Monday, September 22, 2014

How They met Themselves



Every time I ran my hands through my hair,
I felt the sweat, dirt and gravel from between the toes of
my ancestors. Faded, Dark Caesars release the spirits
as they, too, fled to France in search of flowers without
thorny stems that bring droplets of bad memories
with each sprinkle of salt in the water.
Rinsing sugar scrubs that remove dead skin 
like Garra Rufa that pool in Turkish rivers, 
where the current's strength reminds me 
that everyone goes through a time
when they're not strong enough to stand
on their own two feet. 

It doesn't mean they're at the knees
of their rivals: it's the makings of a rebel getting lessons
on survival

And still, I wonder if it's just me:
a half-moon-haired bastard who sacrificed 
everything to give his all to what started as a soliloquy;
but selfless, like cutting ties with my doppelganger
as he's a harbinger of death.  




©2014 Anthony Desmond Scott. All Rights Reserved.

Poem inspired by Brooke Shaden's, 'Thorns That Flowers Grow;' 
And Dante Gabriel Rossetti's painting, 'How They met Themselves.' 
For d'Verse - Poetics

click here to follow Glass Staircase

28 comments:

Björn Rudberg said...

The first half speak to me of war and search for peace "the thornless flowers" and then the stanza that ties it all together.. cutting band with a doppelgänger of death sounds good.. but it's not easy to shake off a heritage... the rhythm and a few rhymes give this piece something where I wish it to be read load...

Grace said...

I specially like the opening line of: the sweat, dirt and gravel from between the toes of my ancestors ~ For me its about searching for our own journey even though we at times we may feel we are not strong enough to stand on our two feet or even survive ~

The ending gave me goosebumps ~ Terrific write Anthony ~

Mary said...

Very strong beginning, Anthony. Inside all of us we have the influence of our ancestors; and so true that everyone has a time when they are not able to stand on their own two feet but need to learn from others for a time how to survive in the world!

Claudia said...

half-moon-haired bastard... love this...finding ourselves in our ancestors and understand some things only through the history but also the dangers that the past always throws that shade on us... well penned

Glenn Buttkus said...

We are genetic whelplings, carved out of the tombstones of our naked ancestors, & yet, you offer the cry of one blossoming into a bellicose
ballad of individuality; really liked this piece, & kudos for matching two artworks in one.

ayala said...

wow...great lines and I love this... fled to France in search of flowers without
thorny stems that bring droplets of bad memories
with each sprinkle of salt in the water.

Gabriella said...

I too liked the powerful beginning. Being French, I wondered why the Dark Caesars went to France and who they were. Was this a reference to WWI?

wielenga said...

So are we victors or victims of our ancestry?? Perhaps a bit of both, but one thing is certain: "it doesn't mean they're at the knees of their rivals..." that powerful line says it all, Anthony!

Anthony Desmond said...

Thanks, Gabriella. And no, Dark Caesar is a common haircut among black men; it ties into the "ancestors" metaphor and how some blacks go to Europe for a little relief from the closed-mindedness of America.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Such a great opening stanza--really a wonderful write

Bodhirose said...

I like the compassion in this...that sometimes everyone finds themselves not strong enough to stand on their own two feet...and the strong emotion it brought forth for me.

Margaret said...

The sheer strength of that first stanza give me hope the any doubts of being alone, not finding the strength to persevere - will only be temporary! Powerful.

Vandana Sharma said...

Sometimes we give our whole self for the betterment but in the process get hurt.

Cressida de Nova said...

Learning to survive from your ancestors. Good poem.

Brian Miller said...

dude. the italics in the middle is a tight lyric, establishing identity....the running of the hands through your hair and finding your history is a great opening as well...really strong piece anthony

sreeja harikrishnan said...

wow....great lines....so much there....intense..

georgeplaceblog said...

Thanks for explaining Dark Caesars, that changed the poem for me and strengthened the voice. The italicized part is powerful. Really great job with this.

Kathy said...

Getting lessons on survival....it happens all the time...even into your later years...and generations before us had it the hardest. I am amazed at the images...droplets of bad memories, rinsing sugar, sweat and looking for flowers in France and being in Turkish pools...a labyrinth if you will about a history of surviving ...

Grandmother (Mary) said...

All the decisions of our ancestors have their repercussions in us as we become our own people. You write well of the tension between the two. I love your opening lines.

Marina Sofia said...

These lines especially caught my eye - that sense of all of the ancestors, all the mix that we all are composed of (and that we are never quite as alone as we think, not so much a soliloquy as a chorus).

a half-moon-haired bastard who sacrificed
everything to give his all to what started as a soliloquy;

Gail said...

My first visit has been doubly enjoyable. I read this and heard If God Makes Mistakes. Your words are strong but I sense an infinite sadness behind them. Well done on both pieces.

I appreciate your visit and thank you for your kind comment.

bwfiction said...

yes, we all have moments when we cannot stand alone.

Poet Laundry said...

That first stanza is so full of rich description, Anthony, wonderful writing. And I love the perspective in that middle stanza. Yes.

humbird said...

' cutting ties with my doppelganger
as he's a harbinger of death. ' ~ it's good when we have chance don't repeat the ancestors' mistake, but then it suppose to be dialogue... ~ thanks for your words x

RMP said...

I feel an interesting intensity in this piece...I can feel it dig in right from the opening.... I particularly like the lines surrounding the river's currant.

Tigerbrite said...

Very powerful piece. Glad you explained the dark Caesar it brought out for me how the group soul of our race is accessed by generations.

Ken Higginson said...

Seriously sweet lyrics. I could hear the music in my head. You can write man!

Myrna R. said...

This speaks to me of life, the falling and getting up that is needed for growth, The influence of our ancestors, their "programming" of the world we enter which we need to rebel against and make our own.
Great writing Anthony. I'm always so impressed with your level of talent.