Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hedgerider's Lament~Part 1

Hedgerider's Lament~Part II can be found here
Hedgerider's Lament~Part III can be found here


The Hedgerider's Lament
Part I: Yule Sestina


It’s the time when amber green light soaks the sponge of mist,
Dripping softly where worlds rub shoulders in vast night,
Dreaming in the nest where brown eggs shift and crackle in the air,
Where I’m looking, looking, hearing soundless bells in the blue.
The grass bends, the sparrows talk, and magic guards this place
As I edge myself along the walls of the razorleafed hedgerow.

I see them all, patient, living, bent to purpose in the hedgerow
Waiting where the edges are sharp, or under the amber green mist.
Horehound lolls silver tongues, mint droops, amanita puts in place
Spotted red chairs for sprites and roofs for toadlings. Shadow night
Hides monkshood in its cobalt cap, telling me something fatally blue,
And ladyslippers wait for mousewomen where foxgloves dot the air.

My skull is a tangling rootball of hair and bone and air.
My skin is ambergreen bark against the razorleaves of the hedgerow.
My eyes are storm clouds flickering outwards, grey and blue.
My rabbit nose is twitching, pink in the dripping mist,
Breathing in and out, sifting and shaking the smells out of the night,
Passing hands above the edges, feeling leaves for the right place.

I see a medicine fire drifting the air with grey, burning in the place
Where a fallen piece of star has struck a match against hard air,
Making sage smoke and sweetgrass smolder in the night,
Like tobacco in the pipes of gnomes carousing in the hedgerow.
Other nights I lift a glass, beg them wash their beards in mist
But tonight I cannot stop to joke for the place is near,very cold and blue.

I can hear the worlds sloshing in their shells, spinning by in the blue
Almost touching, noses pushing the membranes towards the place
Where the new year sleeps in the old year's arms,damp with mist
And the quick bear the dead upon their backs, howling thru the air
Silenced by the heavy hand  of what dwells in the hedgerow
Because the time is not yet, though it nears in the shortening night.
                    
Day has sighed and gone, spent from matching itself to night
So perfectly. My hair jigs up in Tesla’s dance, jumping white & blue.
I feel them creeping, riding the top of the razorleafed hedgerow
Where it's thin as my skin. Now all but my hair is frozen in place.
Burnt tumbled smells, the soft horse muzzle of the night air
Nudges them at me, while at last the steelsharp leaves begin to mist.
                         
Now I can see you blur and move, in mist waves of ribboned night.
I reach out to the air.There where the thorns have turned  blue
Is the place I can pull you from your lost world, thru the hedgerow.

                                                                       
December 2010


Posted for One Shot Wednesday at the inimitable One Stop Poetry

With thanks to Rabbit
The first of four sestinas loosely based on the neopagan festival days of Yule, Candlemas, Beltane and Samhain.

34 comments:

  1. joy - have you ever thought about writing sth. like the lord of the rings...? you have an amazing imagination - what i loved most is..
    the new year that sleeps in the old years arms..and...telling me something fatally blue...so lovely

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  2. I wish I could draw because I would now be feverishly trying to get onto paper a visual of what I've just read :-) Love it

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  3. fantastic...such a vivid world you create!

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  4. Ah, if there is one woman who can stoke the fires of my Nordic black heart, it is hedge! A fantastic offering here, makes me think Saga had her hand in this one. Knocked another one out of the park, thanks for sharing with us!

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  5. Gadzooks, woman. This is gooooooood, and i can almost hear you carp "it better be" after all the effort you have so plainly poured into writing it.

    You made the hedge, with all its poisons and sharp edges, live and breath. Teeming, it is, and then, in the end, to cap it with that last three lines, it just....kinda makes me want to howl at the moon.

    I feel almost trollish in picking out specific lines, but some simply have to be mentioned:

    "Hides monkshood in its cobalt cap, telling me something fatally blue,"

    "My skull is a tangling rootball of hair and bone and air."

    "Where a fallen piece of star has struck a match against hard air,"

    and

    "My hair jigs up in Tesla’s dance, jumping white & blue."

    I'll have you know, witchy one, that I paused Emmylou in the middle of "Two More Bottles Of Wine" in order to give this my full attention. Awful glad I did. But don't, like, expect it all the time. ;-)

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  6. What a wonderful Sestina! Makes me want to write another even though I deeply hated it last time. The themes and metaphors are fantastic and far outstrip anything I've read recently.

    And there is nothing wrong with flowery. Flowery is power-y...

    That got away from me a little there.

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  7. I take my hat off to you - this is a lovely sestina - I especially enjoyed the fifth stanza:
    "And the quick bear the dead upon their backs, howling thru the air
    Silenced by the heavy hand of what dwells in the hedgerow" - I really want to visit your hedgerow. You really created the magic perfectly.

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  8. You've a vivid imagination and excellent literary style. More please.

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  9. Ah, fabulous piece. I love your title too. Yours is the deeper myth the darker one where the world was known and killed by having sense(s). Yes you are a poet among poets, and a magician dear Joy.

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  10. PS...it made me type EAT HER to post...OMG!

