Saturday, July 9, 2016

Housefire



Housefire



I can't claim to know who designed
the remodeling of your mind, 
put the hauntings in the hall, or cobwebbed
the cubbyhole where the guilt bath's a-slosh
with soggy contrition, who made sure
each locked room was robbed; 

there's no comforting logic
leaking from a night-light's glow
after the red curse. 

No I know nothing 
but what you show to the street
or the mob in the alley by the hanging tree:
the work you left out from the architect's sketch,
hate's arsonist hand, the colors gone mad
in flames through the roof,

and after the fire:
larkspur in the ash where light falls oblique
on dead bricks and char, on skeletal feet.




~July 2016









posted for    real toads


(18 lines plumbing the depths of a shallow metaphor)











Fire Dance, 1891, by Paul Gauguin, public domain, manipulated
Internet cartoon, author unknown.







17 comments:

  1. "The work you left out from the architect's sketch" was the skeleton key for me: if people took enough care with their homes-- filled their hearts well--maybe they wouldn't have to punish the world for that absence. Other houses are easier to burn when there's no one home. Great direct take on the challenge. The cartoon is devastating.

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    1. Yes, it says I think the essential thing that needs to be said about that attitude. Thanks so much for the nudge to write about something that's been a bur under my saddle all week.

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  2. The arsonist and bystander, almost like a teamwork. What a tremendous metaphor for things gone wrong. And afterwards we have to build it up again from ashes... It's what we always done after all,

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  3. Hey Joy--your first stanza immediately draws one in--the person described feels at first rather like a hapless type, not really bad so much as purposefully impotent, but then a kind of lack of commitment becomes more serious as the poem moves on--powerful images and yet you maintain great lyricism. k.

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  4. The poisonous larkspur is all that grows from those ashes. Bon appetit to those who serve up this particular hot dish that nourishes no one.

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    1. Exactly."All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans, especially the seeds."Thanks Shay.

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  5. Very beautiful – and powerful – words about a very terrible situation. And that cartoon is wonderful!

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  6. Ask not for whom the bell tolls
    It tolls for thee...

    We are all too close to the wildfire, and only the very foolish could still believe the embers will not strike there house.
    Your poem offers depths after depths, descending through several strata of Hel or the human psyche (which is much the same thing). You have used contrast to such a huge effect, the soggy juxtaposed with the fire, the larkspur with the skeletal feet.

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    1. Thank you Kerry. It's a very difficult and complex situation to write about without sounding pompous or partisan.

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  7. A powerful write. So much bad news these days.

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  8. The pairing of the poem with the comic was great. Carrying for all is necessary, but sometimes one person needs the more immediate care.

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  9. Perfect, Hedge. Perfect imagery, perfect tone. I wish that I been able to conjure this up and make such an eloquent statement on what is and what should never be.

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  10. For me, your closing stanza is perfect...the progression is equally as admirable...I always enjoy reading you Hedge. Thank you.

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  11. Cobwebbed the cubbyhole! That is the BEST.

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  12. in large part why I've not been writing, this house on fire in which we all reside. ~

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    1. I know--I feel it ought to be making me scream out all kinds of things, but the worse it gets the more speechless about it I become afa poetry..dunno what's up with that, but things are getting ugly.

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