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  #1  
Unread 09-11-2020, 06:17 PM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
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Prayer



In all things there is a poison, and there is nothing
without a poison. It depends only upon the dose
whether a poison is poison or not.
      Paracelsus



For a few short cold days     

nothing but a mist

impossibly soft goes by.

A paintbrush of blue

trails over the boulders

under the ferns

about my soul.

My mother was poison and I knew

poison meant death.

This, it turns out, is not true.

There's a lot a little poison can do.

This colour at the edge of mist

on my little dead-end road

performs the absence of world

so silently, so fleshy pearl

making me a little bit immune

a little bit more creaturish, too.




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  #2  
Unread 09-12-2020, 12:10 PM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Hey Creature.
The title is doing good work here. Mitigating the certainty in the muster here, letting us know the speaker knows poison in higher doses as well. The key line, L10, might need the word "entirely" added. The scars might ask for that contingency, if that makes sense. I love the redemption of this. The refusal to be poisoned. Despite..
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  #3  
Unread 09-12-2020, 04:59 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Dink, I love this one all up and down, across, and every which way. One of the best uses of epigraph I've seen - and what a quote! But the poem - how can I say this - has such a powerful delicacy. It's just gorgeous. It reaches me so deeply in a personal way, I feel known for the first time. Thank you.
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  #4  
Unread 09-12-2020, 06:28 PM
Bill Dyes Bill Dyes is offline
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Cally;

A delicate but potent harm mists like a pale wash of color over this entire poem.
And a love for the strength of the soul, which is trying to announce and endure this threat grows in me as the poem proceeds.
The poison is clearly named but the prayer against it somehow remains tentative, careful.

This :

"...my little dead-end road
performs the absence of world
so silently,..."

is a mildly stated but serious reach for immunity against something 'creaturish", something terrible.
That phrase "a liitle bit" repeated twice is so obvious a weak attempt at "stiff upper lip" posturing.

I feel for and wish to protect this speaker trying to wait out "a few short cold days."

Well done, again, Cally.

Bill
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  #5  
Unread 09-12-2020, 06:54 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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I guess there's no right or wrong interpretation, but I don't see it the way Bill does at all. I took creature-ish to be something desirable, a la Yeats, "Nor dread nor hope attend a dying animal," and the poem to be an acceptance of "the absence of world" that awaits us all. I may be way off the mark, but so be it.

And I'm sure I'll be shouted down for saying this, but I'd like to see "about my soul" taken out. I don't think it's needed (you could put a blank strophe-break here) and resorting to the soul metaphor is a bit too laden with other people's poems instead of focused on your own.
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  #6  
Unread 09-13-2020, 05:06 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is online now
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Hi Cally

I think this might be my favourite from your recent burst of prolific activity. Though I love the more expansive, visionary verbal fireworks of your sea poems, the careful bruised wisdom and the delicacy of the immunity through poison metaphor really got me here. I'm with Roger in seeing positivity in the ending
It's like a quietly accepting riposte to grumpy Phil's "and add some extra, just for you" stripped entirely of cynicism and snark.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 09-13-2020 at 01:44 PM.
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  #7  
Unread 09-13-2020, 01:21 PM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is online now
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I don't see harm here, or even scar (I can only hear them as from a great gentling distance). I see "nothing but a mist" that soothes the sharp edges of all harm, and "a paintbrush of blue" that melts all scar. In nature, all things come and then go, appear and then vanish. In soul, also, all things come and then go, appear and then vanish, even the self. Poison is but one perspective on that pageant, and even when it painfully annihilates it can be viewed as bodhisattva and be offered gratitude, and a prayer.

Sometimes it is only in the absence of the world that the world becomes clear. Poison may once have meant death, but what death means keeps changing as a mist which blurs the edges of all things. It numbs one to immunity, yet its little death is still a death and remains so for all brethren creatures (even the poisoners, with whom we share so much). To "perform the absence of world" is a peaceful task for a poet, far from pain, far from blame and vengeance. As I read the poem I felt as if I myself were writing it, unfolding along with it in a fog, "over the boulders /under the ferns /about my soul".

On my own little dead-end road I whisper along with the poet.
The poem is almost silent, and to fall silent is to perform the absence of a world.
Amazing that a poem, which speaks, can achieve such a near-soundless state of vast charity.

Nemo

Last edited by R. Nemo Hill; 09-13-2020 at 01:42 PM.
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  #8  
Unread 09-13-2020, 03:33 PM
Ron Greening Ron Greening is offline
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Hi Cally,
You never write a similar poem, do you?

I went back and forth with Roger’s comment on about my soul. At the end of a meandering trail, the blue misty paint settles home on soul and the poem pulls tighter-- initially--but no one sensible would only read this once or twice and that line lingers past its first work.

Creaturish is such an interesting choice. Could one make a little Venn diagram of aspects of being a creature and being a human and look for possible locations of creaturish? I go to the ideas of creature comforts and of living focussed in the moment, with feelings but without abstract judgement.

I can’t help but connect the poison here with Mary’s cat in her Heptameter thread.

Bill said most of it for me “I feel for and wish to protect this speaker”.

I feel also awe at the way the poem floats like a thistle seed, but it carries so much weight, how it plinks the rhymes of blue just so.

Ron
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  #9  
Unread 09-13-2020, 04:49 PM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is online now
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Yes, the rhymes with blue are vividly effective.

But I do not feel as if the speaker needs any protection.
It is being exposed, fully exposed, that has brought the speaker this far.
I trust in that full exposure to unveil the mystery of poison.

Nemo
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  #10  
Unread 09-13-2020, 05:34 PM
Ron Greening Ron Greening is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Nemo Hill View Post

But I do not feel as if the speaker needs any protection.
It is being exposed, fully exposed, that has brought the speaker this far.
I trust in that full exposure to unveil the mystery of poison.
Perhaps you are correct Nemo. It is pleasant to ponder that.
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