Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dream Of The Golden Monkey




Dream Of The Golden Monkey



It was the time
of the Golden Monkey, dancing
down a stairway of petals and coins;
a flourescent idyl of creamery light
sinking sweetly into the indigo cup
of black coffee night.

We reached up to
the little gold god as He dropped
a basket of yellow-eyed anemones;
He was more real than the Golden Calf
(of which you'd politely taken half,
when I'd refused to eat.)

A voice in
my monkey mind
laughed and told the rose
to fold me in her clothes;
when I picked the lily's child, she gave
no more fragrance than your smile

while the Monkey blinked His
peonie-pink eyes, quite pleased 
to caper despite His fall,
lightly balanced on a gracile haunch
just one opposable thumb away
from the Golden Branch.

So we sat for
an age between day
and past,
beneath the swinging sign at last
of the Golden Monkey,
flowers in our pockets, pollen on our lips

watching the moon reflect His shine,
gilding the curled petals floating 
on our summer-flowering wine.



~June 2015











posted for    real toads





Challenge: Floral Explosion
Susie Clevenger (Confessions of a Laundry Goddess) showed us some images of an amazing rainfall of flower petals flooding an area near the Irazú Volcano in Costa Rica as a promotion. Stunning.
 I'm not exactly sure how this poem appeared out of that, except to say it was originally a dream, and therefore hopefully doesn't require a logical explanation.







Process notes: The Golden Branch is a French fairytale about the sometimes illusory but transformative powers of desire, and also a play on the title of Sir James Frazer's comparative study of myth and religion, The Golden Bough. Zen often refers to the distractions of our senses and superficial thoughts and desires as the monkey mind.


Images: Palazzo dei Priori-Assisi--Grotesque, by Wolfgang Sauber
Shared under a Creative Commons License, via wikimedia commons
Detail of Annah the Javanese, by Paul Gauguin, Public Domain

24 comments:

  1. "A voice in
    my monkey mind
    laughed and told the rose
    to fold me in her clothes;"

    Gosh I like that. I like the whole thing. It *does* have a very dream-like quality, but this time it's an agreeable dream, and a setting that's exotic and somehow as familiar as the face across the table, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Joy, this has such beautiful internal rhyme as well as end line rhyme--the rhyme adds to the mysticism of it, as it makes it rather encantatory--the monkey seems to shift about a lot here--going from a God to what that darting distractible mind-to something that seems almost like the sign over a pub--and one feels that maybe religion does that too (sometimes)--as it spirals from something descending from heaven to the opium (or beer) of the people-- I am too tired to focus as much as I'd like--but there are many great lines here--all of the rhymes about the creamery light and coffee night at the beginning and the golden calf/half/laugh--the rose/clothes-- I love all the business about sitting between an age and past==a day and past--that is so descriptive of a certain kind of interval--yet here there seems to be a kind of respite after that wait--maybe better to have that golden monkey just become a sign--it seems so--(or maybe I just like the idea of that flowerful wine.) Anyway, lovely music going on here. Thanks. k.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, k--the rhyme here is really all over the place, but that did seem to suit it better than when I tried to get too formal--I'm glad you liked it. Very proud of haunch/branch. ;_) This dream reminded me of the feeling of freefall, of the real world suspended, that I had when I was young and playing flower child. Your comments as always make perfect sense to me, and I am grateful for them.

      Delete
  3. I think this is exactly true to the challenge, perfect fit: a shower of multi-colored petals from the full garden of love, or desire, imped by the fool monkey mind that won't or can't let go of the profusion of ardors in order to get to the most golden petal of all. Which is the dream, the table at the Golden Monkey, the satiation after the repast. Or something. Lovely, lilting, laughing, haunting. Offering it to the monkey of myth provides an insanely happy method to the madness, doncha think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was definitely one of my more pleasant(and marginally less weird) dreams, for sure. I got to be about nineteen in it, which alone made the whole thing worth it. ;_) Thanks for reading above, below, and between the lines, and for the very generous words, B.

      Delete
  4. beautiful, hedgewitch. love all the flower references and of course the monkey

    gracias

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very dreamy! It was like I was there, but not. Beautiful words combined to make a delightful whole!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice, quite a few thoughts brought to mind with this -- some maybe far afield, so bear with me. There was a show when I was growing up called tales of the Golden Monkey. I loved that show as it was rather Indiana Jones-ish. The other immediate thought was the mention of the Golden calf, which brought to mind scripture and the taking of a god. I found them eating half and you refusing to be an amusing contrast. And the monkey being more real.Him clothing you in roses. Again made me think of creation. We tend to create our gods (and myths) in our won image - to justify our desires.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, I saw that tales of... thing while I was looking for pics for this--had no idea what it was about. Also the Mrs Coulter ref that Bjorn mentions, ditto. There is also a black tea called Golden Monkey, not mention, a real Golden Monkey. Thus spake Google. My own particular golden monkey was a gold idol, falling through space and splashing into a very large wineglass. Well, roughly speaking. ;_) Thanks X--you may be the only one that got into the whole golden calf thing--I like the way your mind works.

      Delete
  7. I am somewhat out of words after a hectic week but I what to say how much I appreciate the beauty of this work. Incredible attention to detail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kerry--your words, few or many, are always appreciated.

      Delete
  8. As usual when I visit your site I get flabbergasted by how much background you weave into this...the playfulness merged with the deep knowledge of myth.. The golden monkey get me thinking about Mrs Coulter in Philip Pullman's book.. her demon being exactly such an animal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bjorn--I may need to find that book--saw lots of references to it while I was looking for images for this.

      Delete
  9. I happen to really love monkeys, (since I was eight!), so this poem was a winner to begin with! ;) I love its Peony eyes and your closing flows so smoothly...just as a sip of that delicious wine would...befitting. I enjoyed reading this, Hedge.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is beautiful. What vivid dreams you must have. I love rhyme that flows easily, almost unnoticed in the richness of what is spoken. I love the whole piece, but the third verse really stands out for me. Thanks so much for taking part in the challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  11. The rhythmic feel to this is wonderful and I particularly like the last two stanzas. As always the words just roll off one' tongue beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So Heston, er, Moses over there was either disturbed or happy you didn't eat half the golden calf. Then that kung-fu movie with Jackie Chan and Jet Li, where the god monkey fights, or something, but not with the golden calf, because that would be sacrilege.

    :)

    The pace and imagery of this is, as per your usual, both thought-provoking and envy inspiring. ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laughing at Heston--and the Kung Fu fighting. I think we all have to choose between the Golden Calf and some other way--I prefer monkeys. Even if they perhaps choose to disguse themselves as Drunken Masters, or pseudo-innocent bearers of flowers. Thanks, M. Always enjoy your perspective and appreciate your insight.

      Delete
  13. lightly balanced on a gracile haunch
    just one opposable thumb away
    from the Golden Branch.

    It has to make a grab for it. Often opportunity presents itself to allow a quick grab. Wonderful write Joy!

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  14. watching the moon reflect His shine,
    gilding the curled petals floating
    on our summer-flowering wine.

    Loved the closing lines :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beautifully surreal. There's a psychedelic quality to this piece, like being caught partway between myths.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Awesome piece. LOVE this image, especially:
    "sinking sweetly into the indigo cup
    of black coffee night."

    ReplyDelete

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