Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Personal Myth, Part One



Personal Myth
 Part One



The house is white. The poppy is red, growing
crooked up through a crack in time, red as
my new skirts, bright where the whitewashed wall drips 
light from the morning’s basting,
gripping the cliff like a child where it walks
swung between adult hands of sea and sky
above the gibber laments of gulls
where the heart has bricked itself a dream
and the still soul rises in smoke
from the terracotta belly 
of the fire god on the piazza
burning his ruddy mandate, 
midnight to opalescent midnight.

The moon is bright enough to write
saga, storm or singing, but holding the pen
in my love lax hands is an effort 
too great so I sit murmuring
my devotions while the careful lips of night
move celestially in response, 
and your white shoulder 
mirrors a cup of moon 
too sweet to drink.There in blue shadow
I feel what is too thin to see
through the window of the room 
rounded plum as an eggshell
painted acrylic on white, electric

with all the roses of Persephone,
flirting from every table.
The green hand of a potted dryad taps taps
alabaster skin seven times and seven again,
to crack the womb’s door where
the worlds are kicking to be born.
Open one turquoise eye; you'll see 
the woman with a naked face
in a crowd of ten thousand veils
bell in the valley, wave on the sea
harvest of  fog and forgotten seed 
pierced by Merlin's pointed staff, 
one red poppy

on the mistletoe shaft 
growing full-leafed 
through my breast.







April 2012





Posted for   Open Link Night   at dVerse Poets Pub
Joe Hesch has the apron on at the pub tonight, folks, and he's holding the doors open to all comers. Come join us. Link in is live till tomorrow midnight.






The myth part of this personal myth is only partially exposed here, because this excerpted draft is Part One of a much longer poem,( the result of answering the question, what would you like to have if you could have anything?) which I am mercifully sparing my longsuffering readers tonight. I don't think this will be the final form, and the rest is not even this ready and may never be, but thanks all, for struggling this far with me anyway.

Header Image: The Crystal Ball, by John William Waterhouse, public domain
Footer Image: The Red Poppy, by Odilon Redon, public domain


44 comments:

  1. Yes, a personal myth says have it your way or I did it my way: There's a lush vibrant piety here in the poetry, the alchemical vessel cooking up dreams (which fire in darkness heats, nice) and the point is beyond poetry even, is pure receipt, a direct conversation between speaker I and paramour Thou --

    I sit murmuring
    my devotions while the careful lips of night
    move celestially in response


    - Exquisite - And the penultimate is song,

    the woman with a naked face
    in a crowd of ten thousand veils
    bell in the valley, wave on the sea
    harvest of fog and forgotten seed
    pierced by Merlin's pointed staff,
    one red poppy ...


    World without end, amen. Makes one wonder is this is what Dorothy was dreaming in the fragrant garden outside Oz. This has the pure magesty of "Hedgerider's Lament" and needs no process or footnotes: It is. And the greater thing is that, as personal myth, it's free to add as many damn stanzas as its creator pleases. Great, earnest, poignant stuff, Hedge. - Brendan

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    1. Thanks, B--you would be right at home with how long the whole of this is, at least six very decompressed pages of late night insomniac wish-fulfillment. Interesting that you tie it to Lament as I have hopes of sestina-izing it all someday. Thanks for reading the many many words here with such informed attention.

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  2. There in blue shadow
    I feel what is too thin to see...that is what esp. spoke to me..as i know that feeling...from my past i somehow learned to fight certain emotions and things that doesn't fit together logically..but then...you can't fight them completely...they are somewhere in these blue shadows, too thin to see but they can be felt...sorry for the rant..just spoke very personally to me...thanks hedge..great and deep write as always..

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  3. I wish I knew where these words and images come from. The light along the cliff held to swing in the adult hands of sea and sky... Good God, woman! As if that were not enough, the white shoulder in moon light, and the poppy growing on the breast!

    I feel the need to pack up and go home.

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    1. Thanks Kerry--and I love the things you pack up and bring from home, so load up. ;-)

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  4. "Where the heart has bricked itself a dream"....sigh. How perfect a line is that? the lips of the night moving in response and "your white shoulder mirrors a cup of moon"..........glorious and deep, like a sea passage.

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  5. Open one turquoise eye; you'll see
    the woman with a naked face
    in a crowd of ten thousand veils.......so many great lines here. A pleasure to read.

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  6. this is beautiful hedge...love the love lax hands stanza...some really beauitiful imagery throughout...but the sitting murmuring, ha that will be me one day for sure....and they will feed me applesauce...smiles...love the little spell craft in that last stanza too...

