Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Worsening

For Three Word Wednesday, prompt words persuasive, loud, riches. Felt like rhyming this week.

The Worsening

Black shapes against the sky
Hover, descend.
They do not make a cry
But with the blackness blend
And raise a solid wall
That will not shake or fall.

In circular silence
I try to find a door
That isn’t there. Bent
Numb fingers explore
Until persuasive despair
Calmly buzzes in my ear.

Will these dead bones live?
To sing again? I recall
Some melody through the sieve
Of my memory, small
Spent riches of sound
A dirge for the burial ground.

Yet I am not alone—
Child-like belief makes
A chink in the dark stone.
The loud creak of hell’s gates,
Startling as I spring
Free of the worsening.


  1. What a fearful nightmare so well told that the prompt words are not at all noticeable (a fetish of mine to lose them in the text!) I also like the relationship to the previous owners of the land and this too in apparent in the wilds of Australia where that feeling is tangible.

  2. Hi dark, claustrophobic piece of poetry as well this week..'The Worsening' gives us room to experience our own nightmares and hell through him...Jae

  3. What an atmospheric piece. It made me think of Sibelius' 'Swan of Tuonela', and the dark of those nether world waters. Truly gripping.

  4. I like the rhyming. I don't see this piece as necessary dark but perhaps an awaking to something new?

  5. Oldegg, It seems to depart from the purpose of prompt words to make them stand out too much. Thanks for your kind comment, as always.

    Jae, Thanks! I'm really (usually) a happy-go-lucky, well-adjusted fellow. But I'm aquainted with the darker side of existence; poetry is the best way I've found to come to terms with the whole range of life.

    Alt, The poem began from my observations of a flock of buzzards circling some dead animal--my imagination ran a little bit, and I tried to capture that atmosphere. To be compared to Sibelius is one of the kindest (and most undeserved!) compliments I can imagine. Thank you.

    Lissa, Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you liked the rhyming--it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoy doing it. I really think every poet would benefit from writing a rhyming/formal poem every once in a while. Yes, there is a hint of happy ending here--life is not all dark, or all light, but a mixture of the two.

  6. Sheilagh Lee said So dark and disturbing a nightmare of epic proportions. wonderfully conveyed