Monday, July 4, 2011

Anvil of the Sun






Anvil of the Sun


The land is an anvil made for the sun to beat
green grass, gold grains, and working heart to dust
when July brings out the hammer of its heat.

The fields are silent but for the combing feet
of locusts’ need. The dancing wheat is hushed.
The land sighs beneath each hot percussive beat.

All blistered day air flaps in a shimmering sheet.
The sun pounds dry the seed beneath the crust
when July brings out the hammer of its heat.

The weapon shop of drought becomes complete;
dead spears of reed, firebombs of grass combust.
The anvil's red and burns with every beat.

Black soil is dead and void as old concrete,           
wind arranges the dried flowers with each gust
when July brings out the hammer of its heat

The rain’s run beyond the place horizons meet.
Life does nothing that it wants, just what it must.
The land is an anvil made for the sun to beat
when July brings out the hammer of its heat



July 2011



Posted for   Magpie Tales  #72

A somber take on Van Gogh's sunny fields, but where I sit today we're well into a streak of triple digit heat and no rain, with 15 of 21 mostly dry days 100 degrees or over since June 14th.


Image: Wheatfield with Rising Sun, by Vincent Van Gogh
provided by Magpie Tales 

33 comments:

  1. "black soil is dead and void as old concrete"

    That says it all, Witch. Despite the uncomfortable, blasted scene it depicts, the poem has a very nice rhythm to it and is pleasing to the ear.

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  2. But can you dance to it? Thanks, dear--I like the villanelle for stuff like this, unemotional, dry, repeating.

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  3. i think i need to go jump in the pool cause i got a sun burn just reading your words...and maybe something to drink...the weapon shop of drought....nice...

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  4. I relate, since it is very hot here, too. But we will get rain nearly every afternoon this week, so I am loving that!

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  5. That is it exactly! Dry, hot, beat upon beat, beautifully done!

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  6. What a satisfying read - it totally encapsulated the feel of the picture.

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  7. Definitely no dancing and I'm going for some water after I write this.

    "The fields are silent but for the combing feet of locusts' need."

    Amazing.

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  8. "Hammer of its heat"...quite a phrase. An explosion of images, so many startling phrases..truly a rush of emotions!

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  9. And they said it was hot last summer .... This is demon song, hammer and tong and the solar forges your homeland is baking in. You've got the perfect pitch of it here, right at the altitude where mercury shatters the temperature gauges. When the elements get this extreme, only poetry comes close to naming the mythic sweep of it. This villanelle's has the heft of Hephaestus's hammer. Now let's see you write some rain dances. - Brendan

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  10. @B: If I were a true hedgewitch, I'd be gathering the shrooms from that other poem, and getting the village together in a henge of some sort for some serious chanting and twirling, I promise.

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  11. You captured the unrelenting heat of summer so well.

    (Is poetry truly cheaper than whiskey? I've never sweated blood over a shot of whiskey.)

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  12. I'm right there with you, Hedge! My people would dance and bring the rain, but we've got casinos to run.

    "but for the combing feet
    of locusts’ need"

    Stunning.

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  13. @MZ Ha! You've obviously been corrupted by the White Devil's ways. Thanks.

    @Sioux: The shots are cheap--it's the treatments for liver damage that cost ya.

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  14. Just shows how much the earth endures from the beatings and the poundings. Brilliantly captured!

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  15. very powerful exposure of the earth potential.
    lovely magpie.

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  16. Your blistered day is so rich with wonderful summer imagery!

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  17. Brilliant piece. I keep reading and reading. It grows with beauty.

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  18. you have captured that furnace of summer perfectly - oh for a gentle breeze and some rain!

    brilliantly executed poem

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  19. warming my chilled fingers
    at your words. =)
    winter is icy and wet here
    the contrast feels surreal

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  20. This is a masterful villanelle, Hedgewitch. The pounding refrain of ‘hammer of its heat’ was perfectly chosen. Then the tools that heavily represent the summer blast combine with simmering language like ‘shimmering sheet’ and ‘grass combust.’ “Anvil’ is a wonderful word, and placing it for repetition is perfect. I love the rhymes with ‘beat’ especially when you get to ‘concrete’ and it just pops. ‘. . . working heart to dust’ is one of those phrases that links the actual with the abstract in a beautifully poetic way. Awfully fine work.

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  21. Definite like, though here where we do not need it we have been getting plenty of rain.

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  22. I agree with Fireblossom I loved that line as well. Absolutely stunning and I think the melancholy suits Van Gogh

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  23. You captured the essence of that hammering summer heat perfectly .... I'm thankful to be living on the high desert of Central Oregon ... cool nights requiring down comforters, warm days for driving with the top down.

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  24. I'm there...living that July heat you describe so well. Definately time for a rain dance!

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  25. They say that in Texas today
    this drought is worse than it was
    during the Dustbowl of the 30's,
    and in this dazzling sizzling piece
    you have caught up to drought,
    rode it like a verse vaquero,
    and made it sit for your portrait.
    Love the line: /all blistered day
    air flaps in a shimmering sheet/.

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  26. A more than competent attempt at the villanelle form. Totally convincing. And is Oklahoma really so hot just now?

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  27. Oh, wow, "the hammer of its heat" is simply brilliant.

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  28. wowee, what an excellent write! your work is always amazing.

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  29. VERY GOOD. One of my favs of yours. Loved the rythm of it all, like it was living. WInd arranging dried flowers is an awesome visual. Great job.

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  30. Oh I detest the heat and feel the pain in this poem; don't know how you stand it. Love the villanelle and your perfect rendition of the land as an anvil made for the sun to beat---Great!

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  31. Excellent read. The relentless harshness of heat can be vile.

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