*Image found HERE



And miles to go before I sleep,
the road tears asunder the rowan from the elder,
the road a de-limbed arachnid
its black mucus the bread of night.
Sound perches from the woodland,
the woodland that’s timid,
scorned, scorched, oblivious,
there is no woodlands in my bedroom,
there is the seething scream of the kettle,
the call of the dead water,
the burn of long diminished stars,
bothering the sleeping moths
on finger-printed ceiling.
I peer into the distance
beyond the rooftops,
its chimneys like masts
of an abandoned crusade,
the woodland plows my body
in the rhythm of some ancient brine.

Down here the road leads to a tavern,
down here you tie your horse to the post
and drink the Moon away,
the river unties her dress and gestures
down under,
the mermaids cackle as the dreamers drown,
the mermaids sing songs to the perch
about their cold fingers
breaking holes through the woodlands;
somber, vast, seductive.
Besides the road, the pheasant
is calling for its dear,
his heart stretched thinly into the sunset,
the road stretched dirty into a valley of gears
where wondering souls train for mechanical seers,
the road will grow for years and years
I leave
the bedroom through the window,
follow into the woodland.
The senate of trees there
circles the grass;
the fawn is lain there, like a nameless mass,
maggots feasting on his corpse,
his corpse a cradle for the orchids.
The legless fawn in the woodland, ready to decompose,
the legless fawn in the woodlands, just resting
from the walk

His jugular, whispering diatribes
into the bark of the tree,
his eyes of glass eternal
canvas of the sky,
the woodlands is dry,
peaceful, humming through a pleasant breeze,

the fawn is me;
and everything is mine.

*For NaPoWriMo Day 25, where we were challenged to write a poem in which the opening lines come from another poem. I picked “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost, and I also used one of my favourite songs as an inspiration for the ending. I know my poem is pretty dark, but with it I wanted to show what happens with our dreams and desires if we do not tend to them, not even in thought. Hope you enjoy reading!

~ by Oloriel on April 25, 2016.

41 Responses to “Exile”

  1. Wow, knowing what this is about certainly inspires me not to neglect my dreams.

    • And do not, I yell and beg of you, do not ever neglect them 🙂 Small ones, big ones, does not matter – they are yours and they should bloom!

  2. This was dark, indeed. You took that first line and went in a very different direction from Frost.

    • Thank you very much for reading! I felt the prompt for different direction very literal, and wanted to tell and important message but not be dishonest.
      I do admire and will probably never achieve the melancholic heart pull the original poem, from its master poet, has.

  3. !!! oh i’m absolutely delighted you chose the first line of this particular poem – it’s one of my favorites, as i’m sure you can tell by the title / url of my blog. i’m so envious of the way you twist rhymes and liens together ;it seems so effortless and the images make their way to the front stage of my mind like models walking down a runway in quick succession, vivid flashes of color and pattern and words.

    • I was wondering if anyone will pick the same lines, I was expecting it and looking forward to seeing all the various roads it would produce. I am so happy to hear you describe this as a sort of a dark fashion show, you are actually giving me lots of ideas and inspiration with that comment, and you have my eternal gratitude for that!

      • i’m glad my comment could inspire you! it’s always wonderful to help each other group as writers and offer feedback that can produce even more poetry.

  4. Dark, and vivid, dear fawn

  5. it’s grim and I like it for that…

    • Thank you, I know it is not always easy to willingly step even into literary darkness, so I appreciate you doing it for this poem. I promise it pays off later 😀

  6. Baš mi je nekako teška, kao da sam utonuo u okean nafte, pa me steže gustina njena i ne dozvoljava mi pokret. Posebno su mi ovui momenti iskočili: “the road a de-limbed arachnid, its black mucus the bread of night…”, “there is the seething scream of the kettle, the call of the dead water, the burn of long diminished stars…”, “the fawn is lain there, like a nameless mass, maggots feasting on his corpse,his corpse a cradle for the orchids….”, “His jugular, whispering diatribes into the bark of the tree,”, nisma znao šta znači “diatribes” i još poneke reči ali ova mi je zazvučala 🙂 A predzadnji navod i zadnji donekle su mi nekako atmosfera, serija Hannibal… 😀 Pomeren iz ose svakako!

