Adamant
#1
she wears the holes of crucifixion
from the years spent standing in place of a cock
at the mercy of the winds that swirled across the steeple
 
now fallen, her wings are torn from her back
and her breast is exposed from behind
so her traitor heart can pump its last
into the filth upon which this church perches
like an aged buzzard
too blind to do more than peck feebly for bile
 
beneath her hand, the shards of a once-sealed jar
stab at her skin, and within its shattered curve
is a single white feather
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#2
(09-19-2017, 02:05 PM)Leanne Wrote:  she wears the holes of crucifixion
from the years spent standing in place of a cock
at the mercy of the winds that swirled across the steeple
 
now fallen, her wings are torn from her back
and her breast is exposed from behind
so her traitor heart can pump its last
into the filth upon which this church perches
like an aged buzzard
too blind to do more than peck feebly for bile
 
beneath her hand, the shards of a once-sealed jar
stab at her skin, and within its shattered curve
is a single white feather

A very fine image, though I tripped over "bile" - it certainly fits by sound and sight, but not quite as something I picture a buzzard pecking for.  Though it must exist, in some quantity, in carrion.

Appreciated most without trying for symbolism - fallen angel, church built on filth, then I blunder off on a tangent with the white feather of cowardice.  So in my unimaginative/uninformed reading it works best on its own terms, anthropomorphizing only to the extent that the weathervane has skin, blood, and a heart capable of treason.

Liked it very much!  Thank you for posting.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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#3
she wears the holes of crucifixion
from the years spent standing in place of a cock
at the mercy of the winds that swirled across the steeple
 
now fallen, her wings are torn from her back
and her breast is exposed from behind
so her traitor heart can pump its last
into the filth upon which this church perches
like an aged buzzard
too blind to do more than peck feebly for bile
 
beneath her hand, the shards of a once-sealed jar
stab at her skin, and within its shattered curve
is a single white feather




I had to grab a cuppa java before I could reply. My mind went everywhere here, not to mention my brief encounter with a rusty weather vane. I feel for the subject, as though she did not find true redemption, somehow losing it by a fall. It made me think of Peter, how he fell, too. Denying Christ and the whole cock scene. Even though he showed cowardliness early, we know he had indeed received true redemption because a greater valor followed that earned him a crown many will never receive. I like how such volume was cleverly packed in that very first stanza. It grabbed my attention through personal vulnerability and a fleshy weakness for my own self pity, often used to my demise. You are a fine poet who teaches through reflection. I love you.


nibbed
Janine Burke
there's always a better reason to love

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#4
Thank you both for your comments. I very much enjoy the directions that my poem has taken your thoughts in Smile
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#5
This reminded me of the story of Jesus and the woman breaking the alabaster box over him releasing the nard. Maybe she was Mary Magdalene (I think that's general church tradition). You chose a versatile title. This could be either the verb something unyielding (kingdom that cannot be shaken, an overcomer against persecution). Also, the noun, the substance which could tie this into a statue, an icon, a means to stimulate worship. It could also stand as a metaphor for perseverance under adversity.

(09-19-2017, 02:05 PM)Leanne Wrote:  she wears the holes of crucifixion--evocative first line. I get an early church Galatians 2:20 read along with the physical idea of maybe something being drilled into the hands of a statue to hold an object.
from the years spent standing in place of a cock--This does a little more than identify the position of the "she". It isn't just that like a weathervane, she's on the top of the building. She stands in place of a cock. Taking a position usually reserved for a man. Patriarchy ideas. This again, could largely be an image fueling the metaphor.
at the mercy of the winds that swirled across the steeple--the winds could be contrary opinion on morality or orthopraxy. It could be a way of saying that lives get affected by powers, people, and institutions beyond themselves.
 
now fallen, her wings are torn from her back--This could be a broken angel statue, the idea of original sin, or perhaps a look into Mary Magdaline's past. It could also be the speaker reflecting on their identification with those ideas.
and her breast is exposed from behind--so, she like Christ was also pierced through and from behind--implying surprise and betrayal.
so her traitor heart can pump its last---Traitor heart seems more of an accusation leveled than a self-identity.
into the filth upon which this church perches--The foundation is corrupt.
like an aged buzzard--The church as carrion. The church as roadkill.
too blind to do more than peck feebly for bile--the key is blindness. Like the Pharisees who tithe mint and dill and cumin but neglect mercy and justice. Like the winds, they blow their victims without mercy.
 
beneath her hand, the shards of a once-sealed jar--This was where I get the alabaster jar. It is once sealed, but it's treasure was released. This is a person who poured herself out as an offering.
stab at her skin, and within its shattered curve--Curve gives a feminine reading to the line. The speaker is the shattered jar in some sense.
is a single white feather--This is a hopeful image. A reminder of the lost wings.
I'm sure I was all over the place. I enjoyed the read, Leanne.

Best,

Todd
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#6
Thanks Todd. I am pleased that whatever mythology is applied, the symbols are taking readers to similar places and the mood comes through. And yes, at the end there is Hope -- whether beginning or ending, I do not know. I suspect it's all the same.
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#7
(09-19-2017, 02:05 PM)Leanne Wrote:  she wears the holes of crucifixion
from the years spent standing in place of a cock                       daring double meaning
at the mercy of the winds that swirled across the steeple             but you make it work with steeple
 
now fallen, her wings are torn from her back                    
and her breast is exposed from behind                            
so her traitor heart can pump its last                    i take this ironical: traitor heart in the view of the gods.
into the filth upon which this church perches                     
like an aged buzzard
too blind to do more than peck feebly for bile        
i love how there is a lot in these two lines.. a hint to mythology, the characterization of the gods and those who are (or think they are) performing their punishment and how revengefulness and anger make blind.
 
beneath her hand, the shards of a once-sealed jar   
stab at her skin, and within its shattered curve
is a single white feather                                           the only thing left in the jar.. could be hope, so now the reader´d have to decide how he perceives it: freed from the now open jar or lost in the filth,    faith or delusion.
...
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#8
Smile Thank you. Your views are most welcome, and I sincerely appreciate the effort you've put into your interpretation.
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#9
(09-19-2017, 02:05 PM)Leanne Wrote:  she wears the holes of crucifixion
from the years spent standing in place of a cock ...............I'm sure you could bowdlerise this line a bit? I find it hilarious
at the mercy of the winds that swirled across the steeple ...... 'at the mercy of'  - cliche?
 
now fallen, her wings are torn from her back
and her breast is exposed from behind
so her traitor heart can pump its last ...... Three 'hers' in a row? Jawohl, Herr Kolonel.
into the filth upon which this church perches
like an aged buzzard
too blind to do more than peck feebly for bile
 
beneath her hand, the shards of a once-sealed jar
stab at her skin, and within its shattered curve .... more 'hers'?
is a single white feather
~ I think I just quoted myself - Achebe
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#10
Would you even have noticed if it said "his"?
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#11
Leanne
From a poetic perspective there is nothing I can suggest that I feel would improve the poem, your poems are nearly always open to interpretation, thus making them personal to each reader and this is no exception. The imagery you use in this piece is dark and almost simmering with an underlying anger, our ill treated protagonist has suffered at the hands of her aged dogmatic oppressor, broken and beaten, hope once sealed away now smashed set free. I wanted to tell her to get up, get up, become all that you can be. You have written a very powerful poem here and to be able to write something that invokes such emotion in the reader is a wonderful thing. I don't know how you do it, but I'm glad you do. Best Keith

If your undies fer you've been smoking through em, don't peg em out
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#12
Blush Thanks so much, Keith.
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