i was crawling on the dirt floor,
over misshapen droppings
of impotent time
that had foraged, gluttonous,
on the shrivelled roots of its misspent youth,
measuring life in regrets,
in long cubits of absence;

but sometimes, i think,
joy studies me
from the shadows,
a predator,
i feel her burning, amber gaze
as she runs her tongue
over broken, sharp edged teeth;

she rumples the heavy canopy,
to let bands of fluorescent sunrise
creep over my bloodless skin,
shivering as they cross over
to your unslept chill;

she collects rain
in striped palm buckets,
to ensnare for me, Β the freckled moon,
its inverted lament
drowning in your rippled shallows;

she tries again,
plucks her one stringed lute,
but sorrow blossoms in this song-less night,
inventing new games
for impenitent thorns
to break through still raw scabs;

joy waits,
nervous feet twitching against
obsidian doors,
a new manoeuvre beating,
arrhythmic tunes,
in her hollow breast;

the dark pastiness,
smiles slowly,
a murder of crows
salivating on the salty crust
of grief’s unbound hair;

joy stretches,
still in the hunt,
her serrated fangs
in the silent shadows,
a predator,
i feel her breath,
warm and wet,
heaving against
my broken spine.

Linked to Β Poets United where the midweek prompt is “Joy”.

35 thoughts on “Predator

  1. It was interesting to me, feeling in your images the raw power of the joy you painted, lurking in the shadows. And yet the moment never came– the hunt never culminated. I thought about it, and how to truly let joy in we do so often have to give something up– something must be stripped away. And we don’t always want that. So, joy waits… Skulking after us… For us to surrender…

    Awesome writing, Rajani!


    1. Thank you Michael..and you’re absolutely spot on.. we resist even joy because we are too afraid to give up something in return. Are we protecting our identity that thrives only in the perceived comfort of what we already have, even if it is sorrow?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa! Joy as a predator…. outstanding!! Surely the strange beauty of the beast must somewhere rest on pure joy! The best one I have read so far….powerful write, thotpurge!!


  3. The opening image is breathtaking and sustained throughout…i like how you have personified joy..she can indeed be a threat to the order of darkness which once ingrained becomes familiar..almost a comfort..


  4. Wow, this is an amazing write. I especially like the lines “joy studies me from the shadows”…….and its portrayal as a predator. Love the “freckled moon”. Great start for the new year, my friend.


    1. Thanks very much Rob. Appreciate your comment. Yes the pursuit of joy seems like a conundrum.. if it were really so simple, everyone would find it quite easily, don’t you think! πŸ™‚


  5. O! O! O! How dare the joy stalk when mourning guards us? I know how this goes, being the servant of two monster masters, but you! you! Are a master poet and you make me feel the crawl, the loss, the desire to give in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for the kind comment Susan. Am so glad you liked it. It took a lot out of me to write it and then beat it into a shape that I could post online.


  6. “measuring life in regrets” is a clever line. i liked it very much.

    that’s different kind of “joy” from what we know but with the same intent πŸ™‚


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