Sunday, February 12, 2012

Magpie Tale: Black & White


There was a time she would have been sent away to live with a distant relative, some school of reform, labeled crazy or even burned at the stake---

They, being inferior stock, would hang by the throat with rope, dancing beneath the trees until their tongues lolled, or roasted on spit---

In preservation of what?

We've come a long since---
                                           right?

Is it always black & white?


this is a Magpie Tale.

105 comments:

Mary said...

Very eerie, Brian!

(No, I doubt it's always black & white.)

ayala said...

A powerful write, Brian.
Great ending...Is it always black & white?

Glenn Buttkus said...

Heavy duty, and interestingly both
our poems have similar muses
and outcomes; yours with much
more gusto for sure.

Doctor FTSE said...

Some of us have come a fair way, Brian. Others would still have them stoned to death.

Mark Windham said...

Very good, been working on a few on this very subject. This one is good.

susan m hinckley said...

Loved it, and your word choice somehow captured the feel of the photo perfectly -- I could see all of it in there.

Yvonne Osborne said...

The stoning continues,just not here. As far as we know. You always make me sit back; and then I have to remember to breathe.

I like your writing.

Pat Hatt said...

Now that was a creepy pick
Your words really to the trick
Black and white words may seem to be
Yet don't you think they should have blue or orange or something more pretty?..haha

Laurie Kolp said...

With the going away to live somewhere else and the hanging reference, I can't help but think of the book I'm reading right now, The Help. It's sooo good! Great take on the prompt, Brian.

Catfish Tales said...

Hahaha. Nice twist!

JC said...

Great work Brian.

In time our world will be beige, if our children ae more sensible than their ancestry.

DJan said...

Strange picture, but as usual a very creative take on it. Made me think, have we come very far?

She Writes Here Now said...

I hope we have, but often feel discouraged when I realize how far we have to go.

Caty said...

I'm not sure how far we've actually come...maybe it's just more hidden now? Great one, Brian.

Leovi said...

Yes, and I think there is still a long way to go.

Manicddaily said...

All true. I'm not so thrilled with mine. I should have gone shorter! Works very well here. K.

Brian Miller said...

or the target has just changed....

Barbara said...

Interesting take. I'm still trying to figure out why the image ticks me off. No'it isn't black and white.

Other Mary said...

A long and winding road... and some days I think we broke an axle. Well done.

Daniel said...

The picture is a great one, really sets the stage for your words. Love the your words too. Some people always want to make things into black vs. white, no matter what. Feeling put down, whether real or imagined, gives them some strength.

Friko said...

It's a horrible picture, whatever you say about it. It reminds me of squirming worms in a pit.

Magpie said...

Such harsh realities of times gone by...I hope.

happygirl said...

Thanks for the history lesson. It reflects more about us, than them. :)

Tara Miller said...

I think we've come a long way...but still have a long way to go as well.

Amy Sullivan said...

Dang! Crazy picture, Brain. Good write.

Heaven said...

I find the picture creepy but I like your take on the black and white. I think we still have a long way to go ~

Happy sunday ~

Mama Zen said...

Nicely done, Brian!

Kay L. Davies said...

Sometimes I'm not sure we've come very far at all, Brian. Very well put, and much to think upon.
K

Jira said...

This makes the reader 'think' and contemplate the words into a deeper meaning. Nice.

G-Man said...

What Did She Do??

TALON said...

Yeah, we don't like to think of all those shades of grey do we?

janaki nagaraj said...

True..and some shades of gray. Good one.

Brian Miller said...

talon you are exactly right...and we dont like to think about how recent this was in our own history either...

this probably also came because i saw red tails last night as well so it was fresh in my mind...

that and i spent time in some of the more impoverished areas...

so really just questions and thoughts rolling through my head...i def find the pic more disturbing than sensual....

AngelMay said...

Nicely said, Brian.

Anonymous said...

There was a time,

which means sometimes, not all the time...

a point aptly made here.

beautiful magpie.

n.s.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Nice, nice job, Brian. Some days thought, I really wonder how far we've come.
Have a great week, jj

Simone said...

Maybe its just me but there's so much more that we can teach our kids so that we can begin to see things differently than just black and white.

