I have read this poem a few times to others. The reviews it gets are mixed. No, not those reviews. Everyone seemed to be genuine in liking it. The reviews will tell me which end of the spectrum this particular rhyme inhabits.
In a guessing game as to where I fell asleep to the tune of Mantra’s singing, no one could accurately guess where the break truly is. I take that as a compliment.
It flows in the way my speech pattern does. I wrote this one out loud until the last stanza. This is my natural English vocabulary. If you come across something you do not know what it means, ask. This train of thought was particularly easy to ride.
Which brings us to the question. On which end of the spectrum does this poem fit? Is it about loss or triumph or is this an incarnation of a police action? Is this about the forces of good or the forces of evil? I am very interested in which category you will place it.
Depending on response, I may come back and parse this one. The explanation could be three posts if I would let it. Yes, this is a layered one. Not like an onion, more like a giant pod of garlic. Mmm. Garlic. But I digress.
Simply titled: Signs, this poem begins with a simple concept, a symptom, as it were. Ferret to the root to get to all the cloves within, but be careful to examine the leaves you remove, as they are important as well.
Read through the poem and picture the images…feel the textures…listen.
I tried to take a deep breath.
I closed my eyes and tried to sigh.
I have to breathe. Breathe. Now.
My chest is tight like a sprung bear trap.
My throat is closed like a safety deposit box.
I need air, but my brain doesn’t know how.
It is wrapped around, or should I say…
Entangled in the morass left in your wake,
Trying to compute the enormous scope
Of the destruction and mayhem.
All of the ideals I trusted, the truths I held,
The verisimilitude which gave me hope,
In the course of an afternoon exploded
Into countless pieces of shrapnel and debris,
Littering my landscape with romantic poison.
Each fragment of my shattered heart is
Sharp and coated with euphemistic ooze,
Sticks to my hands, penetrating my skin.
In self-preservative awakening, I reach
For a broom to brush away the pain,
But the noxious fumes of frigidity
Stab through my nostrils and settle so cold
In my paralyzed lungs, longing for air.
My final moments laced with temerity
My hands feverishly signing…not “help”,
Not “Leave”, not “Don’t go”, not even “Screw you.”
Instead, over and over they profess
The one fact no cataclysm can consume,
No exsanguination can extinguish.
Without reciprocity, I still confess
© Red Dwyer
Talk to me. What end of the spectrum? What is it about? What do you feel?
(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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