Nephesh.

	Old father’s obit
	unwanted earth in his mouth
	lent the blood from his sex	
like moth wings drown
		not him, no, my father is a good man
	the earth not so much
			so it can drown;
		I can blame it on the dirt
		sucking orange downtown jewels
		in each grave, first, my cats
		then my great uncle, then my cousins
			where we all die
				this nephesh in our bodies
			throughout the clock tower
				fluttering
	like LA sex shows
	but no one is watching.

		I dreamt, letting death
	that dream of mine
	be a handful like whiskey
	her beauty, a small knuckle of land.
		Gates, murderous, only watch
		as ghost flowers 
	sink, frail, into black crackled chiffon,
	into sick hands. 

© 2021 lucysworks.com All Rights Reserved.

Written 6/15/2021 for the dVerse prompt: Select one out of the twelve photographs shared [above] and write a poem. Photography provided by Glenn Buttkus.



Categories: Prose

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

33 replies

  1. So much to love here especially; “I dreamt, letting death that dream of mine be a handful like whiskey her beauty, a small knuckle of land.” Really strong and poignant writing, Lucy! Thank you so much for adding your voice to the prompt 💝💝

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The reference to Nephesh and the way you describe the father made me think of Lot’s daughters and the incestuous relationship they had after the fall of Gomorrah, and Lot’s wife being transformed into a pillar of salt.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ah, I can see that! Now when I look back at this poem, I can remember that fondly. 😁

      Though truly, thank you for the thoughts and feedback. Always appreciated, Bjorn.

      Like

  3. There are so many layers to this Lucy, of death within our bodies, family ties and nightmares. Stunning!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Lovely work! Thank you for drawing my eye to nephesh, Lucy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is very claustrophobic, I felt the sense of choking on dirt really chilled me. I think blaming it on the dirt, also personified it’s suffocating nature.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Warm and stinging all in one piece. Artfully written!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I always have to read your poems about 3 times, Lucy, to really get the flavour ’cause there’s always so much going on! It’s still so enigmatic. Beautiful turns of phrase: this nephesh in our bodies throughout the clock tower fluttering / like LA sex shows but no one is watching / her beauty, a small knuckle of land.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I knew you would take an image and run with it, and you did not disappoint. I think you slipped pass Jupiter with this one. “Nephesh” is another great word to drop in. At first I read it as “Nebbish” which freaked me. “sucking orange downtown jewels in each grave” and your closing stanza is killer. Thank you for writing to this prompt.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Your poem plays out like a scary horror movie that keeps replaying over and over and over again…. so many images of a frightening relationship with your father! Very sad for sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. this nephesh in our bodies
    throughout the clock tower fluttering

    Love this reference to the soul fluttering in the distance perhaps watching over those that have passed on. Thoughtful take Lucy!

    Hank

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The crackled black chiffon, a scene transformed. Very magical.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This was disturbing (as my father recently died) but I appreciate learning a new word…nephesh!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. There’s a feeling of the inevitable and of cycles in this, but as always, there’s so much here. The last few lines make me think of a prison (or worse)–the murderous gates and the ghost flowers. Or perhaps that’s just where my mind went when I saw the photo. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aww, thank you Merril! When I saw the photo too, my mind went immediately to a prison. I wanted to capture that feeling of the narrator being trapped internally with their thoughts as the world turns, and the photography Glenn provided was a great inspiration.

      Like

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