July 20, 2010

My Clarity of Night contest entry

Hullo everyone, I've been busy.  I don't apologize for not blogging, but I do apologize for not reading and commenting on your blogs as I normally do.  It's been just too busy with work, work travel, family vacations, and all that.

Jason Evans has a new contest going over at his Clarity of Night blog.  The title is "Uncovered," and the photo prompt was inspired by the most excellent Stephen Parrish's most excellent debut novel, The Tavernier Stones.

Below are both the photo prompts and my entry into the contest.  I did not set out to write a poem; it's just what came out when I wrote my first attempt, realized it was crap, and then got the hell out of the way of my muse.  Also, I realize now that the dark gem is an emerald, not a sapphire, but what the hell.  It's only a prompt, right?  I don't have to stick exactly to every detail, right?

As slow as winter, fear seeped into our speech.

Its icy tendrils crept among our minds and
Insinuated themselves around our hearts.
Its fragments latched onto words and tumbled
Through our cabled veins on the blood
Of twenty-four seven news.

Politicians and pundits coiled and bit,
Rattling their tails and sabers.
Their forked tongues spit venomous words:
FascHISSt.  SocialHISSt.


We wrapped ourselves in unfurled flags
Against fear’s relentless freeze.
In the false heat of patriotism,
We danced around crackling pages
Focused on the flames
Of ashes that rose and collapsed
To smother us under
a silent, colorless blanket.

Buried deep, our collective soul
Smoldered and survived
Until the blue, white, and red embers
Of our better selves rekindled
Melted away our fear
To shine and sparkle once more.