Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Merciful The Shortening Days

Merciful the shortening days
When leopard hours incline toward black,

Gather my grief in corset and stays
A Plenty against dissembling lack...

Bring tonic of time that forgetting invites,
Let gray go the cat whose claws score the wound;

Just soften my sorrow with poppy-gone nights
When merciful dreams lay me skin-close with you.
_______

for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads.

19 comments:

Marian said...

ooooh i love that phrase "poppy-gone nights." yes!

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is just beautiful, Shay. Simple, elegant lines which overflow with poignant mood and lyrical images. I love the reference to the leopard - I think it adds a particularly African touch in homage to Ingrid Jonker.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love the "poppy-gone nights", too - and the plea to "soften my sorrow". And the leopard hours. Your poem hits the heart with its poignancy.

Helen said...

Yes ... the tonic of time.

Hannah said...

Oh, wow....and your last two Shay...wow, those are some feel-able lines you've conjured-up and echos the tone and style of Ingrid...very well written indeed.

P.S. I wrote a concrete again...it turned out as such by chance and surprised me...made me think of your comment the other day! :)

hedgewitch said...

Reading this over, I actually feel a strong kinship with Dickinson in it, as well as the melancholy and yearning of Jonker. Each simple phrase hits home like an arrow, and I particularly like the second and final stanzas.

Lolamouse said...

Do I hear an Emily slant rhyme in there?

Cloudia said...

Jonker! A tribute! just read that!

you are layers on layers wrapped in cat fur, dragged in the snowy street, dried on the radiator at Danny's (sp?)

christmasy in my nostalgic depressive gray philly way. I'll be poppy-gone this season . . . as always (craves of the season)

Peggy said...

I love the simplicity of this. Lovely words.

Karen said...

I feel so inarticulate after reading something of this caliber. All I can think is "wow!"

razzamadazzle said...

Those is wonderful! The line "gather my grief in corset and stays" really says a lot.

Mama Zen said...

Hmmm. This brings to mind the poem I posted today . . .

Shawna said...

Your title is a poem in itself, packed with pain, desperate for sleep and the illusions one creates in dreams. Long days are murderous. Darkness is a reprieve from the prison of daylight.

I love this: "When leopard hours incline toward black / Gather my grief in corset and stays"

Shawna said...

P.S. Your title also makes me think of baking with shortening, making homemade delectables and eating away your sorrows.

manicddaily said...

Wonderful poem - combines lyricism and twinge - I agree with Hedge that especially like second and fourth stanzas - the dissembling lack and the skin-closeness in dreams but the leopard hours - I may not be getting it right is lovely too --all of it. k.

Margaret said...

When merciful dreams lay me skin-close with you

Oh, I can hear EmmyLou singing this! Just a killer last line and I snorted at "Iambic Pandemonium" ha!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I thought of baking too when I saw your title-- I must be hungry.
Hope all's well with you.
xo jj

Daryl said...

yesterday was another up to my ears in bull pucky office stuff ... so nice to get to come here and cleanse my senses

Susan said...

One of my favorite songs! now roams with the leopards and cats and poppies you invoke in the longer nights and skin-close dreams. This poem rocks sorrowfully with the hyphenated adjectives of the hard to express. Thank you.