poetry

Going Home

This poem is a product of an assignment for a class.  I took the Miranda rights and replaced each noun with the seventh or ninth word below it in the dictionary.  The jumbled result read to me like what an individual experiencing psychosis may hear when recited.  This was my inspiration for the poem.

Going Home

It’s hot, my sweaty skin sticking
sweat pooling between folds.
The sun keeps talking
so I keep listening,
direct radio uninterrupted,
commercial free.
Be free.
I strip to my skivvies in
the city park and dance where
the ground spits upon
my dirt caked body.

Lights flash and I wonder
if I am going home.
Home is where they light
my brain with matchbooks and
encapsulate me
in numbers.
Numbers spin like dots
on dice,
and I wonder if I am
going home.

Lights flash and the men come.
I am going home.
I hear
You have the right hand to remain silicate
     when questioned
and all I can think about
are apples dancing in swimming
holes and bananas fighting
the corsets holding back
the fruits of their
wisdom.

Lights flash and I approach
the light,
my hands constricted by
the steel jaws of the
shark I met last week.
I hear
If you cannot afford an attribute, oneness
     will be appointed to you before
     any quibble, if you wish
and all I can think about
is whether Mary will know I am
gone.

Lights flash and I am on
the subway express to home.
I hear
Knowing and understanding your right hand as I have
     explained themself to you, are you willing
     to answer my queue-jumping without an
     attribute present?
My lips are sealed.
I am going home.

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Night Dances

Lovers dance in shame
all night.
Forbidden actions
become permissible
and envelop consciousness,
color the grey
shrouding wallflowers
unprivileged to
dance.

With exclusivity
the lovers waltz and tango,
stomping, hopping feet
reducing pebble to sand
in manic repetition,
heightened consciousness
unearthing the gems,
beach glass
scattered amongst the
mundane.

Come morning
illusions of grandeur
disappear,
grass trodden by
impractical, unconventional
heels sings its story,
town hall commanding
retribution, penitence
for mud tracks left
in the wake.

© Alexandra Shall 2015

I Am a Weeping Willow

This evening, I was perusing through a notebook of old poems I had written and came across one I had written in tenth grade.  The assignment was to compose a poem in the fashion of Paul Simon’s “I Am a Rock.”  Finding this poem created simultaneously within me feelings of happiness and sadness.  I have come so far, yet feel as though I still reside in such a place of darkness.  Perhaps this poem will have me searching ardently for light.

I Am a Weeping Willow

As sure as the setting of the sun,

My spirits, too, will plummet below the horizon,

Entering a world of perpetual winter, moroseness, and shame,

My soul utterly alone.

I am a weeping willow, I am a cave.

As sure as the rising of the sun,

My spirits will rise above the earth,

Mankind, the heavens, into a world devoid of winter and filled with elation and joy,

But equally occupied with pain, sorrow, and longing.

I am a weeping willow, I am a cave.

When will the sun stop setting and rising,

Tumbling me down from monstrous highs to unfathomable lows.

In my garden, only unwanted weeds of fatigue and apathy grow.

If only someone would tend to my garden before I am drowned in my own weeds.

I am a weeping willow, I am a cave.

And a weeping willow always bows her head to weep,

And a cave is never enlightened by the sun.

© 2014 Alexandra Shall

 

Cloying Inevitability

Baked sweets, but

Sticky in nature

Cloyingly sweet

The bad kind

Mouth in twists and tangles

Intertwined strings

Dancing for freedom

Cruelty stealthily hiding

In muddied winter snow

 

Oh renewer of life

You sneaky little fellow

Creeping in with

A tease, offering a

Foreboding glance projected

On the increasingly

Rising waters where

Dormant hopes percolate

Catapult to the

Surface with tendrils

Eager to dance

Lightning bugs praying

Ardent requests for

Release from dormancy

And yes, their prayers

Shall be answered

With the swiftness

In which cream churns

To butter

 

The tease offered by

Spring brought forth the

Promised land

Surely no disappointment

Nor discontent

Honey flows forth in

Amounts previously unfathomable

What a wondrous

Sacred occurrence

A blessing and double-edged sword

Be careful

Even the docile dogs bite

Laughter, unregulated

Gushing forth with the speed

Of blood from a gaping wound

Which you shall heal,

You promised?

 

Surprise, young child, as

You will find the decomposition of

Peaches and souls

As the tides shift and

The weather vanes

Begin to rotate

Darkness circumambulates

Slowly diminishing souls

Provider of demise and protection

May you be the decider

Time

Ever-swiftly and ever-so-slowly

Reaches out with cloyingly

Sweet hands, gently

Drawing existence back to the

Stickiness of poorly baked sweets

Hopes for an offering

Just a tease,

A glimpse of what

Light can bring.

