(untitled) – Cracked Sky

I watch the sky crack.

The horizon is painted glass,

and it cracks.

I press against the glass.

It is cold,

frigid and biting.

It is so cold.

I strain to see through,

but all my excitement allows is a furtive glance,

a peek at another world,

a world of mystery and shadow.

Through the crack I see my dreams,

those who painted the dome surrounding this world,

the dome that serves as a border between the two.

I flatten myself against the glass

and struggle to slip through the hole,

through time and into another world.

The icy presence of the painted wall

reminds me to watch the sharp edges.

I must not be cut.

It is perhaps because of this caution,

misplaced though it is,

that I fail to see the long,

sharp blade

as it slides into my belly,

and up through my ribs

until the point rests just within my heart.

At first,

the mists of shock numb the pain.

“What has just happened?”

The words form in my mind

as my warm lifeblood spills over my body.

The feeling is elation.

I no longer feel the bite of the cold touch

of glass.

Yet with time,

the seriousness of my wound becomes evident.

The pain drops me to my knees,

I fall,

kneeling in both worlds,

a part of each,

and neither.

I fall within arms’ reach of my dreams.

The world of mystery calls to me,

its trees singing of serenity

and peace.

The moon cries in my pain.

“come to us,”

sing the sweet voices of a thousand birds,

“come and fly with us.

we will show you wonders,

enchantments.

This is your world.”

Yet the loss of blood is too much.

All I can do is retch.

Even breathing is deathly painful.

I look at my chest,

and see the blade is still there.

From out of my belly

comes the last inch of a cruel blade.

I follow it to the hilt,

and behold the pained that pained me so grievously.

The hand is beauty,

exquisitely soft

and warm.

I long to hold it,

to feel it on my face.

It could end the pain.

Please let it end the pain.

But the hand trembles,

violent sobs jarring the blade in my chest,

and my tears dry in the force of the pain.

For days,

it seems,

I rest here.

A wound that cannot heal,

complicated by the blade within,

barbed and poisoned.

It writhes within me,

and I cannot heal.

And yet the pain is a comfort,

an irony I do not comprehend.

Perhaps it is madness,

from the strain.

Eden at my fingertips,

and my blood on the ground.

My emotion overwhelms

and I remember that I live.

The pain reminds me of life.

Then,

like the Cyclops

(for he was granted the knowledge of future,

albeit the knowledge of his own death,

in exchange for his eye,

a cruel trick of the fates),

like the Cyclops I see my own future,

my reward for the pain.

Yet this too is the sight of my death,

a sight I do not wish to see,

but my eyes can not close to the vision.

I am one with that image.

I see the knife withdraw,

only in the vision,

I remember,

even as my fingers probe the wound),

I see the blade slide out,

pulled by the same hand that had there thrust it.

It is rent from my chest,

one swift motion.

Yet the blade was barbed

and so with it comes my heart,

beating,

struggling,

“Please let it live,”

OI cry in my mind.

This pain is unbearable,

Yet I cannot escape consciousness.

This pain is too great.

The wound reopens.

I bleed a painful bleed,

each drop striking nerves.

My God,

can I stand this pain?

And then the blade is gone,

the trembling hand of beauty,

the cruel twisted blade,

all gone from my sight.

My heart lay at my knees.

I collapse beside it.

I collapse into the world of dreams.

Yet that was a vision.

I snap to the present,

to the trembling blade,

to the pain,

and I am somehow gladdened.

Here I watch that world of shadow,

watch it grow

even as it drinks from the fount

of my blood.

And from it grows flowers,

singing in the sunlight,

calling to bees,

“come and taste,

come and take our gifts.”

Here I see the sky,

I see angelic forms dancing,

master of the air,

they giggle as the soar.

And I watch the hand,

I wish to caress it,

to love it,

to follow it back to the body,

to find the face of beauty

I know rests just out of sight,

watching me with distant eyes,

eyes that see only magic,

crying, laughing eyes,

eyes that can trap.

I long to hear that voice,

the melody of that voice

and the dancing waves of accent,

its laughter and song.,

I dream of those ears,

of their understanding,

of the desire to hear my prattling.

And so,

the pain is a comfort.

The pain has become my desire,

an excuse to rest in both worlds,

a bridge between the two.

I have fallen for this hand

and I hope to keep it near,

both for my passionate longing,

and for the fear of its withdrawal.

I fear the pain IO know will come,

yet even for that,

I wish to stay

and slowly work free this blade,

perhaps I will heal?

I see the magic of that world,

and I speak of it to the hand

(for I know the ears are listening),

and I speak of my world,

of the stars that rise so that I might tell a tale,

as a connect the dots drawing,

they lay as pieces of the epic.

“See, there is Anaeolbeth,

the star of the lovers.

See as she rises,

she will catch her love Corant

just as the first rays of the sun strike the heavens.

They will fade together,

only to run again tomorrow.”

