Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Wizard's Gift


The Wizard's Gift



It came in a box.
Death wrapped in red foil
and silver ribbon
glowing with night's own light,
the dark knowing of its nature.
The wind brought her stiff broom
to sweep the air clean of brimstone stink
but you stood and laughed and reeked
in the midnight sun.

You wore those solemn robes
like stiff wings freshly feathered.
A pretense of hooded eyes cerulean blue 
shone tarry through the snarl of
each jetblack lash, yet under your
velvet calm was a constant rustling.
Anyone not spellbound in tranced oblivion
would see the barbed tailtip of your starved familiar
thrashing with a scorpion's steel sharp sting.

You held the ocean out in a crystal cup,
tiny hearts tied to the mast, a thousand ships
set sailing in the devil's brandyglass.
Windtossed I watched the mousemaid's fallen tear
grow the deepest pool in a black moon-strangled grove
where the winking fox set the crippled rabbit free
and one absent swipe rang the raven's dinner bell.

Down down went the chambered shell
to the scarlet aquifer;
you curved your fingered claws over my white hand 
until they twined
and flowed together as grains of sand
merge in a dune indistinguishable
and we pulled the fullness up
to our glittering husks from the butcher's well
to drink together the bloodred wine of hell.


~July 2012
edited, October 2015



(re)posted for    real toads

Tuesday Platform





If you'd like to hear the poem read by the author, click below:






Image: The Wizard, by Edward Burne-Jones
Public Domain, via Wikipaintings.org

16 comments:

  1. The knowledge of death -- nature, timing, inevitability-- is certainly a kind of gift and a traditional one held by witches and wizards. As I guess is the ability to pass it around-- though not sure that is such a gift truly-- this is a very interesting cool poem-- where beings and objects are seemingly released but somehow only to greater capture-- I think of the rabbit and the ships and the grove-- all somehow caught in a worse trap-- (maybe better not drink the koolade) ! On phkne and train so forgive tyoos. I especially like the first stanza with the physical description of the gift and nights light and the dark that knows itself! You are having some October! I admire it! The month doesn't hold the same connotations for me but I've really enjoyed reading yours! K.

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    1. Thanks, k. I have done some revising since you read--had cut a verse, but put it back in. Anyway, thanks for the faithful readership of my October passage, even if the month takes you elsewhere.

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    2. I love where the month takes you! I just rue my own lack of fancifulness! and spirit! I am just so stuck in the quotidian. agh. k.

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  2. This is like that fatal dance, the night on Bald Mountain, and witches doomed.. so many great images, the devils brandy glass, like a sea of ends.. I feel that somehow the end is inevitable, and somehow there is almost reassuring to be served that wine of hell... brilliantly written. (I heard that the poem on soundcloud differed from the one here, but it was nice to hear you read.)

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    1. Thanks, Bjorn. I put the stanza back in--this morning it just felt like too much, but after a few cups of coffee, I decided it was lucid enough to add back. ;_) I will be by to check out your glossa later.

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    2. PS Thanks also for the comparison to Night on Bald Mountain--a favorite.

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  3. Full of such vivid imagery,...loved the ocean in a crystal cup with hearts tied to the masts...

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  4. "Death wrapped in red foil and silver ribbon"... sounds so festive but then the true intent of death is revealed and that knowledge is not so pretty " tiny hearts tied to the mast, a thousand ships set sailing in the devil's brandyglass." Sometimes, I think you are related to Stephen King - you do dark so well.

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  5. So many memorable lines in this poem, Hedge. I was especially taken by this description:

    You held the ocean out in a crystal cup,
    tiny hearts tied to the mast, a thousand ships
    set sailing in the devil's brandyglass.

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  6. Reading your words was a real treat. Felt like I could crunch them between my teeth, as though each stanza was a meal unto itself.

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  7. Fascinating – and although very full and detailed, it feels to me like one layer of a whole novel. Or maybe that's because I was reluctant to come to an end and have to let go of it.

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  8. Well, I've reeked in the midnight sun...when I was living in Alaska. Getting closer to YOUR day, lady!

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  9. Enter Caspar the Third Wise Guy with his infernal gaping Box! What I've loved about your ides of October is how richly deeply darkly derangefully dee-lightful each concoction has been, every line a charm winding up the next. Here a fool of devil tropes leaps from a box that is "Death wrapped in red foil / and silver ribbon / glowing with night's own light, / the dark knowing of its nature." From there the dance of enchantment enthralled by devil blue, witch and wizard do-si-do-ing the widdershins round of the black square dance. Its lavish and slavish in its verbal concoctions. As kitchen music in the Brocken's foot, it doesn't get any better than this. Amen.

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    1. Thanks, B. This one was as I recall words given in a dream, fleshed out a bit by the conscious pen. A 'black square dance' indeed. Just stay on the white squares and maybe you'll be safe, but it's a rather devious chessboard....

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  10. You make the dark so lovely. S3 especially appeals to me, though I think I'll skip the wine. ;-)

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  11. delicious. read, then listened. I know about how quoting back is like eating one chip. but this:

    You wore those solemn robes
    like stiff wings freshly feathered.

    what a fantastic visual. this is clearly *your* month... ~

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