Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cheap Shoes



Cheap Shoes



Before it was a blizzard
there was rain and wind and darkness
but we had word beams to bend
boxes full, a sundrenched attic’s worth, 
enough and more
for any shape we wanted

so I opened the back door
to let the animals in before the storm.
The mares came first fluttering their buttery eyes,
whom the bitter goats tried to hound thru the wildering night
and the geese were lost as sheep, as the braying mule
when the howling finally came to eat the world.

Then we knew it wasn't safe in the filigreed cage.
We let everything fly heartbird from hand 
so that back before it was wind and rain and darkness
and up the stairs of the sunbright grove
bumped the pit wagon---remember? it took
so many---we could still

choose not to board,
and bend and bend instead
these beams of words
to make the half moon
spill over with lovers' night
deep in the snow.

So I wonder if it's true, what I've heard them say,
that death's unbendable in his cheap shoes
and walks the longest way.






January 2012

Posted for   OpenLinkNight   at dVerse Poets Pub 
I'm the ghostess with the mostest tonight at the pub. Come join us and enjoy our unique je ne sais quoi ambiance and poetry au lait. Link in is live from 3:00 PM Eastern Tuesday till midnight Wednesday





Images removed due to possible copyright issues.

57 comments:

  1. your flow is rather enchanting toward the end...particularly when speaking of death...i hope he takes the long way here, but whenever he stops in i will be sure to offer him tea...

    choose not to board,
    and bend and bend instead
    these beams of words
    to make the half moon
    spill over with lovers' night
    deep in the snow.

    that verse is my fav part...

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  2. Joy,
    I nearly did go into a Noah's Ark feel but it stops short. Cheap shoes can still work wonders!

    Hank

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  3. Oh this is so beautiful, and rather mystical in its tone. I held my breath as I was reading, it is just so good!

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  4. I enjoy the Thomas-esque syntax and lilting fall of language. Hope you'll keep bending words and making moon-cicles of lovers' tales in your sweet, dark way.

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  5. "death is unbendable in his cheap shoes,"

    Remarkable visual, I would be tempted to avoid anyone in cheap shoes in the future. (Hugs)Indigo

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  6. Man, death sure has some uggily shoes ... unbendable, too, no matter what bent the beam of words puts into play. Is it possible to stay ahead of the wind before the blizzard strikes? So many fall along the way. Where to hide, what's safe? Looks like you ran out of doors. Or maybe Death is way ahead of us. Intriguing play of "bend" and "beam"-- quite a lot of mystery in this history of selves. -Brendan

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    1. well, to me the spilling over moon trumps the cheap shoes, if the bent beams of it remain behind after I go off dancin with Mr D--I hope his toes are pinched all to hell in there. ;-) Thanks for the kind words.

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  7. intriguing write...i never knew he would walk in cheap shoes...love the flow here and how you build up tension in your unique mythical, mysterious pen.. great having you hosting the poetry fun tonight!!

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    1. Thanks Claudia--it's always fun playing in the pub sandbox with all the gang.

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  8. We have far too much to do and I do hope that death takes the long way before finding us and an even longer way when he does. Your poem transported me to many different places with many favored memories. Poetry that moves us and takes us on a journey is poetry for the ages. Thank you.

    Cheers,

    Mark Butkus

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  9. "The mares came first fluttering their buttery eyes,"

    Perfect.

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  10. tight write, here's mine.

    *falls over laffing* Sorry! I couldn't resist.

    This thing is wild, and not to be found at Payless, that's for sure. I, too, love the mares' fluttering buttery eyes, as well as the "bitter" goats, and the fearsome howling that comes to eat the world. Barn-ageddon?

    "Then we knew it wasn't safe in the filigreed cage.
    We let everything fly heartbird from hand" Oh, get out. That's...well, here's my hair, freshly torn.

    Death in cheap shoes...that's some kind of post-beat pop deviltry. More than that, it's a perfect wrap-up to this weird, disturbing, but also beautiful foray into crazydreamland. Not to mention the tags. Got to love the tags.

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  11. I liked the last two verses especially - they work without me understanding them, but will stay with me and matter one day I suspect.
    Thanks.

