A poetic journey through my mind

Posts tagged “death

Two Sisters

sister, sister, tell me true,
what I ever did to you,
stretch your hand to save me here,
and you may have my sweetheart dear.

I will have your sweetheart, true,
but never will I rescue you,
my hand outstretched will never be,
for sake of what you’ve done to me.

sister, sister, tell me why,
I see my murder in your eye,
what e’er I’ve done I’ll make amends,
and you and I shall live as friends.

Never shall I stretch my hand,
to help you safe up to dry land,
though it may be hard to see,
I’ll think of what you’ve done to me.

sister, sister, tell me here,
is it of my sweetheart dear,
I will forsake him, for your sake,
and you his hand may surely take.

it is about your sweetheart, aye,
whom you love half as much as I,
and though on me he has yet frowned,
he’ll turn to me once you are drowned.

sister, sister, save me, please,
and I will swear on bended knees,
that you a bride will shortly be,
and I no more shall envy thee.

I will not save thee, sister mine,
though your prayers are sweet and fine,
this stream will bear you out to sea,
and you no more will bother me.

sister, sister, hear me now,
my curse on you I hereby vow,
you may well have my sweetheart true,
but this black deed you soon will rue.
sister, when you take my man,
try to hold him if you can,
his faithless heart will ne’er be true,
and this last thing I do to you.


Wired

crossed wires bind around my throat, beneath my skin, within my mind.
wires down which angels float, and all the hells unwind.
words are lost within the screams of countless teeming hordes,
instead of lullabies I hear the clash of fiendish swords.
rush of blood inside my veins, the whir of ancient clockwork,
the soundtrack to my failing life, by some demonic store-clerk.
blood red tears, cliche at best, are pouring down my cheeks,
evidence of grinding gears, subconsequential leaks.
slipping chains and clashing cogs and wires tangled always,
I hear the whine of bodys end, down all the future pathways.


A Lifetime

In one of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” comics, I believe it was in Brief Lives, featuring his creations, the Endless, there is a story that I think of right now. It talks about people, normal people, who live longer lives than other people, but they just don’t tell anyone. They just live their lives, glad to have them. One of these, I think his name is Bernie, lives as a “normal” accountant or something…even though he can remember the smell of wet mammoth fur, and hear the sound of the hunt.
In this world, Death is one of the Endless, a family of brothers and sisters who represent/are the basic elements of life. In no particular order: Dream, Destiny, Destruction, Desire, Despair, Death, and the youngest and my personal favorite, Delirium. Death, in Gaimans world, is a beautiful young girl with a taste for gothic clothing (or are the goths dressing as her?) and a gentle and kind of quirky attitude and behavior.
In the story, when Bernie-the-accountant finally dies, from a wall falling on him, Death comes for him, and he looks at her, confused and frustrated. “Is that it? Is that all I get?” Death looks at him and smiles. “You got what everyone gets…you got a lifetime.” For some reason, that comforts me, right now. Not sure why, but it keeps coming up, and I always smile, which right now is rare…so thank you, Mr. Gaiman.

 


