Friday, October 09, 2009


My seniors are reading Beowulf, and recently wrote an awesome round of poems of desolation in response. After I read them aloud in class, M asked, "Where's yours?"

Here it is...

[Carrion Doom]

Darkness reigned
Reigned down through the peril in our hearts, negating life, negating
The smallest flames, the greenest shoots, up through the
Blistering snow, grey wash of death
Mirrored in the eyes of all who
Prayed in the midst of our desolation
We cried beyond tears, we cried a desert’s worth of
Desecration, we envisioned ourselves
The carrion of a darkness
The length of the infinity
Between two numbers
That long stretch
Beyond gloom, beyond despair, beyond
The dimness that ruled our stolen hearts.
Words echoed off the walls of our minds, ghosts
In the wind, ghosts borne of terror and the
Smallness of rodent courage.
The quest for birth was feeble,
Mincemeat churning the feeble tissues
The aching bone-lappings
The feeblest of whispers
Careening through the arteries
Rivers of fear, capillaries of doom
Triggered by the last possible
Dream lost in the narrows
Prayers of dissipation, prayers
That rifle memory, dead memory
A string of lost consciousness
Green mountains, green fields
Before the grey warriors shattered
The dream-sanctuaries of orchid bloom.
The gods disdained us, the chasms
Divided weak from weak—there
Was no strength in us.
One child
Distaffed torment
Chaos in the tendrils of her hair—
Violet abyss, empurpled souls—
I cannot sing past the night’s shadows
Caustic disarray, caustic sentiment,
A scathing dirge to the lost,
The lambent violence of the failing light.



Blogger jsd said...

very beautiful

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

This is really good. I love the imagery of the "violet abyss, empurpled souls--" and "the lambent violence of the failing light." I also liked the fear careening through all the blood vessels in the body and the "rodent courage". You've used "rodent courage" in other poems, too. Great metaphor. I also liked the image of crying "a desert's worth of desecration".

Was this an old one from the attic, or did you produce it fresh?

11:44 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

T: This is fresh; I rolled it the last fifteen minutes of math class this morning. The weather is perfect for such contemplations.

11:59 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Hey, Ms Vermont! Good to see you! It's raining meatballs down here!

12:00 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

I've come back four times to leave a comment and got lost in this piece each time. I couldn't narrow it down to a favorite line because I loved them all and they flow one into the next - okay wait, maybe "Chaos in the tendrils of her hair" - that might be my favorite. No wait - "smallness of rodent courage"? Maybe "the length of the infinity between two numbers". Nope, gonna keep them all in the box together, wrapped up with a purple ribbon. I loved this.

10:25 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Glad you liked the purple package, Dee. I stole the "infinity between two numbers" from an NPR piece I heard about a new book entitled The Calculus of Friendship.

Back from Alpine and Marfa. Wonderful grey rainy Beowulfian weather from just east of Fort Stockton on.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

Glad you enjoyed the trip. Shared dinner with friends and watched TAMUs homecoming game. They lost by one point but being a band parent for 6 years, I was more swept away by the drumline doing Darth Vaders' Imperial Death March from the stands whenever Commerce got the ball. (Along with Swingtown and Hey Baby) Dinner with old friends made it an almost perfect day.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Tammie Lee said...

I can feel how this rolled from you in 15 of class, the words pour out, fluid. In the middle I gasped for breath, I forgot to breath as I read it for one word lead to the next. Amazing piece Paschal!

9:33 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Glad you enjoyed this, MizLee: steady on the breathing there, girl.

10:52 AM  
Blogger San said...

The yawning distance from one number to the next, between the weak and the weak, in the interstices of carrion doom. Pass the blood, bro. It's Halloween and I am hungry for more.

2:27 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

San: Beowulf as blood sport: what a great Halloween story. Jason's got nothing on the Geats.

6:46 PM  
Blogger anno said...

A desolate beauty, and I am envious of your ability to find your way to a final line weighted with perfect gravity. Lambent is a lovely word; thanks for the introduction.

12:16 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Good afternoon, Ms Anno: No need for envy, girl: I've seen (and swooned over) your elegant lines many a time.

12:30 PM  

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