Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Fortune Teller





The Fortune Teller
 A roundel in the rough


The cricket knows who’ll take the flag and bleed out in the sand
which one tells as many lies a day as the melon's black seeds
who’ll marry her love at last to find he's a red-eyed Caliban;
The cricket knows.

The cricket‘s dead antennae twitch the word from the yellow weeds.     
I hear his dessicated legs push out the code, a one ghost band.
His deathsong chirps through the lacy curtains, then recedes

bowing of birth and murder, plagues of blindness on the land.
We have no secrets he and I, in the brainbowl where he feeds.
I re-bury him each day, each night he burns me like a brand.
The cricket knows.



October 2011


Posted for   OpenLinkNight   at dVerse Poets Pub 





This is my attempt at a roundel, a form created  by the English poet, 
Algernon Charles Swinburne.  
Rhyme scheme is ABAR BAB ABAR. The refrain (R) consists of the first four syllables of the first line, and may or may not rhyme with the B lines. Each main line should have the same number of syllables, or possibly stresses, but Swinburne appears not to have paid much attention to that aspect in his own work, so I haven’t either





Image: Still Life with Origami Figures, original charcoal drawing,  
© All Rights Reserved. This artwork is exempt from the Creative Commons 3.0 license in effect for the rest of the blog and may not be reused or reproduced without written permission.

53 comments:

  1. shivers....the cricket he speaks all night and wont let me sleep...smiles....the brain bowl where he eats and burying him each day yet his resurrection....nice touch as well...i like this hedge...can you ask him what the lotto numbers are for this weekend? smiles.

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  2. He's rarely useful like that, Brian. But I'll ask. Something like 'number 9...number 9...number 9...' maybe?

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  3. wow.. an incredible piece! I'm a big fan of crickets myself...

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  4. ha i see you're still in your halloween mood...smiles...this gave me shivers hedge..and even if he could tell me the lotto numbers, i would rather run away..
    We have no secrets he and I, in the brainbowl where he feeds.
    I re-bury him each day, each night he burns me like a brand....shivers...

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  5. I never thought of it like that... a great metaphor ...and the line 'We have no secrets he and I, in the brainbowl where he feeds.' ~ is fabulous. The cricket knows *shivers* :)

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  6. And she's now creating myths and beyond! Methinks this is not Jiminy Cricket though it may owe a little to him; I think more to the Eastern philosophy of honoring the crickets as a bringer of luck and possibly other gifts. Well played here Ms. Hedge. And a roundel too..with a tiny change of rhyme scheme. I like it a lot!

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  7. The cricket chirps, the kettle sings...
    Those crickets know.
    So does my shadow.

    Thanks for the roundel...I'm so glad it's not perfect--I HATE perfection, unless it is nature itself being perfect
    PEACE!

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  8. The insect world really is pretty titanic, when you get down to their scale -- much more like 500 million years BC. The title works perfectly because its subject is such a surprise. So that's what those needly bettly antennae are for - suspicioning my fate. And all this time I though that weavy congress late at night was about nothing. Shoulda guessed they were all just twittering at me. I'm going as Cricket to the Archetypal Fantasy Ball. - Brendan (p.s., I think you've got an unnecessary "o" in Swinburne's name. He was a strange bird, fer sure, loved going naked backwards down the banister. I love love love his squishy liquid tongue.)

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  9. I love the old-styling here. i've heard that crickets are used in readings. Really nicely constructed, I like the form..great job...and of course I love the caliban reference. Thanks

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  10. Crazy write! Powerful line "I re-bury him each day, each night he burns me like a brand."

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  11. Awesome depth of knowledge and insight. Someone must know, and it makes sense that it would be the cricket...and also that the one who has the answers is dying.

    ~Shawna (iamthat-shawna.blogspot.com)

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  12. Woof, Hedgewitch...a roundel! Yikes!! That's super hard work.

    Beautiful, creepy and otherworldly....something about that picture on top feeds so well into this haunting vision.

    Brava!

    Lady Nyo

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  13. Thanks, B. Fixed. Got carried away with the Olde English spelling. I used to be able to recite many of ACS's works to the dismay of all around me--fave is the one that goes "Before the beginning of years/there came to the making of man/time with a taste of tears/grief with a glass that ran...." doesn't get more liquidy than that.(Warning: This cricket fellow will make an encore appearance for Samhain, so get your antennae pasted on early.)

    @Gay--I actually copied the rhyme scheme incorrectly, there's no refrain on the middle tercet. The syllables, after reading six or seven of Swinburne's roundels, each of which had odd syllable counts--no I didn't count 'em. ;-)

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  14. I don't think I will ever hear the crickets without thinking of this poem now.

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  15. Fantastic scary write!

    Thanks for sharing :-)

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  16. Interesting, and seasonaly appropriate.
    I've always been fond of crickets.
    Kat

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  17. Yikes and shivers abound for the season and my phobia of insects (which I no longer have, evidenced by the moth I let climb up my shoulder last night) was my first. Fortune telling cricket + red-eyed Caliban husbands + murder and plague = another fine scary write from you.

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  18. Power can be found even in the smallest image...and you draw it out so perfectly. A tragic work; often, I think, many would scoff at the possibility of utilizing such a thing like crickets to draw emotion, but ah, the work of personification...

    Splendid roundel, deep and stirringly poetic. Particularly enjoyed your words: "I re-bury him each day, each night he burns me like a brand."

