Intention

 


Back then, I hung lanterns on my heart,

kept my own counsel

and spoke Romany in front of the marks.

I appeared 18 or 80

depending on the phase of the moon, 

or the shape  of my dreams.

I kept The Fool and The Tower up my black lace sleeve

and slept with other girls

thinking to cure my fever and my thirst.


Now a young man comes,

his mute-bird girlfriend behind a pace

with her patience and frybread face. 

I long ago burnt my heart down to nothing,

fueled with equal measures bravery and turpentine.

So, why does he make a visible ghost of me?

Do I wail for wanting to touch him,

or because my unringed fingers die behind my folded arms,

cursed by years?


Once, I hung lanterns on my heart,

and spun spells that only worked when I didn't care.

I mixed brown sugar with oleander

and wrapped my sorrow in a million words.

Young man, these are not crows, they are flying ash.

I want you and cannot say it,

but you came here with intention of unraveling old spells

and have done that

fiercely well.

__________

for The Sunday Muse #126, where I am hosting.

image at top by Brooke Shaden.


Comments

  1. So many fierce images here, of lust and love, age and what remains unquenchable, even by the waters of time. I specially love the echoing openings of first and last stanza, and that knifetwist of a close. Fine writing, Shay, and very much in tune with the image you chose. (And that song--how many many times has it brought me to tears.)

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  2. Your poems are always a magical journey. This one is no exception!

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  3. You have spoken for the heart and the pain of experience in such a magnificent way Shay!! That is what makes you such an amazing poet! If wonderful imagery could make a poet rich, you would be a multi-billionaire on a yacht. The image of a lantern hung on the heart really resonates with me. Simply stunning my friend!!

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  4. Wow Shay! This is exquisite and so captivating. It makes me want to read her biography, to unfurl her soul - and perhaps touch her face... Splendid writing!

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  5. "I hung lanterns on my heart." How I love that! "I spun spells that only worked when I didnt care" - that is the plain truth. Me, too. Wrapping sorrow in a million words - wonderful - that is what poets do, and thank Goddess for poetry! A fantastic poem, as always.

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  6. Going to channel Stevie Nicks, my girl crush, rest of the damned day. We need to invent new superlatives for your poems .... I love how you describe the mute-bird girlfriend.

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  7. "I hung lanterns on my heart" , there was always a guiding light. Spells only worked when I didn't care. Perhaps, there is a bit of wisdom in that. I liked the bit about age and the moon. We all have dreams no matter the age.

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  8. I want to quote the whole thing, but these lines leave me in ashes: "I long ago burnt my heart down to nothing, fueled with equal measures bravery and turpentine."

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  9. Thanks to you all for your amazing comments!

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  10. Time and people progress, it just take a look back and one is sure to understand distance.

    Happy Sunday. Thank you for dropping by to read mine

    Much💜love

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  11. and slept with other girls
    thinking to cure my fever and my thirst.

    I long ago burnt my heart down to nothing,
    Do I wail for wanting to touch him,
    or because my unringed fingers die behind my folded arms,
    cursed by years?

    but you came here with intention of unraveling old spells
    and have done that
    fiercely well.

    These are all my especially favorite parts. What a poem, Shay.

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  12. Very pointed poem without the witchy chin. Love the song choice and repeated lines of hanging lanterns.

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  13. The image of becoming mummified in a magic takes my breath away and reading this seems to shake ash & sawdust from stories long forgotten.

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  14. This was song of "reader put your heart here" and I followed the flow. I liked best the thought of "unravelling old spells" as I think many of us have thought of that. But it wouldn't be the same.
    Thanks for the nice picture prompt for inspiration. And thank you also for the intro to "Disco Inferno", I have this besides The Doors and Johnny Cash songs now. It is pretty neat and also has the "Light my fire" and Johnny's "burn, burn, burn, into the Ring of Fire."
    ..

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  15. You had me from the first line. I love the way you mix the otherworldly with the very-much-this-worldly. I mean of course you need an accelerate like turpentine if your going to burn down your heart.

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  16. Gorgeous:

    “and spun spells that only worked when I didn't care.

    I mixed brown sugar with oleander”

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  17. "Once, I hung lanterns on my heart,

    and spun spells that only worked when I didn't care."

    Only one line of many that stood out in this heart-stabbing poem.

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