I haven’t done a cleave poem for a long time and thought I was due for a bit of self-inflicted punishment. I’m adding it to the dverse open link night because these poems are so hard to write, and I’m pleased with the way this one turned out.
If you don’t know what a cleave poem is, it’s a three in one poem. Each side is a separate poem to be read vertically, one side dark, the other light, opposites. But they can be read horizontally as a single poem too.
A circular poem.
The painting is by Josef Pankiewicz
Swells through river water and the night,
Light shimmers pale.
Sail, the swans, ghostly white,
Tight closed eyes, necks bent in sleep.
Weep, the willow on the bank’s edge.
Sedge trembles ’neath the breeze,
Trees make tangled shadows between the moonlight threads,
Spread wide the ripples on the lake.
Wake, white beauties when the morning breaks,
Wake, where the night darkness wells.
Sometimes, especially during the long summer holidays, the family cocoon feels more like a pressure cooker.
Anger spikes, flaring like lit fuses
Among unwashed dishes and wet bath towels.
Small detonations echo through the neglected house
Racketing around the uncleaned shower.
Shouting clouds the air
Where faces hang sullen and silent
The eternal expression of the wrongly accused.
I halt in my tirade, your hand on mine
Voice low and soothing as a summer breeze.
And I long to take your arm,
To fly away from the squalor of family life
And find a love nest just big enough for two
Where we can live our lives whole,
Not chopped into a hundred pieces
To suit the whim of this one or that.
Your calm strokes my skin
And coats my ear with honeyed words.
Not run away, you say
Push aside the unimportant tasks
Take up only those that count.
With soft words you lead me from the fray
Usher me into my world of embroidered words
Wrought in gold and silver, forged as hard as steel
In shades of all the feelings a fiery heart can shape.
Here, in my realm
Sun shines warm in an eternal spring
Rain falls soft as thistledown, sweet as the thrush’s song.
In my world you are always there to take my hand
And the shower is always clean.