The red rose beneath the skin

The red rose beneath the skin

Beneath the skin, blood beats,
sometimes bitter, sometimes black.
Let it lie. The red always returns,
like the rose after the rain.

There’s a picture in the sky, ship in a storm,
white sails torn to shreds
by this brisk wind from the sea.
Cloud wisps scatter like petals.

Soon there’ll be nests in the hedge,
and among the honeysuckle flowers
the blue of a robin’s eggs. Spring marches,
an unstoppable force.

As are all, the goddess says
in her antique voice running with honey.
As are all mists and men, ephemeral
as sleep, as the song of the first thrush.

They say it comes from the north pole,
this cold full of gnashing wolf-teeth,
nights black as the pits of hell, but I know,
it is only the shadow of the rising sun.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

16 thoughts on “The red rose beneath the skin”

  1. I’m echoing Kerfe—this is gorgeous! It’s like reading some ancient mythic tale.
    Now I know why I was having so much trouble putting these same words together because you’d already used them so beautifully.

      1. I wonder if it’s our frame of mind that makes getting the words easier or more difficult. The Oracle just puts the words out there for us to pick up. She must get exasperated sometimes 🙂

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