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You're on the lawn, pickled
as a paper-bag philosopher, mouth full
of copper and oxidised vinegar—

eyes oystering ant-sand and your cheeks wet
as the tracks of unhappy snails.
It's almost dawn, it's cold. The bastard

left you, and you've fallen over
in the garden coming up the path to home.
By morning, frost crackles

across the black hump of your back -
soon you'll be glaciered to the grass,
face iced to your coat-sleeve,

and the great, frozen spectacle
of you will grind its way, ten inches a year,
toward the porch. Some day

they'll discover you, the remains
of dandelions stuck in your teeth, fresh
as ten thousand years ago.
true story

published in The Flea, March 2011

you may notice differences in the final lines

this is because I am a flibbertigibbet and cannot make up my mind
Add a Comment:
 
:iconhell-on-a-stick:
hell-on-a-stick Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional Writer
perhaps a period at the end of the second stanza. In the garden, kind of hangs out there without much to say. the rest is epic. even though it's been used as a metaphor before, youve got your own voice ringing clearlyhere.
Reply
:icondreamscape-painter:
dreamscape-painter Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2007
I love this. :heart:
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2007
:) I'm glad hun. It's one of the few I truly like.
Reply
:iconjonzoiplu:
jonzoiplu Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2007
:heart:

clever woman.
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2007
I so are.

:heart:
Reply
:iconeithers:
Eithers Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2007
:<subheart:

I guess all I could say is what everyone else has said?
I really like this one, especially how you titled it "Mammoth".
Reply
:iconeithers:
Eithers Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2007
gah.

*:heart:
Reply
:iconiscariot-priest:
Iscariot-Priest Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2007
Love how you paint such a clear picture.
After reading the poem, the title seems very apt, and wickedly funny.
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner May 1, 2007
Thanks!! It was such a silly scene in my head, I made myself laugh. :bucktooth:
Reply
:iconlerepentir:
lerepentir Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2007   Writer
i really liked this one.
while "runnelled" (second stanza) confuses me, the ending is absolutely lovely.
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2007
Thankyou so much for commenting, and your kind words. 'Runnelled' just means falling in runnels down her face, I was trying to sort of give it a geographic feel without being too overt. :)
Reply
:iconiampoetry:
iamPoetry Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Excellence! Wow, superb imagery and play of words!
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:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2007
:D Thankyou!!!
Reply
:iconordie:
ordie Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2007
Heya sal, fantastic poem. Mind if I give some thoughts?

One of the issues I found with this poem is that you seem to be linebreaking with the only purpose of keeping tercets. Feel free to disagree, but you have some lines (like “down one cheek / runelled” and “dandelions / stuck in your teeth” ) that are broken because of that self-imposed requirement.

” it's really cold, and he's left you,
like a bastard, but you
were too good for him,

and you've fallen over
in the garden,
coming up

the path to home.
By morning, you think,


The problem with those lines is that they are too extended for the message you are trying to get across, particularly when compared with the rest of the crystal-clear poem, these ones seem bland and empty, without giving much to imagine but taking too much space. You know what I mean?

The rest is practically flawless, at least to my moderate abilities, as is the theme, and images such as “undigested dandelions stuck on your teeth” and the snot image.

Keep up the good work, we’re all cheering for you :)
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2007
I see what you mean about the lines, and will have a tinker with them come revision time. Thanks so very much for your detailed comments, I really appreciate them, hun. :hug:
Reply
:iconordie:
ordie Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2009
Hah. You see what I did there.
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2009
:wtf:
Reply
:iconsprawwl:
Sprawwl Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2007
I like this!
My only critique: lots of parentheticals -
It's almost dawn, (it's really cold,) and he's left you, (like a bastard,) ...

Excellent word choice, nice structure
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2007
Oh hey, thanks! The parentheticals were deliberate, hoping to give a sort of sobbing sound there just to add to her overall patheticness, lol, but I'll look into them on revision. Glad you liked it!
Reply
:iconchild-stainless:
child-stainless Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2007
oh how i can relate
very beautifully written :clap:
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2007
:D Thankyou very much!

And lol!!
Reply
:icondemur:
Demur Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2007  Professional Artist
Beautiful - conjures a type of, and if I may quote Thoreau, "quiet desperation".

I think you should reassemble some of your line breaks. It's hard for me to say what type of reassembling, but most of the lines begin with "and" or a preposition.

Also, this passage twisted my tongue: "face iced

to your coatsleeve..." Maybe try a few different word choices? Maybe it's just me.

Anyways, excellent writing! Kepp doin' what you're doin'.
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2007
Thankyou very much for your thoughts and suggestions on this, I'll keep them in mind for revision and thanks too, for kind words. :)
Reply
:iconadeimantus:
Adeimantus Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2007
This is just brilliant. And wicked. And I love it.



:heart:
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