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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Poet's Corner : Critique my Poem > 1666

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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2007 01:51 pm
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J Brian Long
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Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
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O God, save these, Your servants;
there are days I minister among them
that words shaken from their fevers seem
sistered to theme: Tuesday: "raw" , "red",
"rip", and one tears at her eyes in a crowd
near Cheapside (and all the while strange fires
ghost the length of the starways, and the sun
bleeds mornings like a hollowing corse.)
 
Wednesday and: “bloom”, “faith”,
“bird” and What will be the end
of this? she rasps from the bedstraw,
and her hands are sooted doves
on string; she is drowning in a red-
soak foam, and I whisper in the lantern
of her rising to walk the lea, of casting
shadows across ironies of feverfew:
You will stir the songs of sparrows,
I breathe, and lie with her in the rush-
light, in the cool, white hand
of the moon. O God, save this,
Your servant (and my sleep is again
the fitful dreams of ravens where beneath
the reach of blackdeath talon stare many
faces upward from the stones; always,
I am borne into Your sky and ever
falling, falling, falling awake.)


Thursday and: "ghost" and "whirl"
and "ember"; in the time before
were seen demons dancing in the places
where vagrants light their fires; whom-
soever was touched in the spin
of the masque was befallen
with the pestilence and consumed;
is this the work of Your same hand
that leads us past the gates our prayers
have pearled? O God, save us, Your servants.
(and the deadcarts rattle and the deathrattle
carts our fallen to be sown in the marshes
beyond the walls; oh, what will come,
what will come at the reaping?)


Friday: "wing", "wander", "cry":
and Have you seen my Angel? she
asks, and her hands wring like bells,
Your words are his, but not your voice
and I feel her heat and the stink of her
breath and I bind her wrists to the bed
frame, You must be still; you will
unravel, but she sighs and spits
like flame: I am not your shade; I am
not yet your shadow, and I rise above
her, black, trembling, raven;
O God, save her, Your servant.


Saturday and: "far", "fall", "wind.”
and the pavestones lay powdered with bone-
white lime, it skims the puddles and dulls
them to reflection; the poor who sleep
in doorways find themselves dusted pale
in the morning; O God, save these Your
servants. (and how soon, they sing, how
soon we slip from dreams to darkness,
how near our wake to Light!)


Sunday: "sear", "smoke", "char”
and Hell spits in fires past
the bridge; what is not flame is soon
made dreg and cinder; it moves this way
with the stealth of angels (and I
cannot untie them all; O God, save us,
save us: Your burning, Your servants.)


Monday: "sheep", "sky", "sleep"
and I am in the meadows with the flock,
behind me are white columns
of the city ascending; lambs part
like clouds before me, and there
are coins burned into my skin
(what toll, what toll must I pay
with these?) I will rest now in the sparrow-
song, I will fall on the blades
of the moorgrass, I will write
the lyrics of the plagues
with ink spattered from my throat;
(and I am cold, and I am burning, O, God.
Save me, Your sinter, Your self, Your servant.)



 

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