Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flat

Ivan Bilibin 035


Flat


When everything is flat and you've dropped it all,
even the silver talisman of his name
when the sky ore falls to vapor in a sulphur flame
unable to fetch from a void spanning ever to never

when the partridge turns blue and pulls out every feather
and too-bent trees hang shattered, broken in the godsway
when the faun sits invisible starving by the lost highway
lemur eyes watching time’s pegged sticks tune up his ribs

when every night wish is caught where no one forgives
strangled by day’s amber noose in unbroken fall
when every chair is placed with uncanny care, yet all
stand empty till the restless dead behind begin to crawl

you can only hide in a chicken-legged house of dreams, actualize
stars and dust, flesh and rust, make a snakeskin grimoire of sighs.



November 2011





Posted for   Magpie Tales  #91


Uncredited image provided by Magpie Tales
removed, 2/2012 apologies to artist
Footer image: Baba Yaga's house, by Ivan Bilibin
Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



30 comments:

  1. so when the world goes mad, or just happens to be fall...look for the magic of a chicken leg house? that would be pretty cool actually..."times pegged sticks tune up his ribs" is a pretty cool description, a bit sad but...nice way to capture the sighs as well...smiles.

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  2. when every chair is placed with uncanny care, yet all
    stand empty till the restless dead behind begin to crawl

    How creepy can it get? lol

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  3. Powerful imagery evolving into the literal lines quoted by Jinksy above. Yes, pretty creepy.

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  4. Hugely imaginative, compelling. And "grimoire," un mot formidable!

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  5. I am unaware of the magic you know and use in this poem. Did you sell your soul to get it? That can’t be, because it’s so full of soulful and gorgeous words, lines and thoughts. The rhymes work sweetly in the cadence here. I am taken with that partridge turned blue, “godsway,” that poor invisible faun with lemur eyes, then that “chicken-legged house” and the “snakeskin grimoire”, honey, you nailed it. Brilliant craft.

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  6. At least when all seems hopeless the hope filled have a place to retreat to before they re-engage the outer world.

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  7. Otherworldly, and sad. You captured a melancholy feel perfectly!

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  8. Its a strange precipice between dark and white magics here, the dark theurigicals called out when brighter liturgicals fail ... When the winter wind carries off all hope, what is left to fall back on but the curse-balm that weaves a safe nest out of dreams, and calls that surreal salve for a blickered reality home enough. Cold limb to work from, but a feathered singer has gotta do what she's gotta do. And maybe it comes across as witchcraft, but really what else is a poem for? Fine fine work, Hedge - Brendan

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  9. You amaze me every time - love this!

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  10. 'Dropped it all'- for sure! thanks.

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  11. I had the same feeling Ruth expressed on reading this. Wonderful write, with imagery that just leaves me in awe.

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  12. Thanks all. This was an intriguing photo.

    @Ruth/Maureen Thanks for the very kind words. With my mercantile skills, I'd never venture my capital with the devil. ;-) The cadence gave me fits, and I still think it's rough, but its always a battle between form and those little word children we can't abandon by the way.This one will probably get a rewrite further down the track.

    @B: Your insight cuts to the chase. Yep, that's pretty much it. Chicken legs are surprisingly agile, enduring things, no matter how reptilian and foreign they can look under a house, or even a nice fluffy bird. Thanks for reading and understanding.

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  13. Wonderful write, filled with wonderful words!

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  14. i love how you come from all these dark and abstract sadness to the chicken-legged house of dreams where you can..not really be or change but dream and even in dreaming.. it's real...and feels warm and palpable

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  15. so very much more than a snakeskin grimoire of sighs here-- stunning. xxxj

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  16. 'When' sets the tone in the first three stanzas of your haunting poem.

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  17. I'll second Helen's comment. The very first word carried us to this amazing piece.

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  18. Such stunning images. I actually liked beginning best I think (though I loved end too, and middle too, come to think of it!) But for me the inability to fetch from void spanning ever to never was very powerful. K.

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  19. I really like this line:

    "strangled by day’s amber noose in unbroken fall"

    iamthat-shawna.blogspot.com

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  20. I liked the movement and sadness in this... and the magic.

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  21. I love the blue partridge and the chicken-legged house of dreams. Pure Hedgewitch. And how is it that I wasn't familiar with a cool word like "grimoire"? Killer last line.

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  22. I loved the descriptive words used to conjure up images of a world falling apart for some...

    "when every chair is placed with uncanny care, yet all stand empty till the restless dead behind begin to crawl" my favorite lines :)

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  23. I have read this overandover already, looked up the definition of "godsway," read comments (agree with Ruth 100%), tipped my head to see a different angle then shaken it in utter awe. I may have said this before, hedge, but no college lit class could be a deeper experience than reading your poetry.

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  24. "When every chair's placed with uncanny care"...
    I love how each image presents itself. Slowly coming into definition, like shapes in a mist!
    The last couplet reminded me of Baba Yaga the bony legged's house :)
    I love the brooding drama of this piece!

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  25. Word-weaving of the highest order. The images are powerful in the extreme.

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  26. Dear Hedge: Sometimes "snakeskin grimoire" won't work their magic against that godless godsway crew...then you got to turn those truly ungodly; render assunder those smotees into a thundering "dust" mote storms. I'd love to do that! Chiccoreal

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  27. Every word, like every chair, placed with uncanny care. Every creepy chimera-like image so perfect. If I ever see a "snakeskin grimoire" (great word!), I am running far away. But not from this poem. Thank you.

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