Friday, June 28, 2013

Landscape with Ruins and Fire

 Landscape With Ruins And Fire

When you are very old
and things are so very gone,
will you wish you had
held my hand,
will you remember
you never said my name
without lying
or looked in my eyes
while not speaking it?

When you're very old
wrapping yourself in the ruins
near the next Ice Age
with no one to draw magic
on cave walls  to call up your meals,
as you eat the dry harvests of ghosts
will you make yourself  an
ash shadow campfire
from our flame-scatter life,

or will you simply
find another
home to burn down
well to fill in
forest to level
for a flat plane
on which you may have
the exquisite comfort of
that last walk

~June 2013

posted for     real toads
Fireblossom Friday: Challenge: Loss
The incomparable Fireblossom, of Shay's Word Garden, asks us to write about "...the kind of loss that breaks your heart..."

Process Notes: The 'I' and 'You' in this poem are rhetorical devices and composites, and do not refer to any one specific person. Also, on a personal note, I'm having some problems adjusting to new medication, so please bear with me if I am slow in getting around to return visits. Should be temporary and should be back in shape very soon.

Header image: Landscape of Ruins and Fire, by Felix Valloton, 1914
Footer image: The Campfire, by Ambrose Bierstadt, circa 1860
Public Domain


  1. hey hedge

    I hope you level out soon and achieve relative equilibrium (although I find it to be overrated It is mostly preferable:)

    the whole tone of this piece is just perfect to meet my mood on this day. Timing cant be engineered but in terms of soft collision with my bending state this hits the right keys.

    fingering my chest cage
    clinging to the page
    better than on my rotten knees!

    drenched in the atmospherics
    that echo my melancholy -

    the acoustics of the ruins,
    the reverb post report -

    the madman's
    final folly.

    and then I take inspiration
    and the whole becomes an uplifting experience . . .

    now that IS

    take car HW

    1. Thanks Arron--very much out of it atm, but I agree, equilibrium *can* be over-rated--though not usually when you are falling over. I think you see the folly perfectly, as only we fools can do.

  2. Your choice of paintings is always as much of a delight to me as your poems. That first is as brilliant a metaphoric rendition of the landscape of a broken heart as I have seen.

    Your words pose the recurring question: Does the heart-breaker know what he/she has done to one who cherished him/her? One hopes it haunts them on their deathbeds...but many such people (as you suggest in the excellent imagery of the final stanza) never waiver in their commitment to self-interest.

    1. Thanks, Kerry. I love that you enjoy the paintings I choose--sometimes that's the hardest part of the post for me. Thanks for your insights and input-always appreciated.

  3. Two words, Hedge...Goose. Bumps.

    Wow. This is amazing...that last stanza so completes your piece...all the steps taken for creating a be demolished...this is written so well a joy to read.

  4. First - best of luck with your medication. Take care! (As in, don't fall. Sometimes these things can be very dizzying, and really medication is such strong stuff - beyond what one imagines sometimes.)

    Secondly, your poem is pretty dizzying. Talk about scorched earth! Whoa. A great great deal of loss here, though it does make for very good poetry. And the lack of punctuation works terrifically here. You know some people are so wounded themselves - they just can't help spreading it around - flame-scattered lives quite a wonderful phrase. Great job. k .

    1. Yes, it is the dizzy that is going on, combined with heat. I seem to be okay if I don;t go outside, so am feeling rather vampiric at the moment. Thanks for your concern, and for the kind words, and for reading, as always, k.

  5. remorse, regret, or comfort... what will we/they look to or rely on in the end? Your empathy for the reader is impressive. I enjoy your imagery in the middle stanza and how you carefully introduced us in the first. your closure brings it all together very humanely, especially given the destruction, with that one outstanding question. very enjoyable read, Hedge. I hope you get your med. technicalities work out ASAP.

  6. Hedgey, they say there are seven phases to grieving, and I think you captured the anger phase here brilliantly. The middle stanza was jaw droopingly beautiful and filled with spite....just what I look for in my poetry. Top notch work here. Viva la

  7. A fantastic write and so real I was relieved to read your note at the end, that the I and you are metaphorical. Whew! I would hate to think of you walking thru such a painful landscape. So sorry you are unwell. I totally relate, not so great at this end either. But it will get better, right? My mantra!

