Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gulls


Gulls

From the remembered
master singer sea,
seven songs came curling
waved up because I believed,
more cryptic than the
real calypso of crickets
under the redpepper moon that climbs
my cloud-fancy sky;

seven songs from seven sea birds,
thrusting their celebratory bitchery
at me, ruffling rapidly in the air
just past the precipice, cawing
the broken bang of dead souls
dropping.
These birds I only imagined out
from a sodden souffle

of raw ingredients best not examined.
aren't much, really; a simple glare
over water, minimally assembled for
day after day of diving, flying, gorging
on whatever  floats or falls. Useless to leverage that
extra torment into their gut-grinding
croaks, or into the monstrous surf, or even
the slide-cracking bite of the sideways crabs.

The house of the heart must be quieted, opened up,
cleaned with delicate scavenger pincers, no
recalcitrant strands left clinging, its chambers
made hollow as empty carriages
passing in fog in a book,
until seven songs and more
ride the pandemonium wind,
the drumbeat of gull wings forgotten.




~August 2013




posted for     real toads
Challenge: Get Listed--of Catnip and Moons
The enterprising and original Timothy Schaefer provides today's word list, which was abnormally enticing to my backwards muse, so here is the result. For the exact words see the above link. I've used most of them, I think. Timo blogs at Catnip, and has recently put together a book of his unique prose and poetry called Darwin's Moon, which I gratefully own and heartily recommend.







Image: The Rookery, by Jamie Wyeth, 1977
This image may be protected by copyright. All rights belong to the copyright holders.





27 comments:

  1. holy fantastic lines that tickled and distracted me so entirely that i had to wait and come back to read the rest of this lovely tome:

    seven songs from seven sea birds,
    thrusting their celebratory bitchery

    truly great!

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  2. Seven songs from seven sea birds...
    I love that!

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  3. The gulls on the Outer Banks of Carolina have learned to drop scallops on the highway hardby to crack and eat them... so too we scavengers of hearts take the effort to find rare pearls...

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  4. The first two stanzas are beyond wonderful, Hedge. Even though I saw lots of gulls here in Alberta last night (and I looked them up: there are 23 kinds of gulls on the prairie) these two stanzas take me home to the west coast of British Columbia where my heart lives. The first four lines are particularly awesome to a seaside girl so far from home.
    K

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  5. haha what a wonderful dance in your words hedge...they whirls around in rhyme and alliteration...much like those gulls on the beach and in the air by the sea...the house of the heart cleaner with delicate pinchers too...nice....

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  6. The house of the heart must be quieted,
    opened up, cleaned with delicate scavenger pincers, no
    recalcitrant strands left clinging,

    Wise words leading to a good life's path. One may often get engrossed with nitty things and forget the big pic! Nicely Joy!

    Hank

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  7. I like this. love the first verse. I live on the sea and the gulls have been quite noisy lately.

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  8. The first and last stanzas knocked me on the floor. (Help...I've fallen and I can't get up!) And I adore "celebratory bitchery." One of the coolest oxymorons ever to come down the pike! Glad my list could serve as something of an inspiration.

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  9. Me too, Timoteo! "Celebratory bitchery" is fantastic! I love the last stanza so much. Just brilliant!

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  10. This is wonderful, Joy. What I like especially is that (as always in your verse) lines that seems almost purely imagistic parse into true sentences of followable dynamic action. Now, some of the mysticism is pretty mystic to me, but the action is very clear and wonderfully naturalistic even amidst the fantastic. Some of my favorite phrases - cloud-fancy sky - red pepper moon (I'm trying to remember so may not get right, but always interesting to me to see what is actually picked up in memory) cryptic calypso of crickets -- I love the dropping line - that wonderful short line makes for a real dropping, the celebratory bitchery (though I hate to say I like the cloud-fancy sky better! --other may be too close to home!) the saying that the gulls aren't much--a glare over the sky (terrific) and then the way you describe their darting movements - especially the way they get at the sideways crabs.

    Seven of course a mystical number, and all of that is beautifully done, but the naturalism in the midst of this very creative language is what most spoke to me. Well done, as always. Sorry for incoherence - just back from City after long trip, but now thinking of sea. k.

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    1. PS - also of course love the bits re the heart - can really picture the picked apart heart. k

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    2. Ps-- I lived master singer sea also and te book but also could not help think of gull as a name for someone fooled. All interesting. K.

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    3. Yes, that too--very good eye. This is all about personal perspective and thanks for noticing that it is a narrative as well as a visual thing. I really appreciate the time you put into reading my stuff, k. I haven't been close to the ocean in many years. but it isn't something you forget--I do envy you the proximity. I hope you're getting enough rest and refreshment while in the country to make up for the exigencies of the commute.

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    4. Unfortunately, I am working up here (on job). Crazy-making! But no commute to home office. Thanks for lovely poem. k.

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  11. No way could I read this without getting caught up in the lives of the gulls, the broken bang of dead souls dropping ... (come dance on Saturday night, promise you a bonfire.)

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    1. Alright--just what I need, Helen. Thanks!

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  12. In about 10 minutes I will be ready to receive my bedtime prompt of
    thrusting . . . celebratory bitchery as the white cliff gull community head in land from their sea bed to bark their winged-lizard bark in thru my balcony door.

    Gulls are like rats here, the big beasts with yellow beaks, they dive bomb during nesting and then dive bomb for ice cream but they are protected by the queen (no shit!) so we cant do a damn thing.

    then there is the French gulls, smaller and swifter with class.

    But your gulls like the ones in the awesome picture are the kind of birds I dig. the ones that never die because they are sentinels. mystical cctv!

    These birds I only imagined out
    from a sodden souffle

    what an image and shape that is! POW

    but then you go and drop the very essence
    of gullhood into a single stanza

    day after day of diving, flying, gorging
    on whatever floats or falls. Useless to leverage that
    extra torment into their gut-grinding
    croaks, or into the monstrous surf, or even
    the slide-cracking bite of the sideways crabs.

    I know gulls up-close and personal
    and this is them at the deep.

    brilliant!!!




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    1. Laughin at your first line and the oh so pregnant pause. Thanks, Arron--this is one of those poems where you psychoanalyze yourself, because it's so much cheaper than therapy. I know you know what I mean. Thanks for reading, as always.

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  13. seven songs from seven sea birds,
    thrusting their celebratory bitchery...love that! I knew you would take the word list to heights I wish I could achieve. I see seagulls everyday and I won't look at them the same.

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  14. "seven songs from seven sea birds," Loved the sound of this line... and the fantasy feel to your piece

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  15. Oh my gosh! Hedge. You've puzzled such an awesome picture here...fitting the words seamlessly! I love all of it and I adore that echoing drumbeat you leave us with it truly resounds. Well done indeed!

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  16. This is great! I'm also very glad you shared about Tim's book. I missed that news on my summer blogging/poetry break.

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  17. I'm totally caught up in bird bitchery. This is really cool, Hedge.

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  18. Beautiful of course....
    But usually when referring to Gulls only THREE words are needed.
    Eat, Shit, and Squawk!

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    1. Thanks for adding the requisite Romantic POV, G. Totally appropriate, btw. And you pretend you don't get it...*shakes head*

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  19. Had gulls near my feet yesterday, eyeing the bag I held with malice. If looks could kill... I'd have been dinner. :)

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  20. I'm no different from so many others...I loved the "celebratory bitchery" as well as "whatever floats or falls." The heart may indeed feel horribly empty for a time, but I love your images of emotional housecleaning and resurgence, better than before. "Living well is the best revenge." You bet it is.

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