Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fall Of Night

relic

Fall Of Night

And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all. 
~Edgar Allan Poe, Masque of the Red Death



Open the last door
of the windowless room
to find the darkness.

Slender thrust of moonsword
through matted velvet musk
you are hollow as all the other

castings of Ouroboros
a black beam of my own sending,
shot scarlet with motes of self overlooked

by fevering dreams, the tart taste of
amanita on the tongue, red dotted white,
I put inside your gaping mouth.

The night knows as it closes
I am not a source of light
but the lens sent to break it.

Still you are so deathly
beautiful, cerise smile in the shiftspin
of the prism's red masque

throwing back mirror bright
all the carmine dazzle of darkness,
that I can’t look away from

the bloodshine in your eye; it
spills through the heart locked
heavy round my neck

drips in a tankard
skull white, ice cold
raised to the worms of your lips.

Look—you lift your arm--
you seem to call me
deeper into the ruins

just 
before the light
goes out.


Masqueofthereddeath-Clarke

February 2012



Posted for   Open Link Night   at dVerse Poets Pub 

I'm ghosting tonight at the pub, where the party will be free of darkness decay and malign influences, and only poetry will have dominion over all. 
Come join us. 
Link in will be live from 3:00pm Tuesday to Midnight Wednesday, EST.






Header Image: Relic, posted by practicalowl  on flickr
Shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 Generic License
Footer Image: Illustration from Masque of the Red Death, 1919, by Harry Clarke [Public domain], via wikimedia commons


53 comments:

  1. woo hoo...i love it when you ghost the pub....smiles...love the enchanting grit in this...the moonsword plunging (could easily be a euphamism---just saying)

    The night knows as it closes
    I am not a source of light
    but the lens sent to break it.

    is a fav part...and your word pairings rock...deathly beautiful. smiles.

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    1. Thanks, bri. Sometimes I just get the Hallowe'en spirit, regardless of the time of year. ;-)

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  2. Oh my goodness, this one oozes atmosphere like a Poe tale of terror. So many striking images. The photo is fantastic.

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  3. Drat! Brian stole my favorite lines. Love the many "reds" you invoke--scarlet, cerise, carmine and of course blood...perfect in its creepiness...Mr. Poe wants you to come in...deathly beautiful, my yes.

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  4. Oooh! Hedgewitch indeed. This really feels to me like the opening of a story or ballad (even ballade--ha!). I agree with Brian re favorite lines.

    I realize as I read this again that I never pay enough attention to titles first time through as you are truly, literally, describing the fall of night. I am very dense about this stuff, but I feel certain I am not the only one. One loves the poem even without fully "getting" it, but perhaps the title could be included in a line somewhere--I don't know--it's wonderful as is, but I am conscious that it would be easy for me just to enjoy the atmospherics and not actually follow you line by line, which would be unfortunate. Does any of that make sense? I don't quite know the way to knock a reader on the head--I tend to go for the obvious.

    K.

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    1. I don't spend a lot of time thinking up my titles, K. I just slap whatever the poem feels like to me on them, because a poem without a title is like a guitar with five strings. It may feel differently to someone else, and I like to leave the space for the reader to get what speaks to them, suggests something from their own perspective or experience. I don't have a particular lesson in mind usually, so please, enjoy the atmospherics and don't feel you must be on a mission to get what was going on in my own head at point of writing. I am very rarely able to do that with anyone's work, sometimes not even my own. ;-) Thanks for reading and putting so much effort into it--it's very much appreciated as the compliment it is.

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  5. You do put the delicious in dark... yes you do. I'll see ya later at the pub for a pint. I'm thinking it'll be something dark :)

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    1. I think you outdarked me seriously, witchy woman.

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  6. You make the night very captivating. The images of these lines are powerful to me:

    fevering dreams, the tart taste of
    amanita on the tongue, red dotted white,
    I put inside your gaping mouth.

