Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Three poems for Kerry's magical realism prompt at Real Toads

DRAGONS

Oh honey, good for you--
For the bread you won and the dragons you slew.
It's enough to make a feminine heart flutter.

Who is she?
Who is she?
No matter.

All day I read the Tarot--
Some cards up, some cards down.
Some turn their back, some show their face,
But the cards themselves do not change.
Every morning:
The Hanged Man.
Every afternoon:
The Lightning-Struck Tower.
(And the dragon's tail
Of hours.)

Perhaps this is why
The dragons came to me,
Despite the ones we ate, and the ones you slew.
There are more--
more more more more more more more more.
They filled the yard, rang the bell.
What was I supposed to do?

One at a time, I took them in--
To my confidence.
To my bed.
They told me how they grieve, and dream.
And, oh,
The other things they said to me!

Honey, how I admire you--
For the bread you won, and the dragons you slew.
The deep scratches on my skin are from baking.
The smell of cordite in my hair is from
The salon,
Or from taking the kids to school.

How glad I am,
As I cool myself in the limpid pool of our evenings together,
That you find my nattering pleasant;
Like a woman standing on the next-closest planet,
Singing to you in a pretty foreign language.
_______

KITTY

You like Kitty when Kitty is nice.
I love Kitty all the time.

You like to toss Kitty up in the air.
I love to let Kitty sleep in my hair.

When you call Kitty, she hisses and spits.
When I call Kitty, she comes close and sits.

You like for Kitty not to rankle.
I love how Kitty twists 'round your ankle.

Upsy-daisy, down the stairs;
When we land, brand new pairs.
_________

BLACK CATS

Here is where you were wrong--
Black cats are not bad luck.

I am a nice girl, and you should not have set me on fire.
Is that how your mama taught you to do?

Here is a bowl of dove tears--
Wash in them.
It won't do any good, but at least you'll feel like you're doing something;
Not just sitting on the tracks
Looking like you just lost your best friend.

So many times, we missed the boat,
Stepping into thin air, like wobbling bowling pins.

This is my hand, cupping your face.
These are our beautiful memories, like butterflies on a board--
Is it my fault that they fly right into your head
Whenever you don't keep yourself occupied?

We quarreled, and you set me on fire.
It happens, and I bear you no grudge;
But witch that I am,
My ashes grew eyes, and landed on their feet.
Do you see, now, how wrong you were?
Black cats are not bad luck.
______  

top picture: Gregory Crewdson. middle picture:Michael Parkes. last picture unknown source.

for Kerry's Challenge at Real Toads.  

17 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh Golly Me! I knew you 'might' be able to do this one.. but three for the same price? You spoil us.
What I like about these poems is that you did not rely so heavily on the images but launched into your own unique kind of magic: wickedness of cats, the witchiness of cat-lovers... captured with a humorous kind of magic in poems 2 and 3.
Poem 1 is some kind of genius at work!

(I heart the tags!)

Sara said...

Wow...three in one swoop. I, too, liked the teasing nature of the cat poems, but the first poem has a very magical fun quality to it. I love the dragon and these lines,

"Perhaps this is why
The dragons came to me,
Despite the ones we ate, and the ones you slew.
There are more--
more more more more more more more more.
They filled the yard, rang the bell."

That's such a delightful image. It made me laugh, whether that was intended or not:~)

How do you do this? You write such wonderful poems with such apparent ease. It's amazing to me how much talent/creativity you have and how rapidly you can access it, Shay.

hedgewitch said...

Three is almost too much for my poor brain to absorb at once--number one was killing in the deliberate sarcasm of the images, and I may be wrong, but seems to me there's a bit of reprise in number three, underlining the theme of alienated love, willful blindness and miscommunication, and the price the heart pays--the middle one was just wicked and delightful. All are excellent vintage Fireblossom. That's one of my fave Michael Parkes, too. Fine work all three, Shay.

Lolamouse said...

A 3fer! You put us all to shame, dear. I love them all! I knew you'd do the first picture and then I saw the black cat picture and thought maybe you'd do that one. Should have figured you'd do both and then one more for good luck! I love the image of the ashes growing eyes and walking. Such wickedness in her lack of grudges!

Daryl Edelstein said...

As always I am in awe of your way with words and the ability you have to paint pictures with them

Brandee Shafer said...

I love the dragons one. Nice to read you here, knowing you'll be famous one day.

Brian Miller said...

ha these are certainly fantastical shay...i do like the first the best...nice story telling in your def style...made me chuckle as well...we can get so bnusy slaying dragons we forget the home front for sure...

and the man down the stairs...nice

Sherry Blue Sky said...

After reading all your words, I feel replete, like I dont have to ever read or write a single other one. I will, of course. But you are just so brilliantly talented, Shay. Wow.

Kay L. Davies said...

These are amazing and so are you, my dear Shay. Your word garden is magical, words grow on demand and they all turn into poetry.
Luv, K

Hannah Pratt said...

I liked this first poem and the third definately gave me something to think about but the second... the second was just clever...

Mama Zen said...

The closing lines of Dragons are just wicked brilliant! I love them all, Shay.

HermanTurnip said...

There's too much goodness here! I don't think I could take another three-post day. I feel like going into a literary diabetic shock. Excuse me while I go level out my blood sugar with a good reading of a William S. Burroughs...

Susie Clevenger said...

Wow..three of them and all so good..I think I should withdraw my silly one and crawl back in the shadows..lol Seriously there are great..the last one is my favorite...my ashes grew eyes and landed on their feet.

TALON said...

Shay, these were so awesome. I read and re-read them and loved them more with each read. Missy is grinning - she knows for a fact that black cats are definitely NOT bad luck. :)

Caty said...

these are (all three!) fabulous, the first one being my favorite-if I had to choose-and the third one had me laughing a bit!

zongrik said...

that's amazing that you picked so many of these.

nice story telling in the first.

Ella said...

I agree, wow 3! I love the dragon one best, so fun to read and imagine as a normal day~ Well Done!