Monday, October 26, 2015

Witch Of Tides

Witch Of Tides


I cannot be
the Witch of Tides
with her greenalive
and mutable eyes
with her wavefoam curls
her saline sighs,
but only the constant
Crone of death's dust
where all things fall
because they must
when they've bled out to nothing
their sweet salt blood.

We meet in that place
neither sea nor shore;
the liminal wing, the liquidless pour
not wave nor field nor barren waste,
only a dead god's breathing face
on which we stand, the Witch and I
where three winds vie
to make the storm of rattle and fly
where the veil is rent,
where One and the Other
can mingle unkempt.

I cannot be
the Witch of Tides
whose toy is life
whose palette is clouds
whose hand is so wet,
but only the Crone of a
soft and dry
and whimsical


Yet her blackened
inversion am I,
with my sandy surf
of dead glass and dry,
pushed and flung
like a moving eye,
tho the sweat it brings
is its only salt
except alkali.

We both have our wrecks
of sphinxes and ships,
of stones and decks,
of cities buried
with a murderer's care
for privacy to the ones we hide
shrouded in the swirl of our hair
as their world dies;

and who is to say
of the wet or the dry,
which was the Maiden
which was the Bride,
the constant Crone
or the wild Witch of Tides?

~October 2015

Top Image via internet; author unknown. Manipulated. No copyright infringement intended.
Great Sphinx and Pyramids, circa 1890 via wikimedia commons
Manipulated. Shared under a Creative Commons License


  1. I love the comparisons, the truths of each choice. The next to last verse is my favorite, maybe because it is so visual for me. I re-read it many times.

  2. For every October season, a fresh inquisition of the ghoul, and every year it's a toss-up which has more sense, the skull or the querying hand which palms it. And no matter which way the skull turns, the eyeholes still bore through with more truth than mortal eyes can see. So here is this magnificent tandem, the witch of tides and the crone of dust, timelessness and time on the sands by the shore of imagination's infinity. Hard it is to keep up this querying--it ever requires fresh blood, from a supply that is dangerously finite--and yet all it takes is a proper naming to accomplish all that ever could be said. Which you do, hallelloo. The distance between these two figures seems too great, and yet the tenderness of identity remains true. Bone to bone, these figures thresh, and we all get to dance. I've been too busy to do more than resurrect my ghouls this month, what a treat to find fresh black blood again in your bucket. Thanks.

    1. I've enjoyed all of your revenants, B--they have their same power unburied now as when they first scrabbled up from the deep inner grave of experience and who knows what all else where our writing originates. This new one here came directly from a dream, more so than even usual, so I claim no great credit for transcribing it as given. The best of all hallows to you, and thanks for the walk under the ashen and sober skies of this liminal month.

  3. "pushed and flung like a moving eye" One of the biggest challenges in poetry--given the incredible volume of both good and bad poems that have been produced over the centuries--is to say a thing in a fresh way. You are a master at that.

  4. Hey Joy--the fact that this is written from Oklahoma (which I imagine, at least, to be so dry) is a fun fact of this poem--it is such an interesting idea--I kept thinking (maybe because of the picture at the bottom) of Ozymandias by Shelly--but the connections (or maybe the theater of that poem) seemed to fit here-- as well as Frost's Fire and Ice--the ways of death or end of world-- I tend to think there will be high tides as well as terrible droughts-- I don't know if you refer to that intentionally--but the poem seems to hold that kind of impending darkness. Also, though, it seems to me simply to be about aging--and the crone/drying aspects of that--and the different kind of power that aging brings, not always so positive--yet still strong enough to do damage or greet death as a kind of partner-- anyway--beautiful rhyme and imagery--I especially like the contrasts in the kind of salt--the saline sea, the salty drained blood of the dry husks, the alkali and sweat-- I guess lime is a kind of cleanser too (as far as alkali goes) -- not sure it's enough for those cities! k.

    1. Thanks, k. This is 'that poem' I told you about, btw--the one that woke me into a semi-trance and kept me repeating its lines over and over lest I forget before I woke. It has had some tinkering, but still remains basically what was given in the dream, so no attempts by me to define it--just glad I could remember it long enough to write it down.;_)

    2. That's pretty fabulous--I was going to say on the politic front, that there is an aspect of oil queen here--black dirt--and all that entails. So cool, and really lovely music (though the poem is not "lovely") but does have just great sound and lyricism going for it. k.

  5. Anyone with sensitivity who has walked along a shore has been mesmerized by this conjunction, this ever quivering line, so beautifully described here as "pushed and flung like a moving eye" --one of the eternal mysteries and beauties and when we contemplate it we are liminal beings ourselves. Beautiful poem.

  6. I've always felt drawn to that liminal state, belonging to neither here nor there. The pull is strong especially after reading this sublime pen ~


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

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