Monday, February 10, 2020

Homeless Warrior




 

Homeless Warrior



Born refugee in a gypsy's flight
to mismatch love for wherever I might be:
flowers in the pavement, lakes behind brick,
gnomes at a cotillion, cobalt sea spilling
in dunes at the sun's yellow forge

til my heart was rolled flat
to cut out round moons
with a steelsilver punch
so light passes through me
without shadow or reflection.

If tears fall, it's a petaldrop
of old flowers passing, of dust devils, gliding
unimpeded and small through
the moon-shaped holes
where the red warrior glow

of an eon's earth blood is
just a waver in that dark
where the sword falls to rust
and time takes the trowel
from the gardener's hand

whose broken her legs, her back and her heart.
The bowl wants its dust
the wind wants its wildfire
and what I might want is their last desire,

but the heat of the fight, the miles in the eye, 
the pilgrims of roses proclaim what they form--
warcries, or lovesongs still riding the storm.



February 2020








posted for earthweal's weekly challenge














Images: Trafficking in Human Beings, 1894, by Joaquin Sorolla Public Doman
Joan of Arc kisses the sword of liberation, 1863, by Dante Garbriel Rossetti, Public Domain manipulated.


17 comments:

  1. This is utterly gorgeous. What a magical wordsmith you are!

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  2. Well first of all, I love that second stanza. That's just fiercely good writing and expression. I found it hard to get through some of what follows because the gardener kind of broke my stony little heart. (And the bowl wanting its dust is pretty clearly a reference to that gardener's home.) The ending, though, kept the whole thing from just being crushingly bleak. I know you likely never meant it this way, but the reference to pilgrims and roses made me think of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who made roses bloom in winter as a demonstration of divine hope. This Catlick girl on the loose likes that, and the final line which redeems. And you threw in the Hunt. Yes.

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    1. Thanks Shay.This is a roughcut one and probably should have been left to age in the cellars of Castle Hedgewitch a bit longer.I love the comparison to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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  3. Brunhilde as she-Knight of Cups, this romantic warrior, though don't you know the card can deal reversed, stamping an intaglio of loveless flats ... Lonely and cold and far the wrong turns to Valhalla; what is more homeless than a knight ass-kicked by love? Really gorgeous appointing here of the tapestry even if it's a cold and torn one. (Second stanza, perfect.) If surrender is the ultimate defeat (THE bottom they call it in AA) then what else is there to do but raise sword and leap back into the fire astride the horses of the storm? Had me applauding at the end with visions of Arthur and Mordred (both angles of that card) going at it one last time. Solastalgia doesn't promise anything but to spread the miles out between rosy bower and burning bier. Thanks for hair of the dog.

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    1. You mean, "Brendan,of course?" ;) Thanks B,this was a twisty one to write, and I may have ridden my dust-devils a bit too far,but as they say in oncology, it is what it is.

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  4. I read this one over and over for the love of the words. I have to say that the painting is fantastic and horrifying, mostly because it seems that nothing has changed much when it comes how we treat each other. In the end of the poem I felt a hope of sorts, maybe the only resistance a refugee can have is to remain a human.

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    1. Thanks, Bjorn. I do think there is a hope, because we are a species that seems to be motivated by oppression--up to a point, that point where it becomes too heavy, too ubiquitous to fight. Let's hope we can avoid that point somehow.

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  5. All hearts are rolled flat, dough yeasty and risen, punched down cut up..it is not destiny me thinks but legerdemain, a conjuring of change that only serves to keep the ugly human traits well and alive.

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    1. Thanks, Mark. yes, it's a universal process we inflict on each other when we are most vulnerable. Take care, man.

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  6. Oh! I am moved by the mismatching of everything once home is lost, the flattened heart and the broken heart, the wanting and this: "If tears fall, it's a petaldrop
    of old flowers passing, of dust devils, gliding
    unimpeded and small . . . " I'm moved by the wanting being so big that it's almost inexpressible, and especially by the last two stanzas. I admit I missed all the mythic references that others pointed out. This poem is both dense and mighty.

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    1. Thank you for this lovely comment Susan. You have read it with great heart.

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  7. I echo Bjorn's comment, I read this over and over for the sound the imagery and the mastery of language. The second verse in particular stands out. For me this is one of those poems that generates images in my head when I read, I don't necessarily consciously look for meaning, I just let the poem happen....great stuff...JIM

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    1. Thank you, Jim. I appreciate the kind words very much. This one was difficult to shape.

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  8. The tragedy and romanticism go so well together here. You’ve poked holes of light into darkness and altogether delivered a beautiful piece.

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  9. It is so difficult to transform our most base emotional state into poetry through image and word choice, so hard to let the guard down long enough to be truly authentic but you have the gift, dear Joy.

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    1. Thank you, Kerry. I agree, from the raw material inside we have a rough job to shape and polish it into something worthy of being displayed,and unlike most things, even after then many have no idea what you've made. I am glad that you are one of those who do. Thanks again.

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"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats