Monday, April 25, 2016

Mourning Dove

 "This is what it sounds like, when doves cry" --Prince Rogers Nelson


The Moon, secretive and flighty,
turned her dark side and within that cradle I was born--
a dove of dust fed glue-milk and told to sing.

The Sky was not crazy but loved Crazy's eyes.
His silent daughter collected sand timers and seahorses because
all girls love horses; all girls hear ship's bells 
and can feel those same ships foundering.

The Moon kept two faces in a sea shell--
one for the Sky and the other to use as a trowel
to create The Sea of Suicide and The Sea of Insanity.

Every mother takes her child to the beach;
every keeper takes her doves to the temple with a good sharp blade
wrapped in her skirts for utility, for God, and for the fucking hell of it.

The Moon is dead now, dead before, dead always with only death to hand down,
but Mama, I breathe and I sing just to spite you
The Sky we both loved is gone and my heart is full of sea water and stones.

I put my song where the Moon was,  
as beautiful as I can make it, that it might shame you,
and bring you back just to die again
from the music of my mourning, the lightness of my empty bones.
_____

for "Where Do I Come From" at Real Toads. 

17 comments:

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Ah, the madness of it all. la la Mosk

De said...

I can barely breathe, reading this. Especially:
"but Mama, I breathe and I sing just to spite you
The Sky we both loved is gone and my heart is full of sea water and stones."

This aches me to my core. Beautifully done.

Sioux said...

The last two stanzas especially... jeezle.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Beautiful...especially adore the opening lines :D

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow. Your poems about childhood go straight to my core, Shay....a dove fed glue milk and told to sing.......and the lines De quoted especially. How does one say one of your best when all of your poems are brilliant? Just....this one went extra deep.

Susie Clevenger said...

Oh my, there is such pain in this, such darkness. It takes strength to take the bitter tea one is given to drink and turn it into art. Thank you so much for writing for the prompt!!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Darkly beautiful.

brudberg said...

That last stanza really brought it home for me... who could ever say that there is anything like a happy childhood, and I agree with De... a fantastic set of words.

Outlawyer said...

Very sad but beautifully put together nonetheless. K.

hedgewitch said...

Goodness, Shay, this is just stellar writing--so cruel and clean, and beautiful as a high note of music half-heard in a dream that we forget when we wake but look for the rest of our lives--every analogy is sharp and clear and bitter, yet rings like a silver bell. The last stanza in particular just aches and shines.

Marian said...

Beautiful.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This touches the heart and mind on so many different levels. Magical, poignant, an original.

Cloudia said...

Aching

Jim said...

So very stand-backish and mournful, Shay. Impressionistic set of pictures in words. I loved the actions of the Moon and the sea. A deep mom-hate there too. It is terrible the way (all??) parents warp their kids. Mine did. Mine are all goofy in differing ways.
Bright side? You sing and compose now, from the beginning, starting, "and told to sing."
..

Jennifer Wagner said...

Oh, man, I feel such a terrible weight of misery in this.

Mama Zen said...

"for utility, for God, and for the fucking hell of it."

Yes. Beautiful stuff, Shay.

thistle wrists said...

This is my favorite:

"The Sky was not crazy but loved Crazy's eyes. His silent daughter collected sand timers and seahorses because all girls love horses"