“Her nights are full
of the red teeth of death”
Jim Harrison

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

  1. 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.

    1. never imagined there was music in Harrison – really enjoying this series Jilly and many thanks for such wonderful feeback

  2. Interesting take–I can hear music, too. I don’t suppose we’re ever ready, even if we’ve made a bargain with death.

  3. 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.

    1. Always rely on that rare wine, Faust, to darken this side of the grave!

      1. 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. 🙂

        1. 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 😉

  4. 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.

    1. I’ve tried to sleep with restless legs but have to get up and walk around!

  5. 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.

    1. 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

Comments are closed.