Monday, January 5, 2015

Birthday Moonsong


Birthday Moonsong





Born  in the wolf moon,
at century's half-crack,
before the moving shadow box
before the singing pocket, the talking hand--
disjecta  membra of a war and peace,
nuclear snowflake crystaled in the cold aftermath,
fallout caught and whirled up
by black arms of concrete
into the sweet dance of chemical fog;

all around me
blackbirds falling
from the sky like almanacs
pages open to the gift of silent prophecy
and in the mirror, a white raven
solitary,
a meal, a target, a danger
to the flock, burning the eye like
a scarlet poppy
on a gravemound, or
a working girl unbuttoned
waking up hungover 
in the convent.

* * *

In the house
at the edge of the world,
with the wolf moon low in the west,
its yellow eye on the scattering stars,
its tongue longing
for the fat white hams of Venus,
the north wind sleets the window glass
bitter green, rattling the taste
of old snow and bad design; the wolf moon

the hunger moon,
stops to lap
pooled pink from blood-red Mars,
swells its belly 
with faltering stars, the small and weak
gnawing them out one by one as I hum

dusting the ape statuettes, the
flat smiles, perplexed still
that the empty chair
stays empty another winter, that
the bed made every morning
is unmade for one more night,


while the fire throws white shadows
where ghosts can fall like snow.



~January 2015





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Process Notes: The term "Wolf Moon' is an adaptation by Colonial settlers from the name for January in the Algonquin tongue. White ravens carry a genetic mutation which prevents melatonin from accruing in their feathers. They are rare, and other ravens generally shun them.





Images:
Snowstorm, by Maurice de Vlaminck
May be protected by copyright. Fair use   via wikiart.org
The Snow Queen FliesThrough The Winter Night, by Edmund Dulac
May be protected by copyright. Fair use   via wikiart.org



36 comments:

  1. This is amazing. I love the darkness of it. There isn't enough dark poetry out there, if one were to ask me!
    Thanks for commenting on my Flash 55 memorial for G-Man at sphereofmusic.blogspot.com

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  2. An absolute pleasure to read and imagine as it develops.
    The colours, the scenes - especially:

    the eye like
    a scarlet poppy
    on a gravemound

    a working girl unbuttoned
    waking up hungover
    in the convent.

    Jarring but to my eye it is beautiful.

    Reading you on-blog I get the same buzz as from writing myself
    and it's about that touching of . . . 'the other', as much as the writing itself -

    you construct something I know, that I can feel.

    As ever Hedge
    I find your work inspirational
    as well as a cracking read . . . then there's the Doors as I comment . . .

    this IS my happy place :)


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    1. Thank you, Arron. You truly nail that reading-writing-other thing. Not many I read do that for me, but of course, I return the exceptional compliment for your work, which shines so much blacker and brighter than mine ever could. Peace and be well, brother.

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  3. hell of a way to kick of the new year, blackbirds like almanacs... now I've got morrison & young ringing in my head, rattling those crooked bones. fine pen. ~

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    1. Morrison and Young make a helluva mix--but somehow, it might work. ;_) Thanks M, and hope you are recovering from the work hell.

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    2. came back to read this. happy circumnavigation of the local fireball, Joy. no time to read new stuff yet, let alone write (as my "poem" over at dverse proves), so will be back to read your newer posts, well, sooner rather than later, I hope.

      and actually, hell was *not* having work, so work is fine, even if long. was (well, still am) about 2 millimeters from living in my car :). maybe 3 mm now, as I've got one of the 5 gorillas off my back. ~

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  4. This is so rich.. The darkness and the cold of winter and of war, the hungry moon the eat the stars.. There is a history of darkness that pull me back to scarcity of food and great war trenches... This is a dark piece to return and read again and again.

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    1. Thanks, Bjorn. yes--I'm writing of my fading generation, the one born to people whose parents lived through the Great War and fought or endured the Second one, and that is a living record pf darkness, scarcity, and change, indeed.

