Sunday, December 19, 2010

Arrow's Flight

The Arrow Shot, by Claudio Mufarrege

Arrow’s Flight

There is no singularity in this distress.
Winter babies know it as well as the scorched grass of summer,
which hangs its seed on the wind even in death.

I am arched  between two tunnels
mirroring forward or back to two separate worlds
poised for escape, unable to choose,
suspended till you are done with me.

It isn’t a choice I made, to love you,
to collect you, remember you part by part
and thought by thought,
to be always studying the lessons of your cells,

your everbrown eyes, cold and dark as frozen earth,
hot as a barn in July.
I don’t call you with a willed voice, or scheme, or plot,
but rather with the response of a recurring frequency,
or the pull of a particularly unwanted truth.

Truth, after all, is the master, come suddenly,
standing in the doorway with eyes of stone alight,
stronger than food or rain.
Love is only the servant, cleaning the soul,
who beheads the bird in the heart’s kitchen
or makes it fly surprisingly
like a paper bird thrown for a child.

You say it can be taken back, what’s been given,
but it’s living in your bones. It sees from your eyes
and twists in the curls on your chest.
And you are in me the same
like the wine is in the grape.

It is my same stubbornness you show me
as you turn to follow your own shadow,
as you fly like an arrow in the night from me,
as my hand lets go the bowstring,
as my own refusal to be known denies me.

These are things that can be named
but they are still not things that can be changed.
It can only be said that perhaps tomorrow will swallow them,
when all my molecules untie, spinning like dust motes in the light,
these pieces and atoms of you will blow like seed in the wind.

August 1991, revised, December 2010

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at the inimitable One Stop Poetry

Image: The Arrow Shot, by Claudio Mufarrege
Used with permission.


  1. get OUT.

    Okay, I try, I really do, not to gush here. But get out, woman. This sears. I love it.

    I don't want to go line by line, but some deserve laurels. The hot as a barn in July I just love. No further descriptors needed.

    The fifth and sixth stanzas are beauties indeed. Every line.

    I'm trying to figure out the 3-4-4-5-7-5-5 line arrangement. Was that the Hedgewitch Golden Ear Method, or is there something beyond that at work?

    Listen, cos I mean are the only poet I know who consistently makes me feel seriously pushed. Damn you and bless you!



  2. i will juat say..that was fricken amazing...those last couple stanzas especially...

  3. Truly brilliantly written. I felt every word.

  4. Vivid imagery. I especially like the 5th stanza.

  5. two separate worlds..that's what grabbed me most - and this feeling goes through the whole poem...really beautiful..and i liked the dust motes..

  6. This is one breath-stopping poem. And I know what Fireblossom means about feeling pushed by your writing. I read the two of you and really wouldnt need to read anyone else. You are both amazing. This one? This one ROCKS. Especially love as the servant cleaning the soul and beheading the bird in the heart's kitchen. Oh my freaking GOD!!!!! Okay, it's neck and neck, Fireblossom and Hedgewitch. I foresee some interesting reading up ahead! SO well done. Wowzers.

  7. 'suspended until you are done with me'
    says it all for me


    thanks for the visit

  8. I am amazed at the many different takes this prompt takes today. I am trying to read each and everyones, and find they are all so different. Your's is amazing.

  9. I have no words for this....or none that will do it justice.

  10. Beautiful imagery ("eyes of stone alight") and a story told well. Well done.

  11. GREAT stuff today. How long did it take you? On a day requiring a thousand other just dashed this masterpiece off. I'm awestruck and humbled in the face of your genius and talent. And I might add I could write the same about seven or eight others I've read!

  12. This is truly beautiful. It reminds me of how I feel about the people I care about who turn to follow their own shadow. It's hard, but your work makes it easier!

  13. An amazing piece I read it earlier and had to come back and read again before commenting...the things that can be named, but not changed...beautiful look at love, the heart and the mystery of both...thank you for sharing this wonderful read...bkm

  14. Joy (is it?),

    I read on and waited for the piece no longer to hold on to its excellence.

    That flat spot never occurred.

    This is really good!


  15. This is a beautiful poem, hedgewitch, which went so perfectly with that amazing photograph.

  16. Thanks all, for your very kind words and sincere appreciation. It's a privilege and pleasure to be associated with so many talented writers, and to feel, as Fireblossom puts it, the push to excel that your work provides. There were a lot of exceptional poems written today for this prompt.

    @TrulyFool, Yes, it's Joy, but I'll answer to most things.

    @Gay, This is actually an older poem written in 1991, that came to mind when I saw the photo. I added the second stanza, rewrote the penultimate one, and tweaked a word here and there, and that was it--so no, I didn't just dash it off on the spur of the moment. I do recall, though, that it was one of those ones that decided it wanted to be written,and came out without much fuss on my part.

    dustus dropped me a line to say he was unable to leave a comment, and I've heard this from several others. If you are having this issue, and have the time, I'd appreciate a quick email letting me know, stating what browser you're using, as I'd like to see if it can be corrected. You can contact me by clicking my profile pic in the sidebar and following the link to my email.

    Again, thanks very much to everyone.

  17. Hedgewitch, I will say as you did, that I feel among peers here. I can feel the love for the work.

  18. Quite a wrenching work, but hope floats, as they say..Not too fond of being in love with the Dylan pointed's all blowin' on the wind!

  19. This is just incredible...those last two lines just blew me away! :0)

  20. This poem's really good. Reminds me of one of Carol Ann Duffy's. Really good.

  21. Excellent poem. I really liked it.

  22. Must be one of the killer openers I've read in poetry blogosphere! From the heaving right down to the hurling, the piece in its entirety was a show of dexterity -- tone, diction, imagery. Bull's eye!

  23. Thanks all, and to anonymoous for the flattering allusion to Duffy.

    @AFOM Not sure where the heaving and hurling come in, unless you mean the hurl of the bow, but I thank you, and glad you enjoyed it.


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

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