 

© 2014 Alexandra Shall

Hope in the Form of Light

The sun rises, in a foreboding nature, its early glancing rays the instillers of trepidation

Trepidation channeled in the quick exchanges, the goodbyes, the prayers

Offered quietly before waltzing with the asphalt in the bleak but simultaneously effulgent display

The car is hungry, growling for a morning meal

We stop at the pump, satiate its hunger and move on our way

My sister sips from a plastic bottle while I desperately attempt to dampen my dehydrated mouth

No food, no water. The river runs dry and fruitless

The sun continues to rise as I continue to plummet in anticipation

I arrive at the hospital, uncover myself from the comfort of my quilt

Grasp the stuffed dog I have named Puppy, who has accompanied me thirty-seven times

And I trudge my way through the sliding doors, check in with my ID and card

Proceed to the Surgical Prep Area

Puppy and I are soon whisked to the inner layer, the mysterious fortress where many enter and

Not all have the privilege to leave

Bay nineteen, oh my favorite number, I revel silently as I quickly don a hospital gown and paper booties

Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless – nearly every day

Having thoughts of hurting yourself or of suicide – nearly every day

So goes the depression screening

Pinch as a needle creeps into my vein, a flash of blood, success

Is my memory going? Well there is a determining exam

Today’s result? Negative, the woods are clear for now

Sticker time, EKG, EEG, so many machines, so many stickers

A burst of electricity passes through the conductor paste they have so carefully placed

On each side of my head

One, two, three seconds… Nearly a minute passes of hopeful seizing

Wondering if anything will ever work, if anything will ever bring peace.

 

This piece is in response to the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Flash Fiction.  The challenge was to write a brief story – 300 words or less.  I chose to present mine in a semi-poetical nature.  Hopefully I was successful.

 

A Convergence of Paths

Quite funny, isn’t it

The way paths can run parallel

Different times, yet ever concurrent

Never to converge

Yet to cross often

In twists and tangles

Resembling interlocking stitches

Intricate patterns

A patchwork quilt

Whether it be falls or cuts

The leaking of a shared madness

Of unbridled brilliance

Beauty rests in the

Crossing, yet separation

Of these two souls

One has succumbed to darkness

While the other yearns

Earnestly to dance therein

Envious of such bravery

Obsessed, perhaps

Yet this bravery metamorphoses

Into an impetus for the

Second soul to live

A gift, carefully wrapped

Contemplate not

Accept this gift

The first soul implores the second

Toss not away this world

Worship the inherent light

Such a mystery, is this crossing

A rare offering, a blessing in disguise.

 

© 2014 Alexandra Shall

Deep Desires

We, as humans, have an unbridled potentiality for depth

Open our bodies, splay our interiors

Butcher us, make us naked and exposed

Prepare us to meet our end

 

Tread in shallow water

Or venture, delve into the deep

For it is within the cool, shadowy depth

That our souls rest, unmistakable, ever so hidden

Our faults and indiscretions, our failures

Made known to the discerning eye

 

Or examine the ailing tree

The marks of trials and tests

Visible only if you glance closely at the weathered bark

Open our souls, and you will see the madness

That affects those privileged to dance in this life

Count ring by ring, knot by knot, recorded with careful consideration

And yes, the madness shall be visible

Glorious as it is soul shattering

A beauty incomparable and incomprehensible

 

You will wish ardently to be overtaken, engulfed

By this insidious, all-embracing force

There are those who suffer and those who long to suffer

To be bestowed the gifts and blessings awarded only to the mad

The sane are the sick, the ailing and the afflicted

For they will never know the darkness of this world

Have the talents and abilities that far surpass

The capabilities of those who waltz in ignorance

Who live boring, uneventful lives, free of misery

 

Those who swim in the depths, who are brave enough

To chop down the sacred tree

Existing eternally in the forbidden garden

Cursed, damaged and marred they may be

Who are able to taste, salted caramels on their tongues

Madness and the tryst, the romance it has with morbidity

 

They will pray, sacrificing youth and mortality

And the fresh, healthy blood coursing through untouched vessels

To succumb to madness

Map pristine bodies with scars and blemishes

Accumulate marks indicative of the wedding and marriage

Of the soul to the darkness of this existence

A life destined to be forever tainted

Stained by spilled desires and stifled breath

 

Such a desirable state is this madness

Gifted are those who tread in its depths

Unfortunate and pitiful are those confined to the shallows

Destined to be deprived of the ripe fruits of this world.

 

© 2014 Alexandra Shall