I’m Not as Harmless as I Look; a Glosa

Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with, take warning—I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Walt Whitman;  “Are You the New Person Drawn Toward Me?”

I see you casting your eyes at me, they darting
quickly away as I catch them alighting.
Do you find me fair and feel an attraction?
You pretend to read your paper while sitting
on that park bench during this pleasant spring day.
No words are being read by you under that Bay tree
though, as you do your best to disguise your glances.
I take note too; you’re handsomely composed
and I blush, feeling amused, while sipping herbal tea.
Are you the new person drawn toward me?

Do not let my appearance give you a false impression.
My manner, though sometimes demure, can surprise.
Do not be fooled by my initial hesitation towards you,
that appears to be endearing, nervous shyness.
I am those things; it is true, but there are deeper
layers for you to observe. Do not ignore my repose.
There are traits below revealing a keen awareness.
I will watch you closely detecting any slip in your
comportment that would have your true nature exposed.
To begin with, take warning—I am surely far different from what you suppose.

Do you imagine me kind with wide-eyed innocence?
Do you see someone understanding and sweet?
Can you see behind my eyes?
What do you read between the lines of my face?
Do you see only light and none of the dark?
Can you detect what I feel?
What do you want from me?
What are you willing to give?
If you can’t see, I won’t be real.
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?

I’m not as harmless as I look.
Impatience will grow if I find you lacking.
Don’t try to mislead, I can see right through.
I’m no longer beguiled by empty words.
Substance and meaning are important to me.
Make me laugh! Have great humor!
Deepness of character, spiritual and warm,
these are what woo and captivate.
But even I, looking at you, may see another.
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?

Join me Thursday beginning at 3PM as I host Open Link Night at dVerse Poets:  http://dversepoets.com/2016/01/21/open-link-night-164/#comment-105837

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63 Comments

  1. Sherry Blue SKY

     /  January 20, 2016

    I really resonate with this one, gayle…..?.it is not so easy any moe………I love the qualities that appeal….humor, depth, substance and meaning. Right on,

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  2. I really love how you have expanded on the thoughts, making them yours and delivering that message, that wariness we so rarely communicate… there are for sure something that comes from learning… from being burned perhaps… I just wonder if the other one is just as aware … will there ever be a true connection?…

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    • Thank you, Bjorn. I think as you get older you do know yourself better (we hope) and so learn what you will and won’t accept in someone else. I would hope the other would be aware too but certainly if compatibility is there, you could make a connection.

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  3. Your poem has many messages within. I do think sometimes we think about the people that we see in our surroundings & perhaps wonder if we are thinking about us too. Often two people observe one another from a far. Will either make the first move? And so true as well that people oftentimes are not what they seem to be on the surface. And also true that by looking at someone you really cannot determine what is really important to them. The surface is only the tip of the iceberg. So very much beneath.

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    • I know, Mary. Sizing each other up from afar can only take you so far, right?! I suppose if the two ever get to speak to one another they could figure out if things could progress, or not.

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  4. As I am now older, I take time to get to know the person well before judging as appearances are indeed deceiving ~ I also include here the people I meet and see on my way to work, from pedestrians to beggars to musicians…its hard to tell what or who they really are ~ And yes, I like people who make me laugh too ~

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    • I feel the same way, Grace. And certainly it relates to all people that we come into contact with. A person who can make you laugh is a real bonus.

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  5. Wow, you and I both used Whitman today. How cool. I like this glosa and you are just so good at them. I like people who make me laugh. I learned a long time ago, from my family, to not judge appearances. They were good mentors. You wonderfully expanded on the quote. “I’m no longer beguiled by empty words.
    Substance and meaning are important to me.”. Maturity, wisdom, experience – all enclosed in these lines. Substance, kindness, laughter….too many times, people still go by appearances and judge us little brown wrens next to flamingos….good job on this.

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  6. I like also, I’m not as harmless as I look…..my mantra and my warning. I hit send too soon. Sorry!

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    • That was cool, Toni. You sound like you had a wise family and good mentors for your life. You’re so fortunate. To find someone who can really make you laugh is a treasure. I hope your husband is doing better by now. Maybe you’re outside about now trudging around in the snow outside your house…

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  7. My favorite lines from you:

    No words are being read by you under that Bay tree
    though, as you do your best to disguise your glances.
    I take note too; you’re handsomely composed
    and I blush, feeling amused, while sipping herbal tea.
    Are you the new person drawn toward me?

    Love the way you communicate with your words and spread this beautiful message to all readers.

    Excellent written poem. 🙂

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  8. Amazing Glosa 😀 hats off Gayle 😀

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  9. I simply love this line:
    “and I blush, feeling amused, while sipping herbal tea.”

    Thanks for the reminder of the Glosa form. It’s been a long time since I wrote one. And thanks for hosting today! 🙂

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    • Thank you, De. I became aware of them through Bjorn who has written several. The quotes that I used really jumpstarted my thinking on how to expand on the ideas. They’re fun and challenging too. It’s my pleasure to host; it feels really good. 🙂

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  10. WeLL.. from a male perspective
    this rings true of course too.. Now..
    when males come up to me exciting
    dancing women.. them not realizing
    i am almost old enough to be their
    grand daddy.. just in it for the
    exercise.. asking me how
    many times i scored
    and i’m
    F E E LiNG
    no.. you will..
    never ever
    gain.. a wife
    like mine..
    so many
    lessons
    to come
    for you..
    if they come..
    at aLL.. ever..:)

    A feeLinG Chalice
    without gold am i..
    then and now..
    heArt sTiLL
    iS aLL
    that
    reAlly
    CouNTS..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. So, you’re not shy and retiring? It’s good to keep up a front to level the playing field.

