Resolutions (Found Behind Old Ear)

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Resolution (Found Behind Old Ear)

Past years, I resolved to be oh so much better,
to learn what I’d stored up in what seemed less wetter
spots behind each of my ears–oh my dears–
experience, surely, would keep me from wrong,
(the way that it hadn’t the prior year long.)

But the truth is life’s short, and craves what it will.
Oh it wants, yes, it wants, really wants, its full fill.
This year I won’t bother to aim towards my lessening
but instead I here vow to seek out more blessening.

“No red wine”–that line has cast less than a ripple
on the pond of my life, the barest of stipple,
So. for now, I’m just going to plan on some tippling–
And since the word rhymes, let’s not forget nippling–

By that, I mean fitting your fingers ‘round mine–
and your lips and your heart and your patience divine–
(for flesh is just great, oh flesh is just fine–
yours so much warmer than even red wine–)

But when, through the years, you’ve dried ear-behinds–
you find that it’s also plain sweetness that binds–
sweetness of words, “I love you’s” at night
when one of you gets up and without any light
crashes a door on the way to the loo,
cursing the shoe, oh the shoe, the damn shoe,
but kissing its owner when slipping to bed,
kissing me even while rubbing your head–

Sweetness of words and sweetness of skies
(the ones that our skins stretch over our sighs)
but also the great one that holds us intact
beneath its bright blues and its sterling black,
that arcs high above us though we will look down
as we  try each to keep one shod foot above ground.

*************************************

Here’s a kind of silly poem for the prompt by the wonderful Kerry O’Connor on With Real Toads about resolutions.  (Sorry for the old drawing, if you’ve seen before.)  

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45 Comments on “Resolutions (Found Behind Old Ear)”


  1. My god-daughter has the copy of 1 Elephant that I bought, so I’ve re-ordered. If anyone reading this doesn’t yet have a copy, go to Amazon and get one – it’s fab!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Polly –that is so very kind of you. I saw that some had been ordered. I really appreciate it. I’ve been meaning to do some other picture book–true picture book–but right now am working on a children’s novel–a bit older–but doing the pictures. I’m not so sure about the novel, but I am really enjoying the pics. Thanks very very much for your support and hope 2014 is an infinitely better year for you. k.

  2. coalblack Says:

    This is so playfully and delightfully worded. I love it, it made my day, as did your comment on mine, for which I thank you.

    final thought: elephants have a lot of ear to be wet behind, yes?

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes! You know, if I’d had more time/drive, I thought of doing a drawing to illustrate just that point, but I remembered this older one and just decided to take the easier way out of reusing it. Thanks, Shay. k.

  3. thedovecot Says:

    Oh my goodness – I love this!
    Your writing style reminds me of A. A. Milne a bit. <3
    Sweet picture too!

  4. claudia Says:

    haha… i love that he kisses you even while his head hurts… and warm skin is def. better than red wine…though i like red wine a lot…smiles

  5. claudia Says:

    and i like the drawing as well….
    re our emails… i never erase… that’s it…it happens how it happens and i just go with all the crooked lines…ha…smiles

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes–the crooked lines work for you–so many times with water colors I have been working in a very illustrational way and so my biggest erasures come with trying to get the faces/expressions right. You know with the brush, one little drip can alter an eye or mouth in a way as to make it look wrong–that’s where the opaque white is super handy as you’ll hate to redo a whole thing for that. But I should branch out. Thanks, Claudia. k.

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    A beautiful love poem, Karin, and one full of all the best kinds of resolutions–the ones you keep without even knowing it. I love the curse of the shoes, the rhyme throughout, and the ever-fresh imagery, especially in this line: “… and sweetness of skies/(the ones that our skins stretch over our sighs)…”

  7. janehewey Says:

    ah. brilliant. I love reading this aloud, first quickly and then slowly. you have great skill with this, karin. I would love to take the excited feeling it brought me and write a poem myself. stippling, tippling, and nippling. fantastic adds to one’s life. Happy New Year. Thank you for exchanging poetry with me this year. I appreciate your reads, your writes, and your sensitive comments. Cheers!


