Sunday, October 20, 2013


My love complained
that, within my brain,
my heart,
my soft little breast,

behind my deflections,
my affectations,
and all the rest,

she found me unknowable,
mad, melancholy and inexplicable.

Is it (I asked)
the lazy way I've dressed?
or the time I've spent lounging as a lady may do
of an afternoon in my machine gun nest?

Why now, why this way?
Why when my hair is not looking its best?
Are there any other serpents caught in the lace
that you'd like to get off my chest?

To me, this seems unfair,
this demand of me to share
my moon
my stars
my air.

She said, you are a broken bird
whose beak is too silent and dark
to say the words that speak my mind
or ever hold my heart.


hedgewitch said...

Rhyme! *swoons* A most feathery, barbed, complex and intriguing love poem, Shay. I love the snakes amidst the lace, and the unanswerable, Sphinx-like poise of the whole thing, while the images and emotions have their own riot going on underneath.I think I would prefer being inexplicable to explicating any day, myself.

Also, machine-gun nest. (!)

Cloudia said...

How we celebrate our denigrated singularity! You are as a barbed crystal ball - deeply rewarding for those not in thrall to the mundane.

Aloha, my Poetic pal-soul

Kerry O'Connor said...

Yikes! That pic stopped me in my tracks.

Your words took the notion of pain to a whole new level - not even a T-Rex has a bite that sharp.

Sioux said...

I agree with Kerry. Certainly, this is a poem with sharp points.

Mama Zen said...

You had me at "machine gun nest!"

HermanTurnip said...

What a sad ending. My suggestion, to lighten your heart, is go jump behind the gun and fire off a few rounds.

TALON said...

Oh, to have a machine gun nest. :)

As always, a pure delight to read your poetry, Shay. The rhythm you have, the nuances are second to none.

Stripey says, "Mrrrrrowww!" Which means he agrees. :)

Anonymous said...

The rhyme so effectively shrouds the pathos, as if the eloquent and formal (yet carefully not-quite ending) rhyme might somehow diminish the slice. Those are tears falling, mixed with blood.

L. Edgar Otto said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve King said...

This resonates. A very interesting take on the quandary of living in the external world and the internal one, all at once. Your rhyming is effective, moving the piece along nicely. And you've created an outstanding closing stanza.

Kathryn said...

. . . machine gun nest. Stunningly powerful.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Yes, but on the bright side, you are being true to yourself, which should count for something.

Ted Baxter: One thing I've learned is I've gotta be me.

Murray Slaughter: Right. It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.

Much love send your way,

Herotomost said...

Yep....this is a cult of personality, the tone is as crisp and even as any and sets the mood iron clad. Your voice is unique...and strong. Love it!!! And we can collab any time you want...I'm always ready.

cosmos cami said...

Cruel, painful... This is amazing! I'm with Mama Zen on your take-off point. Really good work.

Susan said...

"my soft little breast" versus "you broken bird" is really startling. And the question "Are there any other serpents .... " Is a brilliant rejoinder. All these accusations? She wanted nothing, nothing. I just saw the excellent movie "Blue is the Warmest Color" which has me reading for the transforming heart. The she in this poem gives none.

Helen said...

The desire to be alone with the one you love, the dread of being alone ... you captured the emotions.

I have also seen "Blue is the Warmest Color" ... highly recommend it!!

Ella said...

I love the dance of dark n' light you shared~ The ending was my favorite, the broken bird the beak-telltale tokens of the heart!

Grandmother (Mary) said...

She used fancy language but she put you down all the same. I love your response to her and the wry way you said it! Lady in wait in my machine gun nest has to be the all time great image. Brava.

Margaret said...

I agree with all of the above... What more can I say, but

... this is the longest, damn tanka I've ever seen !! ;P

Daryl said...

i love it ... and that picture is perfection

Laura said...

"She said, you are a broken bird
whose beak is too silent and dark
to say the words that speak my mind
or ever hold my heart."... love this ending!

Kay L. Davies said...

Wow, Shay. What a write!
"To me, this seems unfair,
this demand of me to share
my moon
my stars
my air" is delightfully put, but, just a question: if the love is true, isn't this what you'd want to do? Share those things and more?

Fireblossom said...

It would seem so to me, Kay. The "she" was more me than the speaker.

Anonymous said...

The rhyme is graceful, seemingly effortless, no mean feat given the whiff of Carroll or Burroughs which pervades this piece. Utterly arresting.

Anonymous said...

Shay, what a mystical, soulful poem. "This demand of me to share..." really hit home for me, from past relationships. I hope you were not the one being consumed... what a way to go. Amy

Susie Clevenger said...

"Are there any other serpents caught in the lace
that you'd like to get off my chest?" Love that line..this magical feeling piece has so much truth in it..It certainly resonates with me.