The tea kettle whistles A moth flutters and dies Your mask shatters to pieces A madman explodes the moon A butterfly flaunts a human face You dream of a lion’s rest Birds in-choir in a priest’s robe You fire a revolver on the run
The key to the riddle — Masquerading as fun To the gibbering wags Deaf to the last gong’s sound — Hides like a promise In your broken heart
For image credit please click hereon Carrie’s Sunday Muse #245; Shay’s Word Garden Word List using three of twenty words; and Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt #297 using “key” in prose or poem of 71 words.
I walked this life – lonely – Aware of shame – only – Chiding Your apathy – to me – I saw myself – painfully – alone.
In Your light I see – suddenly – Always You are – with me – Walking me home – lonely – Never having left me – painfully – alone.
Psalm 35:4-9 (NIV): Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
When I walk down the street with you it seems an avenue for the parvenu who glitter and mime like bees round a cru flush with cash, flush with dash, flush with boppity-boo.
I lean in, you lean out, you lean in, I lean out, a flamenco we do, even a samba no doubt while the white picket fences they shimmer and shout “Oh look who! Oh look who!” like old aunties with gout.
And I’m so gorgeous and you’re larger than life and if you’re honest, you’ll make me your wife; but this world is so public and with catastrophes rife its cerulean sky could change into a razor-sharp knife.
Would you stay with me, forever and a day when the zinnias of summer turn a wintry gray? When we walk beneath cottonwoods, will you turn and say, “I’m glad you and I chose to go another way”?
Continue reading “A Walk With You”→
It’s just this way, she agonized, and I won’t end where I’ve begun. It’s the dream I’m waking up to.
I wonder, he antagonized, what if today becomes your cannibal past tomorrow, feeding on today’s life, keeping itself alive, demanding its pound of flesh?
She knew his aim. It was to lead her in circles, to origins, not beginnings.
But each cross-road meant progress, a royal one, or common as a pilgrim on a well-worn track, peculiar as a dream
singular as a vision, a glaring blaze of glory, immense as a grain of sand sparkling in the New Jerusalem.
A three-prompt medley is the tune I'm playing off with Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers photo prompt & 100-word challenge, dVerse's Poetics: Visionary Poetry, and GirlieOnEdge Six Sentence Story ("lead"). Join us!
A little fun combining three prompts: from dverse where I chose to use all the podcast titlesto compose a poem (Articles of Interest: American Ivy, I Was Never There, Legacy of Speed, Not Lost, Pivot, Reveal: After Ayotzinapa, Rumble Strip, Serial, This American Life, Ghost in the Burbs); Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers (100 words or less using the photo prompt below); and GirlieonEdge’s Six Sentence Story (prompt word: VISA). Does the story poem succeed? Well, you be the judge!
The Sphinx and American Ivy
It isn’t fair, it isn’t fair, it isn’t fair: just some articles of interest, American Ivy shouts.
The Sphinx runs behind Reveal (after Ayotzinapa, he was never the same), columnar legs standing astride this American life with a VISA card.
Playing the ghost in the burbs? American Ivy taunts, the riddle and its answer are one!
I wasn’t there, Sphinx replies (she’s a serial liar).
American Ivy laughs: Life isn’t fair, but here’s the rumble strip to your legacy of speed:
neither’s love, the riddle YOU can’t solve. Sphinx pivots: All’s not lost? and
“It was a stark surprise of loss,” she wrote, and then she stopped, her hand stilled on the backlit keys her eyes glued to the screen
where suddenly the lines misted, metamorphosed in rain, the world becoming watery, a deluge full of pain.
She wiped her cheeks, she rose, she paced, she spun about the room, though memories of a dream-like shore outran her pleas for peace.
Into her words she’d poured her heart, into the poems she wrote but from them she no longer found the comfort that she sought.
None came but one, a fiery flare that lit the distant sky as if it came in search of her, a foundling lost to claim.
“What joy is this, what Guest on high has chosen this black night, to show His love, to set alight my dark and stormy heart?”
She cried, and in her joy she found a new theme to set down by psalm-borne winds she softly sang of things divine, unseen.