  8. mmm that last little bit on making the ash shadow or finding a new house to burn down...its emotive...on their way to the last walk make feel the grit and pain and even ire of loss in this...wonderful (real) imagery throughout...and hope you are back on your feet soon enough...smiles.

  9. That closing stanza bares some serious teeth! Love this, and I hope that you feel better soon.

    1. Thanks MZ--and I'm looking forward to the cool front headed this way--should help.

  10. "the exquisite comfort of
    that last walk alone"

    I've had occasion this past week to ponder the enigma of the fucked-up personality - he who wants to spoil everything good for others and himself, wallowing in his own misery. And yet we find it hard not to wonder if he will finger any regrets.

    1. That sort probably wallows in the miserable pleasure of regrets as well. Thanks, Mark.

    2. Yes of course. They can, and will, turn anything into pain. Thanks very much for your kind words on my poem.

    3. I read it and was blown away earlier in the week Mark, as I have a subscription to your site, but just wasn't feeling well enough to do it justice. It's an exceptional piece; poetry like that is an incentive to hang around this planet as long as I can.

  11. Really emotive,the painting fits the poem so well.

  12. Talk about calling someone out. This poem does it, in spades. The images and feel of the first two stanzas is ethereal, insubstantial; "as you eat the dry harvests of ghosts". Then the last section is a series of serious punches, a litany of total destruction shown to be for selfish and rather drama queen-ish purposes. Holy frick, Hedge, in your hands loss has a real edge. Thanks for linking this to my challenge.

  13. That last walk alone ~ the loss that would be unbearable.

    ... and from your friendly pharmacist ... 100 supportive hugs, apply when the urge strikes!!

  14. The realities in life can be most testing. Two endearing hearts best be more tolerant riding through life rather than be hurt unnecessarily! Great thoughts Joy!


  15. This poem conveys a very sombre mood. I hope it is just and exercise and that the sun is truly shining.


    I take heart in the fact that SOME things still work ;)

    1. Yes, but it's bad when you can count them on less than one hand. ;_)Thanks for reading, Timo.

  17. You drew me right in with that killer first line. What a sad and mournful poem. I hope that you feel better soon. Side effects can be a real bitch.

    1. Thanks, LM. I will just have to out-bitch them. I know I can do it. ;_)

  18. Vivid pain in this one...some people never learn from their mistakes or acknowledge them. I know it sounds awful, but there is a part of me that hopes people like this end up alone haunted by what they have done. I hope you feel better soon. Take care!

  19. I love the way you work the words and make them work for you. "ash shadow campfire" is one such. Wonderful work for one who is feeling side effects, and I know a lot about side effects of properly prescribed potions.
    Be better soon.
    Luv, K

  20. Hedge, a good turn: crisp imagery especially in stanza 2, and a blazing close. And best wishes on feeling better soon. ~ M

  21. had me at the first few words til the very end.
    Susie Clevenger said: "....there is a part of me that hopes people like this end up alone haunted by what they have done." I was thinking the same thing... I know they aren't, but I'd like to think so.
    Thank you for this well written piece and hope you feel better soon.

  22. That last stanza really got that dig in!

  23. ack, go find another home to burn down. potent.

  24. Oh my, this is so good and raw and honest. I love " the dry harvest of ghosts" ... I think we have all felt this about someone at some point in our lives.

  25. Oh...this one hurt, hedgewitch. Some people give us pain...thankfully, others give us joy.

  26. 'The cats in the cradle'.....

  27. Replies
    1. Meds are better, but back is out--exuberant playing with 80 pound dog not recommended for old ladies. ;_) Thanks for the concern, K.

    2. Agh! Two replies eaten! The long and short - my sense is that exuberance is good for any age and especially ladies, but tug of war much less so. Feel better soon. k.

    3. Thanks, Karin--it's always something!Have a great holiday.


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

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