One of my favorite poems:a dissection and a discussion

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

by Wallace Stevens

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15744#sthash.cpJCUm2i.dpuf

My take on this poem is that obviously it is about death…but I believe it is saying that death is normal, even homely, and not time for some big show.  “Let be be finale of seem”  Let the things that are, the simple facts, at the end, conquer the illusion, the story that people tell themselves about each other.  Let what is be the end of what it seemed to be.  Do normal things, homely things, respectful things…remember the person, and that she had a life, not just a death.  Remember also that the body is only a shell, and don’t be afraid to look at it, don’t keep it in the dark and shiver.  I love this poem, both for its meaning to me and for its wonderful imagery…I can see every scene, every word, as if in a movie.  I can see the kitchen, full of mourning women in their everyday dresses, standing and whispering about the dead one.  I can smell the flowers, wrapped in wet newspaper, fresh from someones garden or yard or bush.  I can see the big strong man, uncomfortable in the tiny kitchen, but nonetheless making his contribution to the event.  I can see other women, filling the tiny bedroom, straightening the dead ones hair and dress, going to the dresser that along with the bed, almost fills the room.  Taking out the well loved sheet, smelling of cedar and outside air from a recent laundering.  Gently unfolding it so that the careful embroidery shows, and laying it over her as if she was sleeping…and only then pulling it up, over her face.  I can see the woman, the form under the sheet, her ancient feet with their well-earned calluses…a shell, but one that was well loved, and remembered fondly, but with clarity, not illusion.  This, to me, is “The Emperor of Ice Cream”


Sour Grapes

I really am nuts, y’know? Not a little bit, not relatively, just…nuts. Not “insane”, I don’t think. Well, technically, I suppose, but that’s -such- a broad spectrum, honestly. Just vague and diffuse…like the law…a net spread to catch the biggest fish, but tight enough to catch the tiddlers as well…when the Fishers want them. *shrugs*

But that’s beside the point. Back to “nuts”. I like that better. It’s perjorative, and offensive…unless you are, and you use it about yourself. Well, in -my- rules, anyway. Such as they are. Normal. Silly word, silly place, let’s not go there. *nodnod* Most people (“most”…another nonsense word) want to be normal. Correct? People want to fit in wherever they are, in whatever living environment they find themselves in, this time around. But some people don’t. Some people feel that it’s impossible to ever fit in, so in a sort of sour-grapes scenario they decide that being “normal” isn’t anything worth striving for. Just the opposite, they decide. Let’s be as -abnormal- as possible, and revel in that…in our separate uniqueness…just like everyone else.

Then there are the nuts. They…we?…just live. Well, try, anyway. It’s really very difficult to swim downstream in a world of spawning salmon. When the race is to be uniquely different but in a way that fits in with ones chosen social group in such a way as to not outlaw the possibilities of being fertile within said grouping…people who for whatever reason don’t have/want/use that drive can be easily lost in the crowd and drowned.

One of the horrors of being…asexual? ish?…is the absence of touch. People were designed to need touch. Physical contact of even the simplest kind…a hand on a hand, a touch on the back…people without these things will become ill, and can even be driven insane, or become so depressed that they die. Not suicide…just die. Most people don’t think of these things because for them, they are touched every day. One way or another. A quick “snack” during the day. A handshake, a quick hug between friends, even a bump from a stranger on a bus or subway. And a full meal, at home. The loving touch of family, birth or found. The surety of knowing that you have permission…you have the right…to touch and be touched. That you will not be winced away from, or avoided, or rejected, dismissed, or reviled.

However, when people touch, something is transmitted, from skin to skin. A basic assumption, a sort of signal, that no matter the relationship, age, or physical condition, says the same thing. “This person is capable of physical love…this person is normal.” You’ve seen what happens when someone in whom that signal is missing or corrupted touches someone…or attempts to. There is an almost automatic repulsion, an anger that borders on fear…because they feel “wrong”. Instinct says “This person is an evolutionary dead-end…a thing to be avoided”.

Of course this is all hooey…straight out of the “Sour Grapes” file that lives in my twisted little mind. I mean, really. I told you I was nuts! But think about it. Watch for it. And if any of that hits home to you…don’t let it. Fight it. Work for what you need…or what another needs. Thank you.

The Nutter

 


Civilization (for Friday Fictioneers photo prompt)

fireworks-lora-mitchell2

 

Huddled together under the dubious safety of the Bridge, the Less watched the poisonous beauty rain down from the sky. They called them “Civs”, those who sent the terror, the flowers of sickness and death. Civs, short for civilized, for those who thought themselves risen past all ugliness and filth, all hunger, pain, and anger.

