Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Personal Challenge #1!

Welcome to the first Imaginary Garden With Real Toads personal challenge! Kerry spotted me with my head down, drooling on my desk, and she called out, "Bueller?" "Fireblossom? ... Fireblossom???" And so I said, hit me with your best shot, woman, and she did. Kerry challenged me to write to the art of Eugenio Recuenco, who some of you may recall from the recent Fairy Tale Prompt. I have done this. Twice. Cos I'm a double Gemini and can never decide. I hope you enjoy both the art and the poems that I wrote.


The disease began in the heart,
As all diseases do.
There were no doctors, then; no medicine,
But the nurses could smell it.
The nurses knew.

A normal heart fills
Like a drunkard's wine cup, again and again.
It floats, a hovering, invisible host,
Passing it around,
Spreading it thin.

The disease began in his heart,
Which, up until then,
Had been as anonymous within as a
Quiet neighbor, unseen and unknown,
A diamond in a fen.

A normal nurse waits
All in white like a bride, knowing her place,
Waiting at the station or in the wings,
Like a sluggish pulse
Burning to race.

His disease began in the heart,
Then spread apace,
Involving his eyes as he declared his feckless love
Laid out in labored sighs, all for a nurse,
All over his face.


I kissed a German woman,
And it brought the bombers
That night
And every night since.
Heads have rolled,
And in my bones, I can feel
Little black eagles making their nests.

You'll say, the pilots are dead.
But, no.
They may be dust, dry as stones,
But they bomb the streets
In little neat rows
All because I kissed a woman;
All because I couldn't say no.

She warned me.
She told me, you are poor little Belgium,
Trotting out your schoolgirl French,
Fragile as a croissant in the cross hairs;
But I kissed her anyway
Like a camp-following fifteen minute wench,
And now, every night,
My little black eagles fly up through the bombs,
As quaint and fine as Kaisers;
My one-winged strutting prayers.

photographs by Eugenio Recuenco, poetry by Shay Caroline.



Abin Chakraborty said...

both the poems are quite wonderful.this was a lovely idea!

Kerry O'Connor said...


I don't know what other word to use. Both these poems smash through the sound and light barriers of the confined world and send debris spinning off into space.

#1 A normal heart fills
Like a drunkard's wine cup, again and again...

#2 And in my bones, I can feel
Little black eagles making their nests...

and #3, those one-winged strutting prayers.

Bravo Maestro!

Anonymous said...

you super achiever, you! not content to do one amazing poem, you give us two! love them, SP! ♥

Lilly said...

WOW!! both poems are superb, but that second one left me gasping for air, with those "one-winged strutting prayers"...splendid!!

Lolamouse said...

Nothing like setting the bar a little high for the rest of us! Geez! Both are extraordinary, amazing imagery, just WOW!

Scarlet said...

Brava Shay ~

Both poems are superbly written.

I can feel your words burning thru the screen ~

Marian said...

what fun and lovely words!
you wanna put up a mister linky in case anyone else wants to try the challenge?
just a suggestion!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Mmm.. tempting, Marian but this is an individual challenge.
However, I urge those who are interested to view the photography of Eugenio Recuenco. A simple Google image search will provide a wealth of inspiration. We would love to see the results on an open link.

Maude Lynn said...

Amazing, as always, Shay.

Old raven said...

Yes, that's it ... WOW ... just plain old WOW! They are both superb. But the second tugs at me. Tugs and pulls and pulls.

Kerry O'Connor said...

As this is our first personal challenge, I would just like to interject here that anyone may turn a challenge down, if it comes at an inconvenient time or you do not like the idea of being put under pressure. The challenger would then approach a different member. No one is compelled to participate, although I would love to see most members joining in the fun.

Ella said...

I'm intrigued; I love what you did~
I'm off to check out this artist~
Thank you Shay!

hedgewitch said...

These are both at the top of your form, Shay. I can give no higher praise.

Fireblossom said...

Thank you, everyone, for the very kind comments! I think a "wow" is due to Kerry, for coming up with such a first rate challenge. Thank you for thinking of me with it, Kerry. I really enjoyed doing these.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

WOWZERS, not one , but two FANTASTICALLY BRILLIANT poems. The second one grabbed me big-time with all the little black eagles making their nests......and the line "my one-winged strutting prayers" is so good it makes me want to rend my garments and grind my teeth down to stumps. I certainly hope you pick someone very talented to challenge - please dont pick me, hee hee! I so love your writing, kiddo. You should SO be famous. I'm just sayin'.

Isadora Gruye said...

I loved your opening lines. I think we all have kissed that Frauline once or twice with less stunning poems to live on as proof.