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  19. Amazing poem, spooky and thrilling. I believed every word, you hedgewitch you! And congratulations on such an accomplished roundel. (I do wonder if you mean 'bowing' in first line of last verse, or perhaps 'blowing'? Can't quite get that.)

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  20. I could share with you numerous warnings passed on to me regarding the crickets chirp...and, so what if I toss all credibility out the door (assuming I had some to begin with) I heed most of the warnings! Loved the write, the vibe, and being inspired to grab my pen!

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  21. @Anna: There are many creepy crawlies I am phobic about--I did have a pet cricket as a child in Chicago, though. Talk about minimal pets. ;-) Glad you enjoyed.

    @Natasha: Seriously, you've heard superstitions about the cricket? and I love it when you grab your pen.

    @RNW: bowing as playing a fiddle with a bow.

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  22. How often did you walk your cricket?

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  23. Ooh, very creepy. I love all the little myths you slipped in there. Very nice. =3

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  24. Whoa--roundel format beautiful especially for this roundabout samsara-esque insect. (Which life is he living now?) K.

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  25. Creative and awesome, I love the cricket knowing. :)

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  26. Ooooh, I loved this. I like how you used the cricket to create this whole other dimension, and I have a thing for crickets. They are enchanting...

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  27. Nice circularity - I love crickets - they are laden with symbolism

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  28. That's genius Joy! "bury him in the daytime" and "he burns me at night like a brand..." Where do those things go during the day? They must be buried because I can't find 'em....... Oh, but they sure come out at night don't they, like just as we start to nod off....... chirpety....chirpety....chirpety....chirpety....chirp........ AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggggg.... Genius!

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  29. Scary, but I love it. Male crickets sing and I love listening to them, but now I might hear secrets.

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  30. very scary and vivid write especially how you bury him and he burns you and only the crickets know
    http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/10/25/the-groom-of-the-dead-bride/

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  31. The last two lines are haunting me... spooky things that are tied to folklore are much more shivery to me for some reason. My goosebumps aplaude you.

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  32. This is somewhat eerie. I have a feeling the cricket used by the fortune teller is not alive, and if it makes that sound like how sounds echo even though it no longer or nothing makes them.... ':/

    I didn't know crickets are used in fortune telling, so I've learned something new.

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  33. What an imagination you have. This reads like ancient wisdom, but is relevant for every here and now. Startling, immediate, terribly brilliant.

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  34. Oh this one ghost band is a strange new Halloween friend, I could see him threading through a film by Malick, brought back with his rasp when just the right tension and fear builds. I couldn't help but think about the politics of our nation in that flag, and blood and greed. Great work, as always.

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  35. I love the inter-communication here, the intuitive knowing of the wild, a lovely form, and beautifully written..

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  36. Thanks all. I made all of this up, btw, from an incident that struck me. I have no idea if crickets are actually used in fortune telling.

    Thanks for reading Ruth--I love your analysis. yes, dead as he is, he is a seasonal friend, trying to speak through that veil that gets thinner this time of year, and re: our polity, a little chirpy Cassandra.

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  37. Crickets and insects generally make me feel squeamish. To think they didn't change their forms since prehistoric times make them long lasting even if man were to perish. Worst when these can foretell the future!

    Hank

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  38. Nice... er, chilling actually - but I love your artful use of images and this especially:

    I re-bury him each day, each night he burns me like a brand.

    Crickets remind me of home, not always a comfort...

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  39. Joy,
    Another masterful performance. Just consider this single line:
    "I hear his dessicated legs push out the code, a one ghost band."
    I could give an entire lecture on this one line alone. The entire poem would be the work of an entire term. (semester?)
    You never disappoint. James.

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  40. How can I follow all these wonderful comments except with I love this?

    Thanks for your prayers.

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  41. This is hypnotic. And, a little unsettling. I love it, of course.

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  42. stunning roundel that seriously gave me shivers!

    love it, Joy!
    dani

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  43. I WANT that painting!!! Wonderful wonderful piece.

    And your words? I have them, it seems and I am humbled that such poetry I always yearned for is right here and available on the Web.

    The crickets know all. And beneath the sea? The shellfish are clued in too, but mostly they sleep and sing.

    Thank you for being a poet on the web, Joy!!!

    xoxo

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  44. Really enjoy the charcoal drawing, very nicely done. It's delightfully strange, and a great complement to the poem (which is lovely as well).

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  45. Well, you've done it again, I see. You've taken crickets and written about them as if they are the most interesting amazing creatures in this universe, lol. Love this line, "I hear his dessicated legs push out the code, a one ghost band." - that is awesomeness, and I don't think I'd ever come up with that line in a million years, but I love it. Excellent!

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  46. An intriguing write, HW. You write so intricately with such enchantment that I didn't even notice the form... very nicely done. As for crickets, they are my alarm ring...tomorrow morn shall bring this lovely to mind, indeed ~

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  47. I agree - great work. I like these lines:

    We have no secrets he and I, in the brainbowl where he feeds.
    I re-bury him each day, each night he burns me like a brand.
    The cricket knows.

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  48. Once again, I am enlightened and entertained by one of your poems, Joy. I learn so much about this wonderful and maddening world I've entered from brilliant poets like you. -- j

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  49. Such imagery...I loved the connection created and enjoyed the form. ~Rose

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  50. I love how haunting this is especially as I sit here and read all these rich words on the eve of Hallows Eve.

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