The first word I saw was Merril’s, but as it was the first, I felt the Oracle wanted me to borrow it. And she ended with Kerfe’s boat, itself symbolic.


Through the ruins and the morning silence,
a violin plays, an air picked up,
repeated in all the desolate places,
a lament that never ends.

Mysteries, reduced to chocolate indulgences,
a symphony of moving jaws.
Wings settle, enfold. Birds know,
an egg is life, a miniature world.

The sunset dissolves in rain,
the purple washed into the grass,
swallowed up, leaving only a sigh,
wind in sedge, that sounds like the sea.

We ended the day in anger.
I lay awake, watching the red cloud
gather over your head. By dawn,
it had enveloped the whole house.

There is music in rose petals,
a ship on a scented sea.
Standing in the shallows dappled with light,
watch the prow turn shorewards.

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.

13 thoughts on “Symbols”

  1. The world distilled in layered images–“a lament that never ends”. 4 is a visceral reflection of exactly how the world feels. I have a different boat today, a bit more storm-tossed than the previous one. (K)

  2. I agree with Kerfe, though I love this line:
    Birds know,
    an egg is life, a miniature world.

    I had the blue violin in my first attempt, but it didn’t make it into the poem I posted probably because you used it. ๐Ÿ˜€ I did have ships and light though.

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