Afterthought 1477—Zeus’ Dilemma

Posted in quatrain by maggie on 2016/12/13

Had anyone seen our uncle of late?
It'd been said he'd hung Zeus dead
         on a meat hook in his pen.
A policeman went off to investigate
since we hold our gods in as high
         respect as our men.

Turns out to've been a nightmare, seems
Zeus is fine, though our uncle's
         still gone off to hide.
The rede we live by in threats or dreams
is no more relaxed than the rede
         we have as life's guide.

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Afterthought 1474—Seen Enough

Posted in rondine by maggie on 2016/12/11

I've seen enough tears to fill an empty sky
with black holes masquerading as rain 
stinging my face turned up in extreme pain
to pray the gods reveal their reason why
I must endure their storm. Why can't I die?
I no longer care. What have I to gain?
           I've seen enough. 
My lover tries to wipe my dark mood dry.
He takes me to the bed where once we'd lain
escaping. "No," I tell him, "Pierce the vein." 
Left then right I close each swollen eye. 
           I've seen enough. 

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Willed, Done

Posted in notes, nothing special by maggie on 2016/11/30

A myriad poems I have written.

Many more I have spoken or sang without writing down. 
And many more I have fragments of, 
waiting to be tied to the rest. 
And countless more I have seen or thought of 
or dreamed 
or known to be there. 
All within reach. 
But these myriad I have committed to ink here 
and in my other books.

A myriad poems I have written during the past decade. 
Slightly longer, as a month is to the cycle of the moon,
as the circumference of a circle is to the line across its center, 
as a man's ten is to a woman's three times three. 
A myriad poems I have written during the past four thousand days.

Four thousand days ago today 
I lost my first muse to a cruelly abusive early death. 
She left me pieces of poems she had to leave behind, 
and she sent me to her mentor. 
A decade ago today after I had found in him a mentor my own, 
he pointed me toward a casting call that led me to my new muse. 
One thousand nine hundred days ago today 
my mentor began a new life 
after walking through death for us a dozen times.  
Forty four months ago today I lost another kindred spirit 
and partner in crime for my poetry and my devotions, 
again to an untimely death.  
And in those four thousand days 
and through that decade 
and with these past nineteen hundred days 
and their forty four months, 
a myriad poems have I breathed through my pen.

Credit Nancy for the fire. 
Credit Adrien for the discipline. 
Credit Sara for the breath.  
And for the life and the love, credit one who wishes not to known.

Still in grief after losing Nancy, 
ten years ago I initially had every intention of quickly following her, 
after first obtaining from Adrien the archives 
she had entrusted to him to be held for her daughter. 
Adrien sensed the risk I posed to myself 
and pointed me to a 100-poem challenge, 
then specifically bringing to my attention a casting call 
made almost simultaneous to my challenge launch. 
I met Sara as I was working on those 100 poems.  
The rituals instilled by that poetry challenge 
and the spell woven by that casting call 
and the fun I had with Sara 
saved my life and reignited my heart.  
Those 100 poems were and will always be the core 
of the myriad I have written around them.

Those 100 poems I began at this very moment a decade ago, 
I dedicated to Nancy and the faith she and I shared. 
I wrote those 100 exclusively in sonnet form, 
reflecting the fortnight of the days in half a moon's cycle, 
from new moon to full moon in the odd-numbered sonnets, 
then from full moon returning to new moon 
in each succeeding even-numbered sonnet. 
Reflecting the continuity of the moon's passages, 
each sonnet was connected to both its predecessor and its successor, 
as in a close mirror. 
With the full circle of sonnets representing 50 moons, 
the images I worked with were designed to approximate a 4-year leap cycle
centered around the moment I first met Nancy, 
although I doubled up on images and memories and expectations 
to suit each fortnight's particular timing. 
I wove in cycles of our stars, 
made love to many of Nancy's own poems, 
collaborated with Sara, 
and blended my voice with my muses both old and new 
as best I could.  
the ritual served me 
for devotion to our one Muse.

