You Make The Call


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.

Good Guy

Bad Guy

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.

Peel away the leaves.


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

I love you sign language

© Red Dwyer


Talk to me. What end of the spectrum? What is it about? What do you feel?

(Check your work?)
(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. authormjlogan

     /  February 15, 2012

    Seems like the feelings of loss when someone you love either betrays you or leaves you, and you find you still love them.

  2. There’s pain, but a lot of litter and aftermath images also, so among the devastation,,,, love still rises like a phoenix. That’s what I got anyway.

  3. Seems to be about a love lost or betrayed, yet you still love them…

    Love and hugs!


  4. Forgot who I am

     /  February 16, 2012

    Trials,tribulations,life, death.. Survival….

  5. I see this as the sudden realization that this situation, as horrible as it is, is not within this persons control. It could be that they are feeling the pain and anguish like none they have ever felt but that it may have suddenly and finally sunk in that there is nothing that anyone can do to change the inevitable. There is no way to have things work out so that everyone can be happy. They have become aware of this. They have reluctantly accepted it at this point. Now it is just a matter of letting go of the dreams, hopes and aspirations that once filled their heart with pure joy and climbing out of the vortex of confusion and discontent.

    It’s not easy to see the good coming out of this at this point but eventually the sun will com out again and you will feel the warmth upon your face. You will be stronger, smarter and free to love and be loved again.

    I may be so far off the mark that it’s not even funny but this is a place I have been many times so it’s just what I saw in these words…

  6. Red, I can feel the pain within almost every word here. A loss of a relationship that hurts to point it is hard to breathe and the chest feels tight. The questioning of hope is apparent and even questioning oneself. Such a good poem.

  7. Even though the love was one-sided, she stayed but then he obruptly left her and she is shocked.

    Can’t wait to hear the outcome of survey.

  8. For me: Loss of a presumed loved one due to their own selfish and hurtful ways. It makes me sad, pisses me off and then makes me realize for a split second, that I’m better off.

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  2. You made the call. « Momma's Money Matters

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