In the City, all was beauty and grace, peace and love. In the buildings so tall and willowy; grown, not created. Grown of the plague that was destroying humanity. The living seed of evil, machines smaller than the very air itself…machines that “fixed” everything, everywhere.

Gone was individuality, a cause for strife; property, breeder of jealousy; anger, pain, trauma…imagination, creativity, life.

Barely clinging to existence, those who called themselves The Less…careless, feckless, reckless…faceless…fought, carrying out a losing war against the Seed.

Soon, all would be at peace…beauty and grace rule the world. And as they watched the beautiful death that came for them, its light illuminating the shadows and dirt in which they existed…most of them could not regret its coming.

 

(whoops…forgot the linkie thing. Lots of neat little stories here. Go check’em out!)


Wings

why am I still swimming? why do I stay in this stagnant pool,
this stinking morass of blood and bone and soul?
is it because I wish it so? I who once so boldly owned the sky?
Est-ce que…it is because…I have grown old, and can no longer fly.

once were my wings of silk and satin made,
the pearly hues of heaven in their shade.
now they are torn and ripped and ragged things,
I drown in their embrace, my salt tears sting.

no longer can I do more than glimpse the sky so far above,
a bit of cloud, a hint of blue, a memory of long forgotten love.
once begotten love, long gone rotten love, love that was my all…until I found it,
until I felt the work and pain, the desperate loss, the many sharpened edges which surround it.

once were my wings of silk and satin made,
the pearly hues of heaven in their shade.
now they are torn and ripped and ragged things,
I drown in their embrace, my salt tears sting.

the sky is gone, I still swim on, despite my raddled hearts most fervent wish,
I circle the eternal drain, consuming only tasteless pain, sorrow in a cracked ceramic dish.
seasoned with guilt, served by my own hand, a VIP in a restaurant of one,
the body survives, worse, it dares to thrive, a rotting corpse beneath the poisonous sun.

once were my wings of silk and satin made,
the pearly hues of heaven in their shade.
now they are torn and ripped and ragged things,
I drown in their embrace, my salt tears sting.

will you follow me down, will you watch as I drown,
will you witness the wreckage of what once was fine?
in the depths of the well, this secret I tell…
I drown in the stinking sewer of my own mind.


Loss (trigger warning: death)

The death of a child, a fruit torn from the tree,
A desperate phrase, a common refrain,
“That’s not the way it’s supposed to be!”
It echoes through time, a howl of pain.

For parents, each twig is a limb
that branches off into forever,
and when it’s lost, that light gone dim,
forever dies off into never.

Never to see that tree grown tall,
with leaves and branches proudly grown,
forever to feel that wrenching fall,
the loss in heart, and soul, and bone.


Infection

The first thing is Pain, and the second is Hunger,
The third is the feeling of Time rent asunder,
Things long since lost echo back in my head,
Cellophane faces, and things that were said.
“Don’t go…love you…careful…take care…”
Whispers and ghosts flicker by on the air.
I’d think myself mad, if thinking I choose,
But one cannot go mad with no mind left to lose.
The Hunger calls now, and its pull is extreme,
Their shrieks meld together into one endless scream.
The echoes of Time become louder yet,
The Pain makes it certain I never forget.
Engraved on each cell, the death that I bring,
I hear its sad laughter, and feel its glad sting.
It is ageless, this Hunger, and it must be fed,
It will never be sated till my spirit has fled.
But not even then will the world be set free,
For it moves even now, as the sap through a tree.
It wriggles and squirms inside of the brain,
Till the Pain and the Hunger begin once again.
And once more, a form shuffles into the night,
The Child is reborn, and his name is Blight!


Ghost Story

the wind that whistles through the eaves sings his lullaby,
the leaves that blow through the open door whisper hush now, don’t you cry,
upstairs in the attic a cradle rocks softly, lulling him to sleep,
and out on the hill the tombstone reads simply “Baby, lost to the deep”.