Tuesday, May 11

Magpie Tales 13

This week's writing prompt for Magpie Tales was the foreboding eye shown here to the left. Magpie Tales is a blog begun by willow of Life at Willow Manor, dedicated, in her words, "to the enjoyment of writers, for the purpose of honing their craft, sharing it with like minded bloggers, and keeping their muses alive and well".

Never to rest or know the peace of sleep,
salt night with tears or bathe in tidal dreams;
damned to see all and to by all be seen,
naked and alone, great Eye in heaven.

Frightened outcast forever left behind
by prayer periscope of nursery rhymes;
on what lost orbit and by what bent lens,
did the scared dyslex into the sacred?

Perched atop a pyramid, we all fell
at his feet in praise of the all-seeing eye.
Cyclops banished Apollo and mighty
Zeus himself from the gouged unblinking sky.

Petrified stare of a lonely tyrant
never cradled in a child’s honeyed gaze;
what stern unflinching prison stone is this
for the sensual orb of human bliss?

Fling the chimeless bell in the fire and flee
from the flames! Hurl him at the sun, follow
his arc through clouds blown across the valley,
restore him to the earth’s tender hollow

where mossy lids will bring moist balm to soothe
the weary king, so the ancient chorus
may race chariots in the blinding wind
while he learns the sweetness of slumber. For

when the thorns were thrust down upon his brow,
even Jesus veiled his eyes in tears and worked
his greatest miracle in a bouldered cave
hidden away, unseen, unseeing, returned.

And, now, I encourage you, without batting an eye, to go see what other magpie tales partcipants have offered us this week.


  1. wow, you have woven quite the tale into your words...there is depth yet to be plumbed when my mind is not so addled from work...nice magpie!

  2. This one's a deep epic, Lorenzo. I especially like the last powerful stanza.

  3. Lorenzo

    Oh to justify the ways of God to (wo)man---and (wo)man to God I feel like I am reading someone who had an epiphany....
    You have an usually deep intuitive grasp of reality and the inner workings of the essential nature of the meaning of the divine in nature and the nature of man.
    It was an an illuminating moment reading this epic poem. Who are you dear Lorenzo? a man of deep inner perception who once in awhile shows us a glimpse of your inner workings of your mind - sometimes childlike sometimes deeply profound.


  4. Lorenzo,

    I loved this:

    Perched atop a pyramid, we all fell
    at his feet in praise of the all-seeing eye.

    and this:
    where mossy lids will bring moist balm to soothe
    the weary king, so the ancient chorus
    may race chariots in the blinding wind,
    while he learns the sweetness of slumber

  5. Out of curiosity, do you write you poetry in English and Spanish (a la Neruda), or just one or the other?

  6. This is quite astonishing, really. How it builds. When I get to Fling the chimeless bell . . . , that stanza and the next do the poem thing that only poems do in such a short distance: show the mighty and the small, together, through images simple and beautiful. The chimeless bell (brilliant), the eye flung at the fire/sun, the earth's eye socket and mossy lids . . . holy frijole I am blessed to read it.


  7. wow lorenzo! wow! who knew that was coming . . . . i'll be keeping an eye out for future writing. steven

  8. amazing! you weave such a layered tapestry of images. and somehow make it look easy.

  9. A worse punishment than Prometheus had, never to be able to look away. This poem really brings Greek Tragedy to mind, not just the imagery, but the way it feels too.

  10. Unseen and unseeing but later showed the world the way to live. Powerful.

  11. I had Jesus and thorns in my piece this week also, but lordy lordy I cannot even get that piece on the playing field with this fine poem. Thanks, Joan T

  12. Some epic tale! I love the curse element of it

  13. I approach this with a befuddled mind that can still sense its strength and its structure and is aware of an erudition I cannot quite grasp today.

    But I can feel a stirring in its depths and am reminded of a grandeur and power that exists just beyond my grasp.

  14. Lorenzo, I wanted to tell you thank you so much for how kind you've been so my sister during this difficult period she's experiencing. It touched me to see your thoughtful notes to her on her caringbridge blog--how wonderful of you!

    I know she appreciates that, and I was amazed to see that you took that time to write her notes. Thank you again.

    I will have to tell her to look at your blog as it is a favorite of mine as well...


  15. As always, thanks everyone for the kind words. This was not an 'easy' poem to read or write. I have replied to many of you on your blogs or by email, but I'll respond to a few more here ...

    Brian: My mind was probably too addled when I wrote it!

    Joanny: You are always so warmly supportive on my blog. I really appreciate it. As for who am I? There are many reasons for this blog, but perhaps the most important one is to try to figure out the answer to that question myself.

    Jingle: Hi and welcome to the alchemist's pillow. Since your visit I've enjoyed a couple of visits to your blog

  16. Jeff: I'll paste here the reply I sent you by email. I was thinking about doing a post on the question of which language I wrote poetry in, because it is one close to my heart:

    I basically only write in English but must say I am a strange jumble of the two languages. I was born in Venezuela and learned Spanish before English. At the age of 5, we moved to New Jersey where I lived until the age of 28. I actually forgot all of my Spanish and had to relearn it when I would spend occasional summers in Spain at my grandmother's farm. All my studying and hence writing was in English. I have now lived in Spain for 25 years and obviously almost completed the "relearning".

    So all told I have spent 30 years of my life in Spanish speaking environments and 23 in English. I am surrounded by Spanish and actually speak little English on a daily basis, but do all my writing and most of my reading in English. I do not have the same command of Spanish as I do in English, or so I think. I sometimes believe that my brain is wired in English and my heart in Spanish.

    Though, I do not write in Spanish, it is probably much more present than I am aware and probably percolates through. I do not know if there is interference between the languages or mutual enrichment; perhaps, neither, probably some of both.

    Like I said, a strangle jumble.

  17. Barry: Great to see you here. Thanks for giving me and the poem the benefit of the doubt!

  18. Sue (A Brush with Color): It was a pleasure to contact your sister. Her journal gives a tender and powerful glimpse into the life and mind of someone battling a dread disease with great courage. I admire her for what she is doing and am glad you let us know about her story.

  19. Lorenzo, this is epic. I was fearful of reading it at first, the grandeur of the passages, symbolism, imagery. How it all built towards the finale. All beautiful. All wrought with a fine hand.

    I enjoyed these lines especially:

    where mossy lids will bring moist balm to soothe
    the weary king, so the ancient chorus
    may race chariots in the blinding wind
    while he learns the sweetness of slumber.



  20. This is a really fine poem, Lorenzo. While I am new to your blog, I must say that I am astounded by the quality of the writing and insight.

    I also enjoyed the remembrance of Mary Lou Williams. We have a great debt to all artists. Thanks for preserving the memory of this one.


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