Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Grief Is A Blackbird

Grief is a blackbird flying from the throat.
It's ululating song of ash can be heard
up and down the staff of sky - the darkest notes.
Grief is a blackbird.

Sorrow wings in symphony devour words
and leave a fugue that settles deep in the bones.
You're all alone in the nest of the blackbird.

Miles above what's left of you, you feather float
carried by talon tug high and far from earth
so you'll see that when you fall no god takes note.
Grief is a blackbird.

My attempt at a Roundel for Marion's prompt at Real Toads.  Also linking up with Open Link Night at  dVerse.  This is still pretty rough, so I'd love some feedback.

And, now, two bonus haiku by Baby Puppy, my nine-year-old daughter:

ON A MEADOW

Ripening apples
who is the fool this fine day
the hand or the snake

BIRD NEST

Trapped among the leaves
caring for the birds I love
winter blanket folds

29 comments:

Susie Clevenger said...

This so speaks to where I am at the moment. Grief comes in such waves, unexpected and drowning. Such a moving piece!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

MZ - Your description of grief is perfectly placed. 2nd stanza was the first part of 1999 for me.

Baby Puppy's haiku were smart, clever and compassionate. Give that kid some ice cream or something. [applause]

Margaret said...

I alwasy (ALWAYS) love your work... BUT I think you have been outshone today by the wit of BabyPuppy...

the hand or the snake !! Wow. Tell her I am very (VERY) impressed.

HisFireFly said...

grief has wings, indeed

very nice

Truedessa said...

a powerful piece about grief..well presented and felt within..

Gail said...

There are no words except yours and they are perfect for grief.

ayala said...

Nicely penned, MZ.
Baby Puppy's haiku were clever and good.

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

perfect description of the despair of deep grief - the second stanza was particularly moving to me. Baby Puppy's a wonderful poet! K

Fireblossom said...

I'm not up on roundels, except that I think Tommy James was one. So, I am no help as far as critique on that, but I love your opening and penultimate lines.

Baby Puppy looks like she has some of her mom's talent! I love the first one, especially.

Heaven said...

I specially like the opening verse: Grief is a blackbird from the throat.

Very impressed with the haiku of baby puppy, specially the first one ~ the hand or the snake ~

Beth Winter said...

I enjoyed all three offerings. Grief as a blackbird is a vivid image.

Your daughter is talented with words as well.

raysharp said...

three very fine poems. i do love the blackbird, the notes on the staff of sky. and the snake or the hand!!!

Susan said...

I followed your meaning and its form in "Grief is a Blackbird" and Loved it. The nest with "you" alone was a surprise, but necessary for "what's left of you" and that "God takes no note." I enjoyed so many notes in songs and fugues and symphonies of sorrow--yet God takes on none of the grief music, not even a note! I felt the echo of aloneness--one blackbird, one broken being dropped from a talon--and life goes on.

Your Baby Puppy is quite a writer, following you, MZ, in brevity. My favorite was "On a Meadow" wherein the theological question is undermined by the fineness of the day and the ripening. Love it!

Claudia said...

smiles...like mother like daugther...so cool that she's writing...and i like the image of grief as a blackbird

Akila G said...

quite a piece on grief...dark and well, definitely black.

Loved the haikus too!! like mom, so dotty! :)

Kathie Brown said...

Looks like we have the same tings on our minds. This is so approproaite in light of Monday's tragedy. I love the personification of greif and the comparison to a blackbird. I like the lines about "its ululating song of ash.." and Sorrow leaving "a fugue deep in the bones." Nicely done and expressed well!

As for the Haikus by your daughter, they are magnificent! I love them!

Other Mary said...

I love your metaphor here. You really used the form beautifully (rather than just plugging words into it, which I feel like I did this time). And love the haikus by your daughter. How cool that she is a writer too!

Laurie Kolp said...

Grief is a blackbird... I like that, and how appropriate in the light of recent events. I also like your use of fugue.

Helen said...

Your little one has great instincts for poetry, for haiku. Good job!

So much turmoil and pain in our country .. when will it end. Your poem reminded me of a favorite song and these lyrics .. 'take these broken wings and learn to fly' .. if only.

Marian said...

holy hell, Mama Zen, you made the roundel your own, this is simply magnificent... exactly how this form can sing, sing, sing. not unlike a blackbird, i guess. :) i'm awed.

love your daughter's haiku, especially that first one. yay!

Kerry O'Connor said...

The strength of the roundel, for me, lies in the central stanza. Those 3 lines can make or break it, and yours have that stand-alone quality which creates maximum impact. The recurring line is similarly memorable.

Love the haiku! The little one has some talent to turn observation into feeling.

Hannah said...

Oh my!! Mama Zen you and I were on the same page with ours! So neat a little bit of serendipity!

You capture this so poignantly and indeed it "settles deep in the bones."

Wow.

And another, WOW!

Baby Puppy writes magically, truly...at nine these! Breathtaking! Give her a hug for me and tell her I'm so proud of her. ♥

Kay L. Davies said...

"a fugue that settles deep in the bones" describes the blackness I carried yesterday, when I couldn't write a roundel or a rondelet.
Your daughter is writing haiku — how wonderful is that? I love them both but the first one is fabulous.
K

aquadragonfruit said...

Geez, Baby Puppy~ I'm impressed! That's some amazing haiku. Far better than most adult attempts. Keep it up, girl. Always keep writing.

Mama~
This is a scary thought, and my favorite line: "so you'll see that when you fall no god takes note." This is equally haunting: "You're all alone in the nest of the blackbird." Fantastic opening: "Grief is a blackbird flying from the throat."

hedgewitch said...

Excellent, heart-breaking roundel, MZ. Every image is a small jewel in the tightening torc around our necks. The refrain here is perfect, and the final lines (about as final as you can get) echo with that hollow sound of truth. Fine writing.

W.k. kortas said...

The first line is marvelous, and the piece doesn't lose any luster from there; the formal constraints seem to be no constraint at all, and the whole things reads smooth as glass. World-class writing, in my view.

Rambly T said...

Your fist line captivating. Your 2nd Stanza - the first line again equally magnetising.
Your Baby Puppy's Haiku - adorable and one very talented young lady.

Rambly T said...

*First* - though it packs a punch of a fist.

Mary said...

Yes, that is indeed what grief is! So much grief this week.