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  12. A fantastic little snapshot. You’ve painted such a clear, beautiful picture.

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  13. This is just tingling with anticipation but I love the more mature person in there who is sure of herself or himself? My key line is about becoming impatient if found lacking. I think I did suggest the book 40 rules of love to you. I’ve just finished it and again this reminds me. Must check out those lines from Whitman too.

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    • Yes, there is that tingle in there isn’t there? I think I was coming from my personal viewpoint as I’m more mature and would look for something different in a person now than when I was younger. Yes, you did suggest that book to me as you commented on my Glosa using a quote from Rumi. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  14. There is so much here. I know I will come back to read it once more in the morning. I like this especially, and the lines that follow it
    “Do not ignore my repose.”

    I learned this lesson on the other side of a relationship

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  15. Glenn Buttkus

     /  January 21, 2016

    Introspection, & bang on inquiry; love it. First impressions never worked for me, or buy me–beautiful souls can come in rumpled packages. This feels so very female; wonder how it would roll with a male protagonist–only the handsome men, if they’re not gay, might now the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • How right you are, Glenn. Beautiful souls can come in the most rumpled of packages. You don’t have to be the most handsome of men to be attractive. But I had to giggle at your comment…

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  16. Really great to hear her thoughts as she watches the other person. Also, wondering if the other person is having those same kind of thoughts. I love to observe people, and wonder what their stories are. Very good, Gayle!

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    • Thank you, Barbara. I like to people watch too and I often wonder if what I pick up on about them is accurate or not. I guess I’ll never know. 🙂

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  17. Interesting the way you pull Whitman out into some honest introspection on a park bench!!!

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  18. Yes… this is such a lovely piece. I love the use of repetition, which grounds the poem, and provides a sense of stability. I really liked this.

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  19. I wasn’t familiar (or I had forgotten) these lines from Walt Whitman, but you really make them your own. You breathe life and meaning into them, with many lines which made me smile in recognition. Harder and harder to waste time on appearances and superficial things, more and more we want to get to the essence…

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    • I didn’t know this quote either until I went looking for something to inspire me. My response seemed to spill out of me. I love when I get inspired like that and the words just flow. Yes, I just want to know the real person…don’t try to put on a “show” for me.

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  20. The difficulties of setting a new relationship off on the right foot are legion, and you have given us lots of insight.

    Is there a typo in the first line after the cabeza (they darting)? Or am I not understanding it properly?

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  21. Make me laugh! Have great humor!
    Deepness of character, spiritual and warm,

    Besides the classic character requirement which is universal humor can open doors wide without really trying. Humor though is a rare talent! Rightly said Gayle!

    Hank

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  22. So much wisdom here. A lovely write.

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  23. Finally getting to my reading tonight…and starting with yours. So many great lines in here….the idea of seeing and not seeing at the same time. The idea of judgement and perception.
    For me, the idea of aging and beginning to finally understand what is the “important”:
    “I’m no longer beguiled by empty words.
    Substance and meaning are important to me.
    Make me laugh! Have great humor!
    Deepness of character, spiritual and warm,
    these are what woo and captivate.”
    I love these words…not only what they say about relationships but also, for me, what they say about “attention.” I choose to attend to things very differently at this age than I did in my twenties.
    I really enjoyed this one!

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    • I like what you said about attention, Lillian. So true, pay attention to the person in front of you and who they are…don’t project and guess. Oh, yes, things are a lot different at my age than they were when I was young and didn’t have a clue. 🙂 I’m happy that you enjoyed this, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  24. This is cunning poetry – the structure hidden while the thoughts flow freely; yet the poem constructed so well as to open as a flower – with Whitman’s words being the bud and your work bringing those concepts to full flower. Excellent work.

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  25. This rings absolutely true and it’s very well done, very polished, Gayle. Wonderful!

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    Reply
  26. Wow, this seems like such a difficult form, one that I’ve never tried and not sure I know how to write. I was drawn in by the repetition and the development of the theme–and use of the 2nd person, the conversational tone. So good.

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    Reply
    • Well, I learned of this form through Bjorn and I have no doubt that you could write a beautiful and fully expansive Glosa. What’s so nice about it is you can choose the quote from a poet of your choice that really touches you and then let your heart do the work! it does need some time and concentration…maybe after your guests go home, and you’re not out golfing. 🙂

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  27. really enjoyed reading this one – loved the like – Do not ignore my repose
    and how you show that there is more below the surface..

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  28. Love this. You have woodshed on, but remained true to Whitman’s words. I especially enjoyed the interogatory nature of your 3rd stanza.

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    • That makes me happy that I remained true to Whitman’s words. Thank you, Bryan. One of my brothers told me that Mr. Whitman would be proud of my work, sweet, huh?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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