Thursday, July 7, 2016



Ruby glow of a living heart,
light bleeding oceans in the dark,
me hellfire low and hot as spark,
proud of Cain's jagged mark
for all the murder left behind--

never you but just the glow
how I wished that it was mine--

how I tried to call it close
from the place where it was lost.
How you loved to make me scream.
I told no one ever then;
people hate to hear your dreams.

Such things all pass to cold
and in the dark I see no glow
around the pixelled ending fuzz.
There's no crying need to chase 
for the thing that lays me waste,  for
filaments of  was, for rubies in the maze.

No, it's the pushing, tedious circuit
nagging, whining me to work it
that's relentlessly replaced it;
and my pleasure is to shirk it.
My secret's not to face it,

to flinch, to hide in smoke,
faded sequins and repose
till it slips away undone
till someone else must take it up--

but so seldom shirking works,
and secret loves despited
go mostly unrequited.

~July 2016

 posted for     real toads

Images: A warmth, A lightness, A glow, and then, 1968 by Sam Gilliam
Fair use via
The Nap, 1877, by Gustave Caillebotte
Public domain via


  1. "People hate to hear your dreams". Ouch. I think this line is at the very heart of this poem, where even the speaker herself doesn't want to hear it, doesn't want to face it. It's a terribly sad poem, to me, both for the sense that it is saturated in bittersweet disappointment, and also for the speaker being left with a Hobson's choice at the end. Your tag about no pitch hot is especially apt for this one, I think. Thanks so much for writing for my challenge, Joy. I always look forward to seeing what you will do with what I've put out there, and you always have something amazing to say.

    1. Even if it's only about the burning desires of youth and the deeply enjoyed sloth of age. ;_) Thanks Shay--I know this is rough, but that's how they are when I put them up the same day, and didn't want to miss.

  2. I feel this strongly as something that more fades than burns, like the opposite of the hey hey lyrics.

    better to burn out
    than to fade away...

    To leave it for someone else to take it up, sounds like such an apt ending for this.

  3. "Rubies in the maze..." sometimes that's how I feel, like a scrounger trying to find pretties in the ashes of civilization. Nice write.

  4. Voiced dreams demand accountability, and that opens a whole can of worms. I like it!

  5. "Secret loves despited go mostly unrequited." How well I know this to be true. Your writing, as always, is just so excellent.

  6. Why do I get the feeling your secret love has been poetry writing?
    Something in the pixelled ending, the 'people hate to hear your dreams', the tedious circuits...
    Maybe I have it wrong, but any way this perfectly describes a secret passion which has palled over time.

    1. Well, it's a secret, or I would tell you--but I love that is what you saw. Thank you Kerry. Yours was so eloquent of old stories of my own it teared my eyes.

  7. Loved your opening lines - "Ruby glow of a living heart,
    light bleeding oceans in the dark," - and also that there was warmth as well as an isolated, secret hurting to it. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I loved this: "secret loves despited
    go mostly unrequited."

  9. Wonderful slant rhymes and oxymoronic word combinations-- shirking works so cool-- I took the dreams line as a bit of irony related to te screams-- as if the lovemaking only happened in dreams which really couldn't be related. For me the most compelling image though was "filaments of was"-- so awful to try to chase those-- too late even as the chase begins-- but honestly no shirking here. K.

  10. Simply, masterfully beautiful.

  11. This chugs along on so many levels, Hedge, in so many lines, the way a nova etches its flash across black heavens for almost an eternity. How does anyone survive "light bleeding oceans in the dark"? Explain it without the proper language of dreams, which is just about as loathsome as poetry in this flat dry world? The rhyme holds the singular in place and then grows scattershot, like a needlepoint massacred by the sirens of memory (the 'it" sound in the fifth stanza a Waterloo). The final stanza lifts the Paramour's hood, revealing the impossibility of either "shirking" or requieting the ghoul who rules red fevers. Yes and yea all over this verboten sanctum of a bed.

    1. The rhyme was almost too much in this at times--but t was one of those difficult and contrary poems and I let it have its way. Thanks, B, for your insightful and generous read.

  12. I find the rhyme entrancing, a bright fiber holding all in that strains to escape, or (as with age) leak away. it's the penultimate stanza that hits straight to my center... ~


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