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  12. Hedge, really like how you tied the idea of footwear, word-bending, storms and the idea of protection. Really well written and greatly enjoyed the read. Thanks

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  13. Power to the word beams and their bendability!

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  14. Cheap shoes indeed, what a perfect picture of death.

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  15. Yo hedge witch...
    what a picture....its a trip by itself... i was totally sucked in by the write

    excellent premise and delivery.

    well spun, great craft thru out

    and the ending brings it all into focus.

    superb - big up on the O N intro too :)

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  16. Thanks Arron--I don't want to/hang up my surrealist shoes, ;-) I'm headed your way to see how far you blow my mind away this week--within the solar ring, or intergalactically.

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  17. Put on a pair of shoes like those and it's no wonder words bend and beam.

    Nicely sustained cadence, evocative imagery (as always), and the lines "death's unbendable in his cheap shoes / and walks the longest way" . . . a standout!

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  18. wow...a beautiful write..my favorite
    choose not to board,
    and bend and bend instead
    these beams of words
    to make the half moon
    spill over with lovers' night
    deep in the snow.

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  19. Loved every word, especially the mares' buttery eyes. (The picture creeped me out though, lol.) Your way with language is wonderful, especially when you trust the words to do their work and don't pile on heaps. (For what it's worth)

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  20. Intriguing...it's one of those I need to read a few times. I need to let it all seep in and perk awhile. The flow and sound are well done!

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  21. I am always in awe when I read your work--death in cheap shoes--mares with buttery eyes--I love the visuals that I get when I read this--Thank you for a really satisfying read!

    @AudreyHowitt

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  22. This is my very favorite line in an excellent poem: "when the howling finally came to eat the world"

    ~Shawna
    rosemarymint.wordpress.com

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  23. Enchanting, dreamlike.

    Good news that Death takes the long way around. But personally I've always worn cheap shoes and stumbled on the path...

    Thanks for this gathering blizzard, this intriguing read!

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  24. "...and bend instead
    these beams of words
    to make the half moon
    spill over with lovers' night
    deep in the snow."

    Really like the word choice, how you've put this together, especially like the lines above, just beautiful. (Rather wild and creepy image though!) Nicely penned.

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  25. Joy- I just love this. I especially like the second stanza and the ending.

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  26. I love the last two stanzas~captivating. Of course, I can say with certainty that you've captured the nature of both goats and geese. :-)

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  27. Beautiful flow, and enchanting imagery - I never thought of Death with cheap shoes :)

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  28. This is so simple, and yet your lyricism lulls the reader into a false sense of... well, all is not right with the world here, and you underline it with the entrance of Death, ominous even as you draw him almost as a caricature. Well done.

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  29. lots of great symbolism in this. i loved all the animals....

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  30. "Then we knew it wasn't safe in the filigreed cage.
    We let everything fly heartbird from hand "...something about this line...I think it is the heartbird...I am trying to imagine the weight of it on my palm.

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  31. love all the imagery, the allusion,
    the word play.
    "when the howling finally came to eat the world."
    in cheap shoes no less.
    this had a wonderfully eerie feel to it.

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  32. You snagged me there at the ending, great way to bring it around. Part love poem, part fantastic menagerie, you bring me fully into the life of your heart and soul. This got me:

    when the howling finally came to eat the world.

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  33. This is magical, hedgewitch, and fanciful and the flow is beautiful. Love the 'filigreed' :)

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  34. Death has been depicted in many ways...but who woulda thunk in cheap shoes? Nice imagry throughout. Original, captivating write!

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  35. Authentic, original and skilfully constructed. The imagery here is rich, rewarding and wonderfully nuanced. Never a wasted word and every word in its rightful place.
    I truly love your work Joy.
    Thanks for hosting tonight and for you comments on my poem. Much appreciated. James.

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  36. A tale for a flickering fire.. and how I warmed to these lines:

    word beams to bend
    boxes full, a sundrenched attic's worth

    ... beautifully captured denial of death.

    Enjoyed the whole.. as always each word well chosen and finely placed.

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    1. Thank you becky, for seeing exactly what I was trying to say.

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  37. This is thoughtful and causes introspection, at least for me. Traveling from the illusion of safety (immortality??) at the outset, to the bizarre vision of death in its commonplace guise...a great narrative arc filled with dark and light, day and night. I enjoyed this greatly.

