Saturday, October 22, 2011

The old man hears the wind



The wind rustles outside this cave,
keening of what is done, what is past,
and of all the whispers it sings
into my ears, it is Salome’s voice,
the voice of our mother, whose words
we knew before we were, her voice,
the wife of Zebedee, pleading
we be placed on left and on the right,
seeking advantage over the others,
desiring position we did not deserve.
He said she knew not what she asked,
and I see two thieves on a hill, escorts
unto death, one on the left and one
on the right; I think of my brother
run through with the sword of the man
whose relation, the other Salome,
danced for the head of the other John.
I hear the wind on this wretched rock
and I know myself to be the one
he loved, loved even to the death.

This poem is submitted for the Poetics prompt at dVerse poets, imagining yourself to be “the other.” To see more poems submitted, please visit dVerse Poets.

Painting: Fresco of St. John on Patmos by Giotto (1320), Santa Croce, Florence.

19 comments:

wolfsrosebud said...

some things never change... do we even know what we ask for... nice write.

Claudia said...

this is awesome glynn, have often thought about how the sons felt when their mother asked for this and spinning it to salome who danced for the king and then her mother asked for the head of john the baptist is just great...mothers can be really silly sometimes in what they ask their kids for or ask for their kids..

Brian Miller said...

very nice glynn...great capture...what a crazy life of the disciples...stumbling and bumbling along at times...and what many saw then went through themselves after as far as persecution...intersting the points you chose to accentuate as well both tying to mothers...

blueoran said...

Interesting triangulations here that make the identity of this speaker imprecise - makes this speaker the Everyman who hears the rousing pneuma or Spirit in the wind. Brothers and apostles, father and Father, two Salomes - mother and whore -- all of them singing in this old exile as he dreams -- what -- Revelation? Great poem, Glynn. - Brendan

Laurie Kolp said...

Glenn- Powerful and very touching. I love the ending!

Mary said...

Glynn, this is a striking poem...one has to know Biblical history to 'get it,' but darned it is a powerful write.

chromapoesy.com said...

I thought it was John the Apostle speaking as he outlived the others. I apologize if I'm wrong. I like your approach to this prompt.

Natasha said...

Alot of images here to play on to determine intent...I'm content to say a fantastic write and let it settle.

Mark Kerstetter said...

I'm sorry to say I'm rusty on who the set of Salomes are (I recall the one who served up John the Baptist's head), but on first glance I do like, very much, the idea of this poem - how you refer to sets of *Others*. You've also got a very graceful and economical way of stitching a verse together.

Mark Kerstetter said...

Hmmm, maybe Anna has it right...I feel like doing some reading of the Gospels now.

Heaven said...

I enjoyed the biblical take on this poem....the apostle loving Jesus on the cross, is my fav part:

"I hear the wind on this wretched rock
and I know myself to be the one
he loved, loved even to the death."

zongrik said...

for some reason, the one on left and one on right symbolism was really powerful to me.

tinkwelborn said...

this is so 'rich' with words & imagery & allusion...a good read indeed. nice job in a persona poem. I enjoyed.

lori said...

I've been reading this one awhile, trying to figure out the voice. I do like the use of both Salomes. You definitely had me reading closing, hanging on the lines for clues. Compelling write.

togetherforgood said...

This is just . . . good. So rich.

kshawnedgar said...

Love it even to the end. Dying to love.

oceangirl said...

I do not know the names, except for John, but I feel the voice and see the imagery.

Patricia said...

desiring position we did not deserve

Never once have I thought of how he might have felt, a grown man... with a mother still vying for his position.

These words are so well written:
I think of my brother run through with the sword of the man whose relation, the other Salome,
danced for the head of the other John.

Great job Glynn. =)

Laura said...

*goosebumps*

I just love these character glimpses. You do them so well.