I take back what you have stolen and in your languages I announce I am now nameless.
My true name is a growl.
Margaret Atwood

3 June 2018

mourning star wishes

Clock of the Académie Française, Paris
Andre Kertesz (1932)


mourning star wishes 

once, you whispered upon a star, in the dark recesses, after absolution
granted by the priest, pennitent
kneeling in recitation 10 Hail Marys and 20 Our Fathers
but you couldn't know his eyes, rolling back, all the while
whites flashing in the rapturous seizing of a moment
his hands fumbling beneath black robes -
what of Love
sworn and revealed in a raven's feathers, worn close to the breast
fair but fouled winged tempest whose mastery is a mistress
you can't name or taste, other than -
the host in the Marlborough man's jeans
- the doppelgänger livid before, in another's skin

is it miraculous then, his showing
in the smokey night years after the wars
when the flail and mace are nothing more than morning star memories
on your skin
in his arrondissement
- you recognized him for your hands, reaching
as he smiled for the silence in crucifixation of betrayal
a heart broken into three
just because there were no more crusts left
in his paper bag, the pigeons mourning in small flocks
at a beggar's baguette

you bow your head in prayer as others ant their way along
plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
all these wars, equal to the future, bleak for routine -
you look to the marl of his sky
forecast the future, a scowling nipple-pierced raven haloed girl
dressed in black rags and recall
the languages of rebellion
as the distances scent almond croissant fragrances
across le boulevard where all impasses will end
- the hour is late for early
as dawn crosses the sky in a blush
the priest incants Latin, hands fumbling
whispering a seizure in the moment
tomorrow you will drop bread from a basket as if you could be
a dove


*
for Real Toads, where the lovely Kerry hosts: Camera Flash! (for June) 

*
plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Arrondir les angles

Sens : Tenter de tempérer une opposition violente entre deux personnes.

Origine : Arrondir les angles est une opposition métaphorique de l'angle et de la rondeur. L'aspect pointu de l'angle représente une dispute, un désaccord entre des personnes. A l'inverse, la rondeur symbolise la douceur et la diplomatie. Celui qui tente d' "arrondir les angles" est donc celui qui tente d'amener un peu de calme dans une discussion houleuse.


15 comments:

  1. Whoa, that ending is arresting. I most love the piegons mourning in small flocks at a beggar's banquette. Cool.

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  2. Oh the things we don't know. Don't know until they choose to "come out". But clever writes like you give us food to chew on. A nice fun read, Pat.
    ..

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  3. I like the way you played with 'wish upon a star' and evoked incense and dusty, chilly churches in the opening lines, Pat, with a shady priest.

    I love the language and imagery in the lines:
    'when the flail and mace are nothing more than morning star memories
    on your skin';
    'as he smiled for the silence in crucifixation of betrayal
    a heart broken into three';
    and
    'just because there were no more crusts left
    in his paper bag, the pigeons mourning in small flocks
    at a beggar's baguette'.

    And
    'as the distances scent almond croissant fragrances
    across le boulevard where all impasses will end
    - the hour is late for early
    as dawn crosses the sky in a blush'
    gorgeous!

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    1. thank you so much Kim! I'm really pleased (more than less) about how this piece turned out.

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  4. Something intersecting here, as Christ and Lucifer are both identified as the morning star, as the spiritual and physical are crossed, as past and future crossed. The diabolical history here is oblique, redacted somewhat in the naming ("fair but fouled winged tempest whose mastery is a mistress"). Maybe old sins and crimes carry the present like a cross, and redemption -- such as possible in a mightily fallen world -- is simply the mercy of forgiveness, and feeding the birds. Sorry if I shot wide of the intended bow.

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    1. Never apologize for your interpretations - readings and understandings. It's not necessary at all.
      As for your "on target" - absolutely! I was intrigued by the dueling nature, the duality of the "morning star" - as you've mentioned right off. And the image? The first thing I "see" is the damn heaviness of what must be the machinery of the clock tower hands - they look so much like a "morning star" - the weapon, often confused for a flail. So from there, the ideas started and just went off on this journey.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts - I really appreciate it Brendan.

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  5. You absolutely rocked the prompt! Such a fiery response!

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  6. I am so enamored of this poem, the setting of time and place so carefully described and those fumbling hands of the priest, the hands delivering bread to the pigeons, the hands of time, history, seemingly repeating as one is left to contemplate the commonplace, common places and, always, the human condition. Thank you for such a thought-provoking response to the image.

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    1. PS. I meant to say how much I love the Atwood quote under your tiger.

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    2. thanks for the always intriguing images for the Camera Flash Kerry.
      Tons of ideas to consider here and this just is where my mind went and wandered. (I do love story-telling, especially when it crops up in the most unexpected of ways.)

      As for the Atwood quote: I really love it. (it's from one of her poems, which I can't find in all my files at the moment - seems suited to the Tiger and me.)

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  7. This is so rich, so woven with potent images that it glows with them, like a medieval book of hours, or one of those surviving tapestries of malformed warriors aboard improbable steeds. The mystery of the flesh and the church and its holy warriors, forbidden from the blade because forbidden to draw blood, somehow by choosing a mace or morning star(lovely play on words there;also 'begger's baquette...') able to bludgeon and crush instead through the eternal sophistries of our fatal attraction to killing each other in the name of God or imaginary map-lines...you make this relationship between logic and heart, religion and the mundane, passion and practice, very personal and immediate. My favorite passage is :"...and recall
    the languages of rebellion
    as the distances scent almond croissant fragrances
    across le boulevard where all impasses will end
    - the hour is late for early.."
    and so it is. Fine writing that totally captures the then, and the now.

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    1. Thank you so much Joy. I really was swept up in the very ideas you've mentioned. The crusades. In the name of what and whom? And how. And the means - do they ever justify the ends? Even as we believe we understand the needs, which often is as much of a "grey area" as anything else. I'm glad that somehow, this all was able, well, at least slices of it, to come through in the words.

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  8. Wow, a wonderful write, layer upon layer, simple just the best!!

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  9. I love how you used the religious symbols in this walk into confusion of someone trying everything to be good... I find the seeking so similar as being lost in the maze of unfamiliar streets.

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thanks for sharing your thoughts, I greatly appreciate it.