Sunday, January 04, 2015

Two Poem Drafts

Both rather dark this time around. La llorona (the weeping lady) is a legend about a woman who loved a man so deeply that she drowned her own children in order to be with him; but he repudiated her, so she drowned herself as well, and now roams the world weeping, searching for her children. The legend itself is originally Mexican, but I first came across the story in New Mexican form while in elementary school in New Mexico.

La Llorona

The rain is salt; the roiling sky
with wailing wind is ripped and torn;
the thunder rumbles, earth replies,
and lightning cracks through biting storm.
The desert's grief is hard and worn,
its nights are mournful, dark, forlorn:
as swiftly as each life is born,
so lightning-like it fails and dies,
and weeping takes the roiling sky.

Nightshade

In darkest night the thieves and robbers range;
they violate and murder without fear
until the tyrant Time commands a darker fate
and lets the wolves take wolves, and gnash and tear.

The withered bays beneath the falling stars
like arid bones are framed against the sky;
a pale moon, like water washed with blood,
looks down as weathered prophets prophesy.

The shadows roam the earth; the darkness seeps
and saps the blood; the winter steals the breath;
the rats in houses creep and gnaw the rotting walls.
A sickness gnaws our bones: we are the food of death.

On high no moon is seen. This madness here
is not a madness born of moonlight, but of loss,
and distantly dark blood from torment flows:
the nightshade drips beneath a wooden cross.

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