Bereft

The bitter chill of absence shudders in,
sailing unsteadily on the gelid night air;
an unwelcome zephyr,
too rhino-skinned rude
to stutter an apology.
 

Saline squall erupts, furrows,
freeze-dries, cracks open the earth –
 

repeats; saturation slips me deep.
 

Awake, knowing
your name unfurled
on every molten breath,
to hang wraith-like in this room
and watch me sleep.
 
 

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20 Comments

Filed under Free Verse

20 responses to “Bereft

  1. This has some seepage in “Dido’s Lament” to me, soaked as it is with a language’s full resources: cultured in loss … Love is the name you speak of, hot on the breath of fresh passions, become a bittersweet sound of distant surf coming through a window through which no moon again can be seen. For now. Great work,

    • Thanks Brendan. I love Jeff Buckley’s version of Dido’s Lament, not classic opera I know but the guy’s voice just melts me. His Corpus Christi is just divine.

  2. Beautifully discomfiting… the pain is tangible and the lingering haunted quality is very well wrought. Your poem works on many levels… possible to appreciate the precision and colour of your langauge while simultaneously shuddering at the sharp sense of loss. Clever. Moving.

    • Thanks Becky, this one didn’t take much tweaking to get to a point where I was happy with it. I often find that with very personal pieces like this.

  3. Phew, wow…that ending especially. A rich drink of language and character in this, of simple, raw, human longing…pain lights the words, and saturates the image to perfection. Lovely.

    • Thanks Chris, unusually I wrote the last stanza first on this one. It started with that image of being able to see breath in the cold night air.

  4. nice…i like the rhino skin rude in the opening…the unfurled name on each breath hanging wraith like…great as well…feel the longing in this one for sure…have fun in wales tonight…

    • Thank you Brian. There was a bit of a debate on the FEPC board about the rhino skin rude line but I loved it and there was no way it was going (did I mention I can be a bit stubborn? haha)

      The fact that you’ve said you could ‘feel’ it is a great compliment as far as I’m concerned. It’s one thing for a reader to be able to connect with a poem but to feel it is what we’re really aiming for.

  5. i like these lines:

    “I awake, knowing
    your name unfurled
    on every molten breath,
    to hang wraith-like in this room
    and watch me sleep.”

  6. yikes, sounds a bit frightening….actually gave me shivers.

  7. Here is what I felt: that the fire and ice of love can be like an earthquake, a hurricane. The saline squall a burst of tears, sobs. An absence that is more full than any presence.

    • Thanks Mark. That word ‘felt’ again – I love it when I hear that in a response. Yes, your interpretation/perception of the piece is spot on.

  8. ..there’s so many lines to like here but your finale note took the breath away…stunningly gracious!(:

  9. great word combinations…rhino-skinned rude..wraith-like…freeze-dries…love those…and the whole mood in this poem…dense write.. i envy you for going to florence…i didn’t make it…but will soon i think..

    • Thanks for the wonderful feedback Claudia. I’ll be in Florence from the 27th to the 30th October, going with my girlfriends. Have rented a beautiful apartment with a roof terrace right in the centre of the city and have a couple of spare beds if you fancy making the trip. I also have a friend who has lived there for over twenty years so we have our very own guide who takes us to all the best places where the locals hang out.

  10. You’ve created some great images here, Carys. And I like your effective use of active verbs. They really enliven the poem. Thanks for joining this to dVerse. Hope to see more of you there.

  11. hedgewitch

    So late getting here Julie, but I might have missed the music clips if i’d been too early, so that’s okay. The word that first snagged me was gelid, and the rhino-skin was just sauce after that–the image of how love, or really a lover, pervades us, is exuded by everything in and around us even in absence is potent and beautifully conveyed here. After reading hundreds of poems, it’s nice to feel like this is the first of the evening.

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