Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Night Burn






Night Burn


As the black-pelted evening prowls in, paw pacing paw,
panther shoulders rippling, remorseless in heat,
I think of you my hellspawned dear, your lustrous
velvet coat, your lace-edged cavalier cuffs
your star torn smile, small sharp teeth,
crimson liar’s tongue.

I remember the wheel where the butterfly screamed
as she was broken, the shrieks from those who fell
before me down the yellow dead well of your eyes,
the claws you hid so functionally accessible 
padded in the black shadows beneath the lace,
rank with yesterday's kill as they raked me blind,

the crouch before me made disarming,
wide-eyed, open-mouthed in delirium’s pant,
always full of the faithless grace that mesmerized
your little birdlings in that practiced boneless sway.
Your plush endearments rang a nonsense language
hot mouthed and simple, grunts of angelic apes

before fur became slick smoothed skin,
so the shock of sudden spasm as you'd 
twitch a lashing tail and snarling pounce,
lapping at the jet of heart's surrender, biting
in the neckbone’s crunch that ends all reason,
was all the more profound.

I feel veloured deep night heavy and smoldering, pierced
with smoky red planetary coals, burning me
hard and small, leopard moon panting, glaring heat-mad;
give my thanks that soon
in the unchanging course of things
dawn will come.


August 2011



Posted for   OpenLinkNight  at dVerse Poets Pub
where I am hosting tonight. Come join us for some of the best poetry and community online. Doors open at 3:00 PM EST.





55 comments:

  1. Would like to hear this read out or see it interpreted as videopoem. Lots of strong visual imagery and nice use of alliteration.

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  2. well, i would like to hear you say this too...

    i can't pick the lines i like best as all the images are powerful to me...

    see you later~

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  3. whew...some delicious imagery here hedge...the panther prowling in as night the yellow well of eyes...you get some wicked flow going as well...endearments/grunts, nice internal rhyme too...you pulled out all the stops today...have fun hosting...you are going to do a great job!

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  4. Before I even got to the second line you gave me the image of a black panther. In the first 3 stanzas I was thinking of the panther as a metaphor for a human predator, but in the last 2 it shifts to a suggestion of a shape-shifting beast, something mythic and cyclic. I like the colors, the coldness and the fire in this piece.

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  5. I've heard it said that nothing can be forgiven -- ever -- that is not fully grieved, from reddest rage to the bluest rigor mortis. This is the shamanic process of poetry, I think, naming the particulars of a wound as if each word were a djinn or demon whose power transforms only after it kills. I don't know if it feels like that to you, sharpening this poem by swiping it back and forth on that old, scarred grindstone: But we old(er) poets are always served by decent vowel movement, and you can seep yourself a consoling cup of morning camomile tea having sliced so deep and cleanly through the heart of these wrong matters and left the demon imago to cool as morning comes. I'm really, really sorry about that butterfly. - Brendan

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  6. Thanks all. Perhaps someday I'll master the microphone--when I switch to my new pc--something I've put off for over a year. ;-)

    @Brian: I'm excited--should be fun tonight. Glad you liked the piece.

    @Mark: yes, it's all those things, hopefully tied together in the poem's package. Thanks for reading.

    @B: So many parts of us seem to have to die and be broken to birth the final equilibrium that comes with growth and change. Perhaps it's similar to the ritual sacrifices we've discussed, willing and unwilling. It's always a shock to me when I go to this place and find there are still unhealed seams where a little blood continues to flow under the bridge after all these years. Maybe it's an indication that the deeper the plunge, the longer it takes to surface.

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  7. Joy! So looking forward to this evening! You're going to have a blast! In regards to the poem, brilliant as always! Your language and imagery never fail to transport me, but I have to admit, before I even got to your words, the photograph broke my heart!

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  8. Wonderful poem. I love the vivid imagery and evocative emotions of longing, pain and loss.

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  9. Your words are tongue delicious. Lovely, dark, and smooth...

    Thanks for sharing such lucious words.

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  10. ...prolific and enigmatic... i like how you strewn these all out of your soul allowing its whole self to divert us a view of extraordinary imagery.. so many careful references here..exquisite!

    Allow me to thank you once again for hosting this week's OpenLink night Tuesday. Thank you!(:

    ~Kelvin

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  11. You are FIERCE!

    "hot mouthed and simple"

    the line I can most identify with!