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  5. This is a quite singular piece of poetry, Hedge. Each section seems whole unto itself yet presents a platform for the next stage. The first section provides the sense of countless souls under the moon of new year, each apart in his/her own context, while the second half speaks of a more personal interaction with the wolf and the moon, with all that both motifs may imply.

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    1. Thank you Kerry--so often the personal and the universal overlap--always so hard to make that work, so very much appreciate your insight.

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  6. First of all, happy birthing to the year and its vocatrix, celebrated in 1950 and pulled from the shelf of 2015. What came into existence? A time before tech time (before even TV) ghosted, snowflaked by fear of fallout (fine fine set of carved lines there), the explosion that never came but whose shadow was indelible. What sung into existence? The solitary white raven, odd duck, witch in the convent (fine fine lines there). What sings on at this late, winter hour? The lonely vigil, the ordained animal god feasting, the heart that keeps on keepin' on, finding ever new ways to sing the terrible beauty of winter's wastes. It is ordained, perhaps even sacred, but certainly meant, that " the fire throws white shadows / where ghosts can fall like snow." An unearthly or deep-earthly view, a spring-tide in the middle of winter among metaphors that shouldn't comfort but do. It gives the black ravens something to dream about ... Fine work, H.

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    1. Thanks, B. Winter's wastes, and all they mirror in our own seasons, individually, the planet's, and as the apotheosis of the great sapient ape himself, who knows so much and can do so little, and concurrently and perversely, does all too much. You read this perfectly--thanks for getting it.

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  7. there's a darkness in the cold and winter's moon when it's veiled in gray clouds. this you captured so inspirationally. this piece reminded me a little of Edgar Allen Poe's dark 'A Tell Tale Heart' leaving me with that eerie darkness.

    your writing is wonderful.

    gracias for sharing

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  8. Hey Joy, first happy birthday, even though the poem is rather dark! Also love the paintings especially the top one. This is such an interesting poem. I love the beginning especially which seems to me to have such a great depiction of all of our technical devices, our TVS and iPhones, and then we get to the disjecta membra which my phone won't type right and I had to look up. These fragments seem to me like so many baby boomers and their detritus-- and I honestly feel rather sorry for us--although I think the Latin phrase is so suggestive of such much-- body parts as well as writings as well as members of a group-- the white raven seems to me rather like a misplaced dove and lost peace especially in the context of the poppy and the rather misplaced and forgotten girl in the convent-- those poor working female stiffs certainly have gotten the shaft in this last few decades. Then as Kerry says the poem seems to get more personal. I can't go back and forth to easily on phone and train but the imagery of the January seems an awful lot like age to me-- especially in the context of the bed that is surprisingly still made and unmade-- the empty chair a little different-- I going loss-- but also I think of chair like flesh-- but I esoeciakkg like the bed-- the one, you know, that we've made and have to lie in-- but also quite amazing that we can syi drag ourselves out of it each day. That syi is supposed to be still. A very cool Poem and sorry for my rambling-- literally on a train of thought or in my case confusion. K.

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    1. Some call it metronorth. Sorry for typos. K.

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    2. Is it a bad sign that I canr ead all your typos correctly or a good one? ;_) Thanks for taking the time to leave such a long and intricate comment under such trying conditions. Birthday is Friday--I was trying to get under January's skin here, the month that stills carries the taste of the year it has crawled out of, the deep winter it brings to nature and the hunger, the fallow time, the monotony of white,but also the singularity of white, etc etc--and of course, there are just too many metaphors to get into the harness, so I ended up with the few I liked best. Thanks, as always, for reading so deeply, and safe travels--I hope you are wending back to the country or going somewhere else equally good.

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  9. there was a book we read in high school...i can not think of the name of it...ah the little prince....anyway, for some reason you took me back there when i read....though the darkness here is a bit different...the white raven and its treatment stood out to me, esp in comparison to the use of the algonquin word...

