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Sonnet of Pain


Confession time? When I wrote this, I kind of forgot how the structure of a Shakespearean sonnet was supposed to go. It’s ababcdcdefefgg, rather than abbacddceffegg- oops? I think I got it confused with the Petrarchan kind too, abbaabbacdecde. Messy, messy brain. Don’t even get me started on Spenserian sonnets. Jeez. 14 lines, 140 syllables, way too many ways to organize that nonsense.

Sonnet of Pain

Pain in my joints comes and goes like the tide
It swells and jabs at me, icy and burning
There is no relief with seasons changing
No calm sanctuary where I can hide.
A symphony of suffering for me
The rising and falling of storm-tossed waves
No blissful unconsciousness for me saves
From thundering blistering agony.
The crescendo builds, the water rises
Kettledrums in my bones and in my blood
I cannot keep my head above the flood
When all my joints are trapped in vises.
The symphony ends, the waters recede,
But pain never stops as soon as I need.

(C) Bridget Noonan, 2011, 2012.

The transition from autumn to winter was hard here. It went from mild to omg-wtf-it’sfreezing. This came out of that.

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Fall From Grace


I dug this out of my hard drive and dusted it off, just for you guys. Heads up, it’s another strange one.

Fall From Grace

the tension
the spark ignites tinder
glances from burning windows
falling away from the sun
feathers moulting away from shoulders
flutter falter plunge
to the sea
sea of desire
flounder flap drown
siren song
draws the swimmer down
shimmering scales
flitting fins
webbed fingers
arms encircle
fascination with the unknown
tightening embrace
cruel parody of an embrace
jagged yellow fangs
sink into
a dream?
soft creeping darkness
edges of vision
warmth replacing cold
red; black; grey; white.

© Bridget Noonan, 2010, 2012.

Where did I even come up with this? Oh, my rat-maze brain.

“I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.”  
Prufrock, T.S. Eliot

 

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In the Violet Hour


Another from the bunch of ones I sent out for the contest. The last one of the four, actually.

In the Violet Hour

In the violet hour of evening,
When clouds twist their last
Reaching upward and outward
To grasp a waiting eye,
I watch for your face in the dimness,
Back-lit with an orange glow;
Come find me but don’t
Touch my skin with your fire
Your heat and your tenderness
Will be my undoing.

Our lonely quiet demands
To be filled with talk or song,
But we sit here side by side
In the emptiness of the world
Separated by a mere two feet–
A veritable ocean of space
Where sharks glide slowly,
Whipping their angular fins
Agitated by the scent of our fear,
Intent on their prey.

A terrible beauty, to be sure,
Intimidation wars with open awe
But it is not the vessel that captures
My eye across a crowded room,
Or gives solace on long evenings
After long days such as these;
It is that which is within the vessel,
The substance of things hoped for
And the evidence of the unseen:
You wear it well.

Or rather you bear it well,
The weight of the unanswered
And things left unburied in heaps;
Kindly brushing dirt out of my hair
As I rise from damp ground again,
Another corpse from the undertaker.
Unearthing my body takes time,
And you know well my patience
Resembles that of a famished animal
Confronted by a meal.

In spite of my varied defects
Of personality and emotion,
You stand by my side always
Leaping over my distances like puddles,
Rooting through my corpses–
Bloated, pockmarked, and filthy–
To find live creatures among them
Those that thrive on my necrotic tissues.
How can I cherish myself like you do;
Why do you linger?

When, like the animal that dwells within,
I bite at fingers outstretched to me,
Foaming with anger at the presumption
Of offered assistance or perceived pity.
So keep our weary silence sprawled
Between us on this wooden park bench;
Our communications are best held
Without words and without touch.
Our shared glances and the bond we share
Must be enough to sustain us.

Yet how do we feed the hunger inside?
It seems only the dead have voices,
Their songs are dirges, and doleful laments
Dedicated to past struggles ring out.
This cannot be our destiny to sit and wait
For the heat death of the universe,
In mourning for all that we have done,
And all that we have failed to do,
While time ticks slowly onward
Grinding us down to our bones.

This bench is my purgatory since
We are not sinners but I have sinned–
Joyfully, delightedly, merrily transgressed–
Against some idea of a higher power
That belonged to someone else
In another time and a far-off place
And its echoes fall on our deaf ears;
I renounce it and its hold on my life
While we deal out silent phrases
On our faces in the dim.

