Auguries

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Forest, Cage and Black Sun-Max Ernst 1927

-But is it safe? The Ingenue asked.
-Safe? The Melancholy Lieutenant paused
Before smilingly replying
-Safe as houses,
-There’s no need to fear
-For now I’ll be wearing the trousers

Well that is all very fine and good, the Ingenue thought
But in her mind she saw the house hemmed in by
The massed rank and file of stripped trees radiating
A barely concealed hostility
Over the rooftop the unfurled Black Flag flew in the breeze
And on the second story the Melancholy Lieutenant
Crouched by the open window
His finger on the trigger
And the arrayed enemies in his sights;
Squeezing never pulling
A feast for the carrion tonight
And she would wander into the attic and stare
Out of the skylight at a bare patch of winter sky
With a sense of foreboding
As a flock of birds flew across
First in arrow formation, than as a diamond
Before settling into a cruciform shape
Starlings, larks, cranes and crows
Swans, doves, sparrows and eagles
Symbolising something, she was sure,
But what exactly?
A definite sign,
An augury of a forthcoming storm
Horsemen forming in the racing clouds,
Unquenchable fire scorching this frozen, barren land.
The Ingenue sighed,
And glimpsed the fading flower
On the dusty table in
Its itch of stagnant water.

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37 thoughts on “Auguries

  1. Well at least the Ingenue and the Melancholy Lieutenant will face the could be end together. Mr. Cake, this is marvelous, all the symbolism that you’ve woven into the lines, fantastic. I don’t think you could have found a more perfect painting to pair this with. Indeed doesn’t the title, “Forest, Cage and Black Sun” sum it up perfectly?

    “An augury of a forthcoming storm
    Horsemen forming in the racing clouds,
    Unquenchable fire scorching this frozen, barren land.”

    Marvelous, a nap special? You’re on your game Mr. Cake. ~ Miss Cranes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Miss Cranes, my old faithfuls the Ingenue and the Melancholy Lieutenant are again in metaphysical hot water. Another nap special, several elements borrowed, Blake and just disparate elements thrown together. Again a nap special. I kept the typo on the last line. I might have a collection together soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. the last line causes the reader pause in a good way. I think because of the surreal nature of the poem it works so well, and as we know there are no accidents, subconscious intent is always in charge.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Aha! Was this your idea from the other day? Straight out of the Apocalypse. The gathering of birds after the flight of the horsemen, feasting on the carrion of kings and captains and mighty men. This is fantastic. The painting is a good accompaniment as well. Winner, Cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So foreboding. I have often wondered what it would be like to sup at Goya’s table in the Quinta del Sordo. I don’t think I could live with some of these paintings on the walls. Imagine all those witches as you sipped your soup!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There is the 2009 Moon–particularly the one hanging over Newcastle. And there’s Pammy Pamtastico!, my alter ego. When I began blogging anonymously years ago, Pammy allowed me to say the things I wanted to say without being chastised. PP is dear to me, and comes out to play often–presenting herself in some of my darker, more acerbic work.

        Liked by 1 person

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