Sunday, May 18, 2014

Two Faces

I saw the two faces of death last night -
the slow, sodden creep, the sudden splinter
of light to darkness and darkness to light.

Both left me brittle, breathless, and bitter.
The first dammed the highway's river of lights
to slow sodden creep, then sudden splinter. -

metal twisting, twisting, taking a life
from pulse to shredding scream to silence.
Reds /blue in the highway's river of lights.

The second face lacked such bold, sure violence.
It lava leaks from her crumbling mountain.
From pulse to strangled scream to this silent

soft gather of carry-on crows in black
verses; waiting and waiting and waiting -
lava leaks slow from her crumbling mountain.

In moments not of my wish or making,
I saw the two faces of death last night.
My verse; waiting and waiting and waiting
for light in darkness and darkness in light.

For Kerry's challenge at Real Toads


Kerry O'Connor said...

This is simply amazing, MZ. It has given me chills, both the images and words are so powerful, and the helplessness of being the witness of deaths, both quick and slow, is strongly felt.

It seems there is no end to your magic with words, forms and all that goes into the art of poetry: giving voice to what it means to be alive.

Gail said...

I am ashamed. Your poem is totally beautiful and scary at the same time. The strength, the boldness...I just love the whole damn thing!

Susan said...

Your poem touches my heart, MZ. The two faces of death are strikingly present here--separately and overlapping. So hard to discover/watch in those we love, hard to know what to wish for ourselves: One I loved died in an instant of a 46-year-old massive heart attack--a death he might have wished for, drama and all. But his friends and I would have loved to say goodbye, to prepare together. And I believe people who have that time are lucky.

Kathryn said...

Wow, this is powerful. Like a knife thrust into the belly!

jo-hanna said...

Quite overwhelming in its word power. I wonder how you felt yourself after you had put it down on paper.

Lorraine Renaud said...

just plain scared me to death, ah horror show in words, I feel no I don't want to feel this, scary

blueoran said...

Sharp sense of divergence and convergence here -- two ways of dying that have the same result. Aging on we get to bear witness to plenty of both. A witness that's futile and resonant because of that. Great stuff, MZ.

ccchampagne said...

Truly terrifying and dark write! Very well done!

Fireblossom said...

I couldn't even understand the instructions and you come up with THIS. Wow. As Kerry said, both the form and the substance are aced, here.

grapeling said...

brilliant ~

Lorraine Renaud said...

You should read Robert McCammon's Swan Song, best book ever written about what happens when the President of the USA finally pushes the button....what you wrote could fit in this book without a pause