  8. Oh I love this.. that shoe episode was hilarious .. though I guess it was less than fun when it happened… Have a very happy New year Karin

  9. grapeling Says:

    love the drawing. love the pen. it’s not silly, it’s skilly. :) Happy new year, Karin ~

  10. Brendan Says:

    Resolving to love in all the best ways, I think, dedicates one to crayoning outside all of the lines. A hoot of a poem Karin. May all of your blessenings come true.

  11. ds Says:

    A most blessened new year to you, karin, with much sweetness of words and skies. Love the poem, and love the drawing. Thanks so much for sharing them. Happy 2014!

  12. Sherry Marr Says:

    I love the rhythm of this, it reads wonderfully. Love the word repetition, and especially love the man bumping his head, but still kissing you when getting back into bed. So sweet.


  13. I love the rhythm and rhyme of this…I agree that it sounds fantastic when read out loud…

  14. Susan Chast Says:

    Fun fun seussian rhyming with ellegant foot and ear and finger play.
    I love the role of the great one in the final stanza too and the sky itself as the cover. Long may your shod feet walk the earth with your love. Happy New Year.

  15. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I find your rhymes to be really stylish and silly or not there is a lot of clear thinking in these lines. I love the warmth of the human touch better than red wine.

    Many thanks for your thoughtful response to my poem. I so appreciate that you took the time and shared such heart-felt encouragement. Your words mean a lot to me.

    You are so right about the blogs allowing us to communicate meaningfully with our readers and other writers, in fact it is far more gratifying than publishing a book which few will read. The interaction between countries and cultures is also an added bonus, as you say. My time spent on the blogs is part of my self-actualization – it’s soul food.

  16. Kim Nelson Says:

    Not so silly, this. Profound and uplifting, encouraging, too. Happiest 2014.


  17. This is so delightful, Karin. Great way to start 2014…may it be a happy year for you!

  18. Margaret Says:

    In almost 24 years of marriage my husband has never NOT put away hits shoes in the closet or NOT hung up his towel. Me on the other hand – well, lets say opposites attract. He never complains – just like your man who slips under the covers after tripping over the slipper :) Very sweet.


  19. I love your fun rhymes and the tone of your poem. Happy New Year to you!


  20. I loved your tenderness and cherishing allegory — I’d like this in my baby’s room, framed.. but I think memorizing it would be the best as one rocks her child far with the North Wind. You’re unbeatable ! HAPPY NEW YEAR Dear k~ Debbie

  21. isadoragruye Says:

    I adore this….well done Karen!

  22. kkkkaty1 Says:

    Nice and light and a pretty tone..love the bright blue arcs and sterling black sky and ‘blessenings’….as far as resolutions go, less is more…k.

  23. brian miller Says:

    i like the tender wisdom in those last few stanzas on it being the sweetness and love and care that means the most…i think any year i can walk away from feeling i have accomplished more of that might be a good one…


  24. I must be dense. I can’t find the book. May l have a signed copy for my granddaughter? Please contact me

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi Latonya–thanks so much. I should post it better on my blog, but I do not know how to put pictures on the sideboard. Will write you. Polly called the book 1 Elephant–it is actually called 1 Mississippi, but it has lots of little elephants in it. I am very bad at snailmail but can send you a free one–especially if you write a review on Amazon! (That is a joke! NO obligation!) Here is the link though so you can see it–http://www.amazon.com/1-Mississippi-Karin-Gustafson/dp/0981992307

      It does have nice pictures, I think, and is a very simple story. You can look inside on the amazon page. k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Actually — the link did not post properly. Here it is.

      http://www.amazon.com/1-Mississippi-Karin-Gustafson/dp/0981992307

      I think that will show up correctly. k.

  25. Lindy Lee Says:

    “Resolutions” reads along with rhyme & rhythm…


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