Sunday, January 11, 2009

Swan Quills

If you must pluck these feathers from my wing
then let them be my tongues, to cry in pain
and utter songs that live swans never sing.

I'd have you feel the wounding, and the sting
of cold on naked flesh that will remain
if you must pluck these feathers from my wing.

A flightless swan's a shamed and broken thing
like shoreline flotsam stranded by the rain
and utters songs that live swans never sing,

abandoned by the wind. You'll see me cling
to earth, a slave in gravity's cold chain.
If you must pluck these feathers from my wing

then know these stolen plumes will only bring
you soul-death. You will walk among the slain
and utter songs that live swans never sing

until the bird and poet's suffering
unite in sad, compassionate refrain.
If you must pluck these feathers from my wing
you'll learn the songs that live swans never sing.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

13 comments:

Danika / OpenChannel said...

what a beautiful villanelle, great breath, rhythm, all the way through. it's one of my favourite forms to write, though I do so rarely.

Rich said...

Beautiful. I find it so difficult to write in such restrictive forms and have it not come out sounding stilted or forced. You've managed this beautifully. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Jeeves said...

Brilliant. The last two line simply said it all

gautami tripathy said...

You excel in such forms!

unconnected

Fledgling Poet said...

I admire that you were able to do this...it seems like it would be extremely difficult. I especially was struck by these two lines because it was so visual:

A flightless swan's a shamed and broken thing
like shoreline flotsam stranded by the rain


Beautiful read...thank you for sharing!

Richard said...

Every once in a while, like in this poem, you out do yourself. Excellent subject matter, imagery, and form.

Tumblewords: said...

Delightful and melancholy, too. A wonderful read...

floreta said...

this reminds me of animal cruelty!

i like these lines:
then know these stolen plumes will only bring
you soul-death. You will walk among the slain

-------
one can never go unscathed with ones actions. there are always consequences!

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Beautiful song! I sang it straight off right through, love the refrain and the way this form works.

Linda Jacobs said...

Ditto!

You know how much I admire your skill!

John Tran said...

Also ditto re: beautiful song.

Love this line:
"a slave in gravity's cold chain"

Crafty Green Poet said...

beautiful...

artpredator said...

nicely done villanelle, haunting, beautiful, skillful