General Poetry posted March 26, 2023

This work has reached the exceptional level
A poem about the end of a marriage for religious reasons.

Winter Is Passing

by DJ Bartel


(after Conrad Aiken)

DJ Bartel

Winter is passing without releasing its fury

Its chill never chips at the crust of tragedy

Its winds from the north fold in abstract

Its rain is timid of offending God’s sister, Nature,

With a rival show of strength

The uprush of wings signals the death of some

Other world where Chaos will land.

In it all we sit at a window, sheathed in ice

Remarking on the calm, aching inside for the frost

To freeze life to the edge of death

Life immobile life unthinking

Life caught in a step a photograph

Wrapped in gauze buried in gray of our legs

In mid-step strapped together by whirs and whispers

Futures and new wonderful sighs.

Your dark reflection twists your image and your reverence

Distorts your gesture to sacrosanct.

You sit at an angle to the smooth pane

It polishes the night

Sharpens the darkness

For me only darkness

Without form or conviction

You gesture to the sparklings you see

A nod tells you I have looked and seen

Only a hollow and the faint pointless

Stirrings of gleam and glisten

Candles burning their dusty aura

I turn away and go muttering

Contradictions among my things

Wine bottle corks saved from I don’t know

An iPhone with a hairline crack in the screen

A bill past due a month

A biography of Mozart another of Henry James

The brittle flicker of order seeking disorder

Energy seeking purpose life chipped at by death.

Three treble notes from the speaker perfect

Themselves in silence lifeless as their memory

Or the winter that rests beyond the glass.

The cello snaps off at the end of a phrase.

The highs of the piano are clipped.

And what of the rain?

Would it be a warning of turquoise

Downpour of purple

Darkening shroud of regret and inconsequence

Effluence from death?

It would be so if you saw it so.

And if you saw it so would you step through the glass to it?

Or would it be an oxidation of whiteness

Shimmer of ivory aureate rendering of bliss and scintillation

Or chant from an incarnation?

It would be if you saw it so.

And if you saw it so, would I?

Or would it be just confusing and wet?

Sheathed in ice longing for the frost we fear

We hear or think we hear the echo of a voice

That was always silence. I am ceramic

Standing to leave

You pray or you know the echo is more

Than a whispering from the hollow beyond

The glass waiting to receive us without a struggle

Signaling to God or to nothing

Swallowing it all - silence and death

And a fury that will never be spent.

No Rules Poetry Contest contest entry
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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