Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Out The Window

La Lunette d'Approche, Rene Magritte

Out the Window 


You tell me I'm blind
but  I see too much.
I see the sea that isn’t there
paws padding over powderblue plains,
pale armadas riding the waves
cargoed with darkness;
the white dead faces of all the past,
their pincers and pins, their coals
for eyes. 
I see no end.

Mujer espiritu de la noche, Remedios Varo


I tossed up from my heart the garland
 that grew from invisible seed
for the moon-maid to wear in her hair,
saw only her drawn face snow-blinded
saw  ice in her eisenglass stare
there's no help here,
just the moonmad maenad
with her white teeth that tear.

~March 2013

posted for   real toads
Challenge: Words Count with Mama Zen
The ever succinct Mama Zen has asked us to look out of the window and see...darkness.  The trick was keeping it to 50 words--so I cheated and separated my double vision.

Process notes: eisenglass = isinglass, properly, a transparent substance made from the swim bladders of fish used in cooking and parchment repair, but colloquially, a form of mica, per wikipedia:

"Thin transparent sheets of mica called "isinglass" were used for peepholes in boilers, lanterns, stoves, and kerosene heaters because they were less likely to shatter than glass when exposed to extreme temperature gradients. Such peepholes were also used in "isinglass curtains" in horse-drawn carriages and early 20th century cars."

All images copyright of the copyright holders.


  1. This is glorious, Hedge. The pulsing paws, the ship "cargoed with darkness", the moon-maid's hair, the moon-mad maenad, and "there's no help here". Just wow.

  2. This is just spectacular, Hedge. You pack so much into a brief form. Such satisfying poetry - deep mood, rich imagery, strikingly original.
    How I wish I could think up lines like these:
    ice in her eisenglass stare

  3. wow...a rather haunting picture out your window...and a lot of p alliteration...smiles....the coal eyes of those there is an image....

    moon mad maenad...gotta watch out for those teeth...smiles...

  4. Oh, the things the blind can if life were a never-ending dream, a constant nightmare, with sea's depths and armada's guns, and no escape from the blindness, ever.
    You've frightened me, Hedge.
    And your second verse..."there's no help here,
    just the moonmad maenad
    with her white teeth that tear."
    Horrifying! And ever so very well done.

  5. I was actually holding my breath as I read this! Just amazing, Hedge.

  6. I adore the first one, it touched somethingdeep within

  7. The sound of moonmad maenad and the image of her white teeth that tear coupled with the terrifying refrain There's no help here- is scary at an elemental level. Fine poetry.

  8. This is amazing and I love it!

  9. That picture of the spirit of the night is weird and disturbing, but I like it.

    The opening two lines of the first piece set the entire tone for me. Poe would be proud of this snappish little pair, I feel certain.

  10. Not sure I understood much. The only image I had was that the blind can see much more than the sighted often.

  11. They are both little gems, Joy, but the first spoke to me (maybe in terms of the prompt) and also in terms of my own pre-occupations. I see it as some vision into the ice age or just past, and it makes me very conscious of the fragility of all our current states. Many beautiful sounds and images. I think of coral found in sand. Very cool.

    The second one works best for me as a continuation of the first, actually, I realize when reading them. Great flow. k.

    1. Thanks, k. Yes, they kind of go together, and I cheated by splitting them up--though I did think them up separately at different times. As always you see not only what's there, but beyond, to what could be there.

  12. You grab me to attention with the first two lines and the rest my eyes dare not blink...

  13. Now I shall be singing songs from 'Oklahoma' all morning! lol

  14. That spirit picture is CREEPY! It really sets the tone for these poems. Nicely done.

  15. I love your angle...seeing too much and then carrying us with you through the well written scene that you set....looming impending loss of sea and the powderblue plains...brilliant.

    Love the image...and in the second part I really enjoyed the part about the moon's glad for your process notes to explain....brings another layer of depth. Thank you!

  16. what a great pair!!!

    Magritte is such a modern master, i could eat his work all up were it not for the health and legal issues: i love his indoor/outdoor pieces like this one and my favourite 'the human condition' . . . and the second image is perfect and sits so well alongside the PO

    paws padding over powderblue plains: i read this aloud/alone for pure pleasure of the pulse in the PO . . .

    and classic Hedgending

    there's no help here,
    just the moonmad maenad
    with her white teeth that tear

    BOOM! and BITE! . . . Bitten!

  17. Smiling at your gemini poem. The denial of the garland made from invisible seed breaks my heart. What if we were to have our most wholesome gift denied? Somehow, though, as I pull this poem inside out, I infer it is the denial (or blindness) that perpetuates life. The denial of "end", I guess. It is sincerely one of my biggest fears... that no gift I have will be enough. So the cycle continues. Really truly wonderful poetry.


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