“Her nights are full
of the red teeth of death”
she mutters prayers most nights
tots up the blessings, misgivings and should haves
summons some less-forbidding angels
for comfort and tasks Azrail to attend as messenger
to The Source, with her sincerest words: “I am not ready yet”
the sounds fly from her mouth
she imagines them in an upsurge of ethereal choirs
as if transcribed by Boito the Librettist
a frame-freezing Faustian epilogue no less
for there is something devilish here too
tags attach, bows on the kite string
snag with dishonesty in the double-talk plea
more earthy even than mortality
His sleeping beside her is deathly, ill at ease
running on restless legs, each twitch
a gathering momentum, shades of moving on
stir him to wakefulness with a stare full of distance
the mist that once forced grey eyes to red, lusty slits
fills his teeth with a rictus smile – and through them
he utters with such matter-of-fact clarity: “Time’s up!”
Azrail/Azrael – angel of death
Arrigo Boito’s opera – Mefistopheles opera – see 7:00
Joining Jilly with her prompts inspired by the poetry of Jim Harrision – on this Day 6 of the 28 days of Unreason
20 thoughts on “Unready”
This is astounding, Laura! The mythological and epic feel are enhanced by your choices in meter and form. I can hear a soundtrack behind this – you conjure music with the narrative you’ve created. It seems fitting that as I type this I catch a glimpse of Kierkegaard over to the side (a personal fav!) Excellent writing.
never imagined there was music in Harrison – really enjoying this series Jilly and many thanks for such wonderful feeback
p.s. good to meet another Kierkegaardianphile!
Interesting take–I can hear music, too. I don’t suppose we’re ever ready, even if we’ve made a bargain with death.
A touch of Danse Macabre maybe has crept in
You do the darker side well yourself! And a touch of Faust in the background. Allusion, operatic reverberations, and the chills. All that’s needed is a rare steak and a fine red wine.
Always rely on that rare wine, Faust, to darken this side of the grave!
I’ve actually acted in Goethe’s version. I played Sloth… relying on the Stanislavski method. Tim Stanislavski who ran the bar a few blocks from the house I grew up in. 🙂
Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
You and Marlon Brando then went to the same bar school 😉
This is quite powerful and it gave me chills!
That’s good to hear! Thank you
have you slept next to restless legs?
Sometimes it feels as if he is running a marathon – more vitality than the angel of death – to me.
I’ve tried to sleep with restless legs but have to get up and walk around!
Great Mephistopheles reference! Can’t go wrong with that!
A favourite opera entered 2nd act much to my surprise
Powerful stuff, Laura. The imagery takes us to the moment, and then the ending is an “ah ha” surprise. I went back and read Jim Harrison’s “Life.” It is beautiful.
Thank you! You know more than me then Beth – at moment just using the supply of his quotes from Jilly but you have the whole picture. You’ve encouraged me to read more
How scary…I love the epic feel of it. I think the music from that Damon devil-child film should go with this!!
that’s too scary even for me!
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