Thursday, September 15, 2016

Old Mother

Old Mother Old Mother in her small, country home,
her days as coquette long journalled and gone,
lit her last lamp at midnight, then pulled from the sea
a woman of knowing robbed, cruel, from a dream.

Her hands were pure pages from the book of the heart,
tattooed with sonnets, the foundation of art.
The skull of a mouse and the skull of a man
rode on each shoulder and spoke in slow stanzas

rich with the romance of suicide seas
to gentle Old Mother down to her knees
to bare breast and bone to the touch of the tide -
then fully alive, she died.

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

15 comments:

Ω said...

I love this, especially "rich with the romance of suicide seas."

Stacie Eirich said...

I can't get the image of Mother Goose and nursery rhymes out of my mind as I read this--perhaps that was intentional? It seems such a juxtaposition to death -- the romance and harsh nature of the sea though, seem to fit with her - part dream and part reality, and she broken down at the point where she is most alive, washing away with the tide -- Stunning. Thanks for sharing.

Kerry O'Connor said...

There is something so quintessential in his description.. your old woman is an archetype whom we recognise, part witch, part mother a different face of death.

gillena cox said...

That last line is sharp. Luv it

Much love...

rhymeswithbug.com said...

tatooed with sonnets ,,,,,, just one of may wonderful phrases in this

Magaly Guerrero said...

The last stanza is full with the things dark fairy tales and tales of real life gone dark are made of. Such vivid imagery!

Jim said...

The lure of the Suicide Sea is hard to resist, easy to succumb when things get really rough. Been tempted a bit at times. Had a really good friend, the ER was rough on her. I think they were trying to teach her a lesson..
..

blueoran said...

O fucking yes.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my goodness, this is stellar! Striking images, like the skulls of mouse and man on each shoulder, the suicide seas...........I especially love the closing where, fully alive, she died. A wonderful portrait.

difficultdegrees.com said...

the images in here are so, so rich and wonderful. I couldn't help but imagine Baba Yaga up in her house. Wonderful and enchanting.
Amy

Sioux said...

MZ--Do you have, like, 117 different personalities?

Each of your poems seem as if they come from a different person.

Brilliant, as always.

grapeling said...

ah, good to read you again, and to get those chills ~

Fireblossom said...

What a twist that ending contains.

brudberg said...

Yes that ending, and the suicide seas are the peaks here...

Susie Clevenger said...

This is fantastic. Love how you ended it. "then fully alive, she died" Such a unique statement of death. Thanks so much for taking part in the prompt!