By What Means

Sailing in potions.  The aftermath transformed from apparition into gold.  Navigating in the middle of above and below, breath and fire.

How to make a path through the shoreless sea.  How to find what was left behind on its phantom boundaries.

Coiled and enclosed by emotions that have no name.  Entangled in a web of circumstance.

To be alive is always a risk.

Who acknowledges your vulnerabilites?  What are the objects of your devotion?  When will your unknowable secrets be revealed?  Where is the entrance to the far side of the darkest extremity?

Why? and why not?

We too are ensnared, following your edges into a maze of decay.  We are unable to meet your gaze until it’s too late.  We always search for you beyond the point of no return.

All those ghoststones, weighed down by too many betrayals.  The intersection of desire and fear that paralyzes completion.  The piercing shards of the broken mirror.

The spiral grows tighter, less controlled.  The waves isolate and discard.  The horizon is lost, the voices drowned in a desperate merging of man and beast.  Which one remains after the inevitable inferno?

The distance between was always an illusion.

Last month Visual Verse had a very intriguing image, with a serpent like creature, as its ekphrastic prompt. Even before I wrote a response, I wanted to do a visual response as well. You can see the original image and the published responses here.

My prose poem wasn’t chosen for publication, but I finally made my collage and revised the text a bit for Tricia Sankey’s dVerse prompt exploring risk.

50 thoughts on “By What Means

  1. Well done! Life is really like your collage, full of the unexpected and bringing out the beast from the human! I really liked this line:
    …the voices drowned in a desperate merging of man and beast. Which one remains after the inevitable inferno?

    Like

  2. I like the boat that sails between the two worlds, even though the line is an illusion which is a really scary thought to me. My favorite part of the poem:
    “All those ghoststones, weighed down by too many betrayals. The intersection of desire and fear that paralyzes completion. The piercing shards of the broken mirror.” The longer I look at the collage the more I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jade. Boats are a potent symbol for navigating the waters of existence and the between. As they have been throughout human history. The original image conjures many ideas, rich for collage making. It would be easy to take many different approaches to it. I may visit it again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this poem makes me think of entropy – and of Yeats ‘The Second Coming’.

    And we are always seeking – if not the answer to your question, the question itself ~

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All those ghoststones, weighed down by too many betrayals.

    You know, maybe it’s the collage that sent my mind in this direction, but your poem somehow also feels like a collage to me, Kerfe. It’s delightfully creative.

    Yours,
    David

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is so powerful, Kerfe. The questions and the phantoms and ghoststones–the illusions. . .I think this collage is one of your best, even though I think it’s sort of terrifying. I can imagine the figure with her arms raised coming alive and coming toward me. It’s nightmarish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Merril. When I was looking for that figure, the sculpture leaped out at me. She was surrounded by snakes which seemed appropriate as well. I found the original image very unsettling so I’m glad I was able to capture that feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very imaginative and a splendid poem. Even my entry wasn’t accepted at Visual Verse last time. ( My prose piece is nothing compared to your splendid poem, come to think of it now, my piece was a bit kiddish. )

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m pleased you made the collage Kerfe because it’s wonderful! ‘To be alive is always a risk.’ From start to finish. I agree that most of the distances we perceive are illusory.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. To be alive is indeed always a risk, indeed. The whole piece is sumptuous, though I love the opening: “Sailing in potions. The aftermath transformed from apparition into gold. Navigating in the middle of above and below, breath and fire.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I submitted twice to Visual Verse, and they were not interested in the musculature of my poetic mindset. Your art work is always fascinating, and your poetry is rife with excellent word-smithing and inquiry. As poets we must ask the hard questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your art is so cool and your verses are just as surreal! I liked this phrase, “Navigating in the middle of above and below, breath and fire.” I have always heard “as above so below” but we definitely reside in the middle here, I believe. That last question is great! I love it when are left pondering way after we have finished a poem! 💝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence! I like a lot of the things they choose, but I’m just as often puzzled by them as well. I always submit with low expectations. But I always end up with a poem to post.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. “To be alive is always a risk. Who acknowledges your vulnerabilities? What are the objects of your devotion? When will your unknowable secrets be revealed?” You ask such poignant, hard-hitting questions here in this exquisite prose poem! Sigh 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

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