Tinder

tinder

The moon slips through my window;

her scalp shimmering with age

as she tells me what to gather:

 

splinters from the gate

leading into a garden

of dark pines and withered flowers,

 

feathers from the lark

who once sang there & alarmed

restful lovers.

 

flint from chipped stones

tumbling down a wall

a man has breached to hunt the forest

 

and grass from the field

where a fox awakens ( not herself)

but curled within the hip — 

length hair of a woman.

 

What shade I ask

and look toward my red

cedar chest — inhaling the heirloom

scent of its wood.

 

The crone nods, hooded

by the corner’s darkness,

and then mentions how to prepare

the bedding.  Carefully, she says,

 

collect the scraps

and place them in a bag

cut from raw cotton,

 

tuck it under the mattress

and let sleep kindle a dream.

 

One sequence flaring

into another.  

 

The next day, she promises,

I will rise with a story. In love

with its plot and characters.

 

My throat dry

from whispering their names

and deeds.

 

5 comments

  1. Wendy,

    I love the atmosphere of this. It is so deftly built and it gets into the reader.

    Every image creates a reaction. Breath caught and eyes peeled, I absorbed
    the majick. “let sleep kindle a dream.” Poetry in full bloom! I love it. I love
    all of it, especially “a fox (not herself) curled within her hip”.

    You make magic with your pen!

    Sarah

    Like

  2. Hi Ely

    So nice of you to drop by and read my poem! I deeply appreciate it and glad you enjoyed the “story” essence of it.

    Hi Sarah

    Lately, I have been reading some essays on how stories shape us, how they are harvested, and what sparks the imagination, everything from myth to personal experience. I personally thought of the theme being gathered like tinder and then set on flame by the spark of one’s imagination. And the tinder is taken from different scenes or places we have physically visited or we encounter in our memories/thoughts/ideas. A stone, a feather, a blade of grass, a splinter of wood all taken from some species or aspect of place that encountered some element of weather or human interaction holds a story or part of one within its texture. When those things are gathered and pieced together , depending on how the gatherer or individual views the pattern, a new story or poem begins. With me, the simplest detail, at random, can strike and idea for a poem. It can be the way a leaf catches the sunlight or water ripples over a lake fabled with some legend or famous name. I just never know what will happen but when these things have been tucked into the crevices of my memory, sleep often brings out the fullness of their influence. This poem is meant to convey this process but I have chosen to present it in a magical way. In my mind, the idea of creating art is magical and certain influences, besides those of human associations/interactions, act as an aid or catalyst to help us arrive there. Namely, the moon, shadows, the sun, storms, plants, wind and so many other forces that surround us on a daily basis. They become guardians of possibility and are waiting for us to listen, observe and react. In this case, it is the moon seen as the wise and mysterious crone who gives instructions on how to gather and kindle the elements of a story. what kind is left up to the imagination of the reader. Again, Sarah, thank you so , so much for always taking the time to read and contemplate my poetry. It really does help to stay confident in my ability to write and also to stay inspired.

    My best to you both,
    take care
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Maryse

    So glad you enjoyed this one. I appreciate so very much; and it’s good to hear that element of mystery and ritual is discernible within the text and voice of this poem. I was aiming tor that in the writing!

    Again, thank you,
    my best
    Wendy

    Like

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