Sunday, February 24, 2013

To A Kind Gravedigger

in the black garden
all my words unsay themselves
behind my lips

in the black garden
things shrink backward down to the root
and the root is

where are the beds, the borders, the paths that i planned?
where is anyone, anything,
some rare soil
that forgives?

fuck it, just bury me here and keep your ear to the ground--
that will be me beneath the blackflowers, rolling slow as grief through the pitch-dark bedrock of Despair.

14 lines for Real Toads mini challenge. Top photograph by Isadora Gruye.



TexWisGirl said...


but i love the line: all my words unsay themselves behind my lips.

Poet Laundry said...

Ooh this is dark. And felt. Maybe 'blackflowers' aren't meant to be beautiful but I picture them so. Maybe that's because I'm a melancholic sort. I especially enjoyed those first two stanzas.

That new 'speak the truth' quote on your sidebar is great!

hedgewitch said...

Excellent(and appropriately somber) work with the metaphor, though what comfort that is, who knows. The repetition is hypnotic, the black poppy bleeds oblivion, and the ear can hear, above the grave, just the faintest terrifying sigh of the buried alive.

Anonymous said...

You bring new very somber meaning to rolling in the grave.

Sioux said...

I love especially the lines about shrinking back to the (rotten) root.

Gorgeous and dark, Shay.

Mr Puddy said...

I guess Only Ostriches bury their ear in the ground..tee..heh..heh

HermanTurnip said...

"rolling slow as grief"

Four simple words, but an example of the perfect analogy. Stroke of genius, that.

Mama Zen said...

This is the kind of dark that swallows you. That first stanza is amazing.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

That's despair all right, and never has it been more potently expressed. I especially love "that will be me beneath the blackflowers, rolling slow as grief"...........wowzers!

Panchali said...

There is a fierce power to this poetry---well done!! Loved it..

Daryl said...

anything that wraps up with 'fuck it' to me is perfect .. kidding .. i loved all of this .. your darkness is very enlightening

Kerry O'Connor said...

The images of the first two quatrains are exceptional - and what a way to introduce your theme. Thereafter, you keep up the pace of thought and rhythm to that final long line. It's dark; it's introspective and it's poetry.

Shawna said...

I love the way your title slips so quietly by, as if it is anything but the entire point of the piece. A kind gravedigger is someone who kills you with sweetness, tenderness, the softest most mystical love, all the while digging you a grave that goes unnoticed. But then I guess she whacks you over the head with the shovel. At that point, you review the relationship in reverse, trying to unsay your words and rewind to the point where things went wrong. Only, what you find is that the root was never strong enough to sustain you; your tree is not a home, nor a garden. It is fertilizer for the flowers that will grow on your grave---the petals, your unspoken poems. I love that in the end, you don't even care or protest that she's killed you. You just beg that she keep her ear closeby, not withdraw herself completely from you. With all she's done to you, you still want her.

These are my favorites:
the title
the photographs
the tags
the author

Margaret said...

..words unsay themselves.

OH, what a despairing poem! Your imagery is always exceptional.... blackflowers, The idea of looking for a soil that forgives.

Amazing... just fourteen lines.