Friday, September 28, 2012

A Remedy For Memory

A Remedy for Memory

Walking widdershins,
wind your vine around the
headstone of a first wife
dead in childbed.
Let the gourd increase over graveyard
grass, watered with the grey cloudwine
of starless night.

When the fruit is full, scoop out
the innards, then pierce it a mouth with
the sharpened legbone of  
an old doe who
stumbled at the last ditch.
Let this dry in October sun.

take the howl of a midnight train
three sparrow feathers, nine grains of skypollen
from a falling star, six tears from
a drunkard's melancholic fit.
Mix with the scent of last summer's promises
and a cupful of nettle's milk, well

pounded with a fist of stone in a
hollowed heart. Fill your gourd with this liquor, 
bury it at the crossroads for seven weeks, then
exhume it and drink deep
under an extinguished moon.
It may be then
you will forget him. 

Should this cordial fail you,
marry the butcher.

~September 2012

Posted for   Fireblossom Friday   at real toads

Shay looks ahead to Halloween and asks for a poem with some eye of newt. (Not listed above, but always an optional ingredient in these little cordials of mine.)

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Image: Cauldron of the Sorceress, 1879, Odilon Redon 
Public domain, via

Monday, September 24, 2012

Off the Shelf Archive~September

I've decided to take a mini-vacation from blogging this week, and while I'm absent thought it would be a good time to change out the Off the Shelf selection,  since it's been several months. I've chosen one that deals with the vagaries of love, from one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda, called If You Forget Me.

You'll find it here on the updated  Off the Shelf page.

Below is the previous selection, by Stephen Crane, On the Desert. You can comment on either poem here, as comments are disabled off the main page. See you all soon.

~*~  ~*~  ~*~

On the Desert
~by Stephen Crane

On the desert
A silence from the moon's deepest valley.
Fire rays fall athwart the robes
Of hooded men, squat and dumb.
Before them, a woman
Moves to the blowing of shrill whistles
And distant thunder of drums,
While mystic things, sinuous, dull with terrible colour,
Sleepily fondle her body
Or move at her will, swishing stealthily over the sand.
The snakes whisper softly;
The whispering, whispering snakes,
Dreaming and swaying and staring,
But always whispering, softly whispering.
The wind streams from the lone reaches
Of Arabia, solemn with night,
And the wild fire makes shimmer of blood
Over the robes of the hooded men
Squat and dumb.
Bands of moving bronze, emerald, yellow,
Circle the throat and the arms of her,
And over the sands serpents move warily
Slow, menacing and submissive,
Swinging to the whistles and drums,
The whispering, whispering snakes,
Dreaming and swaying and staring,
But always whispering, softly whispering.
The dignity of the accursed;
The glory of slavery, despair, death,
Is in the dance of the whispering snakes.

Image: Sensuality, by Franz Stuck, oil on canvas, 1891
Public domain, via

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sevenling: At The Intellect's Wake

 Sevenling: At The Intellect's Wake

At the Intellect's wake--what will you have, scotch mist
watered wine or hot spleen juice for tea? We serve it in numb;
no china pots, crystal cups in an ape's auditorium.

Are there teeth anywhere? Please open wide--
they'll be gently extracted; the buffet is cold mush
lukewarm spoonfuls of treacle, with thin cabbage soup.

Where are the mourners? Out in the rain in a graveyard of swallows.

~September 2012

Posted for    real toads
Sunday Mini-Challenge: The Sevenling
This form was first used by Russian Poet Anna Akhmatova. See the link for details.

Photo copryright and courtesy of Margaret Bednar. Used with permission. Thank you , Margaret.