Monday, February 28, 2011


Roman blown glass hydria from
Baelo Claudia (4th century CE)
from Wikipedia

Fit in my glittering ruby red shoes
I march like a matador - lure the bull;
incense the Taurus with cloak swirling – full,
faith in youth to suffer no fatal bruise.

Fit as glass slippers for dancing by twos;
I’m pestled in mortar, rapped in fine tulle.
Shapen and molten in fire – beautiful;
‘til midnight exposed the glassblower’s ruse.

I run down the shore ill fit for a race;
panting, lamenting, tripped up by the rush
of a broadband of waves beating full chase -
manic - I daily tempt them to drown us.
Faster, faster - but I fall on my face.
Listen! A wisp of silence - a soft hush.

I awake in a darkness snugly fit
in a Parson’s Cupboard over mantle -
an old pitcher hung by thumb latch handle,
kissed by the glassblower’s pipe on cracked lips.

Self-made wounds of agony I admit
in songs of sorrow and love’s canticle;
I long to hear the soft tap of sandal,
lift of door latch, my freedom to permit.

Release our bond of beauty with a beast!
Reveal a code to spring this prison door!
Recall the smith of glass, the holy priest.
Repair my lip so parched, by sun, and scorn -
Remember - that you need me at your feast;
Refit with kiss --- the Agonist forlorn ---


  1. These poems are always so worth the wait. This one I had to read a number of times (with an aside to Wikipedia to glean the plural senses of "agonist" ): A warring, bonding, contentious, plural poem, but throughout the os spirit trapped, like Ariel, in a soul cage only the Master can free. The blown glass is "wounded" - blemished --by God? -- and can only be healed ('refit") by a "kiss". But the poem gives itself that; the spirited winging about of the conceit takes such a Hopkinesque delight in sound and breath. Cheers. - Brendan (PS, How many revisions were there to this post? Just curious.)

  2. Brendan,Your question stumps me because I revised as I wrote but ended up in a different place than I intended to go due to the "cage" of structure. I am enjoying the attempt to write in a form, but it pushes me.I will post some notes later.

  3. I loved the wisp of silence I could hear in the shape of that beautiful pece of glass. Your words spoke to me on many levels - thank you!

  4. Jinksy, Thanks for visiting and following. I have often enjoyed reading your comments at Willow Manor. Sorry about the tiny text you mentioned;I meant it as a footnote but could not resist using the words to form the witches hat :)

  5. A lovely poem and very true.Love it!

  6. I, too, had to Google agonist, to appreciate your full impact here. Wonderful, deep piece. I have a thing for glass, so this was heaven.

  7. Our glass connection! Full of energy and movement - beautiful words -I love especialy ...the parsons cupboard over mantle,an old pitcher hung by thumb latch handle ... words and rhythm perfect.