Thursday, September 10, 2015



Stars are hung
so mute, 
a dazzle-gloss of pearls
mistletoed on slippery branches,
clustered as the gaudy callicarpa.
To catch the laughter
of a single one
is footling as
a grab for just one raindrop.

I see nothing. 
Keyholes don't
when old gods stoop and squint
 a wavering richness,
titan eyes teared in light's life-juices;

I see myself,
the nothing, hollowed
gap that sets the key,
void upon the edge:

the dryer the husk,
the less pull on the wing.

Callicarpa americana   google image search

~September 2015 

posted for    real toads

Top: Untitled, by Jean Cocteau, fair use via


  1. Wow, the fourth stanza is killer. This powerful piece rolls along like a 400 hp Wordsmith with the throttle wide open. I like the line /a grab for just one raindrop/.

  2. Now I know the definition of "footling", and I love that entire sequence about the stars and grabbing for just one raindrop. What a comparison, instantly making your point. Stooping, squinting gods is quite the visual, too, and get the idea of weight as well, as if they have become far too corporeal to really be deities anymore. All flying creatures have bodies designed for lightness, with hollow bones and the like, and for the very reason you have so artfully phrased at this poem's conclusion. I would rather be a dry husk of nothing set to fly, than an earthbound peeping god left over from long gone revels.

  3. "the dryer the husk, the less pull on the wing." Well, that makes me feel better about my own old dried husk. LOL. Seriously wonderful writing, Joy. Wow.

  4. A wonderful and delightful piece to read. Greetings!

  5. That pull of the wing... we are all feeling it lessen I think.. but still can we avoid peeking in the keyhole? Can we avoid trying to break free, the temptation of flying becomes a phantom pain of sorts.. a dry rot, the gangrene of life.

  6. You become Flying in these words. Wonderful!!

  7. This is haunting; the images linger to be turned over in the mind. Beautiful work that stays with you, Hedge.

  8. I love the focus on the keyhole motif, which lends itself to peeping through - a great metaphor for poetry itself.

  9. To me, this is about being a channel, a conduit is perhaps the better word--it is very richly textured for a conduit! Especially at the opening, but even there you stress the muteness, and even a kind of frustration at the difficulty of "catching" what is conveyed, taking a kind of minute custody of it, rather than being the channel for it-- there is something very surreal about being a conduit for flying, but certainly that corresponds with those doors that turn into water, or the mirrors that draw people in and out of them--one feels a bit that the speaker is a channel for the very humanness (and decay) of the old gods--going into a kind of a void of newness-- and the dryer the husk the less the resistance--I'm just thinking of Pascal now--man being a hollow reed--you and Cocteau have kind of raised it up a notch--(I always think of Pascal in some sort of swamp) but you guys up with the stars--there were a lot of new words for me too--lovely musical ones. Very cool. k.

  10. I think there is a desire to fly in all of us. Your poetry certainly has wings. "To catch the laughter of a single one
    is footling as a grab for just one raindrop." Love it. Such a beautiful poem

  11. oh! so thats what, i was about to google ot;

    enjoyed your very surreal write

    much love...

  12. I spent most of today reading a dissertation on the "philosophy of belief as society swifts from orthodoxy to personal thought and freedom" (proofreading for a friend). So as you might be suspecting, your last stanza left me grinning and nodding.

    We often associate "dry" with "dead", but what about raisins? What about brains and hearts that have chosen to shed the nonsense in order to keep what really matters? Only the truths that will allow them to fly.

    Indeed, "the dryer the husk/the less pull on the wing." ♥

  13. This old dry husk fairly floats without trying, but could never catch that raindrop. The string of images really works to take me into a bout of futility as a creator with such a limited view of the universe. So happy for the wings.

  14. Hi, commenting here a whole bunch of your new poems (I've read six of seven of them) I like the style, I've always been a big fan of the surreal, and your voice in these is still so strong. I like the free form, your sense of sound feels so much stronger within it. Always a fan, keep writing, I'll keep reading (just because I don't comment does not mean that I'm not following)

    1. Good to see you here, and no worries on the comment front--love that you are reading, and wish you were still writing so I could return the favor.

  15. The detail I enjoy especially is the idea of capturing the laughter of definitely captured the tone, Hedge...well done!

  16. it's pens like these that make me realize how little I have read, how much I fumble and stumble in the dark, playing with little words, little thoughts - and then you pull back the shade, and for a little while I can see the sky. ~


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