Ceremony

The sea offered a knife for ceremony
carried on the tide to my feet.

At first, I refused. 
At first, I sheathed my face and pretended spiritual palsy.

The sea spoke, insistent, saying, "The world is empty.
Your body is dark earth, a mother for every seed."

In those days, electrical storms were continuous.
The beach was strewn, as all beaches were, with fragmented glass.

"Must every edge open a new mouth
before any creature can sing?" I asked.

Wearily, I took up the knife for ceremony.
My blood became cities. I became the sea as it became me.

Find fools, we urged ourselves.
Offer ceremony.
Insist, until the sky calms, 
and if the world then writhes, 

Blame the doppelganger god who sent us in the first place.
_______

for Play It Again at Real Toads. I used grapeling's Pablo Neruda word list.

Comments

tonispencer said…
Wow. Shay you really put the darkness into this. I love that you have the beach scattered with sea glass from the lightning storms.
grapeling said…
Shay, I won't quote back lines or I'd just repeat the entire poem.

Elemental and electric ~

Sherry Blue Sky said…
"Must every edge open a new mouth before any creature can sing?" That just SLAYS me. Incredible.
Ella said…
You had me at spiritual palsy!
Wow~
Kerry O'Connor said…
Ah, Shay... long sigh... to read you at your quintessential best is a benison to the soul, friend. No one works the dark and light quite the way you do, to wring the passionate soul of every reader.
Brendan said…
Amen with the rest of the Yays -- crown of thorns, Shay, earned and proud. We're all Bozos on this celestial bus -- blame the Driver for strewing us here ...
brudberg said…
This is so good... to me this talks voice of the myths... like a creation story (or maybe Ragnarok)
Brilliant Shay and I love the sea glass reference!
Helen said…
..... at first, I sheathed my face and pretended spiritual palsy .... what a great line! Really enjoyed this, Shay.
Mama Zen said…
This is a truly amazing piece of work. One of your finest, Shay.
Susie Clevenger said…
"At first, I sheathed my face and pretended spiritual palsy." Love that line. I couldn't speak any more eloquently about this piece that what has already been written. You are so talented my friend.
said…
"Your body is dark earth" ... My goodness, that is gorgeous.

"Must every edge open a new mouth" ... I love that.

"I took up the knife for ceremony.
My blood became cities." ... Geez, is that good.
hedgewitch said…
I read this poem last of the three--what can I say--each is a gem, this one is perhaps the deepest and most clamorous in its imagery--impossible to avert the eyes, and the questions the narrator asks cut to the heart. Just completely excellent.
Jennifer Wagner said…
Intense. This poem does not give up. Of course, when the sea speaks, what is one to do? Crushingly good.

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