Friday, September 29, 2006

October Harvest

The fatted smoke of burnt offerings,

the sacrifices in memory,

chokes your heart, and you wonder if you

dowse it with the three raindrops on a coat sleeve,

the expressive spatter of mud on a boot's shank,

the bleating of an ewe. From such a place, speak.

The dance steps are broken, the dancers renew

but the sound of the empty hall echoes in the sighs of the wallflowers,

the rumble of the chairs, and two balloons left over,

the humid car on a rainy evening, and the gravel of the train tracks.

As dark breaks free from the horizon hills

and sweeps you into its heart, shuffles you away,

ever away,

the night fires start, the signal men rouse themselves from their cabins,

and the priest mops the spilled blood from the sacrifice of the wedding party.


(My apologies. No, I don't think this is good. I just think it's an explanation of the last week or more.)

3 comments:

C. Penquin said...

"Darkling" (a threnody)

Black branches,
Like a corpse's withered hands,
Waving against the blacker sky:
Chill winds,
Bitter like the tang of half-remembered sins;
Bats wheeling mournfully through the air,
And on the ground
Worms,
Toads,
Frogs,
And nameless creeping things;
And all around
Desolation,
Doom,
Dyspepsia,
And Despair.
I am a bat that wheels through the air of Fate;
I am a worm that wriggles in a swamp of Disillusionment;
I am a despairing toad;
I have got dyspepsia.

The Geogre said...

I don't want to encourage you, but, just as a real confession, I have to say that this made me laugh out loud.

I probably really need to be doped, but being burped might not be a bad idea, either.

C. Penquin said...

That takes me back to my childhood--one of the most common statements heard in my house was always, "Oh, for heaven's sake, don't ENCOURAGE him to act like that."

Still later in my childhood, I was often both doped and burping, but that's another story.

The young man who wrote "Darkling (a threnody)" in the Wodehouse novel did so as advertising copy for a pickle company, IIRC. His idea was that the poem reflected the views of someone who ate a competing brand of pickles. His new employer didn't feel it would be effective. I wish I remembered which novel that was.

Clyde says "howdy," by the way, and wants to know if you have his copy of "The Naughty Nurses Visit the Firehouse."