Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Ballad Of The Black Swan

I called the swans,
but they were lazy from being loved by the Winter.
They lay everywhere,
wings spread and still across the dull world
like protective mothers doting over an indifferent, implacable child.

From that day, I hated the swans.

In my emptiness, I prayed that Goddess would send me a weapon;
stupid with cold, at first I thought it was the night that had turned my dreams black,
but it was your arriving kiss,
and I fell in love with Fire.

As a sign of my devotion to you,
I grew my red hair long, to my waist,
overnight.
The violence of your love sent my name into hiding,
but the delight of your rough endearments
made the sun rise,
crimson and punishing,
out of the screams I offered you like candy.

That day, I went to murder the swans' darling.

There are glass children, and there are wooden children.
The glass children I recognize as our own, My Love.
You made me pour out
the grating, useless sand of my desert past--
it was your bright, sudden kiss
that made our babies beautiful,
reflecting the white and silver
like they were born to it.

The swans' child was wooden,
a more clever and wicked devil than I had counted on.
My Love, My Love,
what could I do?
When I stood over her, her many mothers melted away,
--the cowards!--
leaving her alone and at my mercy.
She stirred.
She met my hand, the hand that has loved you,
with a bouquet of burning flowers.
She placed them on her mothers' graves.
She placed them in my hair.
She placed them everywhere, all the way up to our secret aerie.

My hard sweetheart,
do not hate me, your Black Swan. I am the creature who will be devoted to you forever.
And, my adored one,
do not hate this child;
she bears my true name, and I have brought her home to stay.
_____

linked to Kenia's Wednesday Challenge

17 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is something else!
The magical realism of lines such as:
"As a sign of my devotion to you,
I grew my red hair long, to my waist,
overnight..." is very reminiscent of the Latin American writing of the '60s, but the story itself is pure Fireblossom - disturbing, arcane, and steeped in the darkest juices of the human heart.

hedgewitch said...

I love it when you go down down down into the deepest dark places of the female heart. This exploration of love, sensuality and the maternally twisted is mind-bendingly tense and starkly terrifying--a malevolent fairy tale for grown-ups, told from the padded cell of a psyche past sorting it out except through blood and fire. I love the process also here--the progression, so logical, so bathed in pain and insanity...or so it seems to me, anyway. Fine writing, from the heart of darkness.

Ostensible Truth said...

oh this was brilliantly done! the black swan tale intrigues me so, I wrote about it before myself. so many wonderful descriptions throughout - at times it reminded me of a reverse helen of troy - but the tale - the sorrow - all great - particularly liked - "
That day, I went to murder the swans' darling.

There are glass children, and there are wooden children.
The glass children I recognize as our own, My Love.
You made me pour out
the grating, useless sand of my desert past--

nene said...

Sorry to show my ignorance so unabashedly but in reading the comments, I find myself defenseless at their interpretations. Is it my male hormonal insipidness that puts me at this disadvantage?

Other than that, I enjoyed your phrasings and such like the '...the glass children/ recognize as our own/you made me pour out the grating useless sand of my desert past'. This deep analogy I can see where I would have to have some maternal genes to have derived a subjective interpretation. Damn testosterone!

Love your mind

TALON said...

Fluid and beautiful, Shay. The first stanza is magnificent and sets up the other beauties perfectly.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

So brilliant! I loved this dark tale. You make pure magic with words.

Susannah said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I loved this. :-)

Lolamouse said...

Your swan poems go to very deep and dark places that many of us would rather not acknowledge. This is why I love them so much.

Laurie Kolp said...

I love this and I agree with all that's been said. I always enjoy visiting your blogs, fellow toad.

cosmos cami said...

Dark and deep. Dark and deep.
Love the swan images and the glass and wood children.

Mama Zen said...

"The violence of your love sent my name into hiding. . ."

This just astonishing in its dark beauty. Every line is like stepping off a cliff.

Brian Miller said...

love the symbolism in this...my wife danced to swan lake so there is an affinity there there for me...my fav lines...The violence of your love sent my name into hiding,
but the delight of your rough endearments
made the sun rise,

whew, this i know...smiles.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

You must be exhausted! How you keep up your intensity is an amazement. Curious...does a poem like this take you a long time to write, or does it come to you fully formed? Beautiful imagery and wordplay, as always.

Mary said...

A chillingly beautiful poem to prompt. I had to read it a few times to savor its depth. The Ending: Wow!

HermanTurnip said...

I like the idea of glass and wooden children. Surprised that the wooden children would be considered clever and wicked, but dig the idea of glass children grating themselves against the very material that they're comprised of. Nicely done.

myheartslovesongs said...

love, Love, LOVE this, Shay!!! one of my most ever favorites!

damn girl! if you get any hotter you're gonna melt the planet!

Kay L. Davies said...

Amazing, Shay, a reflection of your amazing talent.