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Monday 22 November 2010

A Magpie Tale of Emasculation

This thought-provoking image was this week's prompt at Magpie Tales. As with last week's Poetry Bus prompt it sent me scuttling back to childhood memories. I seem to be in that particular loop just at present.

As a kid
I neutered things
would doctor wasps
or draw the stings
of scorpions.
I'm talking
metaphor of course.
Not living things -
the livingest
were dreams
nightmares most of all.
I had such beasts
the beasts had beasts
that followed me
out of the night
into the living day.

I neutered them
in self-defence --
once I'd discovered
how the human mind
has tools to tackle them
by docking vital parts

In my mind's eye
dissecting images
I'd cut and paste
give twigs for claws
hard spines and scales
with Grandma's flannel vests.

the nightmare that returned
night after night
I'd work the image
as I fell asleep.
This picture
might be one of mine
a clock face of
eleven noughts
through which dark spirits poured
and weird eleven
or truncated twelve
pared to that single hour.
The clock
deprived of clockness

the wayward geni
safely bottled for
my peace of mind
which had been free
to run amok.
Still waiting to be corked.

Haiku #313

Keeping your skin taut
keeping healthy bones and heart --
the up-side of moles


David Cranmer said...

Dave, That may be among my favorites of yours I've read. "through which dark spirits poured." Marvelous, sir.

Shadow said...

thank goodness it was only in your mind's eye, you had me worried there *grin*

Kathe W. said...

what a way to fight the nightmares! Great post and haiku!

Tess Kincaid said...

I love the notion of neutering one's fears. Nice piece, Dave.

Dianne said...

ha, I love the Haiku,
and shiver at the Magpie Tale nightmare...

Reflections said...

The creative worlds that we create, fun-filled hours, yet sometimes the darkness calls to other things when our imaginations run wild.

Helen said...

Talk about creative coping mechanisms .. no nightmares allowed in this boy's sleep.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Very dark, yet brimming with
the sweetness, the naivete of
youth, the runaway imagination
of the tapped into inner child;
good stuff, sir. I like the lines,
/give twigs for claws/ and the
notion of /the clock deprived
of clockness/ which probably
is the solution for so many of
the stresses and troubles that
we are mired in daily, and it
puts me in mind of the
metaphysical perception that
we manufacture ersatz control
by giving Time power, for it
is powerless when juxtaposed'
to the tower of Now.

I found some paintings by
John Alexander that seem
to illustrate your words
admirably. Great read,
and good mag.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Great "the clock deprived of clockness", it reminds me of a clock without arms in a tremendous famous Igmar Bergman's film.

Linda Sue said...

Such a boy! Neutering can be beneficial as you have found out...Love this boyness poem very much- Don't quite know how the prompt prompted you but there you go- there's no explaining genius, is there.

Paul C said...

You have woven a piece which illuminates the fears and resiliency of youth.

Rachel Fenton said...

Excellent piece, Dave - captures the essence of fear wonderfully.

Windsmoke. said...

Thank goodness this very dark and disturbing nightmare poem is only in your minds eye and not reality. I hope it's not in reality for you.

Dave King said...

Thanks for that. I, too, feel quite kindly towards it at the moment, but am too close to be sure.

Just my wee joke.

A warm welcome to you and many thanks. (It worked better then than it does now - something to do with waning concentration, perhaps.)

Thanks, much appreciated.

Both comments valued.

That's very true, whatever we act out, it's there in the wings. Really good to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Absolutely not, once I learnt the trick... well, except the night I fell out of bed, but that's another story!

Glenn Buttkus
Hi and a very warm welcome to you. I am grateful for the comment and the time you took to leave it. I like thhe idea that we give Time power and thereby manufacture ersatz control. I might just play around with it for a bit, see where it leads.

Great comparison. After I had written it I thought of Salvador Dali's timepieces, but not that one. Thanks for reminding me.

Linda Sue
Much gratitude for that. The prompt was simple, really: the XI reminded me of the clock - the curved line beneath it suggesting that it was cut from a clock face and the piece of pottery reminded me of the geni that escaped. Very literal, actually, not muc of the genius involved.

Paul C
Thanks. That means a lot.

I wonder how childhood fears relate to adult ones - your comment has set me off on a new tack, I think. Most grateful.

It isn't now. Than ks for the hope.

Strummed words said...

Typical curious child - experimenting.

Dave King said...

Strummed words
Nothing I can say to that except thanks!