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by Corybantes 

Posted: 14 July 2004
Word Count: 310

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The day mama came home was always an event.
Gliding back into our English home with the grace of a lion
She brought us her salvaged remnants from a land of
dead liberty
Like the offering of a baby deer
she wished she hadn't killed.

When the last spicy promises of far away were diffused
with chips and smoke
and the roasted pistachios sat cold in a foreign dish of glass,
When the rugs began their slavery of dust catching
and all the trinkets of Ali Baba's cave had claimed my place by the fire-
When the Gods were sitting poised
and the moons were all in place,
She would reveal the real piece of the Middle East.
The golden oil she'd brought just for me.

Inside the hot pulse of the desert-skin drum
a madrigal honey of saffron violas
fills her palace with the dark orange embers of hell
and flickering war flames from her feet
the dangerous princess dances before me
Howling crimson prayers to a God
who's sick of listening
and ripping fleshy thorns from her spinning soul
barbed morsels of snake charming venom
from her small tortured body,
She spits out the songs of the dead
in an orchestra of severed tongues
that never tasted justice.

And those verbal grenades she daringly smuggled,
their arrogant metal heads softly concealed
under marble cakes of opium,
begin to twitch and stir-
dying to be touched.

The times I would hear faint scratches of crying
dribbling down the stairs to fill the cracks in the converstion
and following the stream- you were there at the source,
Clutching the edge of the bath with a bottle of bleach,
Weeping in a smashed reflection.
And leaking from your eyes
The usual image of a thousand crucifixions
Gave you seven years' bad luck.

And for the second time
You bled for me.

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Comments by other Members

roovacrag at 14:03 on 14 July 2004  Report this post
Welcome to WW.

Very well written.
More prose than poem.
Even though you put it into stanza.

I enjoyed reading it,although its hard going.
Read it a few times.

Make a good short story.

xx Alice

bogdantiganov at 14:09 on 14 July 2004  Report this post
This poem has very good imagery. Very strong imagery. And when you read it the words melt and you feel the power in your gut and that's a compliment.

I think it's actually a good poem bleeding off the page.

Ticonderoga at 15:06 on 14 July 2004  Report this post
Amazing writing, full of images,tastes,smells,texture,colour and sensuous response; this is a wondefully vital piece which appeals to all the senses simultaneously. But, I feel there's a fracture in the flow - possibly deliberate - before the last two sections; it feels like an unjustified leap in experience. Otherwise a very fine poem.


Corybantes at 16:29 on 14 July 2004  Report this post
Hi Alice, Bogdantiganov, Mike,

Thank you for all of your comments- it's so nice to get some feedback. Mike, I'm glad you noted the break in flow- it is deliberate, but perhaps I could make that more clear, so that it doesn't seem like an accidental break.

Bita x

tinyclanger at 17:11 on 15 July 2004  Report this post
Welcome Corybantes. Wow! This is amazingly rich, feels like I can't possibly digest it all in one go..some lovely imagery that suggests the exotic, unknown, alien. Full of texture, colour, fire, gold, smells, smoke etc.
Yes, I felt a jump. To something harsher yet more knowlable? - the bleach and the bath. I've readings in my head suggested by this and the title, but I don't know if I'm right, and don't want to know, enjoy the mystery.
Look forward to seeing more of your work.

gard at 01:16 on 18 July 2004  Report this post
Hi Corybantes
welcome to WW!

rich language and imagery, its true it is to me as said above, a little hard going and I think I will have to read it again to really decipher all that it contains. Nonetheless

beautiful piece of work and your use of language is coiling around the tongue in my head like a snake......yes could be written as a story, its almost prose in anycase..perhaps this is the jottings/impressions of a story idea?


Tuppence at 08:54 on 11 December 2004  Report this post
wish i could write like that
my stuff soppy or nonsence
i loved it

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