. You've found a shell;
just as quickly you let it go.

Wet sand covers our boots.
I've folded the stray curl inside my hat.
Your laces make thin trails back
from sacred places.

Land, sky and shore touch
the force of December waves.
This is how a page turns
a year ends
a mother loves.

-Dina Elenbogen from Apples of the Earth

Several years ago, when we lived in Chicago, Dan was an events coordinator for a book store. Every week, he would organize readings by various authors - some popular, some not. Every week, I would leave campus after my courses ended, head to the store and pretend to be an anonymous attendee so that there was at least one person sitting in the crowd besides the employees. (I wasn't very good at this -I'm a terrible liar - and once very blatantly gave myself away when talking to an author). Some of them were extremely interesting, like Buddhist monk from Toronto who led a meditation session and discussed his spiritual teacher's writings. Others were famous writers such as Audrey Niffenegger (she was interesting too). My favorite of these events though, was a poetry reading by Dina Elenbogen.

I found myself very moved by her work, most especially this poem. She so beautifully describes how we come to perceive our constantly shifting selves as a result of reflection on our developing personal histories, both as parents and children. I was also touched by the inscription she wrote in the copy of Apples of the Earth that Dan bought for me. I was too shy to approach her, so he did it without my knowledge and told her that I also wrote poetry. In the book she wrote "For Kelley- fellow poet. With best wishes for your poetry." It was so very kind and came at a time when I had little confidence in anything I produced.


As you can see, I'm back from a short hiatus. This poem is apt for the occasion because what I want to do with my blog is shifting, and I'm not completely sure what direction it will take. I'm going to keep taking some outfit photos, but would like to do other things like regular poetry posts. I think its good for me to step away when I need to, explore other endeavors and decide if I want to continue blogging. I'd hate for this wonderful hobby to become a chore and wouldn't want to waste anyone else's (or my) time with something I don't enjoy. I'll be posting regularly again now. Thanks for all of the supportive comments and messages I've received -- and the compliments on my new hair-do:) I really appreciate all of you so much.


  1. Beautiful poem and story. So glad you are back :)

  2. I would love regular poetry posts! Poetry is just so wonderful.
    Speakiing of wonderful poetry, this poem is really stunning, I'm going to have to look up some of her other work.

  3. thank you so much for sharing this amazing poem as well as the story about the poet!

    I think that it is amazing the fact that you are deciding to shift your blog because a blog should reflect the person's evolution and change going on in their lives. Its organic and natural to change and I think that this change you are embarking on is amazing and feels both natural and awesome!

  4. That's a really lovely poem. Please don't stop blogging - this is one of my fav blogs :) Looking forward to seeing the new direction you take x

  5. I'm usually not a poetry fan, but this was beautiful I loved the reoccuring theme of boots and curls to convey age and journeys.

    your husband's old job sounds really cool. how did he land a job like that? it sounds like something I'd love to do!

    I'm looking forward to the new blog posts. As much as I love your outfits, I love to see what every girl has to offer besides cute outfits.

  6. What a beautiful poem. It kind of just took my breath away! I am kind of feeling the same way about my blog too. I love the idea of expanding your blog topics! I have been sort of feeling boxed in with my topic as well and may branch a litte bit too:) I loved doing hair. I love helping people and creating something beautiful. What I didn't like was that it could be very emotionally draining and hard on my wrists. I think the best route is being an apprentice and never work for a chain ever. I feel there are a lot of drama queens in this business, probably that is a problem in other professions. Lot's of gossip and salon drama happened in most of the salons I worked in. Another aspect is you are deaing with a lot of chemicals on a daily basis and most salons do not offer vacation pay or health insurance in my experience.

  7. Your laces make thin trails back from sacred places.

    That's so gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. :)

  8. I love the poem... thanks for sharing. And I can't wait to read your works. You can still blog about your outfits and make your poems the theme of the post. Just a suggestion my dear. Didn't I say in my intro of you that your blog is like poetry in pictures? Wouldn't it be awesome to really read your poems with the usual outfit posts included?

    Happy Easter Kelley Anne! xoxo

  9. I'd love to see some regular poetry inclusions, that'd be great :)

    Glad to see you back.

    Ella x

  10. beautiful poem....really beautiful.

    i'm back from my road trip and i feel tired/unmotivated/exhausted. i'm not sure why b/c the trip itself was wonderful...sigh....

    i hope you are doing well. i love to see poetry on here...and maybe more of your photography too? you know i am a bug fan!


  11. Beautiful poem, thank you for sharing. A fashion and poetry blog would certainly be a unique and wonderful gem in the blogsphere - your taste in poetry is great, I look forward to reading more finds :)

  12. Hi sweet girl....I've missed you! Hope you're enjoying your Easter Sunday & not eating too many eggs & candy! That poem is beautiful & moving. Thank you for sharing. I read you loud & clear in your post about shifting gears & deciding which direction you want to take with your blog. I think the poetry would be a breath of fresh air & I enjoy it immensely. Hang in there....I'm sure whatever you decide to do, your readers will enjoy it & you!

  13. I missed your posts!
    Glad to see you're back. And yes, please, more poetry :)

  14. Hi there,

    Hope you had a lovely Easter break, thank you so much for posting that beautiful poem and sharing about the author.

    We do change and focus changes, go with it and hopefully we can come along too.

    xoxo DJ

  15. Thank you so much for posting my poem. I am so moved by your story and the comments of your friends. Was it just a coincidence or did you know that April 1st is my birthday?
    You've created a wonderful blog.
    Thank you. Dina Elenbogen
    it says Sarina at the top because it is my daughter's account1


I'd love to hear your thoughts!