In a cage with bars of foxfire,
I kept an apparition who claimed
to have made, from flax and piano wire
your nom de guerre, your midnight name.

"Tell me, moonless one, " I said,
"Sunless, starless nattering ghost,
Is there gravity for the dead?
A superseding circle outermost?"

She moaned and split to sugar and salt
identical in paleness to your kiss,
and offered a platitude neatly got
from a serpent poisoned with nothingness.

I burnt a root and bled a bird,
a canary-colored silent fake
whose solitude was ringed by words
that only my love or the damned could make. 

for Skylover's word list.


brudberg said…
When not even an apparition can bring something else than platitudes I wonder what spell will work.
hedgewitch said…
Your witchcraft here is worthy of Calypso, or perhaps Artemis herself, who bent the crescent moon to make her bow. The neatness of these ordered stanzas belies the fire and chaos they are built from, and has there ever been a last line like that, which the unexpected use of rhyme drives in to the hilt? You have knocked the socks off the muse, Shay, or plied her with some potion known only to you, to get her to surrender this particularly rich cosmic buffet. Besides the ache in the knoll of the final couplet, I am especially pleased by these images: "...made from flax and piano wire..."/"...identical in paleness to your kiss...'/ and "...a serpent poisoned by nothingness..." Yeesh! You made me quote!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
You have indeed plied your muse with a potion available only to you. The leap your imagination makes when you put pen to paper is beyond what is available to most of the rest of us. Too many "wow!"'s to quote. This poem is stellar.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Oh, how absolutely wonderful! Your apparition is so beautifully drawn, and I love the combinations of words you found. Overall this has a musicality which I really admire.
Mama Zen said…
This is absolutely spell like! I particularly like the rhythms of the last stanza.
. said…
“She moaned and split to sugar and salt
identical in paleness to your kiss”

“I burnt a root and bled a bird“

Every time I read you, I just shake my head in befuddlement over how a brain can possibly be as talented as yours. I’m so grateful that rich orchard exists.
tonispencer said…
The last verse is incredible. Just freaking incredible.
Margaret said…
Shay, you can write a poem about casting a spell like no one else. This so delightfully plays off the tongue - it's a thrill to read out loud. And that last stanza soars!

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