Archive for July, 2010

ODOP: Questing Time

A very rough draft, but I think it shows promise. Constructive criticism very much appreciated on this one, it’s going to go through a lot of rewrites.

Dolphine, in the act of naming,
received her curse: waking and sleeping,
she’d hear the rush of
the Daffer’s blood in her head

a moody child, and an awkward teen
a strange and foreign weight in her lungs
not even in her sleep free of it
slowed as she was with echoes of hatred

the sage came, came one of those few
days she could work for her keep in the fields
and she left her scythe and ran to him
and pled for the power to clean her head

“Not even — much less — the Daffer’s death
a cure; unless it be by your own hand.
if another takes him first, unlikely thing,
his part in you does conquer you. Take my sword.”

the indignation! the almost-tears!
the words which she scorned them with
and stomped her feet, and swept
from them, and vowed her own pacific quest

travailed caves and dunes and magic things
sacred cups, and wicked waters
she hiked barefoot and supplicant
until in the mountainside she found

spiky ancient letters
confirming her hopes
of a mystic and fleshless solution
that insipid modernity had forgot

that the common folk had forgot
and cast away in tale
that her wise teachers had hid from her
for their own mislead whys

going further, going deeper,
she found the headdress of the sage
and placed it over her own
twin ears, and waited only to find

the pulse of Daffer’s magnified
till hers synced with it, with him —
the lord of darkling hatreds
loathed throughout the countryside

feared through the green country!
raged against even by the sickly,
tattered, twisted remains
of his own soul

love your neighbor as yourself
now, battled in warm soul-spittle,
only dead, dressed in cypress,
beatless and breathless, could she love herself

She sharpened her knife and
went to the sage and
placed a dry kiss on his feet.
He hit her with it, had her sharpen it right.

He taught her how to angle one’s hit,
to roll and dive, and bite one’s lip,
to parry lies with liars (and, worse,
with truthful souls), and how with a string

and a hook to unlock hidden things,
to bite one’s other lip, and kill
to fight by the stars, and track by night…
and sent her forth like a rat to the wheel

and oh it was exciting but foregone
how she brought down his guards with sickness,
put a merely crooked man in his place
after she stabbed him nine times in the chest

and she is gracious now and graceful
and if her mind is like a dry wind
and her heart’s unwarmable
at least her blood is quiet now, and she does sleep

this ends the tale of Dolphine
who, ten years before the death
of the prince, rejected the violence of our sages
but found it again

Oh, yeah, and the names suck; I welcome those suggestions most of all. Copyright 2010 Jobey George.

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ODOP: we on wheels

Days—those grinding cycles
Of wake and work and rest and sleep—
Are the wheels on which we ride
To heaven or to hell

Copyright 2010 Jobey George.

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ODOP: Joanna Tutored

We’re all born innocuous,
Breadloves, kicking and fleshy.
It’s amazing what can happen
When fourscore other people die.

A princess’s entire education—
The Latin, the music, the geography—
Is based on what might happen
Should fourscore others die.

Joanna learns the precision
Of dancing and the quickness of French.
One must be a good queen,
If fourscore others fail.

Copyright 2010 Jobey George. Nothing here is historically accurate. Nothing.

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ODOP: During Some Street Riot of Great Political Significance

swift-swallowing bird
freed from the petshop
you’ll never build a nest

kitten-litter!
three-fourths due for
death by trampling, death by cold —
the survivors will be mean and sleekly arrogant

dog unbound
go run to the park and grow shaggy

gerbils, fuzzy gerbils
scurry en masse like a wave down the street
in city pockets
they will breed empires

but the fish struggle
in their puddles
until they’re still, and make them stink

Copyright 2010 Jobey George. This poem was inspired by the latest poem on Four and Twenty, Tim Galati’s Diner Mouse.

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ODOP: Gn 18:20-32

Abraham approached
The fearsome, dreadful Lord of Might,
Whose lofty hair drew all fauna to dance and quiver round it,
Whose stern glare was such that flora bowed and bloomed before it—
With the courage of all men
And heroes
Past and yet before him,
Abraham approached
The awful Lord of Might.

Abraham stammered
Before the thinly-veiled godhead
Small and silly before the force that pulsates in the plants,
Weedy and wispy in the presence that burns in the heart of the stars
Strangled by the strange
And numinous
And rippling air of El,
Abraham trembled
And pestered God.

The Almighty turned
Turned a flashing heavenly eye,
Turned an eye too loving to bear upon the unsuspecting world,
A world that longed for love found it fierce, and scalding, and—kind.
In his mighty dread
And majesty
An incredulous and delighted Abraham
Spoke unto
The surprise of a Lord of Right.

Copyright 2010 Jobey George.

Inspired by C.S.L. (yeah, who else?): “And if in revelation, then it is most really and truly in Abraham that all people shall be blessed, for it was the Jews who fully and unambiguously identified the awful Presence haunting black mountain-tops and thunderclouds with ‘the righteous Lord’ who ‘loveth righteousness’.” So did he say it better in one sentence than I did in three stanzas? Yes, of course he did.

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ODOP: What to Do with Emotions

I was inspired to renovate and refurbish this old poem after reading nochipa’s Emotional Trash Burning.” Go check it out; that blog is full of all sorts of goodies.

I’m a cautious person, but I read a lot, and intuited
The Modern Heroess is always moving, wild-wayed, uninhibited,
So when some loves chanced my way
I let them all loose one and the same day.
Out on the lawn I spurred them on –-
Horses forced to gallop in the heat,
Firecrackers set off the crack of the rainy Fourth!
They laid over on their side and fizzled;
They were gone.

And so again, when the replacement came,
I went back with the instincts as old as my name:
I bottled my love
(After a long process of refinery that took
Many a purple-stained finger).
I brought it down, victorious, to
Cellar, and stored it aside the ‘High Spirits’ of Grandpa,
Dead long ago. Left it a hundred years or so.
Came again after having long forgot it,
And found (should have known) that neglect had rot it.

I hadn’t much time left to learn
(And lucky I was in a poem
Living longer, deeper than we do in prose).
While waiting on my love’s sick ripening
I had read what the stuffy old sages’d had to say,
And upon a third heaven-sent chance
I treated my loves as tendered plants.
Occasionally a pretty whim I left to limb,
But mostly it was pruning. With each shear they grew bigger.
I had more than enough but not too much, and not one was tame, but each firm and true.
Don’t think I could no longer call my life mine;
While gardening I had plenty of time
To take my hatreds to the stables, fire off all my resentments,
And store all my miseries in cellared bottles.

Copyright 2010 Jobey George.

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ODOP: untitled

as a girl, growing gawky, tall
i dared to roam outside town wall

soon enough the pirates came
they cut my hair, my tongue, my name

but sweaty, bruised, I was me
and on their ship i see the sea

they sold me in northern land
(land of brutes with brutish hands)

in some trade i, lightweight, free,
smuggled in the sea with me

years go by, i can’t recall
birth name, parents, childhood doll

but never forget the shining and strange!
how could the sea not change, yet change?

i was passed from house to house
a slow, they said, but faithful mouse

countless children on my knee
grew up and said they’d visit me

and every cat with a tail-twitch —
i was called a harmless witch

sold the last time, too far
forever sundered from the mar

my last house, furthest north,
beat me to draw the devil forth

they gave up, we grew old
i served them my bones’ weight in gold

keeping drooly rex well fed
picking lice from Master’s head

i died happy as any wight
on a clear and temperate night

Copyright 2010 Jobey George

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