Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mortality and the Little People

Mortality and the Little People





When I die
open the gate;
no traps.
Let this clay burn
to the visible
nothing it already is.

Let the wind blow,
let the knowers know,
let me go.

Oh I’ll see
the dancing leprachaun no doubt,
with fire for a hat and death for a snout
His cheeks are red
his eyebrows shed
and he grins like a goat with
his oversized prong
come to roast me
toast me for a party favor
but I’m determined to give back
a rather off flavor.

After the gate opens, fire
has taken all it can.
Go home
and sleep alone.

Let the wind blow,
let the rain turn to snow
let me go.






January 2012

Posted for     real toads


 Image: photograph by Isadora Gruye
Used with permission


27 comments:

  1. Oh Hedge, this is so melancholy, and yet it is determined in its way, too. I love the odd rhyme scheme, if scheme it even is, and the part about the "off flavor' is such an original, spit in your eye kind of defiance. You wrote well to the picture, and the "let me go" refrain is haunting.

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    1. Thanks, dear friend. Your comments are always valuable for insight and sense(usually 'of humor' but sometimes just 'good')

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  2. come to roast me
    toast me for a party favor
    but I’m determined to give
    back a rather off flavor.

    Oh, love that sass!

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  3. Wowzers, you have written so well, and it is a treat to read:)

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  4. I, too, shall undoubtedly be inflicted with a leprechaun.

    I like the rhyme scheme, too. It really adds to the flipping the bird feel of the piece.

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    1. My favorite comment on the poem. Thanks for getting it.

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  5. The "off flavor" is a lovely bit of feistiness in the melancholy, but I worry that a goat with oversized prong will eat anything. K.

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    1. hopefully we have a long time til then...and when the time comes may he bring a fine irish stout to quench my thirst before spitting me...smiles. fun melancholy hedge

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    2. Yes, if he brought some Guinness, he'd definitely get a better reception.

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  6. Before I read any further, let me say you nailed it with the first two lines!
    And with the last three, I have felt a wave of goosebumps. Remarkable. This contains all the poignancy of man (and woman's) relationship with death and beyond:

    let me go (do not regard the fear, the emptiness, the questions)

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    1. Yes, and also 'pay no attention to that man behind the screen..' ;_) Thanks, Kerry.

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  7. I have to agree with Mama Zen. I definitely got the flipping the bird feeling off of this one. The words "Go home and sleep alone." are brutal.

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  8. Hi there and thanks for posting this in response to one of my photos. I love the direction you took, of the open gate letting someone flee the mortal coil. I loved this line:

    Let this clay burn
    to the visible
    nothing it already is.

    If I could think of a caption for this photo, it would be exactly those lines. I also enjoyed the introduction of the leprechaun. You really captured the morose playfulness of the picture. Well done and viva la

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, and for coming by to comment, Isadora. Your photography is only topped by your poetry, which is a well I hope to drink from regularly.

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  9. Call me bizarre, but the line "let me go" is full of romance for me. Therefore, I find your poem a thing of great beauty.

    And I love this so much because it is how I feel. For gods sake, people think they are so special - so steeped in important legacy, when what we are is nothing, really,...and stardust, which is most special indeed and cannot be burned!

    Let this clay burn
    to the visible
    nothing it already is.

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    1. Agree, thanks, and love the stardust in your comment.

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  10. Great freedom in this letting go, eyes clear to the flame and cold. Something of Stevens' "The Snow Man" in

    Let this clay burn
    to the visible
    nothing it already is.


    that dying need no blush or fanfare, just arms wide to what is. Guess this is what Rilke meant by learning to "forget that passionate singing" -- to find a way, eventually, to walk straight into the "breath inside the god," that "wind" which is the nothing that is. The little people are all of those past living who have shrunk that far in oblivion, growing smaller and smaller til there's only a cold mound. They may have the face of death and yet they play that strange, familiar, alluring music ... And surely this is why we don't live forever; a threshold approaches where 'tis less weary to step over than keep trudging. I hear ya, though there's always a point in sticking around for poems like this to come. -- Brendan

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    1. Yes, age brings a certain weariness with it--an "I've seen it before, learned it, know it, why must I see it again and again' sort of feel--excellently expressed in Leonard Cohen's new song, Darkness--(well worth checking out, it's up on soundcloud.) He nails a lot of the malaise of the struggle to keep struggling, to care about the human personal, and the need to find peace with it. I don't care to find any god's glorious ice heart and walk into it to be frozen into some spurious non-corporal ecstasy, and I'd like to be spared the gloating leprechauns of all the dark side of religion as well; all this is about letting go, not *for* something, but to accept the end of all somethings. That my friend, is peace. I like your observation about the little people, though, however much not what I had in mind.

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  11. Well this is a new take on cremation! :-) I love that phrase visible nothing. I like Brendan's take regarding Rilke, and the idea that once you've gone down, now climbing back up is a new life, and freedom. And also, that mind of winter and the nothing that is.

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    1. Thanks Ruth--well, this is more or less about stopping, never having to come back up, but I think we're on the same page in the end(freedom and nothing.) Thanks for reading, and hope your new software is making responding less painful.

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  12. The first verses caught me..until the last line of letting me go. Death took on a different face with you ~

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  13. Death will come and you toss a sneer in its face...the leprachaun will not like what he roasts...love it!

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  14. Truly a fascinating take on the picture. It really does have a sadness with being let go and going home to sleep alone.

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  15. Just beautiful, hedgewitch. Yes, the greatest service we can give to those who have departed is to fully and properly let them go.

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  16. This is great. I don't know why, precisely, but it seems to remove fear from the thought of the ultimate end.
    I wonder if this is why some cultures have the huge public burning, rather than the deathly chill of the crematorium? To let go, to be seen to be letting go, rather than to be seen to be behaving properly.

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  17. Now I know it is possible to be cheeky and soulful at the same time. The desire to give back an "off flavor" and so stanch the tide of overwrought mourning--go home! Let me go!! But at the same time, you give us "let this clay burn/to the visible/nothing it already is" and as Brendan and Ruth have said, evoke Rilke and Stevens and something personally and philosophically beautiful. Which requires thought. Thank you.

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  18. I like this. I always enjoy where your words take me.

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