Muse for Monday

Mantra redConsidering 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.

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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  1. In hindsight lives can be restructured, I guess that given the chance anything is possible. Of course if nothing can be saved then the sharks will always be waiting in the depths, waiting to feed upon the misery, which is rather sad when hope could necessitate a different outcome.

    I really like your poem Red 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    • Truly. I had spent a few weeks shaking my head at the inanity and the abject misery of others when I wrote this one. I have yet to discern why anyone would continue on a path they know is going to remain as bad as it always has been. A flicker of hope is better than a lifetime of complacency. xxx

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Red. Was sorry to hear about Bo.

  3. Mantra ends this poem with the possibility of healing in spite of society’s pull to tear the two apart.
    The hammerhead sanctuary is culture, society, and small town politics. It’s average people with a hunger to feed off the happiness of others in their own misery.

    The third stanza is the most powerful to me. Hammerheads appear stupid, not predator-like and the image of it swimming below the eddy tells me it is ever present to enrage the wake of the sea.

    This poem is complex, yet the metaphors are clear and strong. I think the complexity comes from the subject of the poem, in relationships, none are spared emotion. xxx
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Prose – My Own Private Thanksgiving ParadeMy Profile

    • You got it. I specifically chose hammerheads because of their social image. The quiet intelligence is telling. xxx

  4. Happy Thanksgiving Red 🙂 😉 🙂
    I can just see you eating all that chocolate, turkey and yummy cakes, ice cream and jelly doughnuts, oh and lashings of pancakes with maple syrup 🙂

    I am hungry now 🙁 Booooooooo

    Andro xxxx

  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Red. Hope no sharks crashed your celebration.
    Binky recently posted..DIY LiposuctionMy Profile

  6. I get it but I can’t put it in plain english as yet.. I am sure it will be swimming around in my head for awhile and I will be able to say it.. brought up interesting array of emotions. Hope your Thanksgiving was full of love warmth and happiness, mo ghrá

    sonas agus grá a thabhairt duit (gobble gobble )
    ♥ Lizzie
    Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Flash Fiction – ErraticMy Profile

  7. The gist to me: two people circle each other, taunting and punishing for misdeeds, misunderstandings, shortcomings.

    This repeated behavior causes love to die, divorce, separation of friends and possessions are the outcome.
    tess kann recently posted..CNN iReport for Huge Book Sale on Dec. 10My Profile

  8. I am backtracking through some of your postings while I do a bit of skiving, oh yes I do that sometimes, but I will get back to some writing later, I am enjoying reading your older postings and I always read the comments left by others.

    I hope that you are alright and having a nice day today 🙂 Here it is a little warmer than it has been of late so perhaps spring really is here at last 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    • As I know you do, I have been back to this post to read of things which were caught in remembrance and brought to the fore. Amazing how some things as old as this, now 29 years later, are still just as accurate and divining. If ever a writer questioned his power to be immortal, surely this is the answer.
      Red of M3 recently posted..Ashen LilyMy Profile


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