Monday, January 30, 2012

I Was Not The One

I was not the one who poured the night and all its stars
Into the cold curve of evening's cup.
I was not the stupid virgin
Working up her nerve.
I was not the one who fetched or served.

I was not the one who brought the bile or the blade
And not the one who baked a loaf of death.
I was not the cook
Who wrung the rooster's neck.
I was not the portion nor the plate.

In my gaze find the small gloved hand;
In my words sleeps the fox.
In my veins find the sweetness that killed
The bantam in the laying hen's box.

I was not the one who sent the master down the mad-path
Or the one who set him swinging from a tree--
But the one who slipped her son
Past the sere red eye of dawn,
In the silent early morning, that was me.
________

for Real Toads OLM

36 comments:

Semaphore said...

I love the repetition, like the intonation of a chorus, it makes this feel like a verse from a renaissance composition.

TALON said...

This is haunting and lyrical, Shay.

HermanTurnip said...

The final stanza really brought this thing home. So caviler, cruel, and cunning.

Laurie Kolp said...

Shay- Lovely poetics throughout... the denial and tone is resonating.

Brian Miller said...

haunting is def the word for it...in defining who you are not you also define who you are...very nice piece shay....

Cloudia said...

" I was not the portion or the plate."

No we are the Noa Noa
the free people. . .


Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Sherry Blue Sky said...

OH I love this one so much!!!! "not the portion or the plate"......"the small gloved hand. In my words sleeps the fox." And the last three lines are simply KILLER! A fantastic poem. "the one who slipped her son past the sere red eye of dawn.....that was me."

darkangelwrites said...

This puts pictures of Victorian tragedy in my mind. I just finished a piece with gloves as well... but its dark and I am left with the should I or should I not, publish it? I bet you, Shay, never wonder.

nene said...

Although I don't hunt anymore, you took me onto a fox hunt on this one. Never caught the fox, though, it was to smart. ...the sered red eye of dawn... once again prevailed.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Beautiful and intriguing, and the ending so right. Although I don't really know what you're talking about, I feel as if, on some only slightly deeper level, I know EXACTLY what you mean.

Heaven said...

Nice weaving of a dark and twisted mind...I like all the details...and your line lines gave this a wicket twist ~

Daryl Edelstein said...

Being in the midst of reading the Fire & Ice series set in a fantasy time of long long ago .. the last stanza immediately got me thinking about medieval times

Lolamouse said...

Ooh, this is good, chillingly good.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a poem to savor like a fine wine, the words roll on the lips. The repetition adds to the intrigue and the beauty of the last lines really delivers. A highly memorable piece.

nene said...

OOps, just noticed, ..QQ..'too' smart.

hedgewitch said...

Too many good lines to quote--the whole poem is memorable, and though I seldom do so, I ended up reading it out loud, just because the cadence was so perfect. Last stanza--stunning. You are very impressive always, but the structure and rhyme here make a delivery system that turns the poem into a guided missile.

Mama Zen said...

This is an intricate, delicate dance. Like Hedge said, the cadence is perfect. I really love this one.

Sara said...

You had me at "I was not the one who poured the night and all its stars/Into the cold curve of evenings cup." WOW and double wow.

As others said, this one was great out loud read. It made me go back and read it again just to enjoy the the dance of the words off my tongue.

Also, like others, it reminded me of Victorian Gothic novels...it also made me think "revenge is sweet":~)

ayala said...

Haunting and good!!!!!!!

Arron Shilling said...

the rythmn esculates the meaning - pushes the words down the throat...frankly - i love it...
the whole vibe underpinning the lines is to my buds palatable and so sour its sweet enough to become sickly - awesome

Bar None Publishing Group said...

Powerful words and jarring imagery. Well crafted!

Louise said...

Wow _ wonderful poetry, Shay...lyrical & haunting! You are getting better & better :)

Divalounger said...

Wow--beautifully done Shay!

@AudreyHowitt

Susie Clevenger said...

The repetition..emphasizing "I was not the one"...I like that a lot..love the ending

zouxzoux said...

Dark and lovely.

Charles Miller said...

Well measured surrealism that has me gazing at some mesmerizing playfulness. The seriousness of some of the images is offset by the underlying charm of the poet. Its presence there fills her absence in the poem with a sensual foreboding that tempts as much as it repels by its promise of danger. Certainly an invitation to partake of more than magic and ominous damnation!

Margaret said...

In my words sleeps the fox. (love that)

This lulls and flows like a love sonnet, but obviously it's not!

Matt D said...

Gives me chills ...

blueoran said...

What the speaker isn't is so close to what the speaker is that the hair of difference is one perhaps only of how one is remembered versus how one sees herself. Like the voyager Bran who when he encountered the sea-god Manannan saw his kingdom as a dark and dangerous sea of cruel waves, while to the sea-god those waves were rolling fields of rich and golden wheat. The "I" the speaker identifies with is ten leagues down from the trapped one on the surface. - Brendan

Sioux said...

Jeeze Louise...I mean, Shay. "I was neither the portion nor the plate." It was all stunning, but that line really hit me.

Caty said...

I agree with Margaret...the rhythm and pace of this "lulled" me into a calmness, but the words and meanings were a totally different matter!

Other Mary said...

Mythic! This rocks!

Beachanny said...

What a fine, well composed protest. Subtle, exquisite images, and your distinct voice. What else could anyone want! Excellent, as always.

James Rainsford said...

Skilfully and sensitively constructed. I love the images and flow of this piece.

Kathy Bischoping said...

Any poem with a fox is my favourite poem to read. The French have a proverb: Don't confess to foxes.

Elizena said...

I have to agree with Sara. You totally had me at, "I was not the one who poured the night and all its stars/Into the cold curve of evenings cup." This first line grabbed me, drew me in and didn't let go until it had poured the entire poem into my being. It was vivid and powerful. Very, very well done. Blessings.

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