Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Friend Of Order


A Friend of Order
(poem for the last day of April)





To raise the gentle dead
to tap home the lost in their blind night
of grey flowers, to wake and go walking

blown by the east invisible wind,
least to the hummingbird jar
wide to the mockingbird's wire

in the secret swing of the sickled moon;
this is the place I come to make love
where love makes me in a displaced whisper.

This shadow-speckled earth,
this creaking four-poster of the old gods' altar
stained sheets bloody-red from the sacrifice

but ruffled with stars, padded
with seeds, wrinkled with earthworms
who lie down smiling.

I sprout all my old visions under wet paper--
an order burned new by corpse-candle, an unplanned heist
from the resurrection-man's wagon--

to sing when there is no song,
pull close old lovers' bones
on these greensick hips, unstoned.




~April 2015







Poem 30 for April




posted for

Poetry Gone Wild

The  wise and resourceful mind of Magaly G. graciously gives us permission to write about anything we wish on this last day of a long, long month. I have tried to also incorporate an earlier challenge of hers, to write about three things we hoped to accomplish by writing thirty poems in April.



 Gratitude to Magritte for the art and title, and to all brave and dear readers and writers who have companioned me on this April journey, one that was harder and better than all the previous five. Many many serious thanks.

 


Greensickness:  a benign type of iron-deficiency anemia in adolescent girls, marked by a pale yellow-green complexion.





Images: A Friend of Order, 1964, by Rene Magritte
Memory, 1948, by Rene Magritte
Fair Use via wikiart.org

24 comments:

  1. Wow. I am speechless. This might possibly be the most beautiful poem I have ever read. I cant begin quoting, I would repeat the entire poem. Fantastic way to wind up the month, my friend! Spectacular writing.

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  2. Wow, the imagery...growth, sex, death, life, you've got it all, along with that other-worldly thing you do so well. Love this. I didn't know what greensick was, it sort of messes with what I thought about your closing. Hmmm...
    Congrats on an amazing month. I missed a few, sorry, but I was pretty busy playing with my own mental blocks. Cheers to you and to May!

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    1. It's an olde timey term that is usually used to imply someone is very young and naive (--at least in the antiquated novels I read--) and for me, that's a plus. ;_) Thanks for the visits, Mary--it's been a long long month.

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  3. Wow, lots of powerful imagery here. Good write. See ya around the digital 'verse, Hedgie.

    ;-)

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  4. Hey Joy--a beautiful one to top it all off--certainly these are reasons to write and you have found all these things this month--or at least shown them to your readers--I think of order here as the Idea of Order at Key West, although I can also see you being a friend of some poetic order (or high priestess more likely)--I cannot go through all the beautiful combinations, as taking little break--but love the garden imagery much the smiling earth worms and the seeds and the padded bed with stars, and the walking around in the East weed--maybe because I like walking and weeds--the close is very strong and I liked greensick as it was evocative of much, including the old bones of the lovers--and the longing for growth and youth-- as much as its real meaning. Anyway, must run--really beautifully written--sometime I am going to try to break out of the old narrative thing--ha! k.

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    1. Love the tapping for the blind which I did not focus on the first time through/- also see the Stevens order on the sidebar but was only able to read briefly. K .

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    2. That Stevens piece is rather convoluted, it takes time to digest---I never used to be able to read it all the way through as I would get lost somewhere along the fine line between chaos and order--it's easier now, as a lot of troublesome poems have become. Thanks k for your enthusiastic and always valuable readings--they have been one of the things keeping me going.

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  5. Your poetry begs to be read aloud, and I find I have to do that. I read it first, and then again letting the sounds your words make as they roll over my tongue and past my lips enter into more than just my ears! Fabulous!

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  6. I am torn by sadness and euphoria....smelling sweet fertile soil amidst sacrifice....beautiful words XXX

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  7. This is a tasty beautiful morsel. Thank you for brewing it up.

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  8. I think I'll quite here, at 29, after reading this. What's one fewer piece of dreck? An improvement! ~

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    1. That would be very anti-climactic--just one shy! And I haven't seen any dreck issuing forth from the precincts of grapeland. Hope you are home and chilling back to normal.Thanks, M. for being so positive and supportive not just this month, but always.

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  9. I'm speechless too. Which is a poor comment. But this poem deserves rereading and digesting. I can see right away it's stunning and beautiful. Looks like you saved the best for last. And I should follow Magaly. She's tugged some gems out of you this month.

    Oh, and Stevens' 'Chaos' poem--that's a great one!

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    1. I *was* surprised when this issued forth from my early morning brain yesterday, Mark. I did want to write something to cap off a month which has in many ways reinvigorated my muse, but she is not normally so cooperative as to give me a piece right out of the gate that doesn't need twenty tweaks, edits and rewrites.

