Thursday, April 26, 2012

In Artefex Carmina

Here is a poem I wrote about 3 weeks ago. I tweaked it a bit for this weeks meeting the bar.

There was once a girl who lived in a white-cedar house. She lived in a particular time, perhaps it was this one; in which life had lost all originality. Her name was a common name, perhaps jenny, or julie, or amy, or susan; but she preferred only to be known as, “In artefex carmina”; the artist of songs. You see, that was precisely who she was. At the young age of just 18 she left everything she had ever known, carrying only her small, silver, music-playing square. She had determined to live her life with a soundtrack. Setting the shuffle, and tying her strands of indigo-black hair into a ponytail, she embarked. She took the only road she knew; the oak lined dirt that led away from her white-cedar house, into the great, deep unknown. She did it step by step, and heartbeat by heartbeat, and song by song. She made it into the great unknown, but once there, her battery died, and she had nothing with which to revive it. So she spiralled. Artists without inspiration always spiral. She spiralled into shooting things into her veins, and smoking things into her lungs, and inviting those who did not love her into her heart and soul; and in the end, her heart and veins and lungs were left broken. She wished she could trade her blanket underneath the overpass for her white-cedar house down the oak lined dirt road, away from this great, deep unknown. Sadly for her, life rarely ever gives back white-cedar houses, as they are somewhat hard to find. In her blanket under the overpass, with her broken veins, and lungs, and heart, she finally opened her ears and closed her eyes, and she heard. She heard the sound of the overpass creaking, and the sound of busy cars, and the sound of careless ravens and whispering oaks; and beyond that, with other ears she never knew she had, she heard the wonderful rhythm of life. Her veins and lungs became alive with the sunlight rays of kick-drum sound that flooded her soul. The shattered pieces of the heart she had left began to beat for the first time in a long time, and once again, she embarked. This time it wasn’t a journey away from anything, but a journey content with where it was. She walked and walked, and as she walked, she sang. As she sang, her haunting indigo-black voice reflected the voice of the land and life around her, and people began to stop and listen. She walked past plains, and mountains, and hills, until she reached a yellow salt ocean. As a gift for her haunting voice, a fisherman with a salt and pepper beard, and broad, wrinkled shoulders offered her his broken down ship. She felt at home with this broken ship, for she too knew what brokenness felt like. As she ran her fingers across its worn and splintered sides, she recognized that it looked just like her soul. The girl with the haunting voice spent 6 long months repairing that ship. At the end of it all, she had worn and cracked hands, and her haunting voice evolved and subtly sounded of sea-salt and grit. As she boarded the old fishing ship to say goodbye to her temporary home on the shore of this yellow salty sea, she sang a haunting, gritty, beautiful song that sounded so much like life, that the fishermen forgot their grudges and smoked pipes together. She set sail to the wind, and beckoned it near with a siren call, and the wind wrapped around her and under her, and through her to set her sails away. No one from the yellow salt shore, or the creaking underpass, or the town with the white-cedar house ever saw her again, but the ones who heard her sing say that they still hear her salty, gritty, haunting indigo-black song through the whispering oaks, and cawing ravens, and creaking overpasses, and busy cars to this very day.

9 comments:

  1. She had determined to live her life with a soundtrack...song by song..taking the steps...away from what is safe and familiar...then the struggling, the drugs and finding herself in this broken ship, knowing what brokenness felt like and the getting whole and free...wow..what a great journey...

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  2. endearing, clever and hunting short story/poem. Great work here. thanks for re-posting it here.

    http://leah-jamielynn.typepad.com/blog/

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  3. wow i would love to hear her song...love that part where she opens up and hears the music of the world...the creak of the overpass and such...there is a sound track to life, right there for us...really transformtive journey in this...

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  4. This is an amazing story youve woven together here. Very nicely done!

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  5. Hauntingly beautiful, allegorical, narrative poem. I'm sure there are other adjectives but...to prove how effective it was, I have chills. You succeeded in creating a strong emotional involvment. Yikes. This sounds like a lot of superlatives, but it truly deserves them.

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  6. Me too, would like to hear it. Start composing.

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  7. Wow, so glad she learned to listen and found her song and didn't stop there. Beautiful.

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  8. This is incredible; I was particularly gripped by the first half.

    So true: "Artists without inspiration always spiral."

    Great choice to call it a music-playing square instead of a music box.

    Gorgeous: "Setting the shuffle, and tying her strands of indigo-black hair into a ponytail, she embarked."

    I enjoyed this very much. It also made me happy that the sea was yellow. :)

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