Wednesday, January 2, 2013



splay out
 the holy Way,
under the 
pale aureole
that scarves 
the moon,
across the 
endless breast where every twin must meet or pass with one cold kiss
 to that bitten, black on white incision preceding the unspooling decision.
 The lunatic moon's a dangerous perfectionist in her every golden fraying,
softly flaking, tearing silvery pages from the weeks of her waning diary,
swelling toward a spring remembered on the other side of a dead nerve.
 Choose quick
in the breath 
you center
where change  
and addiction
cross, seeing
the killer's 
hilted sword, 
the crusader's
on a white as
innocent of
the deceits of
 opposites as a
looking for 
geometry in  
 the razor-sharp 
fractals of chaos.
Choose, and know on your back
you wear the wind that never blinks.

~January 2013

posted for   real toads

Challenge: Get Listed!
Fireblossom produces a mysterious anonymous word list from her secret sources, and asks us to write to its promptings. I don't often do this, but had a difficult bear of a poem that seemed to need some surgical insertions, so gave it a fling. Many thanks to FB and her always creative source, who shall be nameless. You can find the word list at the link above.

Header Image: Finale(Sonata of the Sun) by Mikalojus Ciurlionis, 1907
Public Domain via
Footer Image: Crusade, by Albrecht Altdorfer
Public Domain, also via


  1. Woman, if you ever stop writing, I shall take serious issue! This screams with original voice, and contorts under the writer's vision. I love the way you moulded it into shape, and spilled the words throughout, so they became lost in what you wanted to say. The horizontal crossbeam contains my favourite lines, but they cannot be subtracted from the whole.

  2. this made me race-read in a frenzy down and across the page and then go back again. very effective!

  3. wow, I held my breath in anticipation and excitement, brilliant

  4. Such cool words of your own - don't know if FB's but really find that aureole of moon and breast so cool, and the oriflamme! But best for me is this outright naming of the cross between change and addiction , and the benediction of an unblinking wind at one's back would be quite wonderful. k.

    1. Thanks, k. This was a hair-puller. I believe Fireblossom coaxed the word list she shared out of someone who wants to stay anonymous. Here are the ones that I used:
      nerve fraying addiction perfectionist diary dangerously golden endless deceits killer twin innocence silvery razor-sharp opposites unspooling blink

    2. Ha! Just noticed, with spacing and a comma or two, that's a poem in itself:

      nerve fraying addiction,
      perfectionist diary dangerously golden,
      endless deceits, killer twin
      innocence, silvery razor-sharp opposites
      unspooling blink.

  5. Fabulous: I love the way you have created the shape which echoes the surrealism in the words, crowned with the supreme achievement of the final two lines.

  6. very cool concrete the cross...and between change and addiction, nice cross there....very cool dance in your words hedge...the visuals are amazing as ever...the lunatic moon is a dangerous perfectionist jumped out as well...and the breast of moon too but k already mentioned that...ha....nice...

  7. I may be way out in left field with my interpretation of your poem, but for me it conjures the present day crusaders of the One True Way, those true believers who brought us gridlock, the war on women, Faux News and all the rest. Inflexible certainty is a dangerous thing, both for the bearer and for anyone who differs.

  8. I love the shape of this. You really do paint a great picture of someone on a crusade. That choosing sides really points out how black and white some people view issues.

  9. There are so many incredible lines in this poem, I don't know where to begin. Let me just say, your poetry challenges me in ways I never thought poetry could ... Happy New Year!

  10. I am giddy-grinning from ear to ear over this. First off, your shaping thrills me to no end. I love when poets put in the extra effort to shape---and this exquisite masterpiece must have taken quite some time to tame. Shaping is not at all easy.

    And then the words, my goodness. Well of course, I've entirely forgotten there was a word list. This is all Hedge magic, from start to finish. Seriously, I was giggling with glee over every line.

    I know you hate quoting unless it is done in an intelligent way. But I'm going to warn you now that I'm doing it like an idiot with my tongue hanging out, drooling over these incredible descriptions:

    "under the
    pale aureole
    that scarves
    the moon"

    I love what you did there with the word "aureole." Very clever.

    "cross the endless breast where every twin must meet or pass with one cold kiss to that bitten, black on white incision"

    "The lunatic moon's a dangerous perfectionist in her every golden fraying"

    "a spring remembered on the other side of a dead nerve"

    "innocent of
    the deceits of

    "looking for
    geometry in
    the razor-sharp
    fractals of chaos"

    "on your back
    you wear the wind that never blinks"

    Yup. I did it. I quoted just about the whole thing. You're just going to have to hate me because I couldn't help it.

