Apr '18 21
Today's rescued poem turned out to be an age-old story waiting to be told – although it wasn't without its vocabulary challenges. In particular, there was no 'him', hence some unwieldy construction/repetition, but that's how it goes.

And a reminder: none of these daily poems are heavily edited. To do so would require spending a lot more time to rework while staying true to the rules of using only what words are available in the jumble from the source texts.

This one ascended from pages 100 and 168 of The Devourers and Marie Tarnowska respectively, both by Annie Vivanti Chartres.

Lure of the lakes

My friend the pale octopus
dreamed me up from the abyss.

He read me a story
from the Book of Desolation
of a passionate knight from long ago
who had the eyes of a scorpion
and the heart of a lover;
who had sat by those lakes for years
watching, watching,
staring, staring.

The depths whispered to the knight
with their shadowy voice.
They took his blood and breath
for their own.
He drowned
but his soul bloomed in gladness at their gates.
The lakes filled up his spirit
and then he saw what had never been seen.

He had given them his soul.

My friend the pale octopus
rubbed his old eyes,
rubbed my old cheeks.

When I had sunk back to the depths
I gazed up in reawakened desolation:
That man was me.

Posted by Jennifer Liston


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