A continually conjured death storm
churns through ocean gyres,
where albatross gather trinkets of death
then carry them back to their family nest.
Human neglect slides down necks.
Bottle caps, lighters, tubing, and knobs.
Fishing twine: human dreck.
Stomachs impacted with plastic trash
albatross struggle and moan.
Disregard sighs as bird spirits die beneath
consumption’s immortal disguise.
Ashes to ashes and plastic to bone
back bending vertebrae of the unknown
filaments flutter as feathers unfurl
through garbage that haunts
and ever uncurls
reflecting our plastic soul.
There’s a bird that nests inside you
Sleeping underneath your skin.
~ Adam Duritz
A scarce rain slapped the side of the hospital in sheets.
He sat, rooted in a chair near a window.
His spirit eroded as he imagined
cells from his loins scraped from his
girlfriend’s womb like vegetation detached at its roots.
His first child killed, like one sorry weed.
Afterward, she had no strength for talking.
Three crows perched on her Jeep’s
roll bar and she shooed them
away, as the last of his
mercy wove a path into oncoming darkness
then shattered glass against her heart.
Those three crows came up each time
his fist revisited her face.
“You shooed off
sure as you shooed off
She took it until her own soul shattered,
then left him, trying to piece together
the jagged shards of everything she once was.
Is it the spiraling nautilus,
empty with yearning,
beneath my solar plexus?
Is it the fertile serpent
that hisses up from my belly’s shell,
releasing its coiled umbilicus,
tempting and rattling my humanity?
Is it fishing with grandpa
out on the lapping waters of Lake Vermilion,
early, before the stars fade, and the edges
of the sky are barely beginning to blue?
Madam in Eden I’m Adam.
Offering up apples and palindromes.
Opening Pandora’s box.
Wallowing in temptation.
Quivering in its wake.
then curl inside that spiraling nautilus,
allowing its opalescent walls
to generate my breath
and soothe my solar plexus
while grandpa pulls a long worm
from the apple and threads it on my hook
then sends it bobbing through the waters
of my mostly settled soul.
Brenda Warren 2012
A big thank you to fellow poet Marianne who provided this link to Watermark: a poet’s notebook yesterday, from which I took the title prompt. The sentence, “Madam in Eden, I’m Adam,” reads the same backwards as frontwards. It is the first palindrome I learned, and it seems to fit. My grandpa’s arrival in this piece brings me great joy. It is day 16 of NaPoWriMo. It astounds me that my river still flows.
Sparks of stardust etch stories
across gossamer bones of sky.
Glistening slits of templed tales
click like sticks unfold
tangling into serpents
threads of light
intertwining ancient ideas
casting them to writhe for us
upon the skies of now.
Several words in my poem are from this week’s wordle at The Sunday Whirl. Visit the whirl to read more poems that integrate the same words.
smoke and mirrors don’t change anything
slanted reflections always portray partial truths
cutting flesh a raven screams
and I want to go into hiding
somewhere with no windows
where my carriage spreads beneath trees
and is not preserved in
under cemetery granite
where lights fade slowly
for the sleeping dead
bury me deep
beneath a cold night sky
while friends drum the Earth
that forms my body into place
with the children build a cairn
of smooth Montana river stones
and with each balanced rock
place a memory
a little me
a little you
a little we
a little them
laugh and talk about me
like I’m not even there
spill a little whiskey for my soul
In good health, I wrote this piece and have tweaked at it for a few days to post at One Shot Wednesday. Thank you for reading at undercaws.