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    1. Thanks, Steve for the kind and insightful words--this is sort of a generational poem, from childhood to finding identity,hopefully reflecting also a bit our times.

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  38. just like a kid's picture book this piece came to life... I saw it all... and so much more

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  39. The quote about death is chilling and will definitely stick with me.

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  40. excuse...I meant the last stanza--just woke up!

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  41. This is a poem, Hedge, that has so many layers...it unfolds like an accordian to me...haunting and daunting and just when I thought I 'got it'...it reverses itself, and goes another way! LOL! I get the surface meaning, but it's deeper than it looks....

    You are quite a seamstress of words, Joy. You are always magical in your work, and this 'trait' is enduring. Your craftswomanship is amazing and constant.

    Lovely, lovely piece with a punch to the eye last ending.

    Brava.

    Jane

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  42. "Then we knew it wasn't safe in the filigreed cage." That line right there is when the poem shifted for me, taking on newer, deeper meanings, and the layers began to expose themselves to my reader's eyes...thoughtfully and carefully crafted, my friend, and that final stanza...shudders. A line that will stick in my thoughts, to be sure.

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  43. and bend instead
    these beams of words
    to make the half moon
    spill over with lovers' night

    I really liked that. Don't quite understand how it all ties together ... but everyone else does and that makes me feel so inadequate a poetry reader... sigh. But it is beautiful! :)

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  44. When I first fell prey to the sweet whimsy of the opening stanzas, I thought to myself "most un-Hedgelike." Then death came in his ugly (obviously leprechaun) shoes, and I knew that I was in the right place.

    Damn fine poem, Hedge.

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  45. I read the poem and comments as far as Arron's. I just naturally felt you were going for the full Magritte here. It felt so cooly surreal and I looked at the picture (you find the absolutely most unusual pictures,- she has a treasure trove-) for a really long time and wanted a copy of it, big somewhere..anyway...Loved the poem, jealous all over again at the ease of your words and the interplay of your images!

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  46. I love this... death unbendable in cheap shoes and those shoes...gosh what a picture...Great stuff!

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  47. This has some really wonderful moments--the wordplay around the animals is just terrific==I had to read it through a couple of times to parse it out and think maybe a couple of extra commas might be nice for the literal-minded (like me) though they may also spoil the wonderful momentum.

    The end came as a bit of a surprise, though you'd given us a hint with the pit wagon--what is wonderful about your poetry is that everything is so carefully chosen. One cannot just blur over some words as "mood"==they refer to specific chains of events, are part of a sequence (of course!). I guess what I mean is there are no throwaway lines or words. This requires a certain attention in the reader--but, of course, the attention is repaid. (In spades.) K.

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    1. Thanks, K. I worked this one up out of a lot of fragmentary images I'd scribbled down over a few weeks that seemed to have no relation to each other--like sewing up Frankenstein's monster from various parts, so its good to know I achieved some sort of unity and progression as I was aiming for that in the backwards time images of rain and snow, etc, especially. I'm pretty bad about commas--when I write initially I have absolutely no punctuation, not even periods--then I try to go back and put in only what is absolutely necessary, and I like to leave a little ambiguity, because that's how my own mind works--but sorry to make it more work to read properly for those whose mind works a bit differently. Thanks as always for your insightful comments and close reading of my work. I deeply appreciate it.

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  48. love the weave of this...I dwelled within;

    "choose not to board,
    and bend and bend instead
    these beams of words
    to make the half moon
    spill over with lovers' night
    deep in the snow."

    and I must say the lead in image was captivating I couldnt stop looking at it! Wonderful my friend, and thank you for the kind support. ~ Rose

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  49. "Buttery eyes"! That is such a loving description for horses' eyes, just perfect and totally unforgettable.

    This poem is as surprising as a growing, unexpected storm. Made my heart race. Really.

    This stanza is my favorite:

    so I opened the back door
    to let the animals in before the storm.
    The mares came first fluttering their buttery eyes,
    whom the bitter goats tried to hound thru the wildering night
    and the geese were lost as sheep, as the braying mule
    when the howling finally came to eat the world.

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