It will not be borne! I cannot bear
To repeat, to run along the same ground,
To die every night and bury myself
In the comforting earth and forget
Lessons learned each afternoon,
Or happiness I have rejoiced in
With you, dearest muse, and the others
My chosen home and family.
I must cross the ocean, sharks be damned,
To reach back to you at last.

© Bridget Noonan, 2011, 2012.

All four of these poems are ones that I left parts of myself inside. I hope you have enjoyed them.

Sometimes, this sort of thing just happens. A thing which is too real has to be wrapped up in more words than I thought I had. To post it is to display a bit of my deeper feelings, which is …difficult. I have worked very hard to be able to be halfway comfortable feeling vulnerable in any way.

And it is more than a bit silly to be concerned about that now, because I was prepared to have a magazine -which is internationally sold- publish these four works. Then again, most of the people who would read that don’t know me personally. 

“What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see 

Them unwrap me hand and foot–
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.”
Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath.

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Storm


Not much to say on this one.

Storm

The wind is fierce tonight, she says.
Yes, the wind howls like a banshee
Tears dying leaves from the trees
Bends their branches like fingers
Grasping the edge of a cliff before slipping
Down into a vortex of river rapids-

Do you think we should close the curtains?
No, it makes no difference open or closed
The wind will prowl outside the house
Closing our eyes to it won’t make it disappear
It will just catch us off-guard when it strikes
Bites hard at the throat like a hungry wolf-

I’m going to bed dear it’s late, she says.
Fine, I’ll get little sleep tonight either way
The tick-tock of a sleepy clock marks time
While a fire crackles blithely on the hearth
I’ll find a mark on the wall to occupy my mind
So I won’t dwell on the storm that rages outside.

© Bridget Noonan, 2009, 2011.

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The Butterfly and Bee


“Maybe I’ve been here before/ I know this room, I’ve walked this floor/ I used to live alone before I knew you.”

🙂 I like Leonard Cohen. Famous Blue Raincoat is probably my favourite, but Hallelujah is rather well-known, at least through the many covers that have been done. Rufus Wainwright’s was excellent, and k.d. lang’s was pretty good too. Can’t forget Jeff Buckley’s either. Dang, there are so many.

In any case. This is about poetry. Poetry that was kind of inspired by Zhuangzi’s butterfly dream, and I believe might have been written with marker on a piece of cardboard that got rescued from the kindling box. This was on that same trip I took up with the fam-damily up to Balsam Lake.

The Butterfly and Bee

I felt the strangest sense of deja-vu
The other night around the fire
I knew I had been there
Before, I knew that smell,
I heard the same conversation
In the same words, tones and voices,
Felt that very same wind.

I took a moment, frozen
In that sameness of space and time
As though this place was the dream
And the place before, a place
Half-remembered, half-dreamt,
Was the reality.

© Bridget Noonan, 2010, 2011.

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Strike Anywhere


Woo! Yesterday I got to a thousand hits on the ol’ blog! Only a month into the thing. Man, that’s cool. Is that good, for a blog? I feel good about it.

And the things I don’t feel good about today? Fuck ’em, who needs that bullshit.
So in the spirit of “fuck ’em, who needs that bullshit”, I present a poem. It’s about the end of the world as we know it, I guess. I actually kind of hope we as humans take ourselves out- it’s kind of our turn, since we’ve toasted so many other species on purpose (and who knows how many by accident). A love song to “mere anarchy” being “loosed upon the world”, I suppose. (Yay, Yeats)

Of Kerosene and Phosphorous,

or,

Strike Anywhere

All it takes is a flick
The mix of certain chemicals
But the result can be so
Destructively beautiful.

Sometimes I wish others were as
Carelessly cautious as I am,
Striking matches on curbs
To light a sly cigarette, and
Firmly stomping stray embers-
Just in case.

What freedom, to let go;
To dance while the world
Burns around us like Nero;
To help it along with a splash
Of gasoline, ethanol or kerosene.

Let us drink to the end of the world!
Let go of inhibitions, and do
Do exactly what we feel is real
Live and love before out of time
Strike Anywhere and everywhere.

Pour a dram out for the dead
Grab your shot-glasses and matchbooks
For yesterday ceased to exist
And tomorrow isn’t coming to save us.

© Bridget Noonan, 2010, 2011.

And to continue this trend of recommending music to people, I suggest giving the album Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan a listen. That is, if you haven’t already; I think it’s been out for like thirty-five years, at least.

