Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Burnt


Burnt


October
enters the dream
setting the trees
on fire with wind-snakes;

walks the dying floor
on her skeleton feet
to open the door
to say the last name

so the white-winged moth
that flies to the flame
knows he won't leave unburned
by the light
at the end of all things.



~October 2014



posted for     real toads

Challenge: Words Count With Mama Zen
Personification
Mama Zen(Another Damn Poetry Blog) asks us to personify the month of October, in 53 words or less. I've managed to come in at two words under.




Image: Hygeia (ceiling detail, University of Vienna) 1907, by Gustav Klimt
Public domain, via wikiart.org





27 comments:

  1. Wow, Hedge. Trees on fire with snakes. It doesn't get more vivid than that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is both sensuous and evocative - there is beauty to be found in the end of all things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wind-snakes, love that and not wanting to be left unburned by the light . . . that definitely pulled at something in me.

      Delete
  3. Trees are sure on fire here right now, especially our crimsons ... but not for long ... any day now ... it'll be all over ... summer, u don't want me, well I don't want u either ... so there ... match that ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here in the south, I am still shocked to see snakes in trees - grown up in the north, I don't recall ever seeing snakes in trees. But I digress, this is chilling - no hint of renewal or regeneration - I suppose one day there will be a last fall… I hope not yet. "Walks the dying floor… " really cool.

    ReplyDelete
  5. knows he won't leave unburned
    by the light
    at the end of all things

    Wonderful - wonderful ending.

    ReplyDelete
  6. haunting...interesting progression and nice personification...the whole middle stanza...walking on skeletal feet and calling the last name....rather haunting joy....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everything you write feels ancient and epic, like it should be in the books of mages. Especially this one! I was also looking at Klimt paintings to go with my October piece (but I ran out of time and posted w/o anything).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Joy, I am on the train and iPhone so forgive in advance crazy typing. This has a quality I love in poems in that it is immediately memorable or memorizable. Maybe because of it la music, rhymes, progression of imagery. It is very interesting to me that October is a she and the moth a he somehow and then there is the person having the dream! A threesome! Although the dream may just be our image of the world. Still to me the dying floor and the skeleton feet as well as flames of wind- snakes is so physically evocative of the dead leaves and the crackle of feet through them and I like the idea that the dying floor is the floor for dying but also the floor that is itself dying if all is coming to an end_. The floor which is kind of an opposite of flame and dream-- when it's not dying. Also curious to me is that word "so." As if October says the last name to reassure the moth that it won't be left behind that it will be burned in other words and that this is some kind of comfort-- which really I suppose it is-- for who would want to be left behind after the end of things. Though I also see the white moth as winter-- and kind of great that it will eventually be burned up again in next year's colors. (Only not too soon or too hot!). Sorry if garbled I am standing on moving train. But have a ledge to lean on. Ha! K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ps -- adore the Klimt. He is so good and I rarely think to look for them. K.

      Delete
    2. I'm glad you saw so much going on, k--I think that often happens when we write something short--it concentrates but also makes you get loose and go for crazy things at the same time. I wanted this to be as ambiguous as you read it, with lots of ways to see what's going on, because, that's exactly how a dream is--it presents us baldly with a sequence of actions and images and makes no effort whatsoever to explain them. I think you did an excellent job of dream interpretation, especially for someone leaning on a ledge in a moving train(going home!) on some infernal device. Thank you.

      Delete
    3. P.S. I found that Klimt after two clicks, and had never seen it before--it is supposed to be the goddess, or muse, or something, of medicine, so the snakes are the ones in the caduceus, unlike the ones in my poem, which are a bit more sinister.Not that doctors aren't sinister, imo.

      Delete
    4. Ha! Especially when they send their bills. k.

      Delete
  9. I love the skeleton feet. I could totally see that. And, got to love the Klimt!

    ReplyDelete
  10. At the end of all things they work their way around. How rightly so. Great word craft Joy!

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  11. the last verse is haunting...and october setting the trees on fire. superb!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This makes me think of Hel, the Norse keeper of the dead, who is one-half life and one-half death. ...I'd like to include a link to this poem in a future post on my blog. May I?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, this is such fantastic writing! I love "setting the trees on fire with wind-snakes". Wowzers, Joy!

      Delete
    2. Yes, you may. Thanks very much for asking first. And Hel is a favorite goddess of mine.

      Delete
  13. Yes, I agree, that we have similar October vibes! I was surprised to read that the image was of Hygeia, the goddess of health! She does look rather sinister in that image! Better avoid all those healthy habits, then!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Works for me--pass the ice cream! ;_) Thanks, LM.

      Delete
  14. wow! You channeled the image...Gosh, I started to try and copy and paste my favorite parts of this piece and it was pretty much the entire thing. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. How here's an autumn from a perspective I haven't considered...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I read how in ancient Crete the Minoans built dancing-floors next to their ancestral tombs, gathering to dance with the dead in Spring (when Ariadne was betrothed to her king) and Autumn (when she had become transformed into the snake Goddess by the harvest scythe. This Octoberal burns as a summer past its prime -- the Klimpt is pure flame -- and slithers in through the opened window of the dream. What can we do but surrender to her, wings extended in our own late, latter-day joy? You're right about the compression in your note to Outlawyer, it provides the sharpest, most brilliant flame. There's something about our vatic peripheral vision here, that quality that came to our ape-ancestors as a manner of spotting snakes in grass at our feet. An illuminated prescience that has its own heirophantic robe of fire. A glorious surrender. Sorry to get here slow, all manner of ridiculousness this week ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, B, for the very generous words, and thanks also for the mythical backdrop--it's always there in our minds, I think, when we deal with the primal stuff, like the seasons, the wresting of life from the earth, the savoring of it before that brief flame is blown out. Not every subject can be tackled in a short form, but it certainly does often work as a magnifying glass, to focus a wide beam into a spark. No need to worry about showing up late--I do it all the time--but I would have hoped after the contractors from hell episode that you might have been spared more ridiculousness, at least for a while. Life's a bitch, and her teeth never do seem to fall out, no matter how old she gets.

      Delete
  17. if each month is a goddess or god, October takes her place rightly among them. I would rather like to read your pantheon, should you ever endeavor to paint the faces of gods ~

    ReplyDelete

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