Observing the Details

For dVerse Poets today we have the delightful opportunity to share the watercolour sketches of one of the founding members, Claudia Schönfeld, and use them as an inspiration for our poetry. I can really relate to what Claudia has to say about slowing down and really observing things carefully:

I tend to be unfocused and unconcentrated at times and I’m not very good with details. Sometimes I just don’t see the things around me. Sketching (and also poetry) forces me to focus and really look at things.

Sketch by Claudia Schoenfeld.
Sketch by Claudia Schoenfeld.

So, I’ve used Claudia’s sketch of her favourite bag as a reminder to myself to really notice the details. And to do a better job of describing them in my poetry. Except that I chose to describe a pair of scissors below rather than a bag.



Despite my name I seldom rustle

nor susurrate with soothing ease…

Instead I syncopate with my right arm,

terminate with my stronger left.

You think me lop-sided, a cripple, but

I’m the master of Swiss efficiency.

No rust, no weakness,

I’m black and grey,

Grown-up and perfectly sober.

Yet in the pivot point I turn crimson,

a drop of blood

in a lifetime of running with scissors.

I cut and clip,

core of action

Hair, ties, rope – it’s all the same to me,

Trenchant with wire, swift with threads.

Do I repel you with my sharpness?

When I come out, there’s no going back,

quick-fire clack of job well done.

Just one flaw:

gratuitous green plastic handle

touched by so many children that I now

give off marshmallow sweetness.

For more colourful sketches and witty poems, please go and visit the Pub. It’s a wonderful respite in the middle of your week!

32 thoughts on “Observing the Details”

  1. ha. which is not so bad a smell…but when it leaves the fingers stick…errr….smiles…nice use of words…love syncopate and trenchant…and the voice of the bag is pretty cool as well….

    1. I love marshmallows… but sadly, it was not a metaphorical sweet stickiness – my sons seem to have an inability to eat without getting their hands dirty all the way up to the elbows…

  2. How delightful in the ending ~Sometimes appearances can be so deceiving and in art, we are able to show the core of us ~ Good to see you Marina ~

  3. Marina Sofia – What a terrific look at the different sides of the bag – and of our nature. I think if we simply slow down and LOOK, we see that just about everything has more than one dimension.

  4. What an in depth look at a scissors! You have shown its strength as well as its diversity of tasks. I enjoyed the very sweet ending!!

  5. Scissors can be sharp but, they can create unique shapes out of paper cutting hearts or snowflakes..it’s all about perspective I guess..nicely done..the ending
    made me think of smores…not sure why it must be the marshmallows.

  6. I have used the same picture for a second poem but did not deal with scissors! I have always been hopeless with scissors and cannot cut a straight line.

  7. The portion about /running with scissors/ elevates the simplicity & sharpness into a psychological, even spiritual realm; nice departure from other takes out on the trail. I loved your comment left at my site (as well as our prologue to this poem). It would be a gas to compare out various states of Noir.

    1. I may take you up seriously on that offer – I do read a LOT of crime fiction, with noir being my poison of choice… Thank you for your kind words – and yes, running with scissors – a dangerous sport or habit or frame of mind!

  8. haha… love the marshmellow sweetness there in the close… and the master of Swiss efficiency…. ha.. you know… that is really cool… i don’t own a swiss pair or scissors but a swiss army knife… swiss efficiency as well…cool write marina

    1. These are the army tanks of scissors – nothing will crush them, nothing will blunt them! Thank you for sharing your sketches so generously with us and for inspiring us.

  9. Well, now I must take a better look at my scissors. Love your detailed description, the smell at the end. I too am guilty of not noticing details. Your poem is a good message and lesson for me.

    1. I was staring and staring at them and thinking: ‘What on earth can I say about a pair of scissors?’ It all seems so blatantly obvious. But then… quite a lot came out.

  10. I love how you rounded it off with reference to sticky fingers transferring the stickiness to the handle, the lot of a mother and her handbag I would say. Great take on this painting Marina.

  11. What a good descriptive poem of a handbag; I am amazed how Claudia’s artwork has reached into our creativity today resulting in such deft writing and poetry…love the ending!

  12. I imagined the scissors being inside Claudia’s FREITAG bag. Very cool, thinking outside the bag on this one. Loved the ending too, despite your sticky fingers.

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