Thursday, May 17, 2018

Magdalene

Melpomene-Simmons-Highsmith-detail-1.jpeg

Detail from mural depicting the muse Melpomene (Tragedy) by Edward Simmons, 1896

All of my favorite witches were staked and burned to bones.
This red dress is the best of the cottonmouth curses
from those pale, open mouth orchids - oracle tongues
in nightshade knots.
All gods work in threes -
a thrice dyed sleeve slipping to bare
a shoulder -shapely, shaping, shape 
shifting - maid, mother, crone.
I have strayed, skipping, from the straight and narrow and learned
to love the log in my wandering eye.  My Magdalene side
makes merry with forgotten gospels and dreams
of a desert man.
A desert man with strong, laborer's hands.
A man who knows that water is for walking,
but weddings call for wine.

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads

11 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love "My Magdalene side makes merry with forgotten gospels and dreams...." Wonderful, Kelli! It is always such a pleasure to read you.

Fireblossom said...

I like the cottonmouth curses! If anyone would know Jay's relaxed side, it would be M, don't you think?

Toni Spencer said...

I do like the ending wines - water is for walking but weddings call for wine. I can see how such a desert man would be attractive to many honest women. We often forget that Jesus was a working desert man.

gillena cox said...

My goodness. Luv the intimation of our Magadelene side. Never thought of that before
And for me the awesome-est lines
"A man who knows that water is for walking,
but weddings call for wine."

Much♥️love

Margaret said...

Just a poem to sink into... clever as always.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I have strayed, skipping, from the straight and narrow and learned
to love the log in my wandering eye.

Favourite lines ever!

Kim Russell said...

I love the 'cottonmouth curses' and 'open mouth orchids'. I also love the lists of magic threes, in particular 'shapely, shaping, shape shifting'.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

Heavens. Maggie knows this ain't no rock n roll show. As avatar of the fallen imagination, she knows the difference between water and wine. (PS, I always thought Fireblossom belonged in a red toga.)

annell said...

I enjoyed your poem...glad you selected that image, I almost chose it. A wonderful write!

brudberg said...

I love how you put the best from the bible in this... fantastic allusion to the walking on water and wine for the weddings...

willow_switches said...

It's so odd, the visual perception of this image, because the more you look at it, to study it, the details and the techniques, you come to see she looks like she's actually lying prone, or predatory - because there is this "dare to come to me man" .... in her stare, which is almost blank .... so how brilliant this poem of yours. It's completely spellbinding and alchemical. It is more than just magic in myth and richness of spirituality ... it's an absolute goblet of the choicest (word) wines. And here we are, sampling and savouring for free.