Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Grave Robber*

The wind was shrill, the clouds sedated,
My spirit heavy as I waited
To visit an old mate below the pomegranate tree.
Ready I had come to grieve
And fertilize the roots and leaves
To feed the fruit that grew there and then gave itself for free.
To hungry folk like me.

But on that cold portentous night
There waited there a muddy fright-
A ghoul in moonlight down below the pomegranate tree.
He licked the soil and scraped the roots
Sifted leaves inside a boot,
The match for which was on the ground crushed beneath his knee
The ghoul, I saw, saw me.

Nervous, I walked to the clearing
Only then as I was nearing
The ghoul cast up a yellow eye below the pomegranate tree
And began to keen and, tearing
simple rags he was wearing,
Gurgled "I can't find it, help me, you must help me, see!
Then I'll let you free!"

I asked him what it was he's seeking,
He looked as if he'd caught me sneaking
And whispered his answer to the flowers on the pomegranate tree.
"A bird I plucked but didn't kill-
His remains are somewhere still
He fell off of a window sill and I suspect his meat may be
Here and I plan to see."

I asked him what it was to him
To have a body past the brim
Under the flowery limb of this old pomegranate tree
He answered "I was known to poke,
Prod, burn, persecute and joke
The little bird that sang so sweetly, and to cage his she.
What will they say of me?

"If I don't find and then preserve
The sweet and harmless little bird
Men and ghouls may curse my name around the pomegranate tree.
If I can't even claim his ashes,
Even demons fear the lashes
When strangers call my evil rashness and my darkness frivolee."
I admit, I do agree.
-Willie Eighter, Santa Clarita

TRIFLE, n. Motive enough.

*Note: I confess I'm doing yet another post about my analog world. Bear with me and I'll work through it.

13 comments:

Nessa said...

very interesting poem. i have to read it again later to gather more meaning.

*you are certainly allowed to share/work out your analog life here. your real world seems to be quite interesting. i hope you get to the other side.

Sensational Haiku Wednesday - Dreams

Anonymous said...

Jan will rest in peace wherever he is

Karen said...

Jan must've had the pomegranate tree brought to Santa Clarita from Persia. I'm sure he was proud of its oldness.

TLP said...

I read this several times. It's a wonderful work.

No need to "work through" your real life. It's all we really have after all.

If only it really were a "trifle" it wouldn't weigh so much.

quilly said...

Willie ate whose bird? I hope it wasn't an expensive one!

Doug said...

Nessa, there's only one side: teed off.

I know that, Pop, but if you don't protest petty malice, you'll never get to the big crimes.

Karen, I think the tree was there when Jan moved in. Look up Persephone instead.

TLP, I'm confident this is temporary but thank you.

Quilly, there are no expensive birds. Only expensive cages.

tsduff said...

Trifle? I prefer truffle.

Cooper said...

Liked this piece quite well...
trifle, your definition this time around is like the perfect fudge...no need trying to better it.

weirsdo said...

Shades of Edgar Allan Poe, it seems to me.

Doug said...

Terry, that's good. I'll know what to lade.

Thank you, Cooper.

Intentionally and incompletely so, Weirsdo.

Ariel the Thief said...

Love this poem, and its rhythm, and many details in it, one by one. I feel for the ghoul, he is trapped in his own craziness and is very unhappy.

Good job for some hungry folk.

Doug said...

Thanks, Ariel. I'll eat again.

weirsdo said...

Trifle: A tasty mish-mash. Only a graveyard for leftovers in inexpert hands.