picasso-woman-with-fanYour mother would scold you
pick yourself up ugly child
clean your room, scrub and polish
until there is no room for doubt
you may be unloved but
you will keep a straight back and shiny shoes
 
and you
learned quicker than a mouse
can covet cheese and steal itself a piece
to keep yourself small and burning
for a time to pounce
back under the hot lights of attention
turn this way and that until you are
bronzed like an award you make yourself
for surviving
 
I am owed
you think as you spit on your reflection with shirt cuff
and shine it brand new
I am owed
for my childhood
all the taint it took, not to reduce to rubble
instead I built myself a fort and became unbreakable
 
because this world eats the tender-hearted
with morels and mustard for breakfast
crushes underfoot truth in her glass orb
it is better we inherit the sharp cold heart of our destroyers
lift up our skirts and cross the puddles
with insulated rubber boots
than wallow in the frigid water
wondering why
most of what we do and say is
superficial and a lie to
garner peace and stifle the dagger
aimed at our center
 
all good but for the gentle
soul who can no more hurt than
turn away from need
she who cups water in her hands
to feed the thirsty flower
struggling to grow through concrete
by the side of exhaust-ridden road
what miracles we behold
surviving against the odds
it is this solace
keeps us staying who we are
when the world would pitch fire
extinguishing mercy
leaving battlefields full
for crows to pick through
we endure, laying down our
arms, our faces pointed toward
the clouds and wait
for rain to pour down

0 Replies to “Mercy”

  1. This is the kind of piece that I read and re-read and learn from. I echo Rick, “Thank you!”
    It is wonderful and inspiring…what of those tender souls?

  2. soul who can no more hurt than
    turn away from need
    she who cups water in her hands
    to feed the thirsty flower
    struggling to grow through concrete
    by the side of exhaust-ridden road
    OH THIS IS BREATHTAKING! <3 <3 <3 So much love for this. 🙂

  3. Wonderful poem! Haunting, magical and heartfelt. Having lived life with similar experiences, but advocating for others, my observation would be to learn to be strong (mirror / gird your self against the sharks and hard-hearted) but never ever let your own heart harden. Empathy is both a gift, and a curse, but wield well joy and succour to others.

  4. Candice I have fantasies of laying in a hammock on a gorgeous summer day sipping wine while you recite poetry to me. There should be a lake. And maybe some swans. And maybe good cheese and bread and apples. You get the idea.
    What a beautiful haunting and gorgeous piece. Particularly struck by: “because this world eats the tender-hearted/with morels and mustard for breakfast/crushes underfoot truth in her glass orb”

    1. ah you ole romantic you (me too, I’m a total sucker for romance) I’d love to although my stupid accent mmm I will learn a new accent 😉 oh and the lake definitely we need a lake though no swans they attack that could be bad .. and food definitely a view without food is bleak indeed xo HUGS (love to you my talented wonderful friend)

  5. So much truth. Gorgeous.
    An eternally frustrating dilemma for a world that desperately needs tender hearts! This reminds me of a heart breaking epitaph I saw on a couple of old headstones near goldfield ruins in New Zealand. If I remember rightly they were teenage girls who died. I wish I could remember the words but the gist was that they were too sweet for this cruel world. Who knows what on earth happened to those poor girls.

      1. Have you seen that? Gosh its been ages since I have! But that’s in Australia… I think I read somewhere that they hold concerts there, but I need to double check. We stayed near there once but never actually visited.

        1. Oh that’s right. I loved that film SO spooky. Australian films are great as are the few NZ ones I’ve seen. Very art-house but not pretentious. They never found all the girls then either.

          1. Yes very spooky. Wish I could remember details, might have to watch it again.
            And that is a perfect description of Aussie and NZ films!
            Someone wrote a sequel to Hanging Rock, apparently it’s quite silly and ruined the whole mystique of it. I tend to shy from sequels, except the Shrek ones (I am a children’s movie fan hehe)

          2. That’s an incredible film. I confess I’m watching Prisoner Cell Block H that’s an old Oz series too! ha ha! Really? Oh no! I had no idea that there was a sequal I will haev to track it down! I’m not one for sequels either. xo

          3. hahaha you’re watching Prisoner? I remember catching snippets of it when I was a youngun…sometimes I watch moments of reruns and laugh at how bad the acting is, but I never got into it. 🙂
            I’m trying to think, I’m not sure the sequel was made into movie, I believe someone just had the audacity to write a book, but honestly, I can’t remember.

          4. Yes, I heard that was good. My current favourite is the Lego Movie hahaha and I have to admit, I am excited there’s another one coming out. But I will see it with no expectations, I tell myself.

          5. The Lego Movie is manic and crazy and just brilliant. I will definitely have to have a look at UP. Awwww I had a Paddington bear when I was little. I loved it. But I haven’t seen any current movies of it. I think I was afraid it would lose its charm for me if I did.

  6. This is a poem that you can read over and over and find the nobility of man, even when the world is tainted by disgust. You write what many children go through, and you do it well. The word flow is enchanting, there is so much said, even more than the simple words. Well done.

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