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  7. This has left me breathless! The imagery is not only awe inspiring, it is uniquely woven through the whole piece..I can honestly say this is more than stunning...seriously talented work! :)

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  8. Wow..fabulous...I love the flow of piece, and there are too many good lines for me to mention...just great. I might have a go at the prompt myself..should make for interesting reading, but I know it won't be anything as classy as this... :)

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    1. I think it's a cool question(it was just that, a question I asked myself) and everybody should write to it--no telling what we'd learn about each other. Thanks, Louise.

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  9. A lot of amazing imagery. Am intrigued to see where the rest of it goes. A plant growing out of my chest wouldn't be at the top of the list of things I'd want if I could have anything.I'd write a much shorter poem: "Winning Lotto Ticket." :-)

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  10. The green hand of a potted dryad taps taps
    alabaster skin seven times and seven again,
    to crack the womb’s door where
    the worlds are kicking to be born. I love that. This is a mystical write of such beauty. Love it

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  11. I particularly was struck by: your white shoulder mirrors a cup of moon. My poem today features the moon as well.

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  12. Beautiful writing--"where the heart has bricked itself a dream"--just perfection-- Can't wait to see where this all leads you

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  13. One of the things that struck me about this brilliant poem is how effectively you weave color into your images. I'm a self-confessed color-addict and symbologist and, wow, this works so well.

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  14. Hedge, fantastic write. Love the way you merged the worlds of myth and then plant symbolism together. Exceptionally strong throughout, but for me,

    where the heart has bricked itself a dream
    and the still soul rises in smoke
    from the terracotta belly
    of the fire god on the piazza
    burning his ruddy mandate,
    midnight to opalescent midnight.

    and

    with all the roses of Persephone,
    flirting from every table.
    The green hand of a potted dryad taps taps
    alabaster skin seven times and seven again,
    to crack the womb’s door where
    the worlds are kicking to be born.

    I found especially strong. Great read. Thanks

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    1. Thanks Fred. Yours was longer than mine! Yes!

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  15. Real old school classic feel to this scribe, eagerly awaiting the other parts

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  16. i like all the color imagery, especially in the second to last stanza!!

    messy little girl

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  17. ok hedge so you 've penned a womb crack and i've got a cracked hymen - this is the kind of uncanny coincidence that should not be explored - lol - but who cares about whacky cracky's when theres this piece of awesomeness to feast on - jeez i read it twice and got lost in it 19 times - lol - it is a corker

    above the gibber laments of gulls
    where the heart has bricked itself a dream
    and the still soul rises in smoke
    from the terracotta belly
    of the fire god on the piazza
    burning his ruddy mandate,
    midnight to opalescent midnight.

    Holy shite at Easter this is Wicked! :)

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    1. Dare I say you crack me up? Thanks, Arron, yours was bitter and bitchin'--the way I like it.

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  18. Hi Hedge, this is just wonderful. I saw this morning, but too busy to really comment. I think I might like the first stanza best, or maybe the second, or third! Actually, I love the image of the child swinging between hands of sea and sky. And the crack and skirt crinkles and white wash. I think I relate to that better than the more mythological parts--It really is all just great though.

    K.

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    1. That's the most done part--it gets progressively more unbuttoned until it becomes poem graffiti. And don't worry, like Matt says above, a flower growing out of a stake through one's breast is not everyone's cup of moon. Thanks for swinging by on a busy night, K.

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  19. Powerful ending. . . to this Part One.

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  20. heart has bricked itself a dream...
    love the way you wrote that.
    Amazing.

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  21. That phrase is so evocative - "all the roses of Persephone" - that it makes my mind wander forward, to the unwritten (or at least unread) parts of your long poem, to wonder where that invocation might take us. As always, your marriage of mythology with the intensely personal has the mark of pure craftsmanship; this poem sings with the intensity of a Pre-Raphaelite work of art.

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    1. Thanks Sam--that makes the Waterhouse a good choice, then--almost went with a Monet(The Customs House)and in the continuum, Persephone holds the bridle for Odin's eight-legged horse, among other things. ;-)

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  22. I see here one who is an inhabitant and observer of the night, whose own light is more radiant than the moon and can throw enough light on life to bring night things to full color - the poppy, the whitewashed wall, the shadowed bricks, the golden terracotta the jewels of skytones after dark,whites on whites near indigo or even moving inside, the poet shines her light on shoulder, sheet, and skin put in high relief with whitest berries nestled in the pointed green leaves of mistletoe. Perhaps a kindred spirit to Persephone herself, reaching for a rose, rising with a pomegranate. I'm curious to read the remainder of the tale. It is trimmed in gothic romance and begs to be finished. Brava!