Those who choose to wish me ill 
have falsely accused me of speaking in riddles, 
of employing poetry's holy language of metaphor to conceal. 
Our faith has held our knowledge in secret from the earliest. 
Such secrets are not fashioned to withhold knowledge 
nor to kill it, 
but to preserve it 
and to believe it 
and to give it new life 
from one to another. 
Those who choose not to accept me for who I am 
have falsely laughed at my faith 
and made fun of my words as if they were mere games. 
Our faith has been rejected by countless of every people. 
I do not write seeking publication or audience, 
no hidden agenda. 
So also I crave the acceptance of none, 
not even that of my mentor nor my muse, 
none save the favor of our Muse.

For reasons related to my rituals 
and for those with whom I have been writing, 
I consider this moment as the midpoint of a 20-year cycle, 
as also the midpoint of an 8,000-day period of my writing, 
embracing 3,800-day periods and 88-month periods of life and love.

As dreamed, so willed.
As willed, so created.
As created, so done.
As done, so blessed.

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Afterthought 1302—Biopsy

Posted in nothing special by maggie on 2016/09/30

Tell me don't worry.
He hasn't yet set a time
how long we have.

Tell me don't be afraid.
He says we have options
to keep it from going worse.

Tell me don't make up
a crisis that hasn't happened.
He hopes wider margins
remain uninvolved.

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Afterthought 1279—Two Poets

Posted in nothing special by maggie on 2016/09/25

You turned completely around to kneel
in the passenger seat, curious
about two poetry books I'd purchased.

I tried pretending the volumes
a mutual selection chosen more by my
quiet traveling companion.

You knew better. Both were poets too
obscure, too near the edge
you guessed I would have made it to.

Both were poets too often
ignored. My quiet traveling companion
stared down at the car floor.

You flipped through the pages of both
worn books as if familiar
with the words, the images, the legends.

I'd thought I would never
see you again. The road fading behind us
said I was again near gone.

You returned my sacred treasures to me.
You sat back in your seat.
You said nothing when we were let out.

I will read those two poets
through your eyes, and whenever I do
rain'll fog up the rear window.

Afterthought 1084—Heart Hungry

Posted in curtal sonnet, nothing special by maggie on 2016/07/13

Let's rent kayaks, go watch icebergs relax
like lazy thoughts on currents as they melt
into horizons passing storms have blurred.

Mid-morning breezes tease across our backs.
Old island legends' fingers long and svelte
crisscross, composing secret songs unheard.

If we get separated, we'll meet up back here,
corner of Prescott and Military. Adrien felt
the lunches this cafe serves his preferred.
This far north, our days won't disappear,
                      take my word.

Protected: Afterthought 1024—Breakthrough

Posted in nothing special, sapphics by maggie on 2016/06/01

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Afterthought 908—Sonnet -4

Posted in nothing special, sonnet, sonnet cycle by maggie on 2016/02/16
The hell of every death she claims: she died
inside her mother's void, then died at birth 
without a cry, then every step on earth
died yet again. She took vows as a bride
and died. She died in every move she tried
to make. Be it deluge, be it dearth,
she died. She died until it wasn't worth
her dying further, death to her denied.
No autopsy was sought, no inquest called.
No funeral rites were held. No gravestone marks
the hillside where her body last was placed
facedown, a scrap of fast-decaying waste.
Run away, far off her dog still barks
his mourning, by the night's black prison walled.
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Afterthought 907—Sonnet -3

Posted in nothing special, sonnet, sonnet cycle by maggie on 2016/02/15
"So as," I said, "I don't expect to stay
the night, don't make room for me in your bed."
"Fine since," she stood to see me out, "you're dead
to me. I would have trashed you anyway."
"I know," I told myself, "I heard you say
as much. Keep any substitute instead. 
Give him all these words we never said."
"Laissez-moi tranquille s'il vous plaît."
Hard moonlight in my eyes, endless outside:
the distances press in on me, no hurt
embracing me, no poison to my blood
except drowned deep in contagion's flood,
abandoned like a common clump of dirt—
the hell of every death she claims she died.