Sunday, July 15, 2012

Magpie Tales: Yesterday's gone

Vettriano (via Magpie Tales)





facing the lion that walks your spine
at night, in daylight
is the greatest thing
     you will ever do ~ never do

it's dangerous ~ it's
     (insert whatever excuse you want)
it all comes down to self safety
                 though, life passes

slow out the window, slim protection
         & soon
                 enough, the lion

will catch you---
           even now,
              his fetid
                 breath
         raises hairs
      on your neck

& all you can think is the glass
                 needs cleaning
as you wait for sleep

wake up, WAKE UP, wAkE Up

                                    please.
    

written for Magpie Tales

86 comments:

Mary said...

One

Mary said...

This has a frightening undertone. I don't know what she is facing but hope for her safety.

Gloria said...

Hello Mary, how you...??? lol

Omy Brian this is so sad..

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

The jungle of life can send chill up ones spine. This a chilling write, where you hope she'd wake up from whatever has taken control of her.

Gail said...

Wow...goose bumps here!!! Fantastic.

Brian Miller said...

ha when i saw the prompt i thought...dang i just wrote about her yesterday...maybe close at least....

Betsy Brock said...

aw..you do come up with the heart breakers!

aside from the poem...that painting looks so much like me I did a double take... I even wear my hair like that and have a similar dress! ha.

Linda said...

Yesterday's gone and there is no tomorrow. We will all get there one day. Hopefully later rather than sooner. People who are dying do talk about mundane stuff though, like the glass needing cleaned. I like this poem Brian. Great work. =D

Lolamouse said...

The pleading tone, the urgency, but still a sense of danger and perhaps, hopelessness. A great write, Brian.

Monkey Man said...

The eb and flow of life, it passes all to soon.

As always Miller you are spot on!

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, so mysterious, yet thought-provoking. The first stanza is bone-chilling!!

Daniel said...

Kind of like focusing on the reflection in the glass instead of what is on the other side. Kind of sombre and threatening piece here.

Rene Foran said...

It's not happiness to see him, huh?

PattiKen said...

It's the heavy panting that scares me most. Way too much anticipation there.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brian: The way the poem is constructed gives me the feeling of being stalked by this lion. Gave me chills~but I liked it...especially in this hot weather. Very Creative~!!!

Claudia said...

think she needs to exchange that cigarette for a gun, break the glass and face that lion...ugh...and heck, we're all so good with finding excuses for all the things we shouldn't do..

manicddaily said...

yes - I thought of this in the context of your other piece too. Both good. k.

She Writes Here Now said...

Nice take on that muse!

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

facing the lion that walks your spine at night, in daylight
is the greatest thing you will ever do ~ never do


Hi! Brian...
Facing the window and something that she may dread? Eventually?
dealing with?

What a great use Of your poetic skills...and how you used your poetic words to...Challenge your readers here:"it's dangerous ~ it's(insert whatever excuse you want)"
and...
Cont:

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

...What a coincidence I just discovered artist Jack Vettriano's

beautiful "Noirish" art-work and am showcasing his [art] work on my FYI [For Your Info[rmtion] page...Here:
Waiting For Vettriano

[Note: Tks, for sharing the [very] "noirish" image and Claudia, Thanks, for your comment that read like a synopsis for a film noir.

deedee :)

flipside records said...

"facing the lion that walks your spine" ... Oh my, this is a knock-me-over kind of opening line.

"you will ever do ~ never do" ... This is really cool.

And this: "it all comes down to self safety"

I like this shorter poem from you---not your usual, sir. Nice.

kaykuala said...

Sounds something's brewing. It had better be good. The roaring lion might just spring into action. Great write, Brian!

Hank

Ravenblack said...

Feels like that is something that needs to be dealt with that has been ignored for a little too long. Slowly it's starting to catch up, and it will eventually. I'm feeling like that lately. Captured the way issues can stalk oneself. Nice write, Brian!

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Wow! It's amazing how much you can say in so few words. Excellent!