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  12. I love the lush, rich languange here."little birdlings in their practiced boneless sway" one example of many...very original imagry. Great poem!

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  13. Whooo-- I'm panting at the finish! Extravagant use of language to create an intensity that grabs the reader. Nicely done! http://mairmusic.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/week-146-it-digs-in-so-deeply-so-far/

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  14. love the intensity... always wonder how you manage to use just "normal" words, arrange them in a specific way and they sound like the sky is falling down every moment...you have energy for ten hedge... thanks so much for hosting tonight...great to have you on the team and i happily take my apron and serve side by side with you

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  15. ooomph! feels like i've just been kicked in the gut and felled to my knees! this is one of, if not THE most, powerful and painful yet gorgeous poems i've ever read, Joy. stunning is so totally inadequate a description. i bow down to your talent, grateful that you put your words out into the blogosphere. dani ♥

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  16. the crouch before me made disarming,
    wide-eyed, open-mouthed in delirium’s pant,
    always full of the faithless grace that mesmerized
    your little birdlings in that practiced boneless sway.
    Your plush endearments rang a nonsense language
    hot mouthed and simple, grunts of angelic apes

    Ouch, I may have met this sociopath, or a predator like him, once or twice in my travels. I admire your acuity and ruthless approach to the pain, a real exorcism. A powerful offering, thank you for hosting.

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  17. This is a really awesome write. Love the imagery, the flow and overall tone in the piece. Thanks for sharing this, really enjoyed it

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  18. Dark and deadly menacing. I could almost see the panther, stalking its intended prey.
    Fabulous write and even better read.
    Have fun hosting. I love the new dVerse blog. So many talented folks there to read!

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  19. Wow...a powerful, intense write! Poor butterfly...dawn would feel like a relief.. I would love to hear you read this, real passion evoked in this..

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  20. Intense... As a reader i was driven through the piece by the word engine..on first read i was breathless and eager to yield...then re-reading i discovered all the fine details and the evoked imagery is fantastic....Danke vielmals

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  21. The vivid imagery here is breathtaking. Great poem.

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  22. Wow... this poem was sneaking up on me with every stanza I read. (although it kind of reminded me of my neighbor's really crazy scary-eyed cat!)
    I feel veloured deep night heavy and smoldering...
    great line. Thank God the morning comes!
    Thanks for hosting =)

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  23. "Oh I don't have anything," she said.

    "I haven't even started one yet," she continued.

    "I hope I can come up with something by then," she sighed.

    I am never NEVER listening to you again. Give me that cotton-pickin' bar, Missy. C'mon, hand it over...

    *break, smash, stomp, beat, pulverize*

    THERE, Juts TRY to raise the &%$#* thing on me again! ;-)

    This is magnificent.

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  24. The energy of this poem is dark and endless.

    You have a particular knack of combining the nature with the human into something that is evolutionary, transcendant.

    Amazing poem, Hedge. The imagery spreads out and embraces more than the words.

    Lady Nyo

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  25. PS--I agree with Tash, the picture just broke my heart.

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  26. Sure makes pictures in my head! (George Orwell said to distrust any writing that didn't.)

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  27. Joy, you know I embrace that noir tone you so eloquently write with; I could hear your voice read this without needing the audio. It's just as when you read a great book, and you know exactly how the character would be delivering the lines. Merci, madame, for sharing the ripped wings of your butterfly with us all.

    -Pounds

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  28. Thanks Pounds. Yours was really a cool drink of water to my outraged lefty thirst for a reality check in this damn place we call Amerika.

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  29. Wonderful imagery....brilliant.

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  30. I love the language of this emotional piece. I especially like the last stanza.

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  31. A wonderful playing with sound here. And great imagery too!

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  32. wow, yes, just filled with vivid imagery, beautiful. i love "your star torn smile"...

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  33. Such prolific imagery... the intensity transports beyond the written word to a level, a depth beyond, becoming a part of the stunning images. Beautifully captured!

    Thanks also for the input regarding my piece.

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  34. What a wonderful, picturesque piece, HW. I shall not pretend that I completely understand all that is going on, but one thing kept with me... the oppressive heat. Dang, lady, can't I catch a break from it?! You do a fine job of reminding me how primal and suffocating it can be.

    That aside, I LOVE your second stanza, that butterfly's caught wing just captured, bravo. Btw, Thanks for hosting tonight ~

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  35. ha, we posted at the same time...grrrl, you are spot on, pure politics, thanks for the fine commentary ~

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  36. My pleasure Angela--you know what a riled lefty I am right now. I'm glad it wasn't like actually about a spoiled fishing trip or something. Thanks for the kind words.

