Monday, February 3, 2014

The Night Jar

For the longest time,
the tin and phosphorous stars seemed to hold pose in the sky--
the jasmine night blooms dismissed notions of mourning,
and yellow-white candles embraced their wicks
as if flame were dreams,
and their bright sleep knew the gods' blessing to continue, endless.

For a charmed while,
the moon shrugged off her chill, orange-warmed by breezed leaves--
the nightjar hid herself along a wet-black branch above us,
and though she seemed to be only rhyme and rumor
tucked between pointed wings,
she carried her children in her mouth to move them, secretly.

For just those moments, however sustained or brief they really were,
everything around us bent kindly our way--
all green things, and all feathered,
brought us our own names and the desired other's
to build ourselves, our keenest hunger, and our softest satiety from.

We were there,
for the longest time,
for that charmed while,
for just those moments,

and then?
Then we weren't,
and the way back had burned behind us
as inevitable and harshly bright as sunrise.
_______

for Mag #205


51 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

sigh...

Helena said...

I'm still agog at tin and phosphorous stars! What a wonderful start to a fabulous poem. And such a fitting accompanying song!

Sioux said...

"...and then? Then we weren't," is one of the saddest poetic bits I've ever encountered.

HermanTurnip said...

"and their bright sleep knew the gods' blessing to continue, endless."

Shades of Jim Morrison popped in my brain, making me smile when I read this line.

And who knew that there was such a bird known as a "nightjar"? It was only after I Googled it did I realize. The more you know...

Cloudia said...

oh my! how perfectly wrought!
ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

=^..^= <3

hedgewitch said...

I have lost two comments, but am trying one last time. I love the way you have managed to create your own version of time here, something that flickers between flux and stasis, that bends in ways time is usually to stiff to accomplish, and allows things that one can only glimpse with eyes half shut to pop in and out of focus. the language is melting, the images of night are evocative with their sllight hint of the bizarre, as if you've taken us to a deeply familiar place on a distant and alien planet. A beautiful, memorable, glowing poem, Shay. (And one of my favorite songs to go with it.)

hedgewitch said...

'too stiff' not 'to stiff' ---but at least it published.

Petrus van Zyl said...

loved this post. image and prose

C.C. said...

I'm with Helena...the first two lines are an exquisite start to such a magical poem!

grapeling said...

as if flames were dreams. dammit. I wish i'd written that. ~

Fireblossom said...

Thank you, Petrus, but it isn't prose, it's poetry.

Fireblossom said...

"a deeply familiar place on a distant and alien planet". I love that description!

Thank you for being persistent and doing battle with Blogger in order to leave me a comment, dear friend. My poems are incomplete until they get the Hedgewitch Viking Chick Seal Of Good Housekeeping. :-)

Fireblossom said...

"agog"! Why, thank you, Helena.

Fireblossom said...

That is the phrase I began with, and built the rest of the poem around. I had been trying to write something for this picture since Sunday morning, but nothing came until I hit on that. The poem may not, at first, seem to be connected to the picture, but it contained a sense of something sweet that's lost, to me.

Fireblossom said...

I always take sighs (except exasperated ones!) as definite compliments. Thanks, TexWis.

Fireblossom said...

I hadn't heard the Lizard King in those words until you said so, Herman, but now I do.

Nightjars are said to move their eggs, carried in their mouths, to safety should the need arise. It ain't necessarily so, but I liked the notion and used it in my poem. I first heard of nightjars in the song below.

Fireblossom said...

People have often told me how "wrought-en" I am, Cloudia. ;-)

Fireblossom said...

C.C., I cogitated for some while on how to describe stars without sounding like a thousand other poems. I finally hit on tin and phosphorous.

Fireblossom said...

But you didn't, grape man. *sticks out tongue*

I was pretty happy with that line, myself. Thank you for the great compliment.

Mama Zen said...

Ha! I knew it. I thought of you when I saw that picture.

This is beautiful beyond my ability to comment. Stunning structure.

Bekkie Sanchez said...

A short lifetime maybe not realized? First this line, "everything around us bent kindly our way--" but then "and the way back had burned behind us" wow! Nice write.

Marian said...

the way back burned us, inevitably. man, you can never go home again, never ever.

Poet Laundry said...

This is beautiful!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous poetry, Shay.

Jim said...

Oops Shay, sometimes our choices don't turn out so well, but we are stuck with them. I was savoring the ride until the rudely interrupted end appeared. Done that too.

My reads reminded me of my second real love, she lived at the YWCA residence hall and the doors were locked at 11:00. That also came to a rude ending with me only having memories (nice) when her 'boy friend' came home from the Air Force to stay. I had been used as a temp. Still nice, though (we never ...).
..

Lolamouse said...

MZ made my comment first-I saw that photo and thought, "Fireblossom would write a great poem for this," and you DID! I love how your words mingle with Elton's song. Just gorgeous!

Margaret said...

far be it for me to critique you!! but do you need "stars" after "tin and phosphorus"?

and then
and then we weren't.

The nightjar bird is truly fascinating! "rhyme and rumor" indeed. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't looked this bird up.

Tess Kincaid said...

Exquisite...

Susan said...

Rhyme and rumor. O I love how the time goes and how things bent kindly for a while. It's enough for me to believe, to leave ripples in the nothing there.

Cait O'Connor said...

I was lost in your words.

Lauren Purse said...

Forever in a moment and then forever gone; both my eyes were firmly on you.

Helen said...

Physics, chemistry, poetry ~~ this is seriously luscious!!!

Truedessa said...

A lovely poem but, the last two verses really reached in and touched me..

K9friend said...

For some reason this reminds me of a late summer night. What a beautiful poem!

Pat
Critter Alley

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love "the tin and phosphorous stars".......and I know that ending and the no way back - "as inevitable and harshly bright as sunrise." Spectacular.

Fireblossom said...

You know me too well, MZ!

Fireblossom said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Bekkie!

Fireblossom said...

Let the mountain come to Mohammed, that's what I say.

Fireblossom said...

Thank you, Poet Laundry and Kerry!

Fireblossom said...

Cool story, bro.

Fireblossom said...

I couldn't let you down, Ms. Mouse! And yeah, the nightjar flew out of the song and straight into my poem.

Fireblossom said...

I know, the nightjar is one interesting little bird, both for what it does and for what it is said to do.

Fireblossom said...

Thanks for the excellent pic to work with!

Fireblossom said...

If memory serves, that "rhyme and rumor" was the last part I finished, for this poem.

Fireblossom said...

Thank you, Cait!

Fireblossom said...

And I see you're wearing shades. Agent 99?

Fireblossom said...

I'm a hodgepodge for sure, Helen.

Fireblossom said...

I'm pleased they spoke to you!

Fireblossom said...

Yes! That's what I was going for, in the middle of this awful winter.

Fireblossom said...

Glad you liked, Sherry. :-)

Porcelain Lotus said...

The images in this are breath-taking.