When skin has grown too thin


concerning life, recall
the skin etches one molecule at a time
until tissue-paper thin – the vein
crawls towards what’s left

a single day when melodies
turn craven to relentless timpani
an ever-slowing heart
when green turns red
not even 100 000 Volts
booming with an arching back
can grow a thickness to his skin

carmoisine and amber lights
then silence

they say his hair and nails will grow
a little bit afterwards —
but really it’s the tissue shrinking
when skin has grown too thin

Today at dVerse we should pick a line from a specific poem by Brian, or one by Claudia. The second line in my poem is picked from Brian’s “If I stay”
The prompt goes up at noon, and you can link up at 3PM EST.

30 responses to “When skin has grown too thin

  1. i wanna stop stretching myself so thin though…ha…
    my gramma, the back of her hand seems like tissue paper…
    its going to be interesting to see all the different directions this goes….

  2. Ah, I suppose this is a glimpse of the future we don’t want to think about….that ever-slowing heart and the thinning of skin…and then the silence!

  3. this reminded me of the lord of the ring when bilbo says that he feels stretched thin as if you spread little butter on too much bread…. we need to be careful not to stretch us too thin…

  4. How did you guess? This overly thin skin is one of my obsessions in poetry as in life. I think of it as onion slithers – but mean it in a very different way to your rather terminal version of it here…

  5. Goodness, I admire the capture of the hand ~ this imagery is particularly strong:

    a single day when melodies
    turn craven to relentless timpani

  6. Wow…I am struck by the colors mentioned and the shortness of the poem, both being very effective. Just the thought of the too thin skin and the decaying process enough to wake a reader up, no need to say more. But the azo compound in the yellow, red, and green colors adds a new dimension for me..they bleed in such a grainy, resplendent way…food for thought.

  7. 3D visuals and a musical score to go with – the essence of life lived to the one thin line pulling away from the nails, teeth, and body pulling away from the soul. Kudos, excellent!

  8. Wow, brother, the macabre Poe mind-set, with the soft deft touch of Frost, but the strength & balls of Raymond Carver; a romantic death rattle; very impressive, sir. Grace picked my favorite line with the /relentless timpani/ & yes, you used colors masterfully.

  9. I asked my dermatologist if anything could be done about the fragility of my skin… no. This struck home, Bjorn… but I read an electrocution into the second stanza.

  10. I have been looking forward to reading this since earlier when you commented on mine. This has both a darkness and a shocking reality to it (honestly, no puns intended).
    My favorite lines:
    “a single day when melodies
    turn craven to relentless timpani”
    the way you’ve captured how heart that has lost it’s rhythm.
    Also like “when the skin has grown too thin” which truly visualizes the parchment paper skin of the elderly,
    Only one who has seen and is familiar with such things can write something like this. Really well captured, Bjorn.

  11. Yes, we stretch ourselves too thin in our prime and then when we age, payback is served. So well you combined death and dying – the detail about the gums shrinking….should be macabre but was not.

  12. You made me think of my 95 year old mother in law. Her skin is translucent and every time she sees her arms, she is surprised that she’s so old. Also made me think of a close relative who’s undergoing chemotherapy. You made me think. That’s what a good poem can do.

  13. This is amazing, Bjorn- the skin etching one molecule at a time and the skin growing too thin- brings up aging and dying and the fact that we can’t change any of it. Yet it’s perfect.

  14. “carmoisine and amber lights then silence” – What an image as one races towards that rumored bright, white light. Great line of poetry!

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