Shadow said...

mmm, hardly ever, there's always some gray about... nicely told!

Claudia said...

somehow the picture frightens me and it works out the contrast we want to bridge.. maybe that's also the artistic value of it..holding a mirror to make us see..your words do this as well..and think much has changed already but still a long way to go..

Kitten said...

I love your perspective on this piece.

Wayne Pitchko said...

love it Brian....thanks for sharing your words

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Wonderful and powerful!

Tina said...

Jeepers, that photo creeps me out, sitting here at way past my bedtime, blogging with candles all around me and my family long since asleep...
But that was probably what you were going for (the creepy thing) so good job and now I'm going to a photoblog to look at some flowers...


Tina @ Life is Good

Co-Host of the April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Twitter:
@AprilA2Z
#atozchallenge

Cinner said...

I don't know about how far we have come, just still to go a lot further.
I don't think thinks are ever black or white. good read Brian.

jabblog said...

We certainly hope we've come a long way though I doubt we've come as far as we should.

Birdie said...

the picture is creepy ... yikes ... i don't think things are just black or white, it just 'suitable' for some to see it that way ... have a wonderful week Brian!

Anne said...

You've done a marvelous job of dealing with a difficult subject Brian. Brutal, but this was a brutal treatment of an entire group of people. You did this right.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

creepy and sensual

Dave King said...

The image seemed extreme to me. You've brought it - chillingly - into the realm of reality. Or at least possibility.

kaykuala said...

How true Brian,
Over time it gets blurred. The conservatives faded away and the non-conformists grew in numbers.

Hank

Goofball said...

the world is always grey ...not black and white. but black & white is easier to form opinions and proclaim them out loud, rather than finding the right contextual grey.





Love that picture by the way. very artful

SueAnn said...

I really don't think we have traveled very far at all!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, indeed, that question is so profound. How long have we come really. I would like to believe that we have changed and I guess the optimist in me hopes we have.
Have a great Monday dear friend,
xoxo

Valerie said...

The people of the world still have a way to go, I'm afraid.

Pauline said...

It's never black and white - and using a question mark at the end of that sentence is genius

ninotaziz said...

I know it seems obvious, Brian. But really, it did not occur to me at all. I saw passion, men, a woman, purity, degradation, sins, salvation.

But no, I did not see the black and white question.

I loved your offering though. More a question of the evolution of man. Have we regressed?

adeeyoyo said...

Hehe, black and white is often grey, Brian! What a great picture.

Syd said...

I don't think that we have evolved much in certain areas. The same old character defects remain in each of us. We have just become more sophisticated at hiding them.

izzy said...

Rarely black and white as you well know...thanks.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"In preservation of what?
We've come a long since---
right?
Is it always black & white?"


Hi! Brian...
Your very [poetic] words and the "Magpie Tale: Black & White" image are both very thought-provoking...today.
Thanks, for sharing!
deedee :-/

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Yay! I'm no#60...Sometimes it's good to celebrate being...last! lol

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Too much black. Too much white. Too little gray.

LadyFi said...

Very powerful! In so many areas of life, the answer isn't black or white, but all the colours in between.

Nessa said...

We've come a long way, overtly, but I think things are not too different behind closed doors.

AmyLK said...

there are always shades of grey. Nice work!

LadyFi said...

Yes -- please do use my heart photo!

Rae said...

Sometimes I wonder if we really have come that far. Maybe not, but I'd like to think so.

Eva Gallant said...

That was excellent. I could even follow it! (sometimes you're over my head. my ineptitude.)

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I think outwardly we've come a long way, but I suspect that the true insides of people are sadly more like the past.

Sue said...

The ending nails it.

=)

PS. I didn't do this Magpie. I was afraid the pic would set some of my readers reeling!

ds said...

No, it isn't always black & white. Which is the problem, isn't it. Great stuff, as always. Thank you.

Brian Miller said...

for anyone interested, empress wrote a nice piece on being latina that i think pertains...

http://tikitikiblog.com/latinaness/#axzz1mEldzT2Y

Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil said...

Whoa, Brian, I believe this woman is somewhere in my family tree. Both applied to grandma Blanche - poor and bipolar. This was striking in its brevity and power. Thank you so much. Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/dissonance-the-races-we-run/

Myrna R. said...