    Happy ghosting ~

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  7. whew..what a ghostly start to a wonderful night...hopefully lots of poetry spooking around...honestly...skull white, ice cold
    raised to the worms of your lips...lots of shiver potential in this hedge...love it

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  8. Chilling bouree of eros and thanatos here, ghastly-delicate and ghostly-gossamer. I mean, it's frighteningly beautiful. Perhaps more heartfelt in the harrows than a more roseate erotic might confect. Witches sure do know how to dance with the devil. The sepulchral beckons into deeper ruins and darkness at the end is perfect. Title rocks, too. - Brendan

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  9. Thanks all--I have just had a nasty fall dodging a crazed driver while having our daily dogwalk--my hands are pretty screwed up, naturally as I used them to break my fall--no skin makes typing lots less fun. Please bear with me and I will get around to everyone as soon as I can. Off to take an aleve and applymore bandages.

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    1. Ye-owch! May a wild hunt of wolfbanes track down that butthead and chew of his/her arse. Lousy night to sling suds at the Pub. Lay off the keyboard and see a doc soon if necessary. - B

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    2. My fault really as I was ambling along in a blind spot--won't do that again. I am now much better, all wrapped up a la Karloff in the Mummy, and able to type despite having temporarily lost the opposable quality of my right thumb. ;-)Thanks for your comment above, and for the new word--though this is more a pavanne than a bourree perhaps.

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  10. Poe would approve, I think. Evocative imagery leaves me shivering.

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    1. I am replying in this odd place--this computer at school no longer really supports Blogger--so if this comment is in an odd place, that is why--anyway--I must say that I love your darker writes--you just have such evocative language --makes my skin tingle --just fabulous!

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  11. Excellent poem. Myth and Legend are an endless source for great verse!

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  12. Still you are so deathly
    beautiful, cerise smile in the shiftspin
    of the prism's red masque

    the myth, the legend... the hedgewitch :)

    done the way you do it - i can just relax read and cross over;

    not something i do easily but you are a bit of a transporter hedge.

    some stunning word play dont hurt none neither :)

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  13. a poem of night that somehow blazes light and colour... gorgeous! especially

    The night knows as it closes
    I am not a source of light
    but the lens sent to break it.

    Still you are so deathly
    beautiful, cerise smile in the shiftspin
    of the prism's red masque

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  14. "spills through the heart locked" loved the motion in this line

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  15. Very nice Hedge. Lots of super cool lines in this one. Dark overtones and a piece that Poe would love. Thanks.

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  16. The night knows as it closes
    I am not a source of light
    but the lens sent to break it.

    Still you are so deathly
    beautiful, cerise smile in the shiftspin
    of the prism's red masque

    holy moly...beautiful lines... images I want to step up to..enjoyed this very much!

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  17. Of course, you have to pick like one of my most favorite Poe stories of all time! What an homage to the imp of the perverse this is. Totentanz, dark orgy of desire, I love the mood of this which is chillingly close to the original you honor. And your command of the rhythm is simply stunning to me. The artistry required to pull this off is pretty formidable. I don't know what this means, but I understood many of the more esoteric allusions to Ouroboros and amanita. Perhaps my jaded past is catching up with me!

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  18. Captivating and dark , a great read.

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  19. this was a full chalice of midnight, like tasting dusk itself.

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  20. I hope you feel okay. It's such a scare too. I nearly got run over buy a guy who was so busy looking at the lights he wasn't even looking at me and as he moved forward he smacked into me and I slammed my hand down on the hood to stop him. If he hadn't jumped and slammed on his brakes, I would've maybe had a couple of broken legs myself. Made him really jump!
    This is very Poe(esque) dark, haunting, and vivid in its imagery. Fabulous read.
    You'll be sore in the morning. Thank God it was nothing worse.

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  21. deathly beautiful gives it all away, doesn't it?

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  22. Sometimes you have a definite macabre streak in your writing, complete with the gothic flourishes that Poe savoured. This is a perfect, perfect example.