      I have come to love the archness and the ---I don't know, happiness? -- of that Stevens piece. He is not usually cheery, but I do love when he gets flippant in his ironic, convoluted and often quite silly way. ("The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind,/If one may say so,....(Pages of illustrations) ..." I'm going to leave that list of poems on the sidebar--really there are several I need to reread, and all of them are worth a look, I think. Thanks so much for all the force of thought and the opportunities to expand and learn which you have shared this month Mark--always a pleasure to listen to you read a grocery list, let alone some of the penetrating and disturbing poems you featured--and thanks also for your support--it is what makes doing this pleasurable as well as imperative.

      PS Magaly is well worth a follow--a young writer who has a very personal and idiosyncratic perspective to match a true love and flair for words.

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  10. If I were a painter, I would probably annoy you day in and day out asking you to let me birth your poetry on canvas. It's your power for animated imagery--living or dead or surrealistically dancing in-between.

    As a painter of tales, I still find myself wanting to story what you poetize (I know I've said that before, but it's your fault--since you keep providing the same yum). Tree of your stanzas that make me want to jump in and build settings around the speaker. The first, fifth, and the last stanzas.... It would be great to see the speaker "tap home the lost in their blind night", and the idea of worms smiling? Wonderful! I can just imagine the richness of that soil, the connection between dirt and souled flesh... everything has to exist in such harmony (or at least in understandable chaos)... even if the former has been paid in blood,

    The last stanza is a poem all by itself. And it sings to me. Through those words, I see the speaker as a woman of lived years, who feels her body has not been used for so long that it has gone back to a somewhat clumsy youth. I keep on trying to take her back in the poem, to the part where "lover" and lovemaking" find balance in the middle of chaos. Then, I want to write the look on her face.

    It was a wonderful month, wasn't it? And I'm happy because we'll continue to get the same yum, just at a more manageable pace. ;-) ♥

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    1. It *was* a wonderful month, if at times I really wondered if I could pull it off--despite having done it five times before, I never feel like I can actually really do it till it's done. Your succinct and writable and creative prompts helped me get through it all with my poet's hair streaming in the wind, and a large grin. ;_) Thanks so much for your comments here--you have read the poem the way it was meant, which is always up in the air when one throws them out onto the wild seas of the internet--one really never knows what people will see, which is fine. I don;t mind my poems taking people various places in their heads--that's what poems/words/stories/characters are for, after all--but it is nice when someone gets it, and finds it meaningful. Thanks again for this April journey Magaly--you have helped make the work a pleasure, and I have enjoyed meeting all your 'Wicked Luvs,' who surprised me so often with their hearts and souls and art.

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  11. Dear Hedge, You are an amazing source of inspiration and poetic guidance to me in every month of the year, and none so much as this April. Your poetry has been of exceptional brilliance and this final piece portrays the high standard of work you have conceived from Day 1 to Day 30. Congratulations on your fine achievement.

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    1. Thank you Kerry. I hope you know how much I value your support and kind words.

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  12. What a lovely, lively, important lysis to this month's verse dreamtime, Hedge. To me this is what it means to embrace influence and sing it back even fuller and more wildly expounded than it was received. So much here has bones from Stevens' poem, but it walks on a mature poetess' feet and embraces the night with an enchanted snow-man's voice, as liminal in the modern poetic as agnostic in the ancient herb-charms. Both route into an affirmation it is so good for this fellow of the tribe to hear from Oklahoma. Yes and yes and yes. Your work this month has been incredible and the homage you've paid to the art is loud and dear.

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    1. Thanks, B.-- not sure what you mean by lysis(which i notice you used at Michael's also), though I agree it is more than probable that many of the cell walls in my grey matter are breaking down and oozing out their vital juices, ;_) as seen here, so that the only real living activity going on is on the page. I appreciate your kind words much, though. You also have penned some stand-out pieces recently. On the whole, I've enjoyed this month much more than I hated it, and reading your work and that of the other talented poets I am privileged to know has been a huge part of that. Forgive any incoherence--a long day out planting in the garden--we have built new raised beds for me to play in, and I have just finished hilling up the cantaloupes and am about to retire to the pleasant coma induced by physical exhaustion.

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  13. This is all lovely, but I am especially fond of the third stanza. It speaks to me of creation and being created again by the process.

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  14. I swear, you put me to shame sometimes, with the beauty of the language you use. You make me feel lazy, and by that I mean, you make me want to search a little harder for the better word. I think I do that, and then I read something of yours and realize I could do better. I love language. I love how it's used, especially in poetry, and you never fail. I hope you know how rich, intelligent, and darkly beautiful your poems are, Joy.

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  15. Joy--I just got this beautiful poem in my inbox--(that is at the end of August). Not sure why but grateful for it. k.

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    1. Completely bizarre! Maybe it is all the fiddling I have doing with the template--no telling what could happen. ;_) Thank you for re-reading.

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