Phantasmagoria

All points east.
Forceful gusts have taken up
the slack clothes line, compelled
a laundered horizontal.

I recall a childhood dread
the full-blown napery
whip-twisted with fearful faces
or phantoms outstretched
catching blind runners
in a suffocating grasp.
Blouse and trouser
pneumatic torso parts 
of dumb, fluttering beings
as if some grisly massacre
was on display.

But it's only
the toss and pitch of March winds
a swirling fusion of colour 
the flap-slap of textures
like Tibetan prayer flags
 - Please God, let me see another Spring. 

An ekphrastic poem from Marc Flatternde’s “Wäsche im Wind” (washing in the wind) for Merril’s Poetics prompt: March Wind

42 thoughts on “Phantasmagoria

  1. My goodness this is incredibly dark and potent, Laura. I especially relate to; “Blouse and trouser pneumatic torso parts of dumb,”.. you took the prompt to the next level! 💝💝

  2. Oh, Laura! This is filled with such vivid descriptions. You’ve made the laundry on the line, the child’s memories, and the adult all come alive. I love how you captured it all. Wonderful poem!

  3. I liked being surprised by the twists you took here. All that magical thinking and animism that influences us as children is so well illustrated here.

  4. A child’s nightmare laid bare; excellent work, crushing the prompt. I liked “the flap-slap of textures, like a Tibetan prayer flag.”

  5. Dark from the brightness, and so effective Laura. Hope you make another spring my friend. Personally, I believe you got it easily! 🙂✌🏼❤️

  6. I admire the energy of the laundered horizontal. The last stanza though is uplifting and hopeful with the Tibetan prayer flags.

  7. Love this, Laura! I was reminded of childhood fears when mom would forget to remove the clothes and they would be fluttering ghoulishly on clothesline all night.

  8. As if…as if…what a line…those clothes on the line, fluttering like memories do too….reminding us…they are part of a collection of semiotic symbols, part of all our histories…displayed, overtly…

feedback is food for thought....

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