Sunday, March 27, 2011



Unraveled by your nearness
drunk with your skin,
body in the  blue crucible, what is cold
compressed  and heavy melts outward, 
a joyful
lead liquefied 
and endlessly rolling where
depth meets depth, and fire water,
wavering, thrown 
bobbing on the surface
then endlessly falling down
end over end unshaped,
a spirit of the mercury ocean
transfixed and transformed, liquid
flesh and lead.

Something dies unburied, 
where this other thing is born,
borne upwards by the rippling tide 
of indigo blood and the
sudden balloons of oxygen
swelled in its leaden lungs.

Your hands fly, your quick fingers tow,
your wide eyes of dark surprise pull me,
a bubbled half-formed  thing,
across the quick and silver sea
between dimensions
still liquid, but a liquid fire,
to the plane where water pushes on air
and air hangs heavy over water
where we
burn on a raft of being
between the two

O my love
     come closer

July 1989
revised March, 2011

Posted for One Shoot Sunday at the inimitable OneStopPoetry 

Image: by Roger Allen Baut (@ChasingTao ) 
Used with permission


  1. between dimensions

    And don't these two words sum it all up?

  2. Wow, this is a riveting poem of intense emotion. So many beautiful images and phrases. I especially love "something dies unburied when this other thing is born". Wow, Joy. And the "indigo blood" , "across the quick and silver sea", and "where we burn on a raft of being between the two." HOL-EE cow! Fantastic poem. And the image is amazing too - photo or painting????

  3. "liquid fire" the perfect feeling of passion.

  4. Love
    '...across the quick and silver sea
    between dimensions...'
    Great images and packed with emotion. Good ending too.

  5. Joy,

    Gotta say: your lyricism also has an ability to develop. You take an idea and don't stop satisfied with 'the right phrase' but find new, other 'right phrases' to amplify things.

    And taking the element of water into fire and air -- but avoiding heavy earth.


  6. Wow, you still never cease to amaze me with your awesome ability to write epic poetry and make me feel like a child when it comes to my own.

    Great work here hw, you make me want to take up the mantle for love and feelings and emotions and stuff. Obviously you are aware this is black magic... This is why you're the hedgewitch ;)

  7. Thanks all! This is old old old stuff, reworked a LOT to make it presentable. But the pic was too well-suited to pass up.

    @ TF Many thanks--this is my brain on free verse.

    @LV: Don't worry, you will soon be sucked back into the gothic metal mother and forget this momentary exposure to sunlight and girly feelings and such. Or find some way to get a doomed tentacle of fire on them. I have faith in you, my friend.

  8. one of my favorites, HW. So sensual, visual, intense-- I especially love-- a joyful
    lead liquefied
    and endlessly rolling where
    depth meets depth, and fire water,

    Always, such a fine plying of our craft-- i'd be interested to see what you think of my offering this week-- all best to you-- j

  9. Whoa, jump back. Archie and Veronica this is not. Lead, mercury, firewater, the bends...sounds like a love one would be lucky to even survive.

    Then again, being left breathless is worth a risk or two...

  10. there are some simply amazing lines within this piece.. I love the stream, the flow... "mercury ocean" indeed. . a riveting read ~

  11. Joy Ann,
    "across the quick and silver sea
    between dimensions
    still liquid, but a liquid fire," what a sultry and seductive piece of writing.


  12. Great apothecaries wings! Really nice imigary you've cooked up in this poem, it's amazing how we've come up with such perspectives of poetry through one prompt. It's been a veritable spectrum of reading tonight!

  13. Beautiful use of words. There's an element of "other-ness" here, that "something dying unburied where this other thing is born." I shivered as I read it. Well done.

  14. Wow! What a fabulous response to the photo prompt.
    The language here is immensely well structured and evocative . I truly enjoyed reading this. Thank you.

  15. Passionate poem, and perfect for the picture prompt. I love the imagery; you've wasted no words. Very well done.

  16. I saw the quicksilver element in the photo too but went with a more namable fluidity. Ah the mercury bead, fluttering off wherever we try to nail or fix it, always somewhere, something else other than what we expected. It marries the elements -- air and water, fire and foam, surface and depth, blue and silver -- both and neither at once. It keeps the poet sifting transformations at the sea's (or bed's) edge. A happy place to be in love, wouldn't you say? No island final, no summation satisfactory, as that damned quicksilver bead scuttles off singing "Not Yet"! or "Not Here!" or "Try this!" Permutation and perambulation: the most satisfying way your poem proceeds. Might as well haul the moon down through the window and hang it over the bed. - Brendan

  17. A poem that melts in the mind....Simply divine...

    limitless space

  18. The first two lines are just gorgeous, and it just keeps getting better.

  19. Thanks all, for your comments and impressions, and for spending your time here, reading. Much appreciated.

  20. I've read this like 5-6 times, Hedgewitch. Read it a few times this morning, left it, came back to it, and now I've read a few more times. I kept trying to decide what I "liked" the best about it and what I "thought" about it so I might offer some insightful comment.

    But frankly, I love it all--all three stanzas and every image--though that ending gets me every time (I'm a hopeless romantic). So, I can only say that the utter brilliance of what you did with this enigmatic prompt leaves me feeling it all and my head is just left reeling. Fine writing, as always!

  21. Such depth yet transluscence with the elements of fire, air and water in this poem. What else could it not be but "love", that raft where we burn suspended between the elements, indeed! As usual, a magnificent take on the prompt, JOy! Thank you for another experience!


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

Comment Moderation Has Been Enabled