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ballad of my belly

July 29, 2008

ARTLIFE LImited Editions published this as a broadside on its back cover– my hennaed pregnant belly with a line of this 315 Experiment poem scribed.

ballad of my belly ARTLIFE 2003

ballad of my belly ARTLIFE 2003

moving quickly abruptly
the belly tugs the baby pulls
the light to go on
the alarm to go off

in the frantic moments
the belly forgotten
cries out in pain
specifies attention

the alarm off the light on
the pillows stacked pen in hand
the belly calms
the baby awake now

rhythmic kicks press
the duvet rises falls
a kick now too on the right side
the freight train rocks our world

it is not a time for sudden movements
battling alarms blinding lights
but of sensuality, snuggles
languid moments

i can’t help but soap my belly
run my hand around and around
the big pregnant curve
the full heavy breasts

i have always been self-conscious of my belly
but now i am not afraid
of its possible protuberance to the world
my belly is there to be noticed

it has a life of its own
and people want to touch it
caress it feel the life inside
we oblige my belly and i

for months now i don’t look in the mirror
wonder about my belly–am i too fat?
instead my husband massages it
with the finest oils, coos

my belly has never been happier than now
with a life of its own
when the baby is gone
the belly will miss all the attention

the attention that will move to the breasts…

(You may have noticed that it’s 10 4 line stanzas plus a single line stanza. Most pregnancies last 40 weeks, often considered 10 “moons” long. The form of the poem was completely unconscious; the poem here is posted exactly as it was written at 3:15 am on August 2; I didn’t edit it ever into this form.)

Join the 315 Experiment–we start writing at 315am Friday August 1!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2008 2:07 am

    How freaky that your unconscious gave it such a significant form. And it’s so full of anticipation, even as the narrator enjoys the now of the pregnancy.

  2. July 29, 2008 3:16 am

    Amazing. It’s a wonderful belly poem. I don’t think I’ve ever read an Ode on one’s belly before, but that is wonderful. Synchronicities are signposts.

  3. July 29, 2008 3:34 am

    ah yes indeed it is much more of an ode than a ballad. there is a bit of a battle there between the belly and the speaker but the speaker loves the belly too much to give it much of a battle. instead of the death of one, they end up enraptured, eh?

  4. July 29, 2008 4:49 pm

    Felt as if I was there… in spirit of course. ;)

  5. July 29, 2008 6:58 pm

    This brings back so many memories — it’s so detailed and the tone is exactly right. The strangest thing I’ve ever seen is the point of a small elbow moving across the width of my wife’s belly when she was pregnant with my oldest son.

  6. July 29, 2008 9:07 pm

    This is awesome! It brought back all sorts of great memories that I’d buried, and the format…cool. I dig the 3:15 poetry thing.

  7. July 30, 2008 8:40 pm

    I love the bit about not being self-conscious any more… that the curves become something to be cherished. And “my belly and I oblige” is very sweetly smug!


  1. Virtual Reading & Sample Poems from Middle of the Night (en theos press 2011) « art predator

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