Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Creation Parable

Something startles the brides--
They stampede,
Hundreds of them.
Little flowers fall from their hair;
Carefully set tables are overturned,
Their white shoes are used as bludgeons
In jealous rage.

Grooms writhe within the wooden door frames, gnawing.
They appear industrious--
Though pale.
Though blind.
Will there be any threshold left, by sunset?
Can fire remove them?
What of their hats?
Their hearts?

Cheetah Girl
(a feral, using bark and dust to rub her soft skin tough)
Sits in the high place with Cheetah Mother,
She of the long claws.
They hold no truck with the tumult below--
The panicked brides.
The unwholesome grooms.

Cheetah Mother will teach her the loose-backed sprint,
The blood-mouth, the sated moment.
Cheetah Girl will make a deal with the stars,
A trick rolled in sorghum,
Her own black and yellow dream modeled after the one she sees.

At dawn, they will trot right down the throat of the bride herd,
Silly dazed cream puffs sitting blank and finished on the ground.
In the afternoon, they will watch the blaze and the old wood falling,
The last interlopers sent to hell in a spray of red sparks.

Cheetah Girl will know it is time to go.
There will be others after her,
But until then,
She has her own high-sun way of invoking God--
She will not see Cheetah Mother again,
But she has learned every lesson by heart
And will survive.
That will have to be enough...
And the east African sun;
A red eye on the horizon,
Starting to rise.


hedgewitch said...

I can't tell whether the biggest strength of this is it's language--stark but paradoxically lavish, firing off images like a Kalashnikov, or the way it makes the surreal seem closer to reality than reality itself. Then there is the trick rolled in sorghum, the yellow and black image, tender in the center of chaos, destruction, process, beauty, loss, cruelty, survival....*peels bald scalp* A fine and dangerously flammable poem, Shay. Just utterly top caliber, even for you.

Hannah Pratt said...

"A deal with the stars" "A trick rolled in sorghum" these words made me re-thing this whole poem... and I am still thinking.

Brian Miller said...

the grooms writhing in the doorway kida creeps me out just a bit...interseting her rite of passage there at the end...and survival will have to be enough...nice shay...

Cloudia said...

what a rich riot rattles between your dear ears!

Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Rene Foran said...

This was a trip to read.
And she will survive...

Cheetah Girl don't care
Cheetah girl don't give a shit.


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Whoa, this is an ASTOUNDING read. Love the grooms in the doorways, gnawing. Hee hee. I think I'll save this for You-Know-Who's wedding. Muuuuaaaaahaha!

Susie Clevenger said...

A wedding story of the this.

Lolamouse said...

"Silly dazed cream puffs" I love that! Now I'm hungry too!

HermanTurnip said...

"The blood-mouth, the sated moment"

I think I experienced this at work today after finally getting my current computer script to function properly after many hours of stressful testing.

TALON said...

No one sets a scene so rich in imagery as you do, Shay. Loved this - did the photo inspire the poem or did you just stumble upon a perfect photo?

Fireblossom said...

A combination of the two, Talon. I had the idea for the whole herd of brides thing, but then I found that photo and the rest came to me and I tied it together.

Kerry O'Connor said...

The photo is a remarkable piece of art in itself, but your words have delved into all it may imply about the role of womanhood: a hunter in her own right. I loved the African motif you have woven throughout the lines and especially the awesome conclusion.

Anonymous said...

More like meow-kapow mix ... I didn't think it would be long before the claws would have to come back out. So the poem is "a deal with the stars/ a trick rolled in sorghum"? Down in the marital valley, they'd say that bites, but it doesn't look like there's much to counter with in the valley of suburban bliss. - Brendan

nene said...

Like Hedgewitch's comment with exception to caliber even for you.

By you taking a photo and using it as inspiration, Fireblossom, I think you "cheetah'd" :)

Lynn said...


cosmos cami said...

What description! It reads like it tumbled out of your 'pen' with ease. So many graceful lines and I love the repetition of the 'character' names.

Mama Zen said...

Stop screwing with me! I just bought a wig . . .

"Cheetah Mother will teach her the loose-backed sprint,
The blood-mouth, the sated moment."


Anonymous said...

so many lines stand out in this, Shay, but the way you weave them all together is stunning! i want to eat your words with a spoon. delicious!

Shawna said...

There IS danger in a pack of brides, even when they're not jealous or angry---a pack is a pack.

So is cheetah girl the reason the brides were angry with the grooms? Did she get everyone "stirred up"?

I love this: "a feral, using bark and dust to rub her soft skin tough"

And this: "Cheetah Mother will teach her the loose-backed sprint,
the blood-mouth, the sated moment."

And this: "trick rolled in sorghum,
Her own black and yellow"

"blank and finished" ... Love the multiple meanings of "finished"

You know, if Cheetah Girl is not careful she may fall from the "high place" and turn into Cheeto Girl.