Red

a flower was offered to me,
brushing my fingers,
through unyielding prison bars,
against the putrid dark,
a flash of perfumed red ,
the wounded night was bleeding;

through tangled impossibilities,
we watched each other,
robed in cast iron silences,
shackled to our contradictions;
one eye the colour of feline hunger,
the other raw, trembling,
trapped like a gutter rat,
half predator, half prey;
we watched each other,
backs pressed against our walls of fear,
and that thing we tried to kill,
maimed and oozing,
marking time
in the far corner,
a morass of congealed red,
the bloodied night was crying;

a flower was offered to me,
daring my broken soul,
I let it fall through scalded fingers,
on stained obsidian shrouds,
shards of denied red,
a flower was offered to me
but the brokenΒ night was dying.

For Poets United where the midweek prompt is “A flower was offered to me”
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32 thoughts on “Red

  1. I enjoyed the way you used the prompt words…. This poem definitely has its contrasts. The flower being offered — seems like a ‘positive’ thing, but as one reads on one finds the ‘congealed red’ and the ‘bloodied night.’

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  2. A love the contrasts in this powerful poem..sometimes bars – metal, spiritual or emotional don’t allow us to feel those flowers..the life in their petals..the hope..perhaps we need to learn to give them to ourselves first

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  3. Wow, that was unexpected – and so powerful! The Goddess circle I’m part of is dwelling in the energy of the red ray this month. πŸ™‚

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  4. wow…love how you weaved on with the given line…”against the putrid dark, / a flash of perfumed red ,” this speaks to me of hope and a new beginning…and it’s good that night was dying in the end…i’m not sure if i read the poem right though….the powerful metaphors gave me goosebumps…

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  5. You painted this scene so vividly, I could see it……..I can see the two, each braced against their walls of fear, “shackled by our contradictions”. When one has been hurt, it is hard to receive such a flower. I, too, let one fall to the floor,(“I let it fall through scalded fingers”), so this poem really speaks to me.

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  6. How frightening something alive must be to the dead and incarcerated. Is it free when they are not? Kill it, eat it, own it, defeat it. Would freedom be like that flower? I feel that a little guidance might help–like when Helen Keller began to understand the link between a word and its signal. Powerful, insightful and frightening. Perhaps there will be another chance. I wish we had another chance with our world, our flower.

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    1. I agree Susan.. but sometimes like the wilting flowers, opportunity too comes with a time window and doesn’t offer a second chance. But there’s positivity in recognizing that. And its true, a little guidance can go a long way in the healing process.

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  7. I like this. It was dark, angry with some hope in red. It creates a mood we’ve all felt at some point, as if enprisoned by the darkness. Good writing.

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  8. I love this:

    “robed in cast iron silences,
    shackled to our contradictions;
    one eye the colour of feline hunger,
    the other raw, trembling,
    trapped like a gutter rat,
    half predator, half prey”

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  9. It’s odd, the connections we make and interpretations we make. For what ever reason, I had flashes in my mind (which will likely make no sense) from the Anime – Neo Genesis Evangelion – especially from the ending of the series. Beautiful piece.

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