I speak of the mountains,

distant and grand,

towering over the world.

They watch everything and hold council,

slow and ancient,

council for centuries.

The mountains are full,

the bestow their love on me,

jewels and ore.

These mountains whisper my name,

low and rumbling.

They laugh in the storms.

I speak to my companion,

I hope against hope for the unthinkable.

I hope against hope to hold this hand,

and to walk in that world,

to see those wonders,

and feel the winds,

to become a part of those legends told in the stars.

I plead with the hand,

and I hear a reply/

I rise from my knees,

oblivious to pain.

I rise form my knees at that voice,

and smile at the heavens.

Yet the words are not what I imagined,

and their meaning sinks slowly into my mind.

I listen and hear,

not understanding.

Again,

I fall to my knees.

My head swims in the pain.

The words drain my strength,

and annihilate hope.

The answer echoes in my mind,

the answer to my plea.

“come with me,”

I begged.

The answer breaks my mind.

“I cannot.

Please understand.

I cannot.”

November 12, 1997

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8 responses to “(untitled) – Cracked Sky

  • Holistic Wayfarer

    I watch the sky crack.

    The horizon painted glass, (notice the change? Only a suggestion)

    and it cracks.

    I press against the glass.

    It is cold,

    frigid and biting.

    Is there a reason you have frigid on top of the cold? “It is…biting” doesn’t quite convince — at least to my ears. What do you think of “bites”? Of course you’d have to tweak the rest.

    I must not be cut and I fall within arms’ reach of my dreams–> I like them.

    Do you see this poem any differently now, from the other side of time? Does it still speak for you? As accurately?

    • dtdeedge

      This one is VERY raw. Many of the adjectives come across as redundant and repetitive to me now. I think I was stalling for time as I wrote. I made only minor changes as I typed this for uploading. There is a heavy immaturity in many of the structures and expressions here.

      I don’t understand how dropping the ‘is’ to make ‘The horizon painted glass’ adds in the way that it seems to in rereading. That is powerful omission that I can’t quite intellectualize. Odd. I do like it.

      As far as rereading now, it is complicated. Technically, the piece is begging for refinement. As I mentioned, much of the language is temporal. I wrote while I was feeling and developing, and I did not know how the poem would end — only a dim vision. Some of the language is anti-temporal — that is, I included the words as temporary placeholders until I could refine. In those cases, general thoughts were flowing at a pace far beyond specific word crafting language. In order to capture the big picture, I let fall some of the details.

      Particularly troubling to me in this piece is the clumsy personification of the hand. I wanted to attach the hand to an entity — to make it completely personified at times, and a part of the whole at others. This is a severe technical limitation in my style currently. For example, before I really know a character in a fiction piece, I try to refer to them with descriptors. That quickly becomes tedious and I grow to dislike referencing the character. Partly it is because I don’t know that person, and partly because my stories are all so brief that the reader doesn’t know them either. With this piece, I am trying to purposefully obscure the character. Emotionally and personally, I don’t want to associate the pain with the person, so I need to disassociate the hand from the heart (and ears and whole). Intellectually, and truthfully, I know that the two are one.

      Emotionally, reading this again brought each and every detail of the pain back in a rush. I remember exactly what I was thinking and why. Emotionally, I remember this in exquisite detail, especially in this reading. Sadly, I do think the piece was accurate in its prediction. I lost much in this fall, and those morsels of innocence and vision cannot be recaptured. In a sense, that saddens me immensely. I am content with who I am and what I have gained since writing this piece. The pain that walks hand in hand with a soul down the path to wisdom is unfortunate. I regret the pain in and of itself, but I cherish the wisdom.

  • Holistic Wayfarer

    “There is a heavy immaturity”

    For someone who was proud of himself, you sure have gotten tough. 😛

    Did you not feel it was immature when you posted this? You hadn’t looked it over with the fresh eye that saw “everything was different”?
    ===========
    It’s no mystery. What I suggested gives you something like poetic prose:

    I watch the sky crack, the horizon painted glass.

    That baneful “is” flattens writing. It’s an equal sign. It’s a book falling with a thud. Nowhere left to go. Doesn’t leave you much room for the words that follow to RISE. It was a minor change but every word matters to the writer, of course. Especially at the start. You want a strong beginning.
    ===========
    “Partly it is because I don’t know that person, and partly because my stories are all so brief that the reader doesn’t know them either.”

    This falls under what I meant in the post Keep It Real. That we figure out where North is before sharing the journey with another. If you knew him, you’d work to bring him to light in the short space of time your readers have with him.
    ===============
    Your third paragraph is a post I started working on. After running through a lot of my thoughts on the board, not unlike the way you did, a blogger asked me a most provocative question last night. As wiped out as I was, I couldn’t stop the helpless writing in the brain, in response to him. The fetal post was growing. I don’t want to say too much at this point, but I’ll be explicitly inviting dialogue on that one…

    on Art.

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