Bertha In The High Desert

bertha in high desert

I have waited for this storm

to fracture the stillness

and allow the sky to bloom

with wild bushes of cloud

knowing soon the stark-boned girl

will run through, flashed white,

seeking the madness of a lover

or seeking to return

her own madness

to the numb mind, the deadened nerve.

 

Here, the road ends

in a cul-de-sac — no incentive

to live on the edge.

The air’s breath is dry

dragging dust

along boredom’s tongue

while the rain stays far

beyond the mountains.

 

Distance and their stone height

confine the electrifying girl

who sets fire to roof and field,

splits the tree

and becomes the jagged vein

of a wrist that can’t be shackled.

 

I have longed for this storm

to overstep boundaries

and like a careless chatelaine,

let the lightning loose, the frenzy

of Rochester’s wife

turn into the taproot

of my spine, the stowaway muse

who never arrived —

openly.

_________________________________________

Note — Bertha was the insane/hidden/mysterious wife of Charlotte Bronte’s brooding character and master of the manor, Rochester, in her novel, Jane Eyre.

 

5 comments

  1. “Here, the road ends

    in a cul-de-sac — no incentive

    to live on the edge.”

    Wendy,

    That knocks my socks off! I feel it through and through.

    and this

    “I have longed for this storm

    to overstep boundaries

    and like a careless chatelaine,

    let the lightning loose, ”

    The pent energy is palpable. It stirs the blood and quickens the pulse.
    I have known cul-de-sacs in my time,

    and I have danced with lightning flashing ’round me…Well actually
    I haven’t done that, but this poem makes me know what it would be like.

    Super stuff here…the poetry, the emotion, the impact!

    Sarah

    Like

  2. Hi, Wendy. As usual, a compelling tale with great poetic phrasing. The almost oxymoronic “never arriv[ing] – openly” is wonderful, as well as “careless chatelaine.” This one is a grabber. Quite a character you paint there!

    MSS

    Like

    • Hi Sarah

      This is an older one from several years back, written in the middle of writer’s block and watching Jane Eyre on cable. Thanks so much for your kind words and support. It means a lot!!

      Hi Mark,

      I sincerely appreciate your keen insight and comment! Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Hi Craig

      Thank you for sharing your impressions on this one! Indeed, the untamed muse can be risky but who knows
      what she might inspire.

      My Best to everyone,
      thanks again!
      Wendy

      Like

  3. Wendy – wow

    Here, the road ends

    in a cul-de-sac — no incentive

    to live on the edge.

    The air’s breath is dry

    dragging dust

    along boredom’s tongue

    while the rain stays far

    beyond the mountains.

    This is great.

    Who wouldn’t keep reading?

    – Wouldn’t want to know where this goes?

    – Wouldn’t want to pick up a pen after finding out!

    As always,

    craig

    Like

  4. I love the cul-de-sac lines
    and that lack of incentive to live on the edge.

    And these:

    “splits the tree
    and becomes the jagged vein
    of a wrist that can’t be shackled.”

    Fine writing as always.
    Much enjoyed.
    Kerri

    Like

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