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Leaving Eden


I was at the library earlier -you know, my natural habitat- and I brought along a bit of work to do as well. Because let’s face it, if I get too far from a pen and paper, I get hives :).

I wrote this originally for a poetry contest for The New Quarterly in January-ish. It didn’t make the cut of the poems that I sent in, though. I won’t hear back until August about the contest, but I remain hopeful that I’ll get in. Winning the first contest I enter would be insane. It’d be the squeal of joy heard around the world, I think. At least, the small part of the world that reads my blog, hee hee.

In any case, poem!

leaving eden

snakes and burning were all
all i could remember as we left-
at least that’s what i told him-
sweet juice flowed down our chins
but the look in the One’s eyes oh it froze me
such betrayal such pain and the anger
some resentment will never end
a permanent exile away from the One
ceremoniously evicted from my own home
never to hear the voice to see the eyes
punished evermore for one mistake!
were we not created to be curious
to explore and to learn and to live
he hates me though he says no
“no it’s not your fault” convincing
neither of us that he believes it
grief in the face of this loss is understandable
but to lash out at me! who else
who else has stayed always by his side
loyal to the end putting herself second
the afterthought a bit of rib bone
never complains about her lot in life
i almost believe him when he says
the One is a man except i know
much much better than he does
that a woman’s anger burns long
and she may rage silently for ages
until the right moment appears
then she will devastate her opponent
while so disappointed in them
for letting her down this way.

© Bridget Noonan, 2011.

I don’t like the word opponent in the third-to-last line, but I can’t think of a better one. My vocabulary and my thesaurus have failed me once again.

So, how did I do, aside from that instance of poor word choice? Hit me with your best shot, people. I crave constructive criticism. And alliteration, apparently.

Um, so this song –White Blank Page by Mumford and Sons– is my addiction of the day. You, the people of the internets, seriously need to own this CD. I don’t often truly love every song on an album, but this is one of the few that doesn’t stop the glorious sounds.
Also Adele’s song Rolling in the Deep kicks major butt, while I’m recommending music.

I’m normally one who likes “music for old people”, as a friend put it. Hey, just because the Beatles broke up before I was born doesn’t mean it’s music for dead people- they are still relevant, and awesome. And like, Lead Belly et al are the precursor of modern rock and roll. If there were no jazz, no big band, no blues, there would be no rock or metal or punk or electronica or whatever the kids are listening to today :P. The face of modern music as we know it would be totally different.

And what is music? Just poetry in another form.

Art is beautiful.

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Passion


Let’s start with a definition again, shall we? That was fun for Obsession.

passionn.
1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate
2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor

I think that’ll do just fine.  Now it is time for poetry!

Passion

It is not for you
The sublime wonder of
Passion

Electric, stunning, through
Hands crackling with heat
Whispering along nerves alight with
Desire

Lips that sear words on
Collarbone, neck, shoulder
Engraving deeply through skin
Rapture

Gently ravaging
Devouring the senses
Sweat trickling from secret pores
Passion

Denied from you save in sleep
Where the mind writes scrips,
Films hours of limitless
Lust

With strangers turned lovers
Acquaintances become your canvas
Painting scenes with brilliant nights of
Ardour

Unguarded stolen moments
Between shifts and classes
You cannot help wanting
Passion

Hearts pounding in time
Drawing graffiti with red nails, press a
Stamp of ownership with careless teeth, tasting
Fire

Sweet and bitter
Salty sweat and tears
The rhythm and harmony of
Desire

You can smell it in her eyes
His fingers hear your
Passion

Engraving painting filming
Lust

Envelops ravages triumphs
Rapture

Denied but yearning for
Passion.

© Bridget Noonan, 2008, 2011.

Really, I might as well just call it Sex. Then again, I’m trying to show, not tell.

Well, if this doesn’t do it for ya, how about some music? This is… my favourite song in the history of our sweet planet so far. Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy.
Apparently it is in one of the Twilight movies?  I have opinions on the movie, and the books, and Stephanie Meyer’s idea of a female role model being a witless worm dependent on her man (or any man she comes across, dead or alive) for protection and to think for her. Note to those who like Edward: stalking is not romantic, and it never will be; if you like the idea of someone you barely know sneaking into your room at night to watch you sleep, please seek professional help. Anyway. So if you like Twilight, good for you. If you hate Twilight, great for you. That song is amazing regardless.

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