Tuesday, May 8, 2012

no more than the bird with the piercing voice*

night is rendered mute
blanketed in storms of
soot, smoke, blood-stains

the youngest are always
led away first in no
particular order, maybe
by height; eyes eloquent

shrieks strafe the air
in the beginning but
shortly it is silence
that makes the eardrums

*from a fragment of a Sappho poem


  1. this has a dark edge to it...the soot, night, bloodstains...the helplessness of being led away...the shreiks...whew...shivers...

  2. This reminds me of the holocaust or, other such ethnic cleansing. Horrific.

  3. This is powerful and ambiguous, what's happening here? Doesn't matter, 'tis ominous enough. Great write.

  4. Yes. That ear-piercing silence
    after the noises of happiness --
    or horror.

  5. Whew. This is powerful, rough stuff, Sharon.
    Silence being the thing to make the eardrums throb is a poignant thought, and so, so true.

  6. The comment above was from me, De. Not sure why it's anonymous.

  7. Those kinds of shrieks leave a mark, as has this poem.

  8. Wow! Powerful and dark. awesome write!

  9. Oh! I am such a fan of silence...but not of this sort. This is haunting, dark and beyond goosebump worthy. You've chosen just the perfect words to covey the darkness...and leave the write lingering long after sundown...seriously potent weave.

  10. This is dark...and that silence is deafening and frightful.

    Something new and different from you ~ Cheers ~

  11. There is a very ancient feel to this--I'm assuming it's a fragment you've expanded on? Or is it straight Sappho? That middle stanza reads like something from thousands of years ago that still would make you wake up in a cold sweat today. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. I knew this was a fragment from Sappho! I wrote a poem using some fragments as well (not this one, though) and it sounded so familiar. Love what you did with this, what a quivering eloquence of horror that does justice to the fragment.

  13. Wow this is really creepy! Too close to my bedtime, I need to go find a poem about puppies now.

  14. Sharon, the night is perfect cover for poachers. I think that's what I got from this - the culling of young elephants, the killing of their parents for ivory, leaving the rest of the poor animal to rot.

    Elephants, to me, are one of the most amazing, beautiful species on the planet. Their slaughter is a tragedy. I don't buy ivory, even antique, out of respect for them. Thank you for this powerful poem. Love, Amy

  15. oh heck..this made me shiver...was thinking direction holocaust as well...but can be read in many different ways, depending on background..was thinking direction drugs as well..

  16. This is powerful - the ambiguity makes it the more ominous. Those eloquent eyes... Great write.

    1. This is Andrew by the way - same as for De, we seem to be anonymous!

  17. I love the ominous tone, the understatement which is so much more powerful than dramatic detail, and above all the marvellous ending - which practically made my eardrums throb!

  18. Very odd how names aren't appearing. The above comment is from me - Mary - and I AM signed in Blogger.


  19. Very mysterious, enticing piece, Sharon. I really like the words you use and how they flow so well together.


  20. First of all - thanks for coming here to one of my very first created and little used blogs ... I wasn't sure if it would link properly or not ... second, I apologize that your names did not show up correctly to begin with; my fault, I think - somehow did not have that part of the template coloured (had it showing as transparent and your names were in the dark unless hovered over) As for your profile shots, as far as I can tell, this is a Blogger/Google glitch which they are trying to work out. Oh - and I have never had the word verification switched on - did recheck it and made sure it's off, so if you are getting that, I apologize but do tell me so I can complain to Blogger and keep on complaining - I know how annoying that can be ...
    Phew - house-keeping done, I hope - thanks for the comments on this scrap of darkness - I have four or five more "fragments of Sappho" poems that will probably show up in the next little while. They are part of a contest I took part in for Tupelo Press a couple of years ago - really an interesting exercise, didn't win of course, but I really like the poetry it engendered ... and I do love Sappho -

  21. oh, chills right up my spine, deep, dark, haunting.

  22. So sorry for my tardiness- this was excellent- it definately created some holocaust imagery- quite horrible- but your poem dealt with the subject in an incredibly powerful way ....the screams and then the silence .....blew my mind....


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