Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Moontide

 

I thought him first a ferryman, but I was wrong.

He wore the night as one walks with a cane.  

Slipping on an ancient body, he was an old 

hand to assist you in your crossings.


Next, I thought of him a sentinel & maybe I

am right.   He watches the night closely as I count

time striking at midnight before the new year.   His

black suit scarcely moving in the wind.   His eyes

an orb of midnight oil, brooding as crows


Casting shadows in this street in middle

of the town square.  I first ran into him,

waving my passport, asking him where was Kipling

station.  He pointed it to me in the map & even

gave me tips to reach the airport.   I thanked him

as if he was a locksmith.   He brushed it off, saying

the city can be a puzzle

if you don't know north & south, east & west

in his grave watchman's voice.


That's me, confused as a lost cloud

With a ring of copper keys on my hand.

He said, a bunch of keys confused him.   He prefers

one fishing line & hook.


I was getting on my way when another man

approached him for help on directions.

He said that I am not a wand maker but I can show

you where to fish, where the water pulls, how to reel 

in a catch  


It now occured to me what he really was.

He is a tide maker.

He listens to the currents & shapes the tides.

He catches the moon and puts it

inside the street lamp.

And he holds the one silver key to close & open it


To whoever knocks at his door

and ask him 

Please, give me back my secrets.


Fictional character's voice inspired by the digital collage of Catrin Welz-Stein here.


Posted for dVerse Poets Pub - Poetics:  Exploring the Narrative Voice, with guest host, Ingrid. Join us when the pub doors open at 3pm EST.


24 comments:

  1. I love the mystery of your man, he seemed sinister at first, but still he only guides you through the night. He seemed to amalgamate so many fictional characters into one, and in the end it's almost like he is a force of nature.

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  2. Thanks Bjorn. Trying my hand in this character building, which you do very well with the aged librarian series.

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  3. Such an intriguing and multi-layered character. I was enchanted by your narrative!

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  4. I like that your character was inspired by a collage, Grace, and the way you explored his character, stanza by stanza. I especially like the sinister ‘Slipping on an ancient body’ and ‘eyes an orb of midnight oil’.

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  5. I really love this, Grace! I love the narrative feel of this, and the sense first of foreboding, then the sort of wonder and realization from the narrator.

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  6. I absolutely love this, Grace! The tone, the pacing, the use of lush language, perfect in building the character sketch.. sigh.. "His eyes an orb of midnight oil, brooding as crows," is especially brilliant!💝💝

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  7. Such a rich character here! I liked that "He prefers

    one fishing line & hook" we see his nature unapologetically!

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  8. You tell this with narrative easy, building casually, letting the atmosphere sink in --- then that final stanza runs through us like a spear. Well done.

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  9. I love Welz-Stein's work, and you've given voice to this captivating fellow. Great write!

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  10. “He listens to the currents & shapes the tides.

    He catches the moon and puts it

    inside the street lamp.

    And he holds the one silver key to close & open it”

    Wow, girl. That is incredible.

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  11. To whoever knocks at his door
    and ask him
    Please, give me back my secrets

    One can fall back on some good strategies. It is necessary for safety!

    Hank

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  12. Oh this was so fascinating and the character intriguing . I did not know what was going to happen and I just loved your ending "To whoever knocks at his door

    and ask him

    Please, give me back my secrets."

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  13. 'he catches the moon and puts it inside the street lamp' ~ has to be one of the best lines ever!

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  14. So beautiful and mystical. I love the mystery that weaves throughout this poem. I especially adore the final few lines. Wouldn't we all want to know those secrets? I enjoyed the use of nature throughout here too, specifically in these lines:

    "He listens to the currents & shapes the tides.

    He catches the moon and puts it

    inside the street lamp.

    And he holds the one silver key to close & open it"

    These lines are GOLD and I don't think anything could ever top them.

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  15. I love how you wove this dreamy poem with the great art piece! This was a great line...
    He catches the moon and puts it

    inside the street lamp.

    And he holds the one silver key to close & open it

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  16. I adore this, Grace!

    “He listens to the currents & shapes the tides.

    He catches the moon and puts it

    inside the street lamp.

    And he holds the one silver key to close & open it”

    I just love the feel of this throughout and how well it meshes with the art. Bravo!

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  17. The combination of specifics like "where was Kipling station" and the vagueness of the encounter both anchor the character in reality, and make you wonder where they magic started and how you got there, and how you'll get out.

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  18. I can see why that image would make one wonder to what secrets those keys might lead.

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  19. A tide maker - what a unique character - listening to the currents and shaping the tides. Intriguing and captivating.

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  20. What a fabulous character. Utterly intriguing to imagine a man making the tides out of the currents of secrets people offer him. Suzanne of Wordpress blog - Mapping Uncertainty

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  21. Excellent Grace, so well written!

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  22. "He listens to the currents & shapes the tides.

    He catches the moon and puts it

    inside the street lamp.

    And he holds the one silver key to close & open it"

    Excellent narrative, Grace!

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