  7. Awesome work! I’ve always loved the “And miles to go before I sleep” line. How are you, my talented friend!?

  8. This comment is long, please don’t feel the need to address everything or even anything if you are otherwise engaged!

    I recognized the first line, and as I read the poem, it reminded me of the imagery for Katatonia’s music video “The Day & Then The Shade” (cannot remember the lyrics off the top of my head, but it’s a visually stunning music video, like your poem), and when I read the description at the bottom, I thought I might have guessed right!

    I also saw potential influences of their song “Lethean” (whose lyrics I am more familiar with off the top of my head) with your lines:

    “the road will grow for years and years
    I leave
    the bedroom through the window,
    follow into the woodland.
    The senate of trees there
    circles the grass;”

    and Katatonia’s “Lethean” lines:

    “To run along the freeway, to weigh one’s heart against the oncoming dark.
    You left me with the pills.
    We had plans but you couldn’t make it.
    Through the trees, what took you so long?
    The high grass, what took you so long?”

    I love the play on words/ideas in you writing this:

    “where wondering souls train for mechanical seers”

    Clever! Maybe the idea of a souls training to become seers, and the idea of a soul/soul’s wondering with wonderlust/wanderlust like a train. Did you maybe mean wandering? The idea of wondering works too, and is a close spelling, and creates the idea of a “driven” curiosity of study into augury (avian divination) in reference to a few lines prior mentioning the pheasant. I saw the idea of the pheasants flying like a train after each other across the sky, as seers are birdwatching like clockwork, too. Your work has so many layers, I am glad I am able to see some of them! So looking forward to your book coming in the mail!

    And this:

    “His jugular, whispering diatribes
    into the bark of the tree,
    his eyes of glass eternal
    canvas of the sky,
    the woodlands is dry,
    peaceful, humming through a pleasant breeze,

    the fawn is me;
    and everything is mine.”

    …reminded me of two of my sonnets, actually influenced by both of the Katatonia songs I mentioned (as well as their song/music video “Sold Heart” which was released in 2010 on an EP I didn’t find out about until last year. If you missed it too, check it out at the end of this comment, it’s really good, and features a willow tree, and knowing me, I have to love it! Check out the whole EP if you haven’t!):

    “Sonnets From Hush To Hush XXIII (23)”
    by Ry Hakari

    Matches’ ashes, rustic dust? Palettes pledge
    rebirth cleaner and might combine designs’
    wolf-like lupines, larkspur’s bird’s-eye-scryed lines!
    Backdrafts forecast, winding the vignette’s edge
    guess “Yes! — No! — Maybe so! — I don’t know… yet!”
    Face, namesakes change contrived, generalized
    archetypes’ hyped mirage-chance, aggrandized
    past life’s dead silent center, self-sentenced
    by my Autumn falling’s Winter failings
    recreating favorite paintings, because
    Frost ditched at cold-shouldered crossroads watching
    his world go bye-bye under snow ploughed, calls
    someone “Everything” and himself “Nothing” —
    Wanting everything, for nothing’s a lost cause?

    “Sonnets From Hush To Hush XXIII (28)”
    by Ry Hakari

    Weeping tree’s pulp fiction diaries’
    private diatribes, self-righteous, license
    compromise with a Jack-in-the-Box Christ, sins
    of mission, not omission, Judas priest
    organ-grinding cause the devil’s play-things
    are idle hands’ plans that God laughs at when
    entertaining angels and demons, sent
    to futile devices’ vice, verses dreamed
    tossing, turning in tree seas — Entreaties
    circling synchronicity’s drain — Oh
    no paralyzed paragon, hell yeah holy
    hellion’s amalgam anima-shadow
    inspheres me in wrong-doing rites — Mighty
    mousy men’s aims often end awry, low

