Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Mud and tears

Mud and tears


After the snow: the rain.

After the rain: the flood.

After the flood: the mud.

Snow imprisons me

And I dread the thaw:

Tears, anger and the mud.

What a mess!

But the black Nile silt

Laid thick across the plain

Made Egypt once

An Empire’s breadbasket.

Let then the ice melt:

Welcome the dancing torrents

And await the healing mud.

by Viv


February 2, 2009 - Posted by | Cafe Literati, death, God in our life, health, life, literature, nature, personal, poetry, psychology, religion, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. And Bravo to you too, Viv! So kind of you to share this with us although you don’t feel so good.
    Now I go to my dictionary with your poem and come back then 🙂

    Comment by Miki | February 2, 2009

  2. Nice poem Viv – it brought to mind a song we used to play in a band in Derby over 30 years ago (yikes!) written by our then singer Mike Emery, called Nature’s Way. We had a big local following, who knew all the words to our own songs, and this one opened with the line:

    “This is Nature’s Way of dealing with things”

    and the audience on cue would shout the next line:
    “And I don’t mean butterflies!”

    The chorus went like this:

    “Looks like rain’s gonna fall down on those hills tonight,
    The man with the weather report say there’s gonna be a storm
    Tonight the broken lovers all go walking,
    But in the hills there’s no solution, there’s only…”

    Cue the audience:

    …I’ve come over all nostalgic now….

    Comment by kevmoore | February 2, 2009

  3. I like mud!
    When I did my job on the nature reserve 20 years ago, myself and the other education person used to go out for the afternoon with the guys who were doing the survey of the reserve (Castle Edene Dene, in Peterlee: a seven mile by mile and a half glacial river valley with pristine yew woodland) and get throughly dirty. I used to come down steep slopes on my backside, quite often. I ruined a few pairs of trousers that way.
    For me though, the value of muck and mud can’t be over stressed, even in creative terms, the shite I have been through is what inspires me at times. After all, it’s muck that makes roses bloom.

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  4. Is muck and mud the same, Viv? My dictionary gives me the same French translation. Or is it because we haven’t so much of it in France that we don’t make any difference?
    Love this poem, and especially the sudden apparition of the Nile, I certainly did not expect it. Gives a lot of weight and even mystic to the mud, powerful 4 lines there in the middle of “your” mud…

    Comment by Miki | February 2, 2009

  5. Muck is dirtier and less pure than mud; mud is basically soil/earth mixed with water to make it sloppy. You make mud pies, not muck pies.
    Mud is kind of akin to clay, just less weighty. Oh I love the English language where there are endless shades of meaning by using lots of different words.
    I sometimes buy French toiletry products from companies such as Yves Rocher and L’Occitane en Provence and healing mud appears even in beauty products.
    If you’ve ever read Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, the hero gets covered in mud after very serious injuries and at one point he speculates that only the layer of dried mud is keeping his innards inside him.

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  6. Muck is also used as a euphemism for sh*t; as in dog muck and horse muck. Also the saying, “Where there’s muck there’s brass” referring to the actual value of manure.
    Incidentally, snow used to be referred to (in gardening and farming circles) as “the poor man’s manure” as it gathers minerals and stuff when it falls that then enrich the soil.
    Regarding Rogue Male, I reread it last autumn after over 25 years and enjoyed it even more than when I was a kid and I came up with a conspiracy theory regarding it.

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  7. Hi Viv! I was just going to offer Miki some help with the word muck, but you beat me to it! You did a much better job of explaining it than I would have, but I did find the French word…fumier.

    I love your poem, and the idea of mud healing. But the last time I wrote a poem about sinking in the mud, I sunk so very low.

    Georgia is very dry right now. And for now, I’m ok with that.

    Comment by shelleymhouse | February 2, 2009

  8. Thanks Shelley, I’m sure you’d have defined it well too. I know from my students (from 10 or so nations and very different cultures) that English is sometimes utterly baffling in its range of words that seem to mean the same thing but actually don’t.
    This one I wrote about 3 years ago when we had heavy snows in the midlands for a few days and then the thaw came. I waded through thick sticky mud for several miles before having to turn back because the river had burst its banks(hence the Nile) and was unsafe to follow the tow path any further.
    You sunk so very low? hahaha, that was a joke, right? I did once get caught in sinking sands just off Southport; someone had nicked the sign that warned of quick sand and threw it out into it. I realised in time but was mired to the knees.
    I had the word boue(mud) in mind, but I think thats a word for clay, or something?
    I’d love to have one of those spa days where they paint you with mud and so on.

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  9. I found this to be a healing poem. And like Sting you use metaphors for the human condition and what life throws back at us and always at us. Lovely.

    Comment by Michael Pokocky | February 2, 2009

  10. Its a funny one but even though I wrote this three years ago and randomly posted this in the morning because of the snow, it’s fallen in an odd place. My daughter broke up with her fiance today, so I am waiting the healing mud now. Chocolate might come in to it too.
    Bless you!

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  11. Poor thing! Yes, plenty of chocolate!

    Comment by shelleymhouse | February 2, 2009

  12. Nice poem Viv – it brought to mind a song we used to play in a band in Derby over 30 years ago (yikes!) written by our then singer Mike Emery, called Nature’s Way.

    I was also thinking this one could be a song or a nursery rhyme.

    Comment by sittingpugs | February 3, 2009

  13. Thank you Pugs.
    I think it might make a good song but as I have a tin ear, this probably won’t happen!

    Comment by viv66 | February 3, 2009

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