Old and New Year Ditties by Christina Rossetti(1830-1894)
New Year met me somewhat sad: Old Year leaves me tired, Stripped of favourite things I had, Baulked of much desired: Yet farther on my road today God willing, farther on my way.
New Year coming on apace What have you to give me? Bring you scathe, or bring you grace, Face me with an honest face; You shall not deceive me: Be it good or ill, be it what you will, It needs shall help me on my road, My rugged way to heaven, please God.
Watch with me, men, women, and children dear, You whom I love, for whom I hope and fear, Watch with me this last vigil of the year. Some hug their business, some their pleasure scheme; Some seize the vacant hour to sleep or dream; Heart locked in heart some kneel and watch apart.
Watch with me, blessed spirits, who delight All thro’ the holy night to walk in white, Or take your ease after the long-drawn fight. I know not if they watch with me: I know They count this eve of resurrection slow, And cry, “How long?” with urgent utterance strong.
Watch with me, Jesus, in my loneliness: Tho’ others say me nay, yet say Thou yes; Tho’ others pass me by, stop Thou to bless. Yea, Thou dost stop with me this vigil night; Tonight of pain, tomorrow of delight: I, Love, am Thine; Thou, Lord my God, art mine.
Passing away, saith the World, passing away: Chances, beauty and youth sapped day by day: Thy life never continueth in one stay. Is the eye waxen dim, is the dark hair changing to grey That hath won neither laurel nor bay? I shall clothe myself in Spring and bud in May: Thou, root-stricken, shalt not rebuild thy decay On my bosom for aye. Then I answered: Yea.
Passing away, saith my Soul, passing away: With its burden of fear and hope, of labour and play; Hearken what the past doth witness and say: Rust in thy gold, a moth is in thine array, A canker is in thy bud, thy leaf must decay. At midnight, at cockcrow, at morning, one certain day Lo the bridegroom shall come and shall not delay: Watch thou and pray. Then I answered: Yea.
Passing away, saith my God, passing away: Winter passeth after the long delay: New grapes on the vine, new figs on the tender spray, Turtle calleth turtle in Heaven’s May. Tho’ I tarry, wait for Me, trust Me, watch and pray. Arise, come away, night is past and lo it is day, My love, My sister, My spouse, thou shalt hear Me say. Then I answered: Yea.
This poem was originally published in Goblin Market and Other Poems (Macmillan, 1862) and appears in The Complete Poems by Christina Rossetti (Penguin, 2001). It is in the public domain.
I wrote the top poem in honor of Christina Rossetti whose poetry stirs readers and poets alike with their psalm-like appeal, as “Old and New Year Ditties,” on the cusp of a new year. Join us at Denise’sSix Sentence Story (using prompt word “surprise”). To my blog visitors, have a Happy New Year, one full of love and peace.
What can be made of a poem which solely uses the last lines of other poems? Today’s dVerse challenge prompts us to construct just such a poem (or hodge podge or call it what you will) and I was curious what would follow. So I used the last lines of the first twelve poems in Margaret Atwood’s latest book of poetry, Dearly, (without alteration, only enjambment and lower-case) and this is what I got. Make of it what you will, but it goes to show that there is a resonance in words that builds on the generosity of a poem’s ambiguity and particularly the reader’s generosity as well. And such a cut-up technique plays on that to more or less affect.
Dear Reader, you decide.
An Experiment in Poetry (with apologies to Margaret Atwood)
not quite cursed if she smiles or cries
the candle guttering down I’ll give dry light
turn the key. Bar the window let there be plot
why can’t I let her go? isn’t it pretty, back there?
as Heaven always is, if you read the texts closely
I don’t believe in you, don’t freak out, god(s), or demi-gods, or goddess, lol, you’re just words to me, like psy cho lo gy, (read it, it’s in a book) of wanting things I can’t have, help when I need it a step up, a step down a shout out, a call down, but I’m too smart for you I’ve got all I need in me, don’t fool yourself that I’m praying when I’m posing and rit- ual- izing,
It’s Halloween night alright, sit tight the ghouls are out don’t scream, don’t shout what’s under your bed it’s scary, but it’s dead just crawled onto your hand this terror I can’t stand the witching hour’s here and the night’s full of fear
So I took a trip down Jack O’Lantern Lane Where skeletons and ghosts were raising Cain The crows they cawed The mockingbirds squawked And the treetops flared like a fire engine.
