Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Night Sky With Ashes

The earth in summer
loves nothing as she loves the night sky;
and though that dark beauty presses skin-close,
stretched out upon the length of her for hours at a time beneath the moon,
here is the harsh truth:
she can never really have her--
not now,
and not ever.

The warm earth waits until her bones go cold,
and the moon adorns the night sky's river shore hair with years of waiting;
they manifest as ashes, silvering the black.
Such unrequited longing has a name, and its name is
Night Sky With Ashes.

The bone-earth waits,
holding white lilies for her lover and herself,
in a kind of hopeless dawn known best to those
who will never have their heart's desire--
not now, though her bloodbeat slows, dying, because of it,
and not ever.
__________

12 comments:

hedgewitch said...

The slow inexorable tide of this metaphor is like an undertow that pulls the reader down deep into the darker interior, looking backwards at a candleflame that once was the sun. The refrain is as hard to listen to as a child crying herself to sleep. Fine, and harrowing, poem, Shay.

HermanTurnip said...

Wonderful descriptors of a languid, sorrowful creature, forever spinning in space, wishing for something that can never be obtained. This piece had so much heft that I had to read it twice. Nice!

~s said...

Oh my gosh, Shay. This is amazing. What a powerful and moving piece. You blow me away every time.

"Such unrequited longing has a name, and its name is
Night Sky With Ashes."

Yeah. That's perfect. You are so good. :)

My favorites:
"dark beauty presses skin-close"
"stretched out upon the length of her for hours at a time beneath the moon"
"the moon adorns the night sky's river shore hair with years of waiting;
they manifest as ashes, silvering the black"
"The bone-earth waits,
holding white lilies for her lover and herself,
in a kind of hopeless dawn known best to those
who will never have their heart's desire--
not now, though her bloodbeat slows, dying, because of it,
and not ever."

So yeah, like, the whole thing. ;) Keep 'em comin', sweetheart. Your poems are my wonderdrug. :)

Shadow said...

wow...

Lynn said...

Beautiful and sad.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Its name is Night Sky with Ashes... I think I expelled a long sigh at that line.

Poet Laundry said...

This throbs with wistfulness. I really enjoyed that final stanza especially. The title is perfect, encapsulating the beautiful melancholy.

Mama Zen said...

This is like stillness and waiting . . . slow and heavy. Beautiful work, Shay.

~s said...

You know what's hilarious? I never read this literally; only as metaphor for a human relationship. But it is freaking fantastic just as an expression of nature separated from itself, unable to touch its own other parts. As if it is one energy force divided but for a time. The earth craving the sky --- that's really incredible imagery. You amaze me over and over again.

Sara said...

Shay,

This is mournful poem. It makes me feel the depth of longing for something or someone.

Oddly, it made me think of this guy I loved in high school. He didn't even know I existed. He was one of the popular people; I wasn't. He'd walk by and not even see me. It was a nice guy, but I didn't exist in the world he saw. I felt such a longing for him to see me. I would even dream about it.

I later saw him at a reunion and made myself go up to him to introduce myself. He smiled politely and introduced his family. That was it, but this time, he actually saw me.

Don't ask me why this comes to mind except for the longing part...funny how poetry can trigger memories of emotion:~)

Oh, I loved this poem, especially this line, "they manifest as ashes, silvering the black." That's gorgeous:~)

Happy day to you!

Margaret said...

The earth and the night sky and unrequited love.

The first four lines I just gobbled up and reread immediately before continuing on... the white lillies held is a gorgeous image and "bloodbeat slows" is quite an ending....

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh I know that night sky with ashes very well, and the not having, not now, not ever. Beautifully written, Shay.