Saturday, June 12, 2021

Watching

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Watching
 
 
I am the witch of dying things
of things that cling
to a life that's passed,
custodian of the broken-wing
who shakes in the bush
and tries to sing.

I soothe the stings
of the white-nosed pup,
his few days left like clay that clings
to the potter's hands when the pot is thrown,
wagging his tail, eyes growing dim
unsure on his feet, afraid of alone.

I was the watcher 
as life leaked away, you
winding off slow as a traveling snake
loose in the snow, slipping into the maw,
dead at first frost like a turnip top,
grey dust on a root both bitter and raw.

There's none left to be
my watcher, my witch, 
to soothe the sting 
when they see me there
remembering the sun, pretending to live,
old knots of love caught in winter's hair.
 
I am the witch of dying things
learning their ways
while midnight sings.




June 2021




Posted for 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Image via Sunday Muse, Fair Use
 
 
 
 

21 comments:

  1. Oh Joy, this is amazing poetry! Every line is both haunting and comforting. I especially love "few days left like a clay that clings to the potter's hands when the pot is thrown." & "old knots of love caught in winter's hair" sigh.....I love this! So delighted to see you at the Muse!!! (I am not sure what is going wrong with the link, but I put in a ticket at Mr. Linky, and hoping it gets resolved.)

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    1. Thank you Carrie, and thanks for the inspiration, as well as wrangling and fighting with the widgets.

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  2. Few have your ability to sketch depth, passage of time, and the granite shades of (deeper than) melancholy. ~

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    1. Grateful as always for your presence and input, M.

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  3. This is fantastic. The rhyming makes it an incantation. All the language and imagery creates a lingering pause, a hand, poised to turn out the lights. I love the idea that there is a specific witch/watcher/angel for the intersice between life and death. How did we not know of this until now!! Then the question -- who watches the watcher, since even eternity must come to an end. So much humanity lost then, that had been gained while "learning their ways", all the "old knots of love caught in winter's hair". "While midnight sings." is just too good.

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    1. Thanks, qbit. It's something of a consolation in the end, that even eternity must come to an end.

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  4. Very gripping piece, deep and engaging.

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  5. You speak for every one of us who serve/served as 'watchers.' Stunning, Joy Ann Jones.

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  6. I agree with qbit, the rhyming takes this already scathingly true, skillfully written poem to yet another level. Like Hemingway, who you know I've been bingeing on, you never flinch or candy up the truth of what you set out to say. Moreover, simple declarative sentences aren't sufficient, you wrap this unvarnished gem in masterful phrases like "old knots of love caught in winter's hair." I'm sending Picard out to retrieve the Bar, which you have flung ridiculously high with this. Finally, knowing the pain it came from, and stunned at your brave, honest telling, I step aside for the poet, as the man once said.

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    1. Thank you, Shay. You know what this means to me, coming from you.

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  7. Seems like it would be a sad position to be in, to see the lights fading in eyes again and again. Haunting poem.

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  8. "I soothe the stings
    of the white-nosed pup,
    his few days left like clay that clings
    to the potter's hands when the pot is thrown,
    wagging his tail, eyes growing dim
    unsure on his feet, afraid of alone."


    This, Joy, is what I was doing the day I had my last smoke.

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    1. Standing at that gate is the most helpless feeling in the world. Very glad to hear you've given up the real killer weed, Mark. It's a hard one to quit.

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  9. Echoing everyone above, this is a devastating poem, beautiful and terrifying at once. It slices quick and deep.

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  10. Oh Joy. Such a brilliant, painful, brave and honest poem, so beautifully written. Such amazing phrases, too many to repeat. Stunning, and very moving. The poem and the journey. So glad I got to read this today.

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  11. I'm not sure what I could add to the praise of this poem. It holds so much emotion, so much honesty, the pain of watching over what is left behind. Beautiful writing.

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  12. Ditto to q and Shay's comments. Just brilliant.

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  13. This one tugged the heartstrings. Such depth in your words that one is left speechless. The images created by this has left me in awe, Joy.

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  14. Words and rhyming are so perfect, I would have to quote it whole.
    Since I can't, this is a line that spoke to me:

    "old knots of love caught in winter's hair"

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