Thursday, July 21, 2022

Century Song

 
 

 
 
 
 
 Century Song


For a hundred years
it seems
I've waited here, wasted here,
full of parch and motion, a salty throat
from drinking too much ocean once
though it's been
no more than a lifetime
or a breath

held under a thousand passing thrones
of aqua-green
where I counted days as quicksilver fish,
as coral bones, marked each dagger flashed in
 mouths of sharks, each scale, each whale
singing to all her kin while I
I drowned alone.
 
For a century
it seems
I trod this water milling, to breathe the years I knew
still held the spark, 
the flowers' poppy dream, the moths unflamed,
the coyote's bark
longing for the moongleam
on your reaching arms.
 

For a century
or two
the heat is master; 
the dust that birthed you,
the sun that calls you on.
It blisters me as the freeze of aeons
boils a distant steam, until night's mantle
 
falls across the blaze, and in the end perhaps,
too many too-bright ghosts and burning days
earn me a last cool breeze
 
a breeze and a flashing of that dream
 
where you
come back for me.
 
 
 
 
July 2022
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 








posted for dVerse Poets
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Images: Waves, detail 1969 ©  Javier Torices    Fair Use
Study for the Spanish Dance, 1869  © John Singer Sargent   Fair Use

16 comments:

  1. The transcendent yearning pulses in this, Joy.

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  2. Magnificently conjured verses... For me the best of the lot is the third - magnificent and a joy to read...

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  3. An absolutely beautiful read.....the fish, the bones, the sharks, the whale........so poignant, the waiting for love's return.

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    1. Thanks, dear Sherry. So sorry I couldn't find any words for your excellent challenge this week. These were all I had.

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  4. As Doris Lessing said: what else to do but to make literature (poetry) of it.

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  5. Far indeed that ocean these blistered, broken days: yet all it takes is "drinking too much ocean once" to give one a permanent taste for salt. (Like they say in AA, once pickled, there's no going back to being a cucumber.) You've a perfect wave-rhythm here, a see-saw swash and drain where all vatic elements (the flowers' poppy dream, the moths unflamed, / the coyote's bark") are drenched in that foam even though the water's been gone for centuries, virtually and worse. Rhyme here is less slant than askant, like bones of womb. Thirst for paramour has to echo dryly back in the unrelenting Oklahoma noons of this summer. May even the ghostly sip (which is so complete & drowns this reader) sustain.

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    1. Thanks, B. When the outside world bakes and blisters to dead, unresponsive brown, where else can we go than the deep green ocean of dream and memory.? I know you get it, for which my appreciation.

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  6. I love all the vivid images
    "where I counted days as quicksilver fish,
    as coral bones, marked each dagger flashed in
    mouths of sharks, each scale, each whale
    singing to all her kin while I
    I drowned alone."

    The speaker seems like a spirit, or a being who lives outside of normal (to humans) time--yet the longing she(?) feels comes through.

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  7. I am absolutely smitten with the third stanza.....It can be a delicious stand-alone....and in the context of all your words here, it is given even more meaning. A beautiful write.

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  8. Wow, such an evocative poem. So gut-wrenching too. It has me feel all sorts of things.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, Astrid. Unfortunately I am unable to leave a comment on your poem about colors, which was very original.

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  9. "full of parch and motion" - most excellent. Every line another wave of waiting, endlessly rolling onto the shore. Each reader picks for whom they wait -- lover, God, death. You allow the centuries to let each of us read our own story in the waves.

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    1. Thanks, qbit. I haven't seen the ocean in thirty years, but it's not something you forget.

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  10. This is exquisitely woven, Hedgewitch! I especially like; "I trod this water milling, to breathe the years I knew/still held the spark/the flowers' poppy dream, the moths unflamed/the coyote's bark/longing for the moongleam on your reaching arms." ❤❤❤

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  11. Your words roll like ocean waves evoking a heaving in the stomach and leaving the reader parched.

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  12. "the moths unflamed" is such an arresting trope - i stopped mid-reading to savor that, re-read the beginning (and thrice all through).

    the final couplet is so unexpected and therefore all the more powerful. whether hope, acceptance it's but a dream - it's the capping, resonant lyric to your Century Song ~

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