Monday, October 22, 2007

Horse of the Apocalypse

And you believe you can control apocalypse
because you called it up—but can you put it down?
You set the dreadful rumors flying, lip to lip

and filled the harbor with a fleet of battleships
and filled the streets with soldiers wearing shirts of brown.
And you believe you can control apocalypse

like captains cruising confidently near the tips
of sunken icebergs, careless kings who play at crowns.
You set the dreadful rumors flying, lip to lip—

and with each repetition, there’s a sideways slip.
The message drifts off-course, the ball is out of bounds
and you believe you can control apocalypse!

So now the rearing stallion escapes your grip
and prophets babble in the streets of every town
and set the dreadful rumors flying, lip to lip

of powers lost, of rolling dice and coins to flip.
The dragon’s teeth spring up, a distant trumpet sounds,
and stills the dreadful rumors on the people’s lips
with certain news of uncontrolled apocalypse.


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11 comments:

PaulS said...

Great use of rhythm to provide energy and momentum right through the poem. It sounds like thundering hooves and trumpets too. Very cool poem.

Rick M said...

Beautiful work with a nice twist at the end.

RM

Alan Bender said...

Powerful use of the villanelle.

Does your nickname happen to be Harry or were you #22 by pure chance?

Jo said...

The last stanza is a wondrous end. The repetitions work well.

sister AE said...

This is great. The repetition of the villanelle ties in nicely with the repetition of the rumor (lip to lip), and that even sounds a little like a clipity-clop kind of noise a horse makes. I can't help but read it with more speed toward the end.

LJCohen said...

"You set the dreadful rumors flying, lip to lip—

and with each repetition, there’s a sideways slip.
The message drifts off-course, the ball is out of bounds"

Wow--wonderful rhythm and use of rhyme. Nicely done.

tumblewords said...

The dragon’s teeth spring up, a distant trumpet sounds

Your poem is so readable, so thoughtful and the flow/rhythm is superb. Love it.

Dale said...

You had me at the opening -- "And you believe you can control apocalypse /
because you called it up?" And just went on from strength to strength.

Dick said...

A disciplined & powerful use of vilanelle - perfect for the poem's theme & content.

Linda said...

Now, this is one effective villanelle! The rhymes and repetitions are seamless and barely noticeable. Very accomplished writing! ~Linda

my backyard said...

lots of passion in this poem!
it's a bonus for me to learn about the villanelle, too.