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  11. This piece reads so smoothly that I didn't even realise it was sestina until I was at least halfway through. Fantastic use of language in this and I particularly like the way you've deftly woven colour through the piece. A very skilful write bursting with the vivid imagery of nature.

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  12. Pure F----g Magic!

    Ahhh...you have created such a rich, rich, rich world that I am drowning in your marvelous words.

    You are a wordsmith that has such an impact on the mind that I would rate you above Tolkien.

    Don't laugh. You have the ability of a classic.

    I love your writing, and I don't say this often about modern writers....

    Lady Nyo....I am still trying to get my feet in the ground, my nose above the hedgerow, and waiting to exhale.

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  13. This is totally astounding, rich and bursting with images. I, too, was thinking you could write a book like J.K. Rowling - this is pure magic, myth and mystery, and full of dark creepy crawlies. I wont even TRY to post anything tonight after reading this as Someone (was it you?) has put a spell upon me and turned my brain to mush.Fantastic writing.

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  14. wow. you just blew me away...no joke...this is fabulous...rock on...through the hedge row...smiles

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  15. This is inspired writing...epic...it has knocked me off my chair, and now I attempt to write these words while straining to reach for the keyboard from the floor...

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  16. Captivating!!
    You ARE from Middle Earth aren't you?
    This Kicked Major Ass!!!

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  17. @G-Man Your tender words mean so much...a tribute I will always cherish til next Friday, when I will want a new one.
    @ FB I am deeply honored that you paused one of Emmy Lou's best to peruse my offering. And of course, you picked all my favorite lines. You are rocking.
    @Adam-I see that. I'm very glad you could find it in you to assimilate the flowery so well.
    @LeiffyV:Psyched you came by and gave me the brooding Nordic thumbs up.
    @Gay--sometimes the codes are just...wrong.:P Glad you liked this one and saw the parallel.
    @kristina You are spam and have been deleted. See comment/use policy.

    All the rest of you, thank you from the bottom of my witchy heart.Your support this year has been a constant source of strength and inspiration, and I look forward to a year full of reading your excellent work.

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  18. From line to line the magic of your words spin on until I was in your world, so willingly lost and enchanted! Great, poem, Joy as expected from you always! I love the musicality of it, everything in it. Thanks grandly.

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  19. I can hear the worlds sloshing in their shells, spinning by in the blue
    Almost touching, noses pushing the membranes towards the place
    Where the new year sleeps in the old year's arms,damp with mist
    And the quick bear the dead upon their backs, howling thru the air
    Silenced by the heavy hand of what dwells in the hedgerow
    Because the time is not yet, though it nears in the shortening night.

    Your forebears are here-- Yeats, Thomas, the great Romantics, even Blake-- tres fabulous in every way-- testimony to how a gifted person can write from a place of intense psychological freedom. xxxj

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  20. Sensual, vivid and rich in imagery - a heady and hallucinatory piece.

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  21. What a fabulous fantasy. I love the start and it being based on the neopagan festivals. You are awesome.

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  22. awesome! imagery is excellent! very well deserved comments here

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  23. Such a gorgeous array of images - such a fantasy, rich and striking. Beautiful sestina, and certainly setting off little explosions of inspiration and creativity in this little writer's mind as well. A true delight!

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  24. What a wonderfully executed sestina...as someone else said, it flows so well you aren't hung up on the form. I really enjoyed the images you gave us and the earthiness of it all. Bravo, girl.

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  25. You've got a way with words an such an imagery and imagination. Great literature!

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  26. hedgewitch the imagery in this piece is astonishing. You have a wonderful imagination.
    Pamela

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  27. I loved the blue thread you wove in and out of your write! All so beautiful!

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  28. This is my favorite part of your work that has a lot of favorite parts!

    "I can hear the worlds sloshing in their shells, spinning by in the blue
    Almost touching, noses pushing the membranes towards the place
    Where the new year sleeps in the old year's arms,damp with mist"

    My goodness! I could curl up in the safety of your words and wait for the new year, and the next, and the next. Your vivid imagination gives birth to sentences that cannot be born just anywhere.

    So sensuous, alive, vivid and yes, even hungry.
    I enjoy your writing so much, thanks for sharing!

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  29. Thanks, all, for the very extravagant praise, every word of which I deeply appreciate. This was a very enjoyable poem to write, and I'm glad if you all enjoyed it even half as much as I did.

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  30. Amazing work!
    "Don't be alarmed now"...I can't help but be reminded of Stairway to Heaven every time I hear the word "hedgerow". You have quickly become one of my favorite writers out here and I will certainly add you to my list of 'Poets I Adore.'
    Sending you blessings, happiness and verse-droppin' dragons for the New Year!

    Gio

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  31. Vivid, masterful word choices/flow/effect.

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  32. This is so, so vivid. It plays out as if you were not merely reading it, but there in the experience. I am flattered for the thanks. This is absolutely brilliant. Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I am only now catching up and discovering which was is the right way about.

    Can't wait to read Part II. Fantastic.

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  33. Glad you made it by Rabbit. Part II is giving me fits, unlike this one which was like drinking water. But still fun,and hopefully I will have wrestled it into submission by Candlemas, (or Imbolc as the neopagans say.) Many thanks for turning me on to all the hedgewitchy lore.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg