Sunday, September 11, 2011

Damn The Swans

(the phrase "damn the swans" first appeared in my poem "The Witch In Springtime")

 "Damn the swans,"
I used to say.
They were soft as petals on the water,
And so hard my hatred.
I came from the muddy banks
Where the cat-tails grew--
I knew the knobby branch
And the stormy afternoon.

"Damn the crow,"
Said the housewives,
In fear for their clean sheets
And the shining white roofs of their sensible rides.
I would tap on their kitchen windows
Sudden and harsh with my beak--
Behold the broken dish--
And the mouths open without speech.

Damn the wide empty sky.
Damn the dawn
For the way it favors the beautiful.
I have grown blacker every spring
While dreaming of snow,
Unbroken and implacable.

Bless the one
Who broke the spell;
The one who whispered well, "You are beautiful...
Here...and here...and here."
The swans, by then,
Had turned first to gray stones and then to dust
Leaving only ripples on the surface
Like a broken mirror.


hedgewitch said...

A fine transition from the earlier poem of loss and discomfort within. Here the narrator flies the crow through the void in bitter loneliness and yet still finds the needed totemic wisdom, the true shape, and makes it clear such things come through grace and not design. Fine writing, Shay, in both poems.

Sioux said...

I did not start blogging until June or July of 2010, so I missed this earlier poem. Thanks for sharing the link. It was mind-blowing. (Although if that was truly accurate, my mind would have been blown to smithereens months and months ago by your work.)

I agree with Hedgewitch. Both poems are FINE.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Your poems always make me FEEL, even when I'm re-reading to fully understand the meaning of the poem, at least for myself. Loved both poems. You're an amazing talent.

Brian Miller said...

bless anyone that can see the beauty in anyone and make them feel special...really a lovely write shay

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Beautiful, Shay...and I favor crows over swans :)

Lolamouse said...

This is so beautiful (ever get tired of hearing that?) and the link back to your older poem gives it even deeper meaning. Your choice of swans and crows to illustrate the struggles of girls and women to feel accepted and beautiful is fantastic, at least that's how I read it.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"I knew the knobby branch and the stormy afternoon." Sigh. I love it that someone came along to assure the crow of its beauty. I just reread the springtime poem. Holy cow, you are a brilliant writer. My chin has bruises from my jaw dropping onto my desktop so often. I'm just sayin'.

Mama Zen said...

"Damn the dawn
For the way it favors the beautiful."

Something about that just stopped me cold. This is just soulful.

HermanTurnip said...

"The world keeps a balance, through mathematics
Defined by whatever you've added and subtracted
I'm pushin on the hammer, to trigger the brain
Embrace how I live it, God loves ugly"
- Atmosphere "God Loves Ugly"

(HermanTurnip turns up the speakers on his computer)

Lynn said...

Beautiful, Shay -

ashok said...

you write well...keep it up!

Scarlet said...

Better late than never...or not. A beauty, my friend. Always a sweet visit with you. xo

Anonymous said...

i love black birds ~ crows, ravens, blackbirds, whatever. i think they are beautiful in the dawn when you see the jewel tones in the black of their feathers.

i love your poetry more though. {smile} i have literally run out of words to describe your writing ~ brilliant, unique, beautiful, stunning, amazing, exquisite ~ none of them are adequate.

♥ d

Anonymous said...

This makes me think of the pain of adolescence. The perfectly popular girls in high school were the fat girls with flash back hair and false laughter at the reunion. The odd and more interesting were solid and deep and laughed from their bellies. Swans are pretty hanging on my christmas tree but the crows I'd invite to dinner, me being a different bird altogether.