Thursday, July 22, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #23

by Darryl Price

It was impossible

that these three stones alone
should survive the seven
days and nights of battle
unscathed. Even the bones

of the very dead had
long ago been carted
away by what foxes
still remained. Maybe it

was that even the crows
couldn't stand the warning
stench coming off of those
glittering surfaces.

They rest in the palms of
grasses but still somehow
command the trees and rocks
around them with menacing

authority. And
any sunlight unlucky
enough to enter
those fractured chambered doors

are immediately
captured, broken off at
the wrist and sent winding
home like a piece of cut

string.No, better to let
them sink at will, no matter
the years, back to the
soft breasts of the mother.

(Darryl Price was born in Kentucky and educated at Thomas More College. A founding member of Jack Roth's Yellow Pages Poets, he has published dozens of chapbooks, including a dual chapbook with Jennifer Bosveld, founder of Pudding House (the largest literary small press in America), and had poems in journals including The Bitter Oleander, Cornfield Review, Allegheny Poetry, Wind, Out of Sight, Paper Radio, The West Conscious Review,Pudding,Metazen, Cap City Poets, Doing It,Prick of the Spindle,Olentangy Review,Fourpaperletters,LITSNACK, Like Birds Lit and the Green Fuse.)


Jade L Blackwater said...

This is really lovely Darryl - the pacing is just right. A nice balance of quietude and power.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

The stones seemed like a neon sign in this one that read "WARNING". Loved that twist. :)

Peter Dudley said...

I wonder what makes them so repulsive.

Katherine Tomlinson said...

Ah, all that glitters is not benign. Very potent.

Aniket said...

All I can say is I loved reading it the first time, and the second.

jelismorgan said...

". . . And any sunlight unlucky
enough to enter
those fractured chambered doors. . . "

My favorite line in the entire piece. It implies so much. What wonderful poetry.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Had to stop and read it a second time to really have it all sink in. I think I was caught up in admiring the near perfect cadence the first time and forgot to pay attention to the meaning of the words.

I'm with Pete in wondering what it is about the stones that is so repulsive. Something hinted at here, but not delivered in this short piece.

Lee said...

Nice to see a fellow Kentuckian doing some good literary work. I loved the cadence and the imagery. Who needs prose when you can write poetry like that?

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Darryl!

Made me think of quiet, dark, and ultimately power.

Dottie :)

Deb Smythe said...

Ominous and beautiful.

Joni said...

Strong imagery. Intricately powerful.

JaneyV said...

I got the distinct feeling that the stones and their evil was the cause of all the war and killing.

I echo what everyone else said. A beautiful and evocative poem Daryl.

Laurel said...

There is a feel of abiding malevolence here. Great rhythm to the words.

SzélsőFa said...

perhaps that's the best way to deal with evil: let it alone.
let it sink until it becomes one with mother earth from where it came from and where it may (or may not) be transformed into something good (or neutral, at least).
great imaginery.

Vincent Kale said...

If I were to title this piece it would be "What Foxes Remained" only because that particular phrasing jumped out at me.

I immediately pictured the stillness of a battlefield in which no survivors from either side remained. Total annihilation. And for what? Trivial riches.

The irony of this piece (to me) is that for all their worth, the gems were not won by either side. They caused so much bloodshed that the few souls that remained will not touch them. And so, without a hand to claim them, they sink back into the deep earth (or mines?) from which they came.

That's my interpretation :-) Loved it!