Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Lycanthrope

I look human.

I am not human.

She lived on the edge of the ice,

Like water running too fast to freeze;

She had long smoky hair--

Something heavy within her was always burning.

She had come back to the stony earth to die;

She was every element.

She had nothing.

She contained everything.

So, when the crow

(I know well)

Came to collect her soul like so much carrion,

I was waiting in concealment.

The world seems to die in winter.

It does not die.

I came down across the snow,

Quickly, like passion from a perfect touch--

And I almost caught that crow.

He lost feathers, and several heart beats,

Before flying away, a disturbing dream upon waking,

Hardly even real.

I lay down beside the dead gypsy.

I said,

Why did we not take each other in, like air, like restless spirits?

Why did we not carry each other like currents, like blackberries in cupped hands?

Why did we not bury each other, away from dull eyes, wrapped together like sticks with the same skin?

Why are you so still?

Why do the shadows slowly move across us anyway, indolent and indifferent?

I love, though I hate love.

I am human.



LulĂș said...

We are and we aren't, we love and we don't...what are we and what do we really want, Chica? My head is spinning after reading a good way, of course.

Happy New Year's Day to my favorite poet...who spins my head 'round like Linda Blair (and I like it!). lol

Desert Rose said...

Human..yeah we are supposed to be..trying to maintain the inception tho :)
love it shay...Happy new year to you girl!

hedgewitch said...

Contradiction, opposition, severed things wanting to be whole but fighting to remain themselves, images and symbols, language that cuts to the bone~this one has it all. It seems very appropriate for a new year's day, when things are ending and beginning, as old and as new, as dead and as alive as they can be. Sometimes something has to die so something else can live, eh?

"She lived on the edge of the ice,/Like water running too fast to freeze;....The world seems to die in winter./It does not die."

Thanks for giving me something so wild to wake up to today, Shay.

Shadow said...

i read this once. i read this twice. i want to read it again. beautiful...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"She had nothing. She contained everything."

"Why did we not carry each blackberries in cupped hands?"

I did not know poetry could be like this, before reading you.

Absolutely stunning poem. And I love that Mama Zen's daughter howls at the moon. She must encourage her to write poems too, her own private howls!

By the way, the best line I have ever read, I think, is "I love, though I hate love." Oh I so know what you mean. It hurts and is why I stay alone.

TALON said...

"She was every element.

She had nothing.

She contained everything." - I love those lines, Shay. It's the essence of life right there.

Helen said...

Reading you? The perfect way to begin my year ...... happy, happy!

Mama Zen said...

I love the image of blackberries in cupped hands.

Lynn said...

Your imagery is so beautiful and mysterious.

moondustwriter said...

as long as she wasnt human there was no need for love. yes she could then be all elements - but that one

and so the shadows reveal there is love...

As Shay lives and breath she always takes the road of most resistance and leaves crumbs in the form of words to follow


Sioux Roslawski said...

"Like water running too fast to freeze."

What a powerful line. It speaks of water and also of living creatures.

Anonymous said...

This is filled with such beautiful imagery. I love that she was every element! Beautiful.


signed...bkm said...

I read it and glad I did...the image of lying down with the dead work the femnine so well in your writing...bkm

Lisa said...


I had someone say to me before that I am a contradiction.

You express this so well; this being human.

Like standing in your truth in the exact moment it happens.

"I love, though I hate love.

I am human."

ellen abbott said...

How do you do it? over and over and over.

Sara said...

Wow. All that we have, we don't have, but never lose. Sometimes reading your poetry is a mind bending exercise. I have to really think about your words in this poem.

What came to mind for me with this poem is that life is full of reincarnation; we die even as we live and we live even as we die.

Happy New Year, Shay...Oh, please do keep me on my toes with your visual word puzzles:~)