Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart

In the other world
I have a different shadow
a different myth.
Instead of ravens
skylarks sang my birth
instead of scream and curse,
drunk's wet palms

and hot rank breath,
a father's kiss
there when I awoke, I knew
walking on a world alive with night,
where dark was shot with rose
instead of blue and wind was light,

shining just as much
on me as you--I knew
somewhere this dislocated place
hid the answer of your missing face
unlike the dead moon maze
I stumble through

for if I'm someone else
then you are too;

what couldn't be
might be,
what's been said
was never said,
what's done
has not been done
and we are free.

~September 2014

posted for      real toads

Kerry's Wednesday Challenge: Dichotomy
The ever-inventive and verbally deft Kerry O"Connor(Skylover, Skywriting) asks us to consider the concept of dichotomy. I have tried to do that in this contrast of what is and what isn't, but might be.

Image: Night, 1905, by Mikalojus Ciulioni
Public domain via


  1. This is wonderful. Especially drawn to:
    " Instead of ravens
    skylarks sang my birth"


  2. Yes, a place I have not dreamed yet, but might after reading this. That other world just might be a catalyst to finally laying down the what ifs. Intriguing poem with effective images.

  3. What couldn't be might be, what's been said was never said, what's done has not been done, and yes we are free! Dichotomy perfection.

  4. Sometimes I wonder....I love your capture.

  5. I love "instead of ravens, skylarks sang my birth"....and the gentler might-have-beens than what was. I love the hope at the end.

  6. It's all a double-edged sword, isn't it, divided by that word "free"? But for me the poem leans on the positive sense, and freedom as possibility. For if this is not the only possible world, then there's hope.

  7. We would all sometimes like a line-item veto, but here you are going for the broader view--a world with not just one pivotal difference, but the many you so lyrically enumerate. The ravens to skylarks is very striking--skylarks seem so free--I think about skylarking--but the rank breath compared to the father's kiss was especially poignant, I thought-- you also use enjambment, stanza breaks, and commas (and the lack thereof) very effectively, as they break up the alternatives in a way that shows how complicated these things are. It is also quite generous really to think of "if only the world" were different than if only the "you" were different--the more common perspective. Beautiful cadence and rhyme. K.

  8. how much would be possible if what was done was undone
    and what was said was unsaid...and we were free of our own
    words...and our actions...

  9. The closing is...well, it makes me feel sad...not sure why really. I love the dead moon maze phrase...causes me to think of the labyrinth of dreamscape. This flows so well Hedge.

  10. it's those first three lines that seal this for me. I imagine your voice saying them, slowly, savoring the words almost. the comparison - conflict? between the here, and what may have been in that other shadow, you lay bare in the rest of the pen. superb ~

  11. You captivate us in the first few lines....and 'we stumble through somehow' this: 'where dark was shot with rose instead of blue and wind was light'. Love the flow of this

  12. That would make for interesting living...

  13. I think there must be a little piece in all of us that sometimes longs for an alternate reality, or at least wonders what it might be like if small details of our birth and circumstance had been different. Here you have brought the light and shade of separate existences into a poetic surreality which is as artistic as it is food for thought.

  14. I've always wondered about things like alternate realities, parallel universes, or just daydreams about what if? Maybe it's because i love to write, and when I write, I have the power to scratch out an offending line, and replace it with an altogether different one. What if life were like that? What if hearts were like that? (What if I'm a gibbon?)

  15. Really love this, especially "unlike the dead moon maze I stumble through"

  16. The poles between what could have been and what it became.. it's like balancing on a knife's edge.. still often all the choices we have made along the way are usually not wrong.. it's just that balance we are constantly struggling with

  17. No blood from a moon, no, but then that isn't what we're dying of thirst for here, not now, though it seemed so back then, back when the matter was presented us in so wrenching and wrong a way as a childhood oft goes. This is such a great take on the challenge, taking perfect and deadly aim on the life and loves that coulda should been had not what did come to pass. There's an ethereal nursery-rhyme feel to this, the child again singing the song again as if to recalibrate the long wrongs with the discovery a "dislocated place" where "what couldn't be / might be." Other side of the moon, perhaps, where all alternate narratives "are free" of the conditions which drive our own so ruthlessly. There's an incantational steel inside the supple rhyme of it, the power of the child ever inside who reads a favorite book inside the bitter tea-leaves fate has strewn. The beginning is bloody, the end is stellar. In my alternate reality, I always wrote as good as you. Kerry deserves a fusillade of kudos for offering up a challenge that allows the verses to cut to a bone. Ahem and amen.

    1. Yes, Kerry without a doubt presents some of the very best challenges on the internet. I always find them worth doing, always get somewhere with them I might not otherwise go.This comment is a poem in itself, B, and I love so many of the things you say in it--especially, reading a favorite book in the bitter tea leaves...yes. Like in the dark basement where that one babysitter kept me, looking out through the screening, imagining my faerie world, instead of emptiness and neglect. How much would be changed if the beginnings were changed, eh? Yet they are our fundamentals. Thanks so much for the compliment as well. I return it--you write in ways I never will, and deeply wish I could.


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