Considering my inner mermaid and Mantra’s penchant for pastoral poems, this one should be classed as expected.
On the other hand, when one thinks of classical pastoral poems, the images of flowers, puffy white clouds and gentle herbivorous animals spring to mind.
What? You do not really think that is what’s for dinner, do you? Not on this watch.
Instead, picture eddies, sharks and deep sea fishing-ish. Far be it from Mantra to consider a water coaster to be a land amusement. Where has she set this emotional roller coaster? In a Hammerhead Sanctuary.
Which the juxtaposition of those two words are extremely telling of the thought-provocation which follows, it is also foretelling of metaphors and images you may not otherwise ever consider in diverse examples, much less the same example.
Strap on a life jacket and grab a preserver. Let’s take a swim in Hammerhead Sanctuary.
Are we stuck in a vortex of emotions?
Is this the same feeling as dying drowning?
Waves wash over consciousness,
Stinging the bruises and cuts.
Wasn’t this the only road to happiness?
Did I miss some right turn in the directions?
Is this what the clothes in the spin cycle feel
As the drum spins ‘round and ‘round, flinging them dry?
Pressed against the wall so tight.
Silently begging for light
To beam down and warm them like soft, newborn skin,
Not parching them coarse as a wash woman’s heel.
Beneath the sound of the wailing, the shark waits,
Swimming an eddy below thrashing bodies.
Sucking down parts left adrift.
Drinking in dying love’s scent.
Not a predator, just a social servant,
Cleaning the path of chummy treble-hooked baits.
The entangled two swam each a different way.
The bodies floating on the wave’s crest drifted
Until they touched, wound to wound,
Sharing a dwindling life force.
Survivors of the preying feud over scraps
Dropped from the table at a soiree’s fray.
Friends parceled as community property
Yet, split without judicial diplomacy,
Input from the chattel
Or more than shouts of “Mine!”
Motley quilt of mixed-matched people left struggling
With a crash course in failing matrimony.
If ever I’d known how the fractures would heal,
I would have bound our broken hearts together.
Wounds knitting to each other,
Scar stronger than flesh before.
No matter how much the soul’s blood pours away,
The bleeding heart strains to keep its steadfast beat.
Despite odds and experience contrary,
We stand the chance of being the statistic,
Lasting through tumult and strife,
Rebounding together, yet
Learning from the mistakes we made, in the end,
Not to stir Hammerhead Sanctuary.
Who are the hammerheads? Have you ever been the chattel? Which image in the poem spoke to you the loudest?
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