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  37. I feel frightened but strangely intrigued by this creature. Yes, I was one of those girls who always picked the wild bad boys over the normal gentle men (that is until I met my husband :)

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  38. Ha! Creature indeed--if you only knew, Sheila. ;-)I too outgrew the bad boys, but the scars, not so much.

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  39. This panther is a shape-shifting specter, clearly out of this world, yet, also, I suspect, something (or someone) all-too-human. Vivid, intense, and evocative. I stand in awe of the following images:

    black-pelted evening

    the wheel where the butterfly screamed
    as she was broken

    the yellow dead well of your eyes

    grunts of angelic apes

    leopard moon panting


    Wow! Great, great poem.

    David

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  40. I feel veloured deep night heavy and smoldering

    (Must be what hit me at 3a.m. this morning!) Great shiny verses here, as beautiful as any butterfly wings...

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  41. Another triumph of clear intelligence, talent and finely honed perception. This is a poem to learn and place in my poetic memory for future recall.
    What do I like about it? Everything.
    Thanks so much for the enlightenment. James. ;-).

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  42. The crunch of this is as gruesome as watching Planet Earth. I have to close my eyes and ears against it. But it's so important to do what you do here, to give voice to the bloody wounds, the broken bones, the insidious teeth. I'm awfully sorry for the tattered and broken butterfly, that still pulses through your veins. When you can be transformed out of such a wounding, as you have, the metamorphosis can be very powerful. I have no doubt that you always had an amazing poetic voice, but I imagine that this devouring has deepened (and also darkened) its timbre.

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  43. Thanks all, for stopping by, reading and leaving your impressions. Always much appreciated.

    @James: I'm glad you found the piece so personally involving. Thanks very much for the kind words.

    @Ruth:Thanks so much for reading. Yes, even though these are very old wounds,tied to even older ones, they still have a lesson and a message. As I said to Brendan, it surprised me to find them still yielding this kind of poetry. But I think you're correct--our wounds and our mendings are the formative force behind how we write, why we write, what we write, and that new knowledge, new self that we struggle always to birth in the process. There was a time when this sort of thing was *all* I wrote, so I do feel I've made progress of some sort. And I know a lot of all our work wells from this spring, so if suffering is the price as well as the vehicle of poetry, I can't feel it's totally empty or purposeless.

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  44. Jim Morrison couldn't have said it any better.
    You Rock JA..

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  45. I too love the line "veloured deep night, heavy and smoldering" ... the black panther, the hell-spawned heat that seems to have served as partial inspiration for this enticing/repulsive creature you have magically turned into fantastic poetry.

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  46. great precise images Hedge... down the yellow dead well of your eyes....do not think it is the same hole Alice fell through....scrapes and scratches the imagination...bkm

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  47. You have dipped so deeply into the heart of nature and discovered her beauty and pain and used them so well in description and metaphor. Wow!

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  48. before dVerse, i only knew brian, and most times, i have to read the comments before i could fully grasp the meaning in his writing. now i am basically doing the same. but i am learning.

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  49. I read this piece and felt the dark, the emotion, the brilliant language and craft, the sensuous nature of it all throughout. And when I was done and let out a breath, one word came to mind. It's going to sound odd, but that word was "robust." There's a deep, visceral vitality to your piece, Joy, that blows me away, quickens my pulse, makes me sit taller in the chair when I read it. I'm so glad that you shared it with us.

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  50. Phew lots of erotic undertones here - real sense of a bad boy that draws as moth to the flame with the same result

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  51. Thanks again, all. Deeply appreciate everyone's input.

    @Joe: That's an exceptionally gratifying comment in all ways. It goes in my collection of favorites. Thank you for it, and for reading.

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  52. So much powerful imagery in this piece and the coloring throughout was evocative. Truly wonderful write ~ Rose

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  53. This is such a delicious read. Each stanza is full of memorable phrases that I could just read teh whole thing again and again. And yes, I can relate to giving thanks that eventually, dawn will come.

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  54. Scars healed, but hang on as stark reminders to those of us who will look, see, and learn.

    Too many of us Peeps do all but that learning part. I keep hitting my head with the hammer, expecting different results--always the same ole, same ole.... Well-written work here. Thank you.

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