So short, yet so much expressed.

So dangerous, when we think in black and white.

Heather said...

oooh, great words to accompnay this picture....i hope it always isn't black and white...

JeannetteLS said...

Will check out the link you mention, Brian. The moment I finished your poem I was thinking, "Yeah, more than ever it's black or white... just a different set of hates is all." And, about halfway down you said "or the target has just changed."

Bingo. The image scared me. But, then, I have issues. It isn't the black and white, but, it is a terribly disturbing image on several levels. It may be "artful" but, for me, I cannot look. The poem brought it OUT of that realm though. And then I looked at it with fresh eyes.

Which is what your poetry so often does, Brian. It offers me fresh eyes.

drybottomgirl said...

A long way in some aspects but still a lot of gray in the color line. Excellent write, and great picture!

Tumblewords: said...

Strong piece, nicely done...

RD said...

it seems we had to kill for hate to die...yet the smoldering pungent stank of then lingers...

I stand upwind

Peace

Teri M said...

I'm not sure society will ever get there.

Daydreamertoo said...

No, it's never black or white and, we have come a long way yes but, we still have such a long way to go. Great use of the pic prompt.

Lyn said...

It's the absolute...the black and white, that gets us into trouble, burns those witches...brilliant...

Kathe W. said...

we are barely out of the trees in racial relations-we have a long way to go....excellent!

Tabor said...

I finds the photo so eerie. I do not think it has to do with the black and white...because as the photographer it has to have those shades to be as arty as it is. It is more that all of their faces are hidden and her's is not...kind of creepy.

Carrie Burtt said...

....but many miles before we sleep.....love what you did with this Brian...thought provoking and true! :-)

FrankandMary said...

No, sometimes it is absent. Absent without knowing your own absence. ~Mary

Barbara Shallue said...

Very powerful and provocative!

Helen said...

Way too often ... black and white, still.

Pastor Sharon said...

Very well, written.

Interesting how they missed the beauty of black & white.

Fred Rutherford said...

Pretty neat angle you took here, really an idea I hadn't thought of looking at the image until now, and now it's the only thing the image reminds me of. Excellent job.

hedgewitch said...

Good job, bri. Short and to the point.

Semaphore said...

Rapier-sharp with the double (or is it triple) entendre in the final line.

PattiKen said...

Have we come a long way? Or have we just found someone new to hate?

Is it always black or white? Or is it left or right? rich or poor? good or evil?

Josh Hoyt said...

Picture works great with the story!

Linda said...

Will we ever learn to get under the skin and look to the heart? I enjoyed your perspective. A thoughtful query, Brian..... thanks for sharing.

Wander said...

Brian I was wondering when someone was going to "go there" Good for you...I saw the prompt and all I could think of were zombies, I have no fricken idea why...

Williamz JungleJuice said...

This image has acted like a hornet's nest on the imagination, trying to reconcile contradictory emotions. I sense a repulsion in ur poem at what is represented in the ambiguity. I personally loved the challenge on my cultural conditioning.I also see that ur last line is offended by the artistic license of the photographer as if the black and white effect may have been purely cosmetic. Still, ur poem 4 me demonstrates how different the realities of observers can be. Thanx 4 sharing.

Isabel Doyle said...

Challenging image and lines Brian.

Best wishes Isabel

Lisa Golden said...

There are as many ways to decipher this as there are the ways human Other their fellow humans.

It's haunting. The photo is fabulous, too.

zongrik said...

this was great, says so much in so many words...how did you know what my college days were like ;)

Christine said...

Well said. I can only imagine the culture of that time that is the past.Powerful.

Caroline Gerardo said...

Brian a Valentine to remember for all days

Yousei Hime said...

I gather this photo is a prompt since I saw it somewhere earlier this week. I love the different writing that comes from prompts. Yours is shorter in length and more ambiguous, yet more haunting than the other. I'm reminded of the witch hunts, and then the mention of "black and white" taps me on the shoulder with racism. Nothing is simple. Enjoyed this.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brian: Wonders why this seems to be the fate of man to be so condemnational instead of raise-the-national. Interesting as I am sure all thought this black white and had to tweak to less ingrained acid burn.

Tess Kincaid said...

That's the question. In preservation of what?