Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Fox And The Moon





The Fox And The Moon
A dream ballad 



The four-headed moon, the nine-tailed fox
came by last night and they didn't knock.
In at the doormouth, down through the flue;
what they had to tell me I can't tell you.

The fox was sleek as an August mare
that rolls off her back and outruns the bear,
but the blood on his lips ran Malbec red
and he ate the thing a mare's not fed.

Then the moon shook the wand with her shrunken heads
in the place where she had me four times trapped
with her eyes sewn shut, all her tongues cut out--
so I don't know why I still heard her laugh.

The four-headed moon, the nine-tailed fox
came to my house with the broken locks.
There was no running then, nowhere to wake;
there was only the wish that I wished too late.





~April 2014





posted for     real toads
Challenge: The Ballad Form
Kay Davies(An Unfitttie's Guide To Adventurous Travel) asks us to write a poem of at least two four-line stanzas in the ballad form. I am pretty sure this falls into the 'literary ballad' category, if it falls into *any* category, that is. The rhyme scheme is rather arbitrary, and includes traditional AABB, a stanza with only one rhyme, and chained rhyme, in no particular plan.








Process Notes:  I've written about the nine-tailed fox  before, in this terza rima. He or she is generally a demonic sort of shape-shifter-being in several Asian mythologies. The fox, or kitsune, in Japanese myth can kind of go either way, but when it is bad, it is very bad. The four-headed moon I made up, though I did hear something about a tetrad of lunar total eclipses this year, a rather unusual celestial line-up which we can go centuries without seeing. In fact, I just came in from looking at what some are calling the first 'blood moon.'










Top Image: Fox in the Reeds, cica 1930, by Ohara Koson
May be protected by copyright. Posted under fair use guidelines via wikipaintings.org
Footer: Untitled, by Zdislav Beksinski
May be protected by copyright. Posted under fair use guidelines via wikipaintings.org




19 comments:

  1. Yes! The Nine-Tailed Fox is back! As you know, your original poem about the fox is a particular favorite of mine.

    Oh, those wishes wished too late. And, somehow, we *do* hear doom on the way, even though there's no explaining it.

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  2. So I'm glad I just scribbled mine down on the train-- which I'm still on-- so will be brief! This has that wonderful quality of some romantic ballads esp-- Coleridge, Keats,-- where they just say portentous things without fully explaining them and they are in fact meaningful anyway, even though we don't know quite why. Maybe the sound is incandescent or a charm or because there is genuine wonder in the voice. This is what you've managed especially I think with the stanza re the mare where you wonder at the comparison that is there superficially but so ill-fitting. Great stuff. K.

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  3. geeez this just has a haunting mysterious feel to it hedge....lines like the things the mare is not fed...ha....great rhythm to the piece as well...excellent piece...when they come to visit it is far too late...smiles.

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  4. Don't know what I can say that hasn't already been said. Amazing piece! *smile*

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  5. Your protagonists have the feel of archetypes, whether one is 'true myth' and the other invented makes no difference - both spring off the screen and impact on the conscious and sub-conscious mind. I read this as a cautionary tale, filled with arcane references, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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  6. marvelous, playful ballad. I do believe it is ok to call sinister playful, isn't it? I love the omnipotent laugh in your third stanza. this piece moves clearly and cleanly, with red moon dust magic in its wake. a delightful read.

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  7. I am reeling! Fantastic. So mysterious and well done.

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  8. The teaming up of fox and moon brings to mind the major arcana Moon Tarot card, but that team up is with dogs and flowing water. Here I want to hold them both off with burning sage and wake myself while there is still time. But that is not in the cards . . . . Powerful poem full of secrets.

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  9. So the Japanese have weird dreams as well?
    Maybe so....But they are far less eloquent about it?

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  10. This is fabulous, in more ways than one, and the last line will haunt me forever: "There was only the wish that I wished too late."
    Luv, K

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  11. "and he ate the thing a mare's not fed"

    Bless my Poe loving little heart, that's got the chilling touch!

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  12. Scary...it does have elements of Poe, but so thoroughly Hedgewitch. :)

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  13. Great piece...and wasn't the moon beautiful last night. :)

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  14. A perfect dream poem - just enough reality not to wake you up

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  15. What a fantastic poem this is....the rhythm of it and your amazing imagery - just wonderful to read and envision and enjoy! Loved it.

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  16. …malbec red & nowhere to run thrilled me. It's almost like "something" is finally catching up to the writer - and new locked doors would never deter it… Very foreboding!

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  17. hmmm. certain hallucinogenics come to mind :) ~

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    Replies
    1. yes--almost used my acid allegory tag, too but it has about all the tags it can stagger under as is. ;_)

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