Read, All Over


This poem is black clacked
on ivory snow, kerned coal
footprints across a field of ice.

This poem is one tiny piece of
rice in an ebony bowl, a flutter of
feather against the night sky.

This poem craves the inky imprint
of a song, a strain of stillness, a life sentence
with an ellipsis stamped at the end; a scrap
of chalkdust ribbon to tie around its own small
sable tail.

A sail
on a moonless sea. A still, small
smoky voice in a pristine room. A domino
falling. A bow tie and well-shined shoes.

Zebra-stripe swipe it
if you will, spill it out in oil and milk
and swill it with a swizzle stick. It’s tarred
and feathered and glued together
with that pasty stuff we all
sniffed in school.

It’s about to don Dracula’s cape
and some fierce fake fangs, and hide
itself in a darkened cave – or perhaps
save itself with the convenient truths
of a halo and gossamer wings.

It’s an onyx yo-yo on a string,
the yin and yang rhythm of its own sigh

Bleach it smooth as sunburned sky.
Smudge it something
…………………………it can keep.

prompted by dVerse.

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19 Responses to Read, All Over

  1. X says:

    Ha. I like all the various textures you give to the poem. Some of my favs were tarred and weathered and the fake dracula teeth. The teeth were just fun to me. The tar and feather took on multiple meanings especially when I began to think about why people were tarred and feathered and then tranmuted that over to a poem. The multiple layers of isolation – the lone rice and lone boat were an interesting touch as well.

  2. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Very exciting piece to read, re-read, then read aloud, marvelous wordsmithing using imaginative imagery. My favorite poem today as I skip along the dVerse trail. I like the lines /a scrap/pf chalkdust ribbon, to tie around its own small/sable tail/.

  3. Mary says:

    I enjoyed the images you came up with here, De. It is one to savor, read slowly, and digest slowly. For some reason I am struck by the domino falling. Actually I picture a line of black and white dominos falling, each in slow motion. I like the flutter of feather against a night sky too….so very slowly drifting to the ground.

  4. A moonless sea! How would that be? No waves? Stillness?

  5. Grace says:

    I thought you were going for Hannah’s form but I admire the details of the black and white: black clacked over ivory snow, nightsky, inky imprint, zebra-stripe. domino falling, bow tie ~ And that line break of sigh – lence ~ This ripples loud and clear ~ Thanks for linking up De ~

  6. kaykuala h says:

    Bleach it smooth as sunburned sky.
    Smudge it something
    …………………………it can keep.

    One need not bother of other’s choices. One keeps to one’s own decision. There are already too many distractions anyway! Great lines De!


  7. thotpurge says:

    Fabulous images!

  8. Gabriella says:

    You managed to convey a lot of images without ever making us see any colors other than black and white. My favorite part is the second stanza, probably because of its zen quality.

  9. As others have said, the images in this one are wonderful. That stuff we all sniffed was rubber cement! I haven’t seen any around lately. That was cool stuff – it really worked – I’m talking about the sticking not the sniffing!
    “convenient truths” indeed. More likely. This poem should be “read” again and again! Each time it gets better 🙂

  10. Candy says:

    Love the image of a tiny piece of rice in an ebony bowl. Outstanding, as usual.

  11. lynn__ says:

    This one should be read…all over, over again, out loud! Black & white are bold, never get old!

  12. claudia says:

    love all the images you use but esp. loved the domino – would’ve never thought about this but what an excellent black/white image

  13. kanzensakura says:

    That lone grain of rice and Dracula’s teeth….oh these images delighted me as I saw them so clearly.

    It’s an onyx yo-yo on a string,
    the yin and yang rhythm of its own sigh

    triple wow…..such a cosmic vision this gave me.

  14. This is like going to the gallery looking at all those black and white paintings. I think I also see a little story in each of them.. I like to fill in the gaps and see those little stories of the lone grain of rice for instance.

  15. clustered sky says:

    Oh, I love this phrase: “kerned coal”
    “a strain of stillness” Yes, please.
    “with an ellipses” (You mean “ellipsis.”)
    “sable tail”
    “Zebra-stripe swipe it” AWESOME
    “swill it with a swizzle stick”
    “with that pasty stuff we all sniffed in school” Man, I miss paste.
    “or perhaps
    save itself with the convenient truths
    of a halo and gossamer wings” (I love the idea of saving yourself with a “perhaps…”)
    “It’s an onyx yo-yo”
    “Smudge it something
    it can keep.”

    You KILLED this prompt.

  16. billgncs says:

    just love how you play with words. It’d be fun to hear it read.

  17. Oh.. yes.. a poem is a palette of endless imagination
    delight.. there need be no boundaries
    of sidewalk or no dancing
    here.. Where creativity
    lives.. poetic expression
    is paint.. and the colors of black
    and white.. are replaced
    by hues of grey.. or
    colors not even
    seen for a
    to date..:)

  18. So many rich images of contrast. I wouldn’t even try to name my favourite one!

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