Tuesday, December 7, 2010



Late at night awake, sometimes
I wish that with me here I still had you
to stare at the invisiblest rhymes.

I know my dear that if I told you
my mailbox was on some fine days
a folded gnome bent over, painted blue,

or that I saw a fuchsia bird ablaze
hanging beakside down you'd know it wasn't
from the wooden feeder’s trays,

or that music just mustn’t
want to play inside the half
where the bottle wasn’t,

I know you’d let me laugh
I know you’d understand
all these things, this riff and raff.

I know you’d tell me, ever bland
your soup was cubed and smile around
the thorny rose in your mouth’s hand.

You’d draw fishes flaunting pistols, dancing drowned
in salty spotlights, playing out piscine charades
you’d let me cry and let me laugh till I hit ground.

But you’re gone, my dear, in spades
all of you each particle and seed
your face, your cashmere voice, angora braids

your hands and heart and all controls
chestnut hair and snowy bones, afloat like milkweed,
blown in the great diaspora of souls.

Leaving me to let this screed
fly into the gnome’s mouth, freed.

December 2010
For Marsha Rae

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at the inimitable One Stop Poetry

This poem is written roughly in the terza rima form.

Photo of milkweed by Lisa Spangler  
under Creative Commons License 3.0 U.S.


  1. The softness of this belies the sadness in it...

    "snowy bones" - reverberates and hurts

  2. Hedgewitch...
    This was beautiful..
    Dante' would be proud....G

  3. Some of the finest, deepest poetry I have read in a long time, hedgewitch. Is yours.

    Beautiful, haunting and complex.

    Lady Nyo

  4. Absolutely beautiful. Snowy bones. Yup mine feel like this right now. And want to be defrosted. Full of longing

  5. You made lonely swirl like the Monarch butterflies having feasted on milkweed. Great write.

  6. great write - silvery ode to the milkweed

    Thanks for sharing with One Shot

    moon smiles

  7. This is the best thing I've read so far. Great job! You are a wordsmith.

  8. This is amazing--so simply stated with such depth of sadness.

  9. this is a feast of imagery...fish with pistols smiles...you made the words dance...

  10. I read a lifetime together in these lines, - and separation hits hard... love love love "cashmere voice"

  11. I think you have used the form with panache - I enjoyed the whimsy and juxtapositions such as "The thorny rose in your mouth’s hand."

  12. Now this is poetry.For one who always struggle for words,I truly envy you.Wish I have the same gift.

    Was a privilege to have read this.

  13. beautiful, soft, pure and delicate as the wind that takes the seed of for rebirth...very nice --love your work...bkm

  14. One of the things about you, dear Hedgewitch, which keeps me trotting my happy little ass back here every time you post, is that you are a poetess with her own distinct style. Not only that, but we are treated to The Many Moods of Hedgewitch, though you don't seem to perform in happy-face all that often. No matter.

    This poem is a good example. Who else would use all those bizarrely charming images to convey a secret language between two people? My favorite, somehow, is:

    "I know you’d let me laugh
    I know you’d understand
    All these things, this riff and raff."

    It may be the most simply phrased bit in the entire poem, but it's the one that says it all, to me.

  15. The loss of love, of shared understanding, told with an aching heart. Well done.

  16. Such simplicity with vivid imagery. Well penned. Nice One Shot. Love and Light, Sender

  17. Very endearing poetry warm and loving. Great!

  18. Many thanks all for the very kind words, and for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it all, and it means all the more coming from so many writers whose work I admire deeply.

    @FB With your usual ability to read between my lines, you've picked out the only unaltered, un-tweaked, non-fiddled-with stanza in the whole poem, the underpinning of everything else. I wish you could have met my friend Marsha; you share a similar irreverent, gifted, nonsensical and perceptive worldview in many ways.

  19. i love the imagery in this poem hedgewitch - very powerful - A folded gnome bent over, painted blue - who would think of sth like this...glad you did!

  20. As nice as it is to have someone who 'gets' us, it's also agonizing to lose them. But I liked the way you expressed it. Nice One Shot!

  21. I read it yesterday and came back again today. These words at the end captured it for me, "Your hands and heart and all controls
    Chestnut hair and snowy bones, afloat like milkweed,
    Blown in the great diaspora of souls.

    Leaving me to let this screed
    Fly into the gnome’s mouth, freed.

    You always amaze and delight me and I have learned your voice is yours delightfully and brilliantly!

  22. Thank you Claudia and Eric. Gay, glad you liked the ending. I reworked it so many times to find the balance I can't tell about it anymore, but at least it's better than when I started.

  23. I debated between spending my lunch break reading One Shot Wednesday posts, or driving to around to find a greasy hamburger. Finding your poem confirms I made the right choice.

    Love between two who 'get each other' without effort. Beautiful, poignant, and alive.

    Glad to have found you.

  24. Nice first Terza - should say though that in Terza rima proper (please disregard if you are doing a 'modern terza' and intend this), all lines must scan with each other. Which doesn't mean anything as complex as iambic pentameter, though often those writer Terza in English do, but all line need to have the same number of stresses ('beats') when read/spoken. If you so speak your lines out as composing/editing, it helps. Also you seem to be missing the linking rhyme between stanzas one and two (line 2 should rhyme with lines 4 and 6, as the pattern is elsewhere in your poem - as it is you have here/blue/you)

    Hope you wanted that crit, you did say didn't you?

    Cheers my friend

    Luke @ WordSalad

    ps here's a Terza I wrote a while back, if you're interested -


  25. Thanks DeLi; and MN-H, I'm sure my poem had far fewer calories than a greasy hamburger. Glad it satisfied some of your hunger. Thanks for stopping by. ;)

    @Luke, Thanks for the pointers, which I definitely asked for and am grateful to get. Can't believe I missed that first rhyme-drop in my twenty different re-writes! The whole thing started out as an unstructured, unrhymed piece with varying meter, and I re-wrote it into (partial) submission. I appreciate you taking the time to instruct me a bit on meter, about which I have a lot to learn.

  26. "Blown in the great diaspora of souls."

    That is one of the best lines I have read in a while. Excellent poem in terms of communicating clear emotion. Reads very well.


  27. Such beautiful words intertwined with somber imagery. Thanks for sharing with One Shot so I would see!

    Rhyme Me a Smile

  28. The way the pacing seems to build toward the end is gorgeous. Love this.

  29. My mouth is hanging open...(damn, a fly just flew in).

  30. What a beautifully written piece. I enjoyed your language selection and unique use of metaphors and similes and found your imagery refreshing and captivating. Read it a few times!

  31. It is an honour that you share such a special relationship. Those losses are heartbreaking, but you have held the joy of the relationship over the loss. A beautiful painting of all she meant, regardless of the slight flub in terza style. Those mistakes make us stronger as does this loss.

  32. Good God! The delightful lines in the first half totally left me unprepared for the oh-so-sad second half...
    And I kept wondering..why!!! Why are we left behind with memories of yesteryear, eating away at the insides of our souls.. while still making us smile? (I think my muse just got back to me..right here, right now!)

    You have written a beautiful poem, my dear... it will stay for long.. I am very sure of that!

  33. Strong use of images (that never stray too far from theme), and rounabout nicely at the end. Good stuff.

  34. Your use of language is playful and engaging-- nicely done.


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

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