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  23. So wonderfully mythical and dangerous and I do love Poe's writing

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  24. Drat! What a terrible and sudden fall after this gorgeously spooky poem about night falling. So sorry to hear about it. Be good and take it easy. It sounds painful!

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  25. This is all about mood, impressions and all the richness of the dark...the reds and shadows are a dramatic combination. The verse moves so naturally from picture to picture, without forcing, seemingly--not so easy to do given the strangeness. The last stanza seems to evaporate on the page, quietly, just like the light going out. Nicely done. I hope the Alleve is working....

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  26. Poe must be smiling, though his worm lips are long gone.

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  27. You served the words of Poe so well in this write, creating a sensory experience. Beautiful ~ Rose

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  28. Raised to the worms of your lips- I loved this line- so descriptive and vitriolic. Actually- this poem is totally my cup of tea- dark, eerie, melancholic. For some reason- it made me think of a lover- not a kind person - who you so desperately want to be rid of, to stab, to take revenge , but are still unable to stop loving them. I'm not sure why- but a few of your poems have done this - they create that powerful and dark romance that I can't help but thrive off. I'm suemim probably missing the point- but I don't care- this was AMAZING! Great descriptions, ghostly words- made me want to burn sugar into absinthe! Ha ha

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  29. Poe would have rushed up and hugged you, had he read this, Hedge. True to the Red Masque, with all your varied shades of red...the eerieness, of course, comes thru loud and strong..and very polished. Great write!

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  30. Nightmare passages or dramatic visions. I have dreams of long hallways with lots of dark doors.(I wonder if everyone does) The ballet scene in Oklahoma has that sequence which leads through corridors of doors emptying to the house becoming a shell, or an open set. This has that feel too..dark, dramatic, staged, painted (dripping in Sweeney Todd reds), ready for an opera perhaps or even the bathos of melodrama. It's Wicked, eerie and "right up your alley" so to speak. Loved it.

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  31. Oh! Joy! You out Poe Poe! LOL!

    This has all the classical scary bells and whistles to raise the hair on the back of the neck! It did mine...
    but then again, you are a master of this genre...

    "Raised to the worms of your lips" is just one of the knock-out phrases...my, my, my, what a nipple-raising poem you have wove here.

    And then you are almost run over...do you think there is some sort of psychic connection with the poem and the event yesterday??

    God, Joy, I hope you are ok. Probably sore and bruised , but still alive. And writing poetry....


    The imagery is so brilliant, vibrant, it puts this reader in a different realm.

    Lady Nyo

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  32. Wow! Gorgeous words and accompanying images. I love every piece of this : )
    -Eva

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  33. My word, this is incredible! If I start quoting lines, I won't stop. Freaking brilliant, Hedge.

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  34. This made me sigh, hedgewitch. Beautiful.

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  35. A beauty of a thing, but one that will nevertheless raise a few hairs. I knew what I'd be getting into with the intro from Poe (and a tale of his I very much enjoyed, by the by, so thank you for that reminder)...but the eerie drama of it is one more show of your skilled pen, dear Joy.

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  36. a wonderfully dark, twisty tale that can only be told by HW; I've not been around too much on the poet side, so glad to read a true voice (if that makes sense) ~

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  37. Enigmatic and spooky -- conjures up marvelous images in my mind.

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  38. An evocative and accomplished write as usual. I especially liked these lines:

    The night knows as it closes
    I am not a source of light
    but the lens sent to break it.

    Another one for the memory store. Thank you.

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  39. Ooh this is wonderfully dark and atmospheric - creating dark and atmospheric imagery! Excellent!

    Anna :o]

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  40. Quote the Hedgewitch...Nevermore!

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  41. Thanks everyone. Much appreciated. My mitts are still swathed in bandages and typing remains difficult so I owe all of you a return visit in future when I am unwrapped. Glad everyone enjoyed this one.

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  42. stunning! i doubt anyone but you could find romance in such a gruesome subject! love it!

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