So I ran back home to ink an angry complaint Against shuffling monsters that make one faint But I tripped over boxes Left by masquerade foxes And I cursed like the dickens cuz a saint I ain’t.
So then I opened my eyes, took in the wide blue skies And I laughed at the beauty that around me lies The anthem of the trees As they sang in the breeze And I thanked the Lord with my heartfelt sighs.
As if by magic my anger disappeared and the doorbell rang And I rose from my chair with a clatter and a bang See, I had my nutty nurse costume on A green glowing needle and a wig of blonde I was going trick or treatin’ with my neighborhood gang.
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” — Plato “They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.” — 2 Peter 2:15 (NIV)
You set me a riddle of romance, Kindly Moon, a beguiling trap by the waters of Babylon where Cartier trinkets line red-bowed caskets made in China riding on Charon’s ferry
by the waters of Babylon where I hung up my Guccis like spangled semaphores testifying to the Sinai fire on a holy mountain while sipping Florentine wine in D.C.
You sent me a Utopian dream of Jerusalem under kindly eyes before my breakdown, where I dwelt perennial in the tongues of state -craft, sightless as a stone gargoyle with carbonized
hate, when home after home, city after city I visited, inflaming tribal sigils, leavening in unguarded hearts dystopias in abandoned strollers, palaces of discontent, malodorous diffusion, contentious, disfiguring.
So now I frame you, with Pyrrhic ruins, dead-to-rights from my watery bier with the very crimes you silver-framed me in Chicago (Kabul or Kiev) where all roads meet with a gunshot and a cry.
*The October full moon is known in China as the Kindly Moon.
A babe sat in the green grass bright Fast held in a predator’s sight. Is it that of a man or that of a beast? One’s intent is murder, the other’s a feast.
In what universe would a mother bereft Of her bonnie babe by its sudden theft Feel her piercing grief constrained the less Were it a man for its death to so confess?
Something’s broken, someone’s dead Something’s taken, innocence fled.
Then is there no evil, no good to pursue Just the surreal, “to thine own self be true”? Don’t lose the story, oh, don’t lose the plot It’s death that’s the enemy, one thing we’ve all got.
Nature or nurture, priest, pagan, or not Don’t you see we all share the same rot? In a cave or in a palace, the calling card’s the same One way or another, we’ve lost the grand game.
Something’s broken, someone’s gone Something’s twisted, death has won
Death robs us of meaning, or would were it the end Since deep within we sense something round the bend; Death is still the crucible, our evil we can’t mend Till upside down is right side up and earth made new again.
He said I like to jazz the sky Sometimes, you know See me some hardcore Detroit Drummer overdosing it Like intensely On proximal melodies Ghosting me some romantic moonlight Jigging up this wasteland Taking an axe to all the quotidian brainiac Entanglements of pigeon-freaking Sh**—
She said Brick it up, man, I’m not one of your ratty here-today- Gone-tomorrow charm-school Friends on anesthesia for the last stages Of their latest art-appreciation-activism Veering destitute of anything but ego- Maniacal mimetic devolution into hedonistic He**—
He said I want— She said I want—
They said —you
And the woman on the bench said That’s a wrap.
You can blame this beat offering on the “absurdist” mood I’m in right now. But don’t leave out Shay’s Word Garden and her celebratory list of randomly chosen words from the first issue of the recently returned CREEM magazine, known for its irreverent presence on the music scene.The word list from which we are to pick at least three for use, is as follows: anesthesia, axe, brainiac. brick, charm, Detroit, drummer, ghost, hardcore, intensely, jazz, overdose, pigeons, proximal, ratty, romantic, stages, transmissions, veering, wasteland. For more or less random poetry, check out dVerse’s OLN hosted by Björn.