Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Winter Queen

I met a woman in winter,
with ice in her hair, like dreadlocks of black and white.
She was frozen to differing depths,
a January pond in shifting weather.

She knew the number of the flakes, 
stretched infinite before us;
she knew the hour of the storm,
and the measure of the movement that each wind makes.

Here is the thing, the odd thing--
she smelled like summer.
There was heat in her, but cloaked,
like the bird who can--but will not--sing.

I looked at her and lit myself for her.
I went up: white, orange, red, black, off into the leaden sky.
Gypsies wear red and gold, black and emerald.
Irish Gypsies tell stories as they burn.

In ice storms, the birches wear silver shirts;
they bow low as if winter were royalty.
My love wears branches of scars spread in inflicted composition;
she carries a cold hollowing within her, a saving space for blood and dirt.

I brought her lilies, her snow-twins sweet...
in spring, black tulips to stir her lips to smile.
Though she warned me, I couldn't leave; when she kissed me I couldn't breathe--
a Gypsy burned without her tale complete.
_______ 

15 comments:

Sioux said...

So, this is "Sunday-Rub-Your-Face-In-It" day, huh? ;)

You serve up a poem that makes me green, and then you offer up a musician who reminds me that I also cannot play any musical instrument.

I guess if I'm green with envy and seeing red, it's appropriate, since those are Christmas colors...

The line about birches wearing silver shirts--it whalloped me in the head. The perfect image. (Of course, the whole poem sang, but if I copied and pasted every line that was exquisite, you'd just have to read your entire poem all over again.)

Helen said...

.. 'I looked at her and lit myself for her' ~~~~ huge gigantic sigh.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Every line of this poem carries its own weight. Your tales of impossible love always give pleasure and pain in equal measure, none so much as those with gypsies at their heart.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful.

Mama Zen said...

This is exquisite. It gets more beautiful word by word.

hedgewitch said...

Each stanza is almost stand-alone here, an eloquent series of connected messages, all full of the same icy winter breath, all meltingly warm underneath, like the heart beating beneath layers of down. So much to love; the bird that chooses not to sing,the burning gypsy, the scars like branches and the empty space sanctified to blood and dirt--that entire penultimate stanza is mindblowing. Beautiful writing Shay--almost painfully so.

K9friend said...

Here is the thing, the odd thing--
she smelled like summer.
There was heat in her, but cloaked,
like the bird who can--but will not--sing.

I especially enjoyed that stanza...beautiful!

Pat
Critter Alley

parker said...

The beauty of the seasons are hid to most of us. If only we would allow our hearts to see, instead of our eyes, then could we appreciate what the seasons are trying to tell us!

Ella said...

I have a gypsy heart and see magic in your verse~ I do agree with Kerry-your poems with pain n' pleasure do create a ballast offering us the weight of love~ Beautiful!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"a gypsy burned without her tale complete." Yes, "love is like falling and falling is like this". For sure.

Sara said...

If I could play a musical instrument it would be the violin. I love how it makes you want to move, but can tell musical stories better than also any instrument...it can tell both happy and sad stories, plus you can MOVE with it as the video demonstrated.

Now, for the poem....you had me with these words: "Though she warned me, I couldn't leave; when she kissed me I couldn't breathe--" I love the rhyme here.

So Irish Gypsies tell stories as they burn?

Good season to you and may 2014 bring you lots of love to wrap your arms around and hold close to your heart:~)

Lynn said...

Gorgeous, FB!

Linda said...

Beautiful. Merry Christmas to you.

Daryl said...

so deeply moving and a wee bit scary ... merry very to you and mr b

myinnerchick.com said...

**Here is the thing, the odd thing--
she smelled like summer.**

Exquisite.

You. Are. Amazing.