Darkly we whisper:
this tale is older than you,
a world that will never pause
like dust to build a hill; the curves
and loops of letters create
their own rhythm.
Have they trampled over barbwire?
The lilting songs are held captive,
sitting, looking at the altar:
the tall white candles which lead the way
to distant lure and dreaming sight
darkened. Language I do not recognize,
with close fists and a glass jaw, is
tearing me apart. I want the me I used to be
before oblivion. I look for omens.
Out the window is a query:
do the flowers dance?
I lean in the doorway
for a moment. We listen to your
ravishing story about the dead woman:
waking up, she opens her eyes
feeding graciously on words’ nectar.
They liberate her bones of flesh.
She dreams of clouds, boulder strength,
and a red dress and high heels.
I got lost in the golden light,
a part of your magic.
I no longer believe
you were this town’s nemesis,
a man walking in desert.
Dulcinea is free.
This is a bonus for Yousei Hime’s We Write Poems prompt asking us to construct a holiday cento. This was inspired by seeing Misky’s and Irene’s found poetry from our WWP Red Wolf anthology. This isn’t really a holiday poem, but I grabbed whatever lines spoke to me, and the story emerged. I allowed myself to delete words occasionally, and add connecting words where needed (I mean a couple of conjunctions and a linking verb).
Lines used were from these poems (in order of appearance):
“red wolf” by Neil Reid
“Tears and Teeth” by me
“A World that Will Never Pause” by Marian Veverka
“Where I hold your name” by Uma Gowrishankar
“Composite” by JulesPaige
These Shoes” by Donald Harbour
“Captive of the Song” by Hannah Gosselin
“Phantom Sounds” by Marilyn Braendeholm
“The Road” by Roslyn Ross
“Aunt Sister, Revisited” by Barbara Young
“Who will wear those big shoes?” by Mariya Koleva
“He has his Mother’s Eyes” by Walter Wojtanik
“Mementos and Memories” by Paula Wanken
“Restoration” by Vivienne Frances Blake
“First Kiss” by Judy Roney
“Priorities” by Richard Walker
“Wild Winds” by Debi Swim
“It Only Takes a Moment” by Margo Roby
“Flowers, cake & wolfskin” by Irene Toh
“About the Dead Woman, and Waking Up” by Elizabeth Crawford
“God’s Little Garden” by Annell Livingston
“Untouched” by Alexandra Palmer
“Coverlet” by Andra-Teodora Negroiu
“Alice in the Sky” by Stacy Lynn Mar
“Freeze Frame” by Denise Janikowski-Krewal
“A Red Dress and High Heels” by Pamela Sayers
“Confessing ochre is never far away” by Gautami Tripathy
“Epistle to Janis Joplin” by Sara McNulty
“Telegraph” by Joseph Harker
“An epistle to the ghost of Nick” by Julie Mehr
“Hands” by Harshal Gupta
“Quixote” by Tawnya Smith