Magnetic Resonant Image

Nov 22, 2019

Today’s poem is “Magnetic Resonant Image” by Ralph “Skip” Stevens who lives and writes on Little Cranberry Island.  He recently retired from the English faculty at Coppin State University where he taught online after moving to Maine.  He is the author of the collection At Bunker Cove.

He writes, “I’ve lost track of the number of MRI’s I’ve had, but more than enough to have developed certain ways of passing the time, including dozing off.  Or trying to block out the noises so I can think.  I spent one test reciting poems to myself, which then prompted this poem.  I enjoyed playing with the idea of poetry’s music counteracting the very unmusical sounds of the machine…”

Magnetic Resonant Image 
by Ralph Stevens

This lying here, trapped,
plastic cocoon around my
head jammed between sponge pads
stirs me to action mind
fighting stasis gasp- 
ing for intellectual breath
a drowning swimmer
struggling for the surface, 
flailing against the knocking hammering
machine gun stuttering 
through the ear plugs.   
So the plug comes out of
song, poetry, lines from Milton
Shakespeare running breathlessly
with Donne, with Keats, Hardy
Dickinson, Frost to tell the 
shadow images now forming
in digital non space that
body lives and moves
and has its being anywhere the
mind can move, can
form a thought, hear
perfect triads, rhyming
couplets, see a resonant 
image of
something that flies from
any burst cocoon.

Poem copyright ©2019 Ralph Stevens.