Dave King said...

Devastating first line. Wonderful And then later, this:
& all you can think is the glass
needs cleaning
Between them thought hangs like larks in crystal air.

I really enjoyed this.

Anne said...

Wonderful verse Brian. I read the comments as well and it seems as if we are all trying to gauge your intent with this one. I will simply take the pictures and feelings this paints in my head and enjoy it.

SueAnn Lommler said...

I could feel the breath of fear on the back of my neck. My breath caught!!
Wonderful piece
Hugs
SueAnn

Valerie said...

I felt strangely perturbed as I read this. Very good.

Heaven said...

Love the creativity of using the lion as your fear and danger...the ending is superb close...Maybe it was all a nightmare ~

irene said...

Just marvellous -- that lion metaphor makes my hair stand.

Lyn said...

Maybe become a lioness? Hard to wait for latent courage to awaken..wonderful take!

the walking man said...

No can do. When I fall asleep, finally fall asleep I want to simply stay in that state. Let the lions massage or feast.

izzy said...

It is the 'je ne sais quois'-
which travels along the edges of dark shadows...I know it well.
after years of wrestling ? Now we can sleep... Thanks!

Pat Hatt said...

Awake yet not
Sleep yet awake a whole lot
Such a state
A crappy fate
As one needs such hope
Or gets at the end of their rope

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

This one's pretty spooky!

happygirl said...

This made me think of 1Peter 5:8. And then, how we dismiss this by seeing the smudges on the glass.

AmyLK said...

so much runs through your mind just before sleep!

Doc FTSE said...

I feel the menace in this. Great write.

hedgewitch said...

Great sense of urgency here, brian, to go with that very poised and composed image of someone totally immersed in themselves. Some will never feel that lion sneaking up, and it will devour them.

JANU said...

Sounds a bit eerie...is she the prey? You keep us guessing.

mrs mediocrity said...

oh, perfect.

mrs mediocrity said...

oh, perfect.

Pat said...

I feel evil lurking over my shoulder. *Shudder*

Luke Prater said...

this section is fab, especially the 'fetid breath' and the stanza breaking that just hangs...

slow out the window, slim protection
& soon
enough, the lion

will catch you---
even now,
his fetid
breath
raises hairs
on your neck

Lorraine said...

gosh Brian this is a hitting the jugular vain, I love your writing so much, so I only punish myself when I'm derelict in reading blogs...it's so bloody hot, and I'm rearranging my office...and it's too hot, and someone's hurting me and he never stops

Susan said...

"it's dangerous ~ it's
(insert whatever excuse you want)
it all comes down to self safety
though, life passes

slow out the window, slim protection
& soon
enough, the lion

will catch you---"

This reminds me of a sufi tale--after years, when the would be king returns to take the test of fighting the lion, the lion lays down at his feet. It is the anticipation that keeps the curtains and the window and the cigarette between her and the world.

I had to reread this one many times to let go of a typical narrative and enter the desperation of the speaker who has faced the lions. He cannot say they are not real because it is a magical test to teach a coward bravery, to make the sleeping wake. Or he is watching from another window and she couldn't hear his voice anyway.

(Now that I have found a core to ground my reading, the words stick in my head and I do not want to let them go. You wove that spell here, so maybe she will hear.)

Brian Miller said...

what is funny, susan is i spent a bit of time friday evening listening to a sufi poet...think it might have rubbed off on me a bit...smiles.

Mama Zen said...

This gave me a chill!

Helen said...

Feeling the urge to break into a huge "ROOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!

Poet Laundry said...

facing the lion that walks your spine

...great opening!

♥ Braja said...

ok i'm awake. whassup? :)

Leovi said...

Magnificent poem! Yes, I should wake up.

Tara Miller said...

You gave this such a haunting feel....but oh so good! Face our fears or live forever in the safety and protection from "what if". Easier said than done to face fears but such a growing and confidence building experience.

well done, love. And, as you know - I love Vettriano works as much as you do! ;)

Sue said...