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  23. Really wonderful imagery, one line to the next. Enjoyed reading it, a few times. Moon, fog, sea, shadow -- night time references lend particular mysterious and magical feel.

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  24. Your words floor me every time. You just have this STYLE...a blend of the ethereal, the traditional, but deply emotive and feeling very very personal. This blend, for me, is so appealing and engaging. I might be missing the pont- but this bought homwe some familiar feelings- of being in a place of beauty but still feeling cracked and jarred on the inside (if that makes any sense at all)- i think iot was the line about 'feeling that which is too think to see'- i know this thinness- this intangible feeling- you maaged to capture it in words (at least for me anyway)- fantastic

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  25. All I can say Hedge is wow, fantastic writing. I specially like the images and nature images of the second stanza ~ Beautiful ~

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  26. What a visual opening..static and moving at once:

    The house is white. The poppy is red
    as my new skirts, growing crinkled up a crack in time
    bright where the whitewashed wall drips
    light from the morning’s basting,

    Light dripping like the white wash... beautiful connections all through the piece.. I feel it may not be fixed yet..many possibilities and much to look forward to.

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  27. This is so dramatic to me, pulling in energy from so many different mythic sources. The descriptive parts are almost cinematic, ranging from bright to subdued. I know you say its 'in process' but this feels very refined and finished. I hope the full finished product makes it into the forum someday...love to read it all. Very nice work on 'Part 1.'

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  28. Such a beginning to make in what I can only imagine is a tale that will bring further awareness of what a great poet you are. This has so much power because it reaches down into the core of those passions, wants, desire, and dreams that all share. You have laid out the narrative structure where so much awaits revelation and reflection. While your painting of the scene provides so much background, the mise en scene, we still hear the poet's voice sounding the depths of reality and dream, possibility and necessity, seeking the balance for all that is and what is yet to come. I think your poetry has that awareness that is so essential to self-consciousness that makes us real.

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  29. the woman with a naked face
    in a crowd of ten thousand veils

    wow, so many fabulous images and emotions woven into this tapestry...
    those two lines grabbed my heart, said it all, but i loved every word of this.

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  30. The language here is so richly tapestried, Hedge. Just beautiful. I'm not always sure of the meaning..but just mouthing it aloud is almost enough for me at the moment. I'll be back to bathe in this luxury of words again.

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  31. The second stanza, particularly the first few lines, is sheer beauty.

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  32. I can almost eek out an understanding here and there, but then get lost in the living tendrils of words. I find my self dancing in them, letting them entwine my ankles. Then I remember I'm supposed to find some meaning here and look about embarrassed wondering if anyone has caught me in my abandon.

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    1. I'd much rather you dance, preferably barefoot, and let the tendrils do their job gradually...sometimes it takes years. ;-)I'm still working on it myself, but if I don't pay more attention to the dancing part, I tend to step on my own feet.

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  33. where the heart has bricked itself a dream
    and the still soul rises in smoke

    Really liked the imagery here and the second stanza is captivating - yes, the second is just stunning... but the last line of it did throw me off a bit. Don't stop writing this.... I see it is a work in progress from above.. :)

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  34. "Sruggling" with you? *grabs the bar and hammers you into the ground like a cartoon character* Wyle E. Coyote here, dropping an anvil on *myself* in lieu of hair pulling.

    I came to this poem directly from your "2 Poems" which I loved, as I told you in my comment there. I looked at this and thought, well, it will be good because it is Hedgewitch, but it won't be anything like that last one. Wrong wrong wrong wrong. it is different, and did not make me cry, but here is what it did do:

    Every so often, I will be reading along in a poem of yours, when the words lift me--it feels like that, literally--and I am off into some other level, and I re-read and say something erudite like "holy hell!" The second stanza here did that to me. It's as if your words, always well-turned, become blessed or imbued with something *more*. It's exhilarating to read.

    Also, "Open one turquoise eye" is one of those striking images that leaps out. How do you come up with this stuff? And, aren't you the one who was caterwauling not so long ago that you were uninspired and not able to write? Remind me to smack you, seriously.

    *drops pens in waste basket*

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  35. I found this fascinating and captivating as the beginning of a wonderful journey. I'm with Brendan: Bring it on!

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