    • Thank you so much for your comment Ryan, and thank you for having consideration for me taking some time to properly address it.
      I love “Day and then the Shade”, it is my son’s second favourite song from Katatonia. I can so see now the video correlating to my poem. I think that video is fantastic and inspirational on so many levels, and their chorus seems like a chant, when it goes :”All my fears come into view
      There must be an end soon
      When every waking hour is part of the lie”.
      Leathean is also an amazing song and I love it so dearly, I think one of the reasons I love Katatonia so much is that they are one of the few bands that have so far not disappoint me with a single of their album/song releases, and that they lyrically associate me to an endless road of sorrow, through years, growth, stages of the world inside and outside of a person, which is an obvious repeating motive in my own poems.
      What struck me most with Katatonia is their new teased lyric song and video you mentioned the other day. Watching the lyrics being typed out by the typewriter, the song reminded me of an epilogue to my own poem I wrote about two years back titled “Dark Night of the Soul”, which is one of my most favourite things I ever wrote, especially because of my lines in there that say “Close the door after you enter”. The shadows, the nature scenery, it just felt like snaps from the same movie!
      I love the verbiage of your poems, when I say it, I mean, the tonguing and twisting. For me, your poems are like lovers, sort of parading around. I adore this part for example :”Face, namesakes change contrived, generalized
      archetypes’ hyped mirage-chance, aggrandized
      past life’s dead silent center, self-sentenced
      by my Autumn falling’s Winter failings”, I hope you see the genuineness in your wording and imagery weaving here, this is pure soul layering.
      About my line of wondering, I meant wondering, instead of wandering. We all start curious, but the city kills it.
      WP don’t let me type anymore!

  9. Such a great line to chose from, and from there I feel the fear of sleep.. The dread of mares to ride you… That image of the decomposing fawn is especially disturbing.

    • Thank you very much, Bjorn! I know the image is quite stomach turning, but I am lately troubled by romanticizing everything. I think, sometimes we need striking images and messages to kick us out of our orbit and get us to work on ourselves, our dreams and thus, the world.

  10. Nicely done

  11. The fawn us probably an animals which depicts naivety and innocence… You have chosen a powerful image to relate too… I guess we might be the prey on many different occasions… Very moving and deep poem, dear Oloriel, good title as well…. your verses truly resonated with me… thanks for sharing. All the best to you!, Aquileana 😀

  12. wow. brilliant. this energized me on a very deep level. thank you.

  13. Wowwwww……this is AWESOME. There’s a different voice to this one than I’m use to hearing. I’m a very audial reader. I hear a voice when I read, and it’s not always my own! :0) (Sometimes it’s male, sometimes female.) I heard the voice of- it sounded a bit like Audrey Hepburn- very feminine and matter-of-fact, but not necessarily “sad”. This is great writing, O. It’s really fantastic. This line gave me chills: “his corpse a cradle for the orchids.” And by the last line, I was in tears. It’s powerful stuff.

    I have less than a week left of school. It’s all but killed me this semester! Every day is sooooo painful, but I say all of this to say, I’m not cracking your book open until it’s OVER. This is going to be my summer reading book, and it’s to be cherished! I want to lounge around on my back deck, with a cup of tea and really sink my teeth into it- not read bits and pieces in between my finals. ;0) Already, I’m having ideas of pairing some of your writings with my photography/art. I always bite off more than I can chew, so don’t put that in stone…heheh. It’s just that reading your work inspires me, and I start getting visuals of what would go with what, photographically. This will be my catalyst (your book) for my own work this summer. :0) Art that gives back!

    Anyway, love this one SO much. Might be a new favourite.

    • I am so so so looking forward to your art, of any kind, you know I adore your photos, and knowing I can inspire some and get those lenses flashing? Priceless for me! 😀

  14. Dark, passionate, and beautiful. I love this line such great metaphor “and drink the Moon away,”

  15. Kinda killed me, especially near the end…
    Don’t know why it hit close to home..perhaps its the morning…

    • But I know for sure I couldn’t read this before I go to sleep…I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep…mind would just be lost…

    • This one, I think, will kill me as well, when I read it, let’s say in a year or two. It is terribly vulnerable to observe and accept yourself in the images I shown. I was using one thing as an inspiration, it just came to mind, if you remember, in my hallways, the ink surreal painting, with the fawn ballerina sitting on a pillar while horses are being carried away by hot air balloons 🙂

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