We all need to wake up, at least enough to keep the lions at bay.

I like the way this poem sort of prowls.

=)

JStar said...

WOW, your wording and pausing brought the proper amount of emphasis...

Trellissimo said...

Lions down the spine are scarey...

Lady Fi said...

Wonderful writing!

robkistner said...

yes, inevitably our lion will catch us, and sadly, many will sleepwalk until the end... awaken, and roar back, lest we be only a victim...

Myrna R. said...

I read this one a few times. Not sure of an exact meaning, but it sure made me think, and it appealed to me on a subconscious level, I suppose.

The last lines - the need to clean the glass, the narrator's call to wake up - make me think of life in general, and how we struggle, try to hide from it, asleep. And I hope I wake up.

Goofball said...

Nooo the glass really does need cleaning but I want to sleep now

how does a lion walking your spine feel?

Paige + Shauna said...

AmaZing poem, brian. now I'm afraid to go to sleep, almost.

very visceral and insightful.

^.^ said...

My yesterday is my today ... but I don't know whether it will be my tomorrow ... Time will tell ... Love, cat.

Secret Agent Woman said...

The lion that walks your spine. That's just a chilling image.

adan said...

oh wow brian!

if i had, as my experience or dream :

"his fetid
breath
raises hairs
on your neck"

i think i'd rather wash windows too ;-)

quite a gripper of a read, nice work!

Josh Hoyt said...

Yes it is time to wakeup

Fred Rutherford said...

Great write. Love the staggering of lines and the projective verse-like nature to the piece. Definitely a sad one done right

Sreeja said...

Hmm its a bit scary... mysterious...

Little Nell said...

A lot of layers here and we can each take what we want from it, but I have to say the wake-up call at the end resonates. Which of us hasn’t had THAT conversation?

Rashmi said...

wonderful....

Karen S. said...

Oh my goodness, you actually made me turn around! Lions! ..and tigers and Bears! Oh my....yes please do wake up! ...or maybe not, I'm kind of curious to see how this would end...by sleeping to the end of it! Ha! Ha!

Irish Gumbo said...

The window is a great symbol here, I think. A translucent/transparent membrane that offers an escape route and the illusion of protection. That membrane between You and Outside, where you can observe the lion and tell yourself it won't really catch you.

Taut and unsettling, and good.

Magpie said...

Oh, the power we give to our night phantoms.

Day Dreamer said...

I love it!

Tess Kincaid said...

Oh yeah...I know some who can only think about the dirty glass...

Lydia said...

Wow, does this have a powerful message or what? Yes, it does!

Kathe W. said...

the hell with the dirty window- it's the life in the cities jungle that needs cleaning up.

Alice Audrey said...

Oh, but it's been such a long day, and there were already so many lions laying about in the road.

Syd said...

Beautiful photo. What lion is she facing I wonder?

Heather said...

cool. i love the picture. i am curious too about the lion she faces

Heather said...

cool. i love the picture. i am curious too about the lion she faces

Kutamun said...

Interesting concept, these Lions, Brian

Carrie Burtt said...

Yes, the power of regret....great writing Brian!!!

Helena said...

Love the imagery this conjures up. I'd love to think she'd become the lioness.......

Marie Nicole said...

a lion's fetid breath wouldn't limit itself to raising hair on my neck...

ds said...

Wow. Beauty and the beast--sort of. I hope she wakes up before it's too late. Great stuff, sir. Thank you.

Susan Lindquist said...

I will, no doubt, read and re-read this offering, Brian. My initial reaction is that there is great danger for the 'beautiful' young women of this world ... one never knows if the attention one gets is authentic or predatory. The pressure is to keep up appearances, though. Make sure the glass is clean, the dress drapes 'just so', the curl is perfect, and the cigarette is casual enough. The shoot MUST be perfect and the voice of the photographer, although strident, is too threatening to confront head-on ...

Great writng to the prompt. you got me engaged!