Against All Odds

Ethel Mortenson Davis

Your cheek
is against
the universe.

I see you
in the plumed
desert flower
that has blossomed
because of many
winter snows,
standing erect
against driving winds,

and in
the desert iris,
who takes her stand
against all odds.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

11 responses to “Against All Odds

  1. Imagery is striking and supports a message of stoic perseverance…a stubbornness we need to endure in the face of death.

  2. Scriptor Obscura

    Beautiful poem. I love the imagery.

  3. Simply beautiful! I love “Your cheek / is against / the universe.” (Love your succinct style.)

  4. Caddo Veil

    Oh, this is so gorgeous and compact–excellent, makes me envious. You do such lovely work.

  5. I very much agree with your previous respondents. This is a sparse yet beautiful poem – quite painful in a way but, as sfederle remarks, with a message of stoicism which I find offers hope.
    That opening is arresting: “your cheek is against the universe”. I wonder if that was your starting point, from which emerged the images of two desert flowers, or whether it was other way around, with that magical phrase arriving as a conclusion that you decided to place as a prefix?

  6. Gentle words with strong undertones, an excellent example of “less is more” in poetry writing…

  7. desert flower
    that has blossomed
    because of many
    winter snows,
    standing erect
    against driving winds

    –I love this part the most! 🙂

  8. What a great opening (“Your cheek is against the universe”) for this metaphor/comparison of this strong souled person to the two desert flowers who insist on surviving against all odds.

  9. I also love ‘Your cheek is against the universe’ very striking, and creates immediate interest. I liked the rest of the poem, but it wasn’t as metaphyical as the opening line. The poem could have been a more grandiose version of John Donne’s ‘Elegy XIX: To His Mistress Going to Bed’. Maybe you could write another version capitalising on our knowledge of the universe today.

  10. belladonna23

    I loved this, I felt like i was there with you, in the open desert air

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