    I think this is about love and heartbreak, the choices that lead you into the tip of a sword. Love and the inevitable pain that it brings---that is the (cold) wind that never blinks. Black on white, stained, sin, stepping off the "cross" roads.

    The moon is a two-sided woman. At times, she is crying over her loss and ripping pages out of her diary trying to destroy the evidence and the memories. At other times, she is able to step outside of her mind and her heart, controlling her breathing, rising above emotion, seeking enlightenment.

    There is the Holy Way (whatever that might mean for this woman), and there is the Other Way. She must choose between meeting the twin and walking away. Remaining addicted and affecting change/breaking the cycle, the pull, the pattern. But this bloody crusader/killer has already hit the mark.

    To me, this just drips of pain and loss and impossible decisions. At the heart of it all, there is a spiritual battle of some sort.

    Or maybe it's just about the Crusaders and religion. But I don't think so.

    Brilliant work.

    1. Thanks, jasmine. I don't mind quoting, as you say, if its done with some thought, which you always bring, so don't worry about that. I'm especially glad to hear you felt the list wasn't overly evident--it really did help me with some pivotal points in this one, but I like to feel it shouldn't be used as a crutch for the poem, but an enabler. And as you and several others have pointed out, no, it's not about religion(since I don't have one and this is a personal piece) but about the symbols of religion and the spirit, which wherever they occur, always fascinate, the actual X that marks the (inner) map where decision must take place. Thanks again for your thoughtful reading.

  11. I am with Fireblossom. This brings the present holy war our society seems to be enmeshed in. Love the poem and its form.As always you amaze me. :)

  12. I love the form, your vision and the crusader's take on the world~
    Bravo :D

  13. What can I say Hedge, you knocked the wind out of me at the closing lines ~

    This is a beauty ~

  14. "The lunatic moon's a dangerous perfectionist in her every golden fraying,
    softly flaking, tearing silvery pages from the weeks of her waning diary"

    Honest to god, that brings me to tears.

    1. Yes, if you think about it, there's something a bit nuts about the moon's absolute mathematical back-and-forth cycling...and the power it has and doesn't have. Thanks MZ--no tears, though, its bad enough Shay keeps leaving us all bald, like it isn't winter out there.

  15. Wowsers. Hedge!! You made that list your own...each well-thought-out twist to the words was a delight to discover. An added awesomeness is that you brought much depth to your piece...the meaning comes through thickly and I love the choice of imagery you chose to portray....the first that instantly struck me was the scarves of the moon...I love the silken stringing of feminine imagery throughout as well. This is a powerful poem all together...packed in a concrete...very apropos!! I enjoyed this, Hedge!!

    Incidentally, thank you for reading over at my caught a version of mine though that I'm not especially proud of...I went through and made changes, (maybe as you were reading)! Any way, no pressure..I was just embarrassed at some of the obvious stuff that I let through the first time around! lol :)'s

    1. Thanks, Hannah. I often am doing that whole compulsive editing thing after I've posted so I totally understand. I'm on my way out into the frozen tundra to buy provisions, but I'll check back for a reread later.

      Happy New Year, dear Hannah.

  16. Fantastic writing! I am in awe. I especially love the lunatic moon.

  17. Oh dear Hedge.....Heavy unadulterated jealousy toward the others in the garden has me reeling.Can't they see that you write for me? I've seen it all along, your attention to detail, the way you wield a word high and then send it crashing down upon a readers addled brain. You are telling me again and again...."Hero, this is the way its close attention" and I do but no avail. Brilliance....

  18. i've read this twice and think i'll allow myself the indulgence of one more time through before i leave ~

    i love the Lady Moon and your poem is well worthy of her! i need more adjectives, but will have to settle for stunning!

  19. Wow, Hedge, I love the ending...those last two lines are great.

  20. The cross shape enhances your verse. When you skip to "Choose quick" I am jilted into a temporary place of anxiety as, by this point, I am wholly romanticized (can i use that here?) by my love for that perfectionist moon. I am often slow at the hilt. Have died because of my hesitation, almost surely. This is my new favorite of yours. (now I just have to figure out how to follow your blog more effectively, I often can not post a comment.... I am not a very efficient blogger, but I'll dig in and get it.) Happy New Year, Hedge!

  21. Hedge, this feels more like a commentary ON religion than a declaration of. Truly, this would be a terrific spoken work piece, "cross" form or now. "The razor-sharp fractals of chaos," indeed. And we all choose, for better or worse... and always with that wind at our backs - sometimes urging us on; sometimes knocking us over! I LOVED THIS. Peace, Amy


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

Comment Moderation Has Been Enabled