Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Message

 The Message

On a windblustered day in a landlocked clime
we walked, the dog and I
the beach of the rainwashed mind,

her smell-prance a dance of anticipation
unquenchable, my drag-walk the sum
of slow disintegration.

Dry air faked the sigh that couples with ocean,
fish-fluid, flying fluent and fulgent
with forgotten emotion.

The flotsam thrown up there was viscid and dark
but in a floating smoked bottle
I found a mark

a notation neither flesh nor sublime
no lovenote, just the tedious plea
to make something mine:
If only I could know
what I only see receding.
Knowledge is mean
as alcohol, burning what it cleans
killing what needs to die,
bitter as aloe tasting black, 
soothing on charred hide,
but knowing is the thing we lack
most when we are needing,
only gotten after bleeding.

I looked to the signing to see who divined
this notification pricked out in prime
saw my own name, the only thing mine.

June 2012

Posted for   real toads
Challenge:Ella's Edge
Ellas has asked us to write a poem about "saving one's soul.  A life lesson, a view of your journey..." or a message that might be found in a bottle. 

Image: Miranda, by John William Waterhouse, 1875


  1. Eerie mental beach in a desolate landscape filled with flotsom--thank God for the dog! The message: "Knowledge is mean" and "knowing is the thing we lack / when we are needing," comes to me again and again: fore-knowledge is not possible, but oh! her signature! So sad to think that is all that is hers, a spareness and dryness in what could be lush. An effectively crushing poem. Gosh, compared to this, my new poem is fantasy indeed.

    1. One of these days I'll freak everyone out and write something cheery, promise. ;_)

  2. Cheery some day? well I have to say it cheers me up everytime I read your stuff regardless of the tone. This is no exception. Those two opening stanzas are crazy good...and the whole idea of the last couple of lines is dizzying. You are a force to be reckoned with...I hope I never have to reckon with you. If I was going toe to toe with you in a poetry reckoning contest..I would likely resign and hand you my wallet to boot. Great stuff.

    1. Ha! I seriously doubt that I could reckon you out, Corey, and fortunately I have learned that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the Day of Reckoning can often be postponed indefinitely--not that you would need to worry. ;_)

    2. I totally agree with Corey. Except that it would be totally fun to be in the contest and I wouldn't hand you my wallet until after it was over. No resignation in the face of a good show!

  3. Lots of mystery in this for me--I love reading the different images and get something different each time I read it over. Good response to what I see as a difficult prompt.

  4. This is decidedly NOT a typical beach scene, and it's absolutely WONDERFUL! The rhyme scheme and imagery work so well. A truly nifty read!!!

  5. whew...that in the end it was your own message in the bottle is a brilliant touch hedge...knowing is the thing we lack
    most when we are needing,
    only gotten after bleeding...dang thats got grit and a ring of truth in it as well...there is a shadow over this that leaves one to shiver...even at the beach...

  6. Loved this surprise ending... but it got me thinking that we do know ourselves best. Perhaps that is why some NEVER seek solitude... must be always surrounded by noise, action, people.

  7. I read this to myself, then read it aloud ... chanting forcefully when I arrived at 'the note' ... this is amazing work. Wow!

  8. This was so beautiful done~ It is sad, but I so get the expressed view! WE all need to leave something that is ours!
    Magic in these words! I loved it~

  9. First of all, Sir Bosco says he likes the parts which obviously refer to his love, Ms. Chinook! Full speed ahead! (do dogs have any other setting?)

    The poem, though, describes the other side of eagerness, the down side, the not having but still needing. As the parallax shows the road ahead narrowing, one's steps naturally drag, and one's spirits with them.

    Sending a message to one's self is often the hardest correspondence. This note is honest and clear and not a little bit heartbreaking.

    "I'm taking the dog for a walk" says Hedge. But nothing is ever simple for a poet, is it?

  10. "the beach of the rainwashed mind,"

    This is definitely my favorite line, Hedge!!!

    I love where you take us...this rainwashed place in you mind...your message is's true most things we can only learn for ourselves and only after we've bled and died in the experience do we really know...have we truly learned and yes, the only thing truly our own is ourselves, our own names. Well done and also heartbreaking but I grew up on tough love so this resonates just fine with me! Lol :)

  11. This is an extremely powerful piece, Hedge. The deepest kind of soul-searching through melancholy and the realization that we need to stop sometimes and listen to our own inner message, recognize the need, and hope for some relief. I love the winsome picture and the inclusion of the happy-spirited dog is genius.

  12. Ai Yi Yi! This one really should be filmed - it's very visual and the dog's dance/prance is just terrific. All of the sound is great and the way it loops around the message - the rhyme and lusciousness sort of like the rounded edges of a bottle - and then of course, the whole device is terrific, if dark. I must run right now, so can't write more. k.

  13. this is so much more than a message... to oneself wow---
    great write, as always

  14. This was a fantastic walk along the shore, the dragging steps, reeled me right along to the stunning last line: "saw my own name, the only thing mine." Wow.

  15. Powerful...those walks on the sandy beach of my mind too often leave me with grit in my teeth...Love it!

  16. Oh I love this cadence and rhyme. You do what Poe does with rhyme, which is to seduce that one ounce of hope and pleasure on into and through the pain and fear. There is so much about this I admire, all of it, but I'll accentuate "rainwashed mind" the dog's "smell-prance" (!) and the perfectly satisfying "easy" rhyme (sounds easy and natural is what I mean). Bravo.

  17. The pacing of this is flawless. Really good write, Hedge.


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

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