Pelted with Petals? Or Stoned to Death?
This may be the beginning of something. It is too soon to tell.
If you visit regularly you may have noticed a long silence. Truth is despair has bitten deep, not the summer despair that lifts hair, or dries the laundry, but the piercing knife of despondency. The mistake may lie in reading the paper, a habit resumed while waiting for the tricksy muse, who has taken itself off on a leave of absence, and is probably wind surfing off Marbella.
This morning there was death in Yemen with hospitals barren of remedy, Kurds against Kalashnikovs in Turkey; Putin on the Path of War and Ukraine begging for U52s. Refugees in Kos begging for kos ( food where I come from), or papers, or better both; Cameron was fiddling in Europe on consent to withhold benefits ( what ARE those exactly?) and a bearded Sandal tipped to win and make better friends with Hamas or Hezbollah in this land with that reputation for sanity!
Why would anybody write? Spitting against the wind just seems unintelligent. So I stopped.Then I did a bit of meditating and the muse sidled in and stuck out a tongue. So I wrote a poem. You can have it if you like…
Words- They Are the Poet’s Fault.
Those who blow word-winds
as easily as paring a pencil,
have never sucked the lead of life…
So they say.
If you had drunk the deep of grief
you would not cascade
a bright loquacious literature.
You would slide silent through pine in the night wood
whittling the matchstick moon
sliver shiver a slow-sleep dawn…
to ignite a blaze.
Had you loved and lost, longed, or watched skies burn,
had a mother bent with labour,
a child with legs thin as a crow’s cry
you would stay quiet, though your eyes would speak.
The currency of clever sounds
is the splashing of a weathered tap
where water is not harvested
in the cellar of the house best left.
To make explicit hangs a carcass for dismembering,
a cleaver phrase glistens,
tendons of a life extinguished hang in the air,
coagulate words drip to the floor’.
See? That’s about it for now.
I have also read a couple of restorative books that have nudged out despair and are claiming the right to be heard. Whispering. Maybe next time I’ll bequeath them to you?
St Sebastian [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Rose By Melbelle (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
11 thoughts on “Pelted with Petals? Or Stoned to Death?”
I feel the same sort of….deadness, at present.
Hoping to come west in the autumn; meet?
Beautiful Philippa … synchronous in it’s way as I too am writing on grief for WIP. Also interesting to me is how I few I ‘know’ par favor social media, are writing poetic lines, different to their usual writing. And beauty in their lines ..
I loved this, thank you.
I’ve been wondering if you’re okay, Philippa. Despair and despondency certainly explain your silence. I offer no consolation, no clutter of words that obscures what I know is so deep and profound, this suffering world we’re in, that it’s often inexpressible.
Curious title of your poem, but I get your meaning from your lines. I love this: “you would stay quiet, though your eyes would speak”.
I imagine poets’ tongues cut out of their mouths, tossed onto the dirt, writhing and crawling like fat worms, muscular from so much usage, pushing into the ground, burrowing in and through time creating such a complex and intricate maze that anyone who walks onto the thin crust left above it collapses through and falls as if into their own grave.
I have been intending to write John, and silence is part the above but also PROBLEMS on the home front that precluded sane framing of thoughts or considered reading of the thoughts of others. Will get back to it all soon. Thanks for reading this scrap of a post. It was just to reassure the chosen few who follow this blog that it still twitches a finger.
Reblogged this on Notes from An Alien and commented:
Today’s Re-Blog is a brilliant meditation on the apparent futility of using literature to improve our life situation…
And, brilliant irony, too—a poem is the vehicle…
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Very kind Alexander. A sort of bleak cry from a temporarily amputated writer, who yet must still cry in words. That infection never totally cured!
Absolutely—never totally cured…
…and what would your eyes say?”
“I can think. I can wait. I can fast.”
“Nothing. But yes, I can also write poetry. Would you like to give me a kiss for a
“Yes indeed. And what is it now what you’ve got to give? What is it that you’ve learned, what you’re able to do?”
“I can think. I can wait. I can fast.”
“I believe, that’s everything!”
“Excellent,” said Kamaswami. “And would you write something for me on
this piece of paper?”
He handed him a piece of paper and a pen, and Siddhartha wrote and
returned the paper.
Kamaswami read: “Writing is good, thinking is better. Being smart is
good, being patient is better.”
“It is excellent how you’re able to write,” the merchant praised him.
“Many a thing we will still have to discuss with one another. For
today, I’m asking you to be my guest and to live in this house.”
But I’m only
interested in being
able to love the world,
not to despise it, not to hate it and me, to be
able to look upon it and me and all beings
with love and admiration and great respect.”
“This I understand,” spoke Govinda. “But this very thing was discovered by the
exalted one to be a deception. He commands benevolence, clemency, sympathy,
tolerance, but not love; he forbade us to tie our heart in love to earthly things.”
“I know it,” said Siddhartha; his smile shone golden. “I know it, Govinda. And behold, with this we are right in the middle of the thicket of opinions, in the dispute about words. For I cannot deny, my words of love are in a contradiction, a seeming contradiction with Gotama’s words. For this very reason, I distrust in words so much, for I know, this contradiction is a deception. I know that I am in agreement with Gotama. How should he not know love, he, who has discovered all elements of human existence in their transitoriness, in their meaninglessness, and yet loved people thus much, to use a long, laborious life only to help them, to teach them! Even with him, even with your great teacher, I prefer the thing over the words, place more importance on his acts and life than on his speeches, more on the gestures of his hand than his opinions. Not in his speech, not in his thoughts, I see his greatness, only in his actions, in his life.”
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It is not then the writer but the receiver who judges? Touche expose.
Thanks Joe. I would give you a poem for a kiss, certainly.