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    1. Thanks, Bri--that is a book anyone would be flattered to have their words compared to--one of my influences, for sure. Good to see you back.

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  10. "of old snow and bad design; the wolf moon"

    There is so much to "see" here, Hedge. Gorgeous, rich layers.

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  11. I'm just simply taken away by what you've created here. There is so much imagery and wonderful concepts in these two poems. I can't help but wonder if they are connected somehow, but both seemed to talk about something different. I like how your first poem spoke out about nuclear war and what happens in the aftermath. At least this is what I took from it. I also enjoyed how you were able to make a little bit of dark humor out of it. I mean humor in the classical sense. The second poem you used the "big bad wolf" metaphor to depict the sun eating the planets I believe. I really like this metaphorical expression because you pulled it together very well. Good choice of words and placement. If I got any of these depictions wrong, or rather different, than what you intended that is fine, because poetry is greatest when it can be read in different manners.

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    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it, and I agree, once the poem leaves the pen, it belongs to the reader.

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  12. The imagery in this piece is spectacular, the wolf moon, the blackbirds falling "like almanacs", the white raven, the red poppy. Absolutely breathtaking to read and envisage..

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    1. Thank you Sherry--you mention all my own favorites, too. ;_)

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  13. ohhhh... wow. i was going to write about the wolf moon, but why bother? this is so rich and bold, even if i giggled (very juvenile) at half-cracked. i stopped giggling pretty quick, and these lines are just so marvelous:

    all around me
    blackbirds falling
    from the sky like almanacs

    did i miss your birthday? happy birthday! love love, M.

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    1. No, it's not till Friday, Marian--I was just being broody about it. ;_) Thanks. (That actually was one of the 'nuances' I was going for with half-crack, btw.)

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  14. Word words conjure a glorious mirror for those of us who walk the hedges of our society, in order to see everything that's out there. It's so easy to be seen as a threat (or expendable) when others can't understand and embrace the differences... But it can be such fun when they do.

    This is wonderful.

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    1. Yes, the flock needs its white ravens whether it always knows it or not. Thanks for the kind words--much appreciated.

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  15. Always an interesting and excellent read when I visit your site. Thanks.
    ZQ

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  16. Amazing write as always..This is just one of the many lines I love ~ "all around me blackbirds falling from the sky like almanacs pages open to the gift of silent prophecy" I always feel like a junior high poet next to your talent, but I urges me to be more creative. :)

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  17. So dream-like and the opening of your second stanza with the falling blackbirds is so chilling. The entirety is gripping...well written, Hedge. :)

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  18. your poetry is always so epic, Hedge! magical and mystical and magnificent! the second verse in particular just blew me away. and The Doors are always a good thing!

    Happy (almost) Birthday, dear!


    dani

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  19. Speechles at first, this is my third visit, aided by Magaly's FB posting. Gorgeous bleak wasteland of a poem--April cannot be crueler than this January, this Wolf Moon. Something must be hoped, though, as the white Raven sees herself in the glass still, wonders about the empty chair and unmade bed, watches greed lapping up life, and goes on, goes on, goes on. WOW!

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  20. Such a grim poem for a time known for at least figurative and fleeting fresh beginnings. I hadn't known about the white ravens, or that such a bird could even exist. Doesn't it just figure, that the white bird would be shunned by all the dark ones!? Then again, I love ravens and don't see them as dark, except in coloring.

    I agree with one of your other readers, that simply coming here and reading your words is as satisfying as creating one's own words.

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  21. From another who was "born...at century's half-crack" - thank you. Although I am new to your work, I know I will want to r.e-visit these words often.

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  22. Stunning imagery! Parts of this will be with me for a while. Also, a half-cracker here! I'll be back for more!

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  23. I hope you had a great birthday. And as I take a sip here's a toast to you and new white shadow poems for the new year. Cheers!

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