Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dry Spell

Dry Spell

The drought is a dead mother, all silence and negation.
It breathes the void and makes inaction action.
It gathers up possibilities and reduces them by fraction
to a still cipher that sucks the multiples from creation.

The drought owns nothing but the dead empty and a name.
As green falters and begins to change its mind,
the bright is bleached out grey, limping down a stony wind.
The sky is stripped. There’s no giving left to find,
except the gift of wind not breath, just scorch, the whip of flame.

Serial and sere, Ceres surrenders, hushes and renders
her variegated voice silent that sought to sew the cloud
to earth in her soft singing seaming, terrestrial to celestial.
Instead the steel wind has dry lightning on its fenders;
it drives the wildfire down the highway, smoke impenetrable
and all the still or wavering things are burned up in that shroud.

As I’m burning through this empty coughing dream
of nothing where your song once sewed the seam.

April 2011

Image: Texas Wildfires, 2011, courtesy CNN video footage,   source link


  1. That is really good Hedge. Love the wordplay, and the rhymes within lines, like, 'Serial and sere, Ceres surrenders, hushes and renders' and 'to earth in her soft singing seaming, terrestrial to celestial.' There is a beauty and power to this. Very cool!

  2. HW, when I read you I kinda of feel how silly of me to make the attempt to write poetry... Ok, each one has their way with words, but you always astound me that far, lady.
    Absolutely gorgeous way to describe those powers of nature in us.


  3. Wonderful play of words, and emotion. It gathers up possibilities and reduces them by fraction - so true of the dry.

  4. Powerful, Hedge! The third stanza is a study in consonance. All those "sss", hissing away like hot steam from fired wood. You do indeed summon drought here, that dry spell mesmerizing and petrifying the landscape reflecting emptiness and emotional loss--"coughing dream of nothing." Too many fantastic images to parse here, but suffice to say that you are burning up (bad pun intended) this challenge! For reals! ;)

  5. Dear Hedgewitch: "The drought is a dead mother.." powerful and intense as to think; how can these fires of "The Dry Spell" within and without seem so unending and stuck ruthlessly on infinite's doldrum overdrive. Brillian piece!

  6. "the steel wind has dry lightning on its fenders"

    I like that.

  7. "the drought is a dead mother" is a killer line. One can feel the heat in this poem of a wildfire, and then the two final lines hit, as perfectly as a gong in a Buddhist temple.

  8. My God Woman!!
    No drought in your Word Flow Fluentcy!!

  9. This one could compare to the droughts of the 30's. I hear the dust storms are starting to rise as well.

    I hope you get your needed (much needed) rain soon.

  10. The poem progresses through its verbal witchery from drought to conflagration, a little rhyme here becoming a little more -- an internal rhyme, an alliteration -- into a thrrd stanza which busts its bloomers a dozen ways, a really royal romp of deranging verbal flame. It just goes off and then is burning everywhere at once. Is it Ceres who has fled this world's smoke in the last stanza, good agriculture become pyre? Did She also sew the shroud? (Death Mother is not a foreign guise - Drought and Fire Mother, at least). Difficult indeed not to go up with that smoke, though. I know the Texas wildfires are stunning -- a million acres on fire right now -- so too in your 'hood? To the garden hose, and a poem of rain! - Brendan

  11. nice hedge...your opening line grips and then you suck us dry in the heat alll the way to that closing line...nice atmosphere you create in your word play...

  12. Potent and powerful language was just flying from your pen when this was written. There is not a flaw to be found as the reader falls under your spell and loses themselves in the imagery, flow, and pure awesomness! (Sorry, cheeseball breaks out occassionally!) This is truly amazing! Loved it


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