Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Broken Lantern



Light Blue


Broken Lantern
(incanted)




Cricket sing and beat the bat
deaf against a stony post.
Rub your legs that can't be fat;
chase away the sonar ghost.

Broken lantern lost his light
thrown on the rocks of endless night,
snakeskin succubus lost her bite
cast out by a wafer and an old man's fright.

A broken hag saw her mirrored face
plowed up for flowers with a double-bit brace.
Changeling child found a cold embrace
in a boomerang's claw, in a fickle grace.

Light was broken, curse was spoken
though she made no sound. It lay on the ground.
The sun gave a shout, the well gave out
the cow went dry, but the bishop ate trout.

In a hawk heavy sky, when the moon was round
two doves died fast, two sins flew past
the nightingale singing her bloody last
of a lightness broken, a curse soft spoken.

Closed door womb, a raddled room
littered with toys as a baby's tomb
where the curse was spoken, where light lay broken;
where the babe's bound tight and gently lies

in arms of steel where the knife never dies.
Too soon, too soon, for the hard lullabies,
for the waking sleep never meant to keep
where the curse is spoken, the light is broken.

Cricket sing and fool the bat
deaf and blind, lost and found.
Wild wolf howl, wail black cat;
light is broken and lies on the ground.


~November 2012


If you'd like to hear the poem read by the author, please click below




Posted for   OpenLinkNight   at dVerse Poets Pub






Image: Light Blue, by Keoni Cabral, on flick'r
Shared under a creative commons license.


40 comments:

  1. oh dang...what a journey...tight and heavy images...but also the refusal to give up hope..where there is a curse, there always is an anticurse...

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  2. where the curse was spoken, where light lay broken;...what a refrain that....like the repetition of it...really enchanting as well what you do with the rhymes....so tight a scheme in the first 3 stanzas, the change up jumps out at you hedge...so much texture in your imagery as well....

    hey looks like you are flowing now...smiles.

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  3. Ha! Haven't been able to listen to it yet, but a lot of spooky music here. (I'm thinking suddenly of whales singing, and Yeats taken down a hedgerow or two.) So many great lines - I love the beginning - I know you are probably talking about animate crickets and bats but I can't help thinking of the game! With cricket bat and post and non-fat legs! (I go to a very strange English schoolyard field.) But this goes with this sense of child's loss - and cursed sadness - even with the toys and tomb and womb etc. Poor caughtness. Many many beautiful phrases - the hawk-heavy sky probably one of my favorites; and the broken light. A wonderful incantation, though not great to be on its other side. k.

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    1. ps - Brian right re lots of work flowing. I'm unfortunately in cold embrace of paperwork's claw for next forever, or at least till end of year. k.

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    2. Thanks, k. You have such a wonderful ear. I was thinking of a rather diabolical jumprope rhyme, if witches turned the ropes. I am about halfway through Nose Dive--lots of fun, even though my normal interest in teenage angst(other than my own arrested-development sort) is normally fairly low. Your characters are just right.

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    3. Agh - it is arrested development but not the truly angsty kind--just the rather silly rather whiny embarrassing kind. It does describe a certain New York ethos--that's really the most interesting part probably. But thanks much for taking the time.

      Re jumprope rhyme - yes, so interesting - especially the bishop eating trout - but what's kind of cool is that all those rhymes have certain historical significances, I think, maybe transmuted. And here, of course, yours are not so transmuted - they lurk but with a conspicuous kind of stealth. k.

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    4. PS _ just got to listen to your reading -well done! One thing interesting to me is that you use the sing-song but as you move along add extra syllables that go with the flow but that break a bit from the jumprope. I think they are useful as they remind the reader that yes, there is meaning here, not just cool sound. k.

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  4. Great rhymes, engaging images, as always.
    Gene

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  5. Quite the journey, a great write.

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  6. Great rhythm to this piece and you managed some very clever internal rhymes. I especially liked the same lines as Brian. Great write!

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  7. I like listening to the readings. i wonder about the light. I think you just keep going for it. It keeps you young and healthy. Linda .. she will always belt out such soul....Townes sings through such a beautiful vision..out of kindness I suppose...beautiful..kind of reeling.

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    1. Yes, this is a poem about the darkness of the child, but light never stays broken. Poets tell how Poncho fell, but Lefty's livin in a cheap hotel. Was in a bit of a chicky mood today. Thanks for stopping by, Scott.

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  8. So musical... I just love it, Joy. I can imagine it as a jumprope chant, too.

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    1. ... and I forgot to say this stanza is my favorite:

      A broken hag saw her mirrored face
      plowed up for flowers with a double-bit brace.
      Changeling child found a cold embrace
      in a boomerang's claw, in a fickle grace.

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  9. Musical, rich imagery - love it!

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  10. This is one of the most lyrical poems ever, just fabulous.... It sing songs itself right along all these incredible images. You always, always amaze me!

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  11. great to hear the reading too. very cool.

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  12. Love all the creepy little elements. You have this way of tossing them about like they are everyday language and I am left chilled and grinning at the same time. I've been away too long I guess.

