Die Reise

Does it burn, dear, does it trouble you
to see these dropped stitches letting the wind in?
Walls disappear even as they shelter,
hollow as bird bones or violins
stacked each upon each like the worst regrets
of ghosts bewildered, emigrating
with dust of memory gilding frayed keepsakes
as we hold each other, advancing, disintegrating.
_________

the opening line is by Kerry O'Connor, used by permission as part of the mini-challenge at Real Toads, where she presides.

image: one of the lost suitcases of Willard Asylum

Comments

hedgewitch said…
I read this once in the spirit of gobbling it up, then read it again to really taste it. That last line is sharp as an awl, punching through, and when I read all the lines of Kerry's at the prompt, I thought if you wrote to it that beginning one would be the one you would choose. It works perfectly here to build your journey's diorama. The image of stacked violins and the regrets of ghosts will stay with me for awhile. This is incredibly polished for a quick spontaneous write.Kudos to you and to Kerry,for inspiring it.


Helen said…
Volumes spoken in the last line ~~~~ a sobering reflection on the necessity for holding each other up in these unsettling times.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Hollow as bird bones or violins stacked...like the worst regrets of bewildered ghosts......wow! Fantastic!
Carrie Van Horn said…
Even in the despair it holds, it is absolutely gorgeous! This is what poetry is, and what I love so much about your writing! I wish I could write lines like these Shay!
Margaret said…
OH... shivers and cheers. This is brilliant - made me look up the prompt you wrote to back in ... 2014! I remembered something about roosters and hens heads getting chopped off, fire and famous people ... http://fireblossom-wordgarden.blogspot.com/2014/04/suit-case-stair-case-head-case.html Wish we two could tour this place together... can only imagine how LONG it would take us to get through it. Between the photography and the notes we'd take...
Brendan said…
This prompt reminds me of the scene in "Out of Africa" where Robert Redford's character would through out a line, and the woman Meryl Streep plays -- the novelist Isak Dinesen -- would take that single thread and weave a long magic carpet of tale. Who knows where the garden toads will individually sing with a bit of the Kerryean? Age is the winter here, "letting the wind in," reciting "the worst regrets / of ghosts bewildered" And love in such seasons can only fling and freeze at once. Amen and ahem.
Kerry O'Connor said…
That first line sets the tone of a poem that is wholly your own. I like the sense you convey of walls being meagre shelters, and reality a quite brutal thing. The image of the stacked violins really conveyed that for me.
Marian said…
The worst regrets are the ones we hold close.
brudberg said…
The worst part is picking which pieces to part with...
maybe we are always on that journey but only notices to late what we've lost.
Susie Clevenger said…
"Walls disappear even as they shelter"..Shivers, I feel that line. I am getting closer to what I must keep and what I must let go of in its physical forms. I'm finding it is easier to let go of people.
As I had not heard of Willard Asylum or its suitcases, your poem sent me to Wikipedia and a most fascinating account. I realise the poem is a perfect response to that situation, as well as being open to other interpretations readers may bring to it (we all have our own hauntings).

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