Thursday, December 5, 2019

Another Fall

Another Fall

It's a cold cascade through time,
from the strip mall of memory
to neon horizon,
from green waves of forest
to the needle's eye of the heart,
through which the rich, misshapen
moon must pass like a camel,
before the mimes and jokers
intervene. That tumbled road

from the crack in my back
to the crack of your indecision,
Oh I've walked it many times,
chained to my cane
with the Milky Way lambent above
and flat below the putrid detail
of those thousand lies, illusions
masks and false affidavits
that came with your smile.

Now it's time to fall again, in
the beam of your death ray eyes,
an Icarus returned without wax
to  original components,
a thing of feathers and sky
far lighter than either air
or these dark whims, to learn at last
the language of goodbye and bury
 with the bones the syllable why

~December 2019 


Images: What A Human Being Is, copyright Hilma F Klimt, Public Domain
The Fall of Icarus, copyright Marc Chagall, Fair Use


  1. Every stanza of this has lines I could quote because they are so striking, but I know you'd hate that, so I'll just say this is sharp as a carelessly handled blade, and smart as a hard truth one isn't keen to hear.

    I can't tell you how glad it makes me to have your work to read again.

    1. Thank you dear. It's good to be writing, especially for Kerry--and honestly, I didn't read yours first and purloin 'strip mall. ' ;_)

    2. I think we both got it from Poetry Depot before going to the food court!

  2. I so love reading you again, Joy. And the wordplay between you and Shay is wonderful too. I love the "thing of feathers and sky". You are walking through the hard questions that have no answers. This poem is one step of the journey and it is a thing of beauty.

    1. Thank you, Sherry. What is being an old lady for but asking questions? ;_)

  3. I've missed your pen - and here's another reason why: (the final couplet). ~

    1. Thanks, M. It's been a bleak year for writing and reading for me. I'm hoping the next one is better.

  4. This is utterly fabulous, Joy. Truly, there is not another amongst us who can equal the depth of your perception, and your structural brilliance. I wish I could stitch these words on my skin like a tattoo..and wear them with me forever.
    Thank you so much for writing to my Skylover Wordlist. It has made my day, perhaps my whole year.

    1. It was my sincere pleasure to write spontaneously to your list, Kerry. I can't tell you how long it's been since I was able to do that. This a lot of the credit for this belongs to you, as for so many of my poems written over the years at the Garden. It's bittersweet to let that go, but change is inexorable, and as here, often births what we need more than what we had. Thanks so much for these extremely generous words, and for everything else, most especially for not laying down your own pen, or your genius for encouraging and inspiring others.

    2. PS *Thus* a lot of the credit, not "this." Only had one cup of coffee so far today. ;_)

    3. There is something to be said for going solo; the world turns, we must evolve or sink into the void.

  5. What are those lines from Rilke? "Winning does not tempt that man./ His growth is this: to be defeated / by ever greater forces." I can't tell if this poem is about writing poems or growing old or both (can even the poet say?), but this business of falling is, hey, what we do. Life demands we survive so it can kill us. Some deal, eh? This poem has a Hedgewitchean stroll to it, casual with its gods and monsters -- as one might be with the "mimes and jokers"--An old hand in their business (as far as the hedge-spells go) while bearing a fire which only grows with its diminishment. What is new for the poem (as for the life) is the strength of surrender in the practice of defeat. Of course we graze heaven and fall, shouting our fathers' names hoping one of the Mothers will catch us. (The poem echoes with their silence.) I ever wonder now if there's just one more poem in the quiver, if there's anything decent more to say not strangled by climate dearth and vatic weariness. But then there's another Angel in whitespace, eager to wrestle me to a fall. I sense that address here. So much airy rhyme here lend it Ariel's acoustic, indeterminate, of leagues taken from a long fall through the sky. Deelightful and welcome back.

    1. "..the strength of surrender in the practice of defeat..."indeed. As you say(and as Carl Sandburg said) sometimes even the poet doesn't really know what the definitive meaning of the response s/he's placed inside the box of the poem truly is. I'm pretty sure, as this was written spontaneously, the thoughts and feelings in it are reactions, as much of what I do and have done, is reactive, but I also think we are always asking, always looking, in these scribbles in the dark, for what the Makers may be of the things to which we react. Thanks for your musings, and your generous read, B. I am hoping, for both of us, there are many more words in the quiver as we shoot these arrows into the dark.


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