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  13. An infectious song with so many cool references - good and bad, dark and light, wonderful rhythms, and amazing rolling rhymes. You totally rock here, Joy!

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  14. Joy Ann, the push and pull of lightness and darkness is palpable in this. I love how you go from end rhyme to internal rhyme. And as other have said, it is musical. Excellent write.

    Pamela

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  15. Great pic choice hedge: sets the tone well,
    bleached and brilliant! I felt like i was on a
    rusty swing, swung out over a yawning hole
    containing all hell . . . you walk the razor
    wire of creep and familiar phrase but tell
    it in such a way as to captivate and hypnofright
    my gills, a rabbit in a headlight, high on Joy
    and poetry Pills! :)

    A broken hag saw her mirrored face
    plowed up for flowers with a double-bit brace.
    Changeling child found a cold embrace
    in a boomerang's claw, in a fickle grace.

    Class!!!

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    Replies
    1. My work here is obviously done. Thank you, Arron. It took forever to find a pic to go with this one.

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  16. This reminds me of the movie Practical Magic---all the "clients" who sought magical help from the aunts, all the stories of pain they saw unfold and attempted to heal. I think we can all find our own personal characters in this poem, if we were to seek the services of a witch or if our messy lives were tossed into a cauldron for all to see.

    Every word and syllable is masterfully placed, but these are some of my favorites:

    "snakeskin succubus lost her bite"

    "Changeling child found a cold embrace
    in a boomerang's claw, in a fickle grace"

    "two doves died fast, two sins flew past"

    "Closed door womb, a raddled room
    littered with toys as a baby's tomb"

    "n arms of steel where the knife never dies.
    Too soon, too soon, for the hard lullabies"

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    1. Thank you, Shawna. This one was inspired by our ever witchy Fireblossom, I think,(see my response to her below) though it's always hard to know where these things really come from.

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  17. ..'the sun gave a shout, the well went out', and all the childhood- like rhyming, as in "Hickory Dickery Dock", shows great talent and command of words...as always, lovely, smart, and clever ;)

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  18. Love the flow and the magic...you have such incredible sense of rhyme. Loved hearing you read it!

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  19. Like the voice, the rhyme, the time, the song...the dark, dark flow of your words, Hedge! Really beautiful write!

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  20. First, before I forget (again!), let me say that I appreciate your blue/gray background...it is easy on my light-sensitive eyes.

    Now then. What a word-feast this is. You and MZ are both sending words twisting through hoops of fire lately. (I'm the girl in the front row, clapping and mashing cotton candy into her cheek).

    You KNOW I love "snakeskin succubus". And the entire third stanza. And "hawk heavy sky". And "littered with toys as a baby's tomb". Yow! get out. You're such a show-off all the time. You must. be. stopped.

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    1. Ha! Just try--well, you could bribe me into silence pretty quick with that cotton candy...thank you, dear Shay. I credit this one entirely to your tag that says 'brimstone jumprope chants.' It devilishly entered my subconscious mind and made me do this.

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  21. It amazes me, Hedge, what your mind can do with words.
    Part of me felt like a listener tucked on a couch before a fire~another part of me felt like i was riding a cloud, seeing things beyond eyes.
    And the broken lantern was the perfect centerpiece for the feast.

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    1. Thanks, rick. I really miss being able to comment at your blog--I feel much the same about some of your work--you have an unmatched narrative style, very engrossing, and plausible even in its more surreal elements that creates the proverbial alternate universe.

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  22. Hmmm, sounds like the lyrics of an acid-induced song from the 70s that I loved.

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  23. This is one of those works that takes you into unexpected realms and associations with each stanza--and sometimes within each stanza. Kind of like the way the mind tends to work when it's not being focused on a chore at hand. There are complex rhymes, both internal and end line, that tie competing images together and keeps me moving through the chain of song. Like many dreams, this composition is alive with light and dark and an underlying scariness. But someone had the light before it lay broken, and I (we) hope that it may be reclaimed for light again. Your vocalization added much to the rhythm of this...This is a favorite.

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    1. Thank you, Steve, for your always thoughtful reading.

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  24. i made the mistake of reading everyone else's comments before commenting myself. so... yes and yes and yes... A Shilling says it well and fireblossom and steve. epic lyricism. So glad I got myself a steep cup to drink while I read. There is nothing quick here. Hawk heavy sky and baby's tomb. I love the quirky --succubus meets old man's fright. it is a feast to read here.

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    1. Thank you, jane. I know what you mean about reading comments--sometimes they drive my own reactions out of my brain--but I appreciate yours. Thanks for taking the time.

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  25. Nice work. It reads so well out loud and your reading is, as usual, excellent. I am taken aback by:

    Closed door womb, a raddled room
    littered with toys as a baby's tomb
    where the curse was spoken, where light lay broken;
    where the babe's bound tight and gently lies

    in arms of steel where the knife never dies.

    It is deeply eerie and sad. I hope it isn’t almost insulting to say that you have a knack for that sort of … dark imagery.

    You have a lovely way with words (in spite of my un-poetic feelings of late

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  26. My comments aren't sticking. Not sure what's up.

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    1. You're up there--I enjoyed your comment much, DA. Thanks.

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