Sunday, October 27, 2013

Guest Poet: message in a bottle?

Fellow poet-blogger Wendy Bourke has a clear, distinct voice, her work ranging from light and humorous to poignant and wise—all of it relatable and with vivid details. Thought you might enjoy reading a poem she posted recently at Words and Words and Whatnot, one of her three blogs:

message in a bottle?

there’s a shelf 
near my tub,
piled with baffling mixtures 
of potions and oils,
extracts and elixirs –

to renew  
and restore, 
reinvent and refine: 
olive butter my body 
and  . . . 
mint julep my mind.

there are masks for my eyes  
and cheeks . . . 
chin, neck and nose . . .
and a bottle that offers me: 
strawberry toes.

little gifts, through the years,  
from my dear ones to me  –
selected, and given with thought, lovingly.

a shiny assortment of jars, tubes and bling – 
all, to boost and diminish, 
define, hide and cling.

a magnificent, fine, alchemistic array.
though, I wonder:  
what is it, they’re trying to say.

“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.”  - Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Moral Essays, Volume III:  de Feneficiis.

—copyright Wendy Bourke, 2013; reposted here with permission from author


  1. Thank you, so much, for featuring my poem on your blog, Janet. As a fan of your work – in particular, your ability to create lovely, insightful captures that resonate with human warmth and observation – I am truly touched by your gracious, sharing gesture!

  2. Thank you for allowing me to - and for your too-kind words also! j.

  3. Wonderful tongue-in-cheek irony. Love the quote from Seneca.

  4. thanks for commenting, jenny. yes, about the irony! (and the quote certainly is fitting here.)

  5. Love this. No matter what we use, time keeps changing us. But, we keep trying to stall the change.


  6. thanks for posting, adelaide. hopefully wendy will see your comment here.