Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Broken Boy

The Broken Boy
A Gothic Tale

He met her 
at the crossroads
mouth on her cheek
cold as a stopped heart,
or was it only his familiar?
The light was bad
under the grey moon, and
she didn’t really care.

Whatever it was,
it held her too close,
it spoke and sang, dribbled
a thin red line in her ear,
left her its strangler’s torc
in a purple black ring as
the southern moon set
in blood and dust.

She woke up alone
gravid with its dream,
carrying to term
a broken truth, born
to learn from the swing
of the moon’s blade
how a hard hand
brings a hard life.

September 2011

Note: This poem had another incarnation, appearing for the June FEPC challenge as Moon Baby, but has since been (almost) completely rewritten.

Image: The Other Window, by ~animaSomnia


  1. "gravid with its dream,
    carrying to term
    a broken truth"

    stunning, Joy! no matter the subject, i always sense an aura of magic around your words. as is normally the case with your poetry, every line a gem which dazzles.

    d ♥

  2. You have graphic imagery in your gothic tale — the grey moon, whose deadly blade deforms love. It feels so close to what could be rapture, because there is beauty even in the terror of it. But what could it have been, if it had been born from a different hand?

  3. Wonderful...carried me from beginning to end. Great imagery that haunts with the dark gothic. Love it...

  4. "cold as a stopped heart"

    "the southern moon set
    in blood and dust."

    the ending...

    Really chilling, excellent stuff, dear Witch.

  5. Hello Joy

    I seem to have gathered a mere wisp of understanding of this poem. I wish I understood it precisely. It begins with 'He' and then subsequently it is 'it'. Nevertheless, your poem reads so magical, that I am sad I couldn't 'get it' :( The last five lines take my breath away.

    Do you think you just give a brief outline about the poem. Please?

    Thank you

  6. you use language to create an eerie atmosphere...a hard hand does bring a hard life...dribbled a thin red line in her ear is very vivid...i like this hedge...

  7. All I saw was another coward of a man beating another scared woman to afraid to let the sun rise and move on and away.

  8. Ya-boy gothic, tight and taut and tense and eerie with vapors of memory and dream and whispers from the Book where lives are writ. The second stanza is pure forged steel. "Strangler's torc," indeed. Yikes. There's a strange neutrality to the poem, equal parts invective and responsibility. Gothic noir, I'd say. Fine job. - Brendan

  9. "carrying to term
    a broken truth"

    What magnificent writing!

  10. @gmc: This blog does not accept comments in verse, though yours was much better than the usual offering. Nonetheless I am following my policy of deletion. Next time, please leave a comment and if you feel your poem is pertinent, feel free to include a link to your own site.

    Because I liked your poem, I include a link to it here:

    Unbroken Joy

  11. I got your 'Strangler's Torq'..... :-)

  12. @hedgewitch: too bad, my policy is to leave only poems as comments^^: as poetry is a way to turn mud into gold, i don't see why it should be commented with mud.
    writing poetry = feeling free at anytime (so no need to feel free to do smthing in particular^^).

  13. @gmc; I respect your view, and thanks for explaining it. My own view is that discussion and poetry are two different things and serve two different purposes. I did enjoy your poem, and hope everyone will check out the link above and read it. It's a much happier and more cheerful piece, and perhaps reading it after mine will make people feel better.

  14. It was terrifyingly dark, the too small torc I imagined vividly cutting into the skin at the throat. Such a heart rending metaphor with its association with communication, creativity, and writing. A vulnerable place against hard metal. It reminded me of the terror in nightmares where one can't make a sound, screaming in silence, all the force of will and nothing made of it. A disempowerment extraordinaire - excellent poem with the immediacy of dreams.

  15. Thanks, Anna. Your comment means a lot.

  16. Dream or not, it carries to term. Good job.


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

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