An aging ship.
St nick.
Sticks bare,
Save thorns and hips.
Brown leaves.
Frail stones
Stink of baking
Empty atonement.
Sirens getting louder
Harder to deny
Unreliable rudder lies.
Sharp stem sickles slice skin
Spill red petals within
The baby forms, and drips from
The spilling of her hips.
Melasma cracks alabaster.
Reeds. Flute, nej. Basket.
Burned cookies.
Open bilco.
Cold sea pours in
Deep behind the eyes
Last breath

For the prompt ‘endings’ at http://www.diverse

22 thoughts on “Moses

      1. It took me a bit to interpret what I think you may describe, and I should say this is truly visceral to me. This is my subjective interpretation, of course, and it may not be at all what you intended but here are my pennies:

        The poem delves into a child growing older and that with the context of Christmas, thorns, and brown leaves, it’s a cold and dark season. Despite it, there is a bit of happiness associated through the smell of baked goods. It soon evolves darker—the narrator describes someone that has not truly atoned, they have not changed who they are for the better; they’ve regressed and it impacts the child negatively. They continue to lie and the narrator can no longer deny this truth; and it may hurt them to confront this truth because they may hold love for this person.

        It continues on through bloodline (“the baby forms…”); this is a belief here the narrator holds; this belief, stemmed from what may have caused them pain in childhood, is that it runs in the family so to speak and that it’s a cycle that one cannot escape.

        “Burned cookies.

        Open bilco.

        Cold sea pours in
Deep behind the eyes


        Everything changed for the worse as they recollected their childhood. They now choose to isolate themselves physically in a basement, and mentally in memories.



        Last breath”

        Last three lines—they can’t take the pain anymore, so they choose a method of suicide to escape their pain and thus end the cycle.

        This is a solemn tale and it’s tragic because of its realism in what it describes. That’s why it took me a bit to absorb it—it’s entwined in this imagery that transitions to the breaking point of the narrator, and sadly, it’s something too common for people to do. I understand why, but it’s very saddening. Very well written and stunning.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Lots to like here – the wonderful soundings – ‘sharp stem sickles slice skin…’; the oddness – the stink of baking scones; the biblical story – moses in the reeds, and pursuit – the lonely birth, the sirens getting louder and a tragic end + such concision in telling the story. Bravo and thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I see the ragged thoughts of despair–this is the way the mind works, associations that don’t seem to make sense and yet they add up to no reason to live for the narrator. We have probably all had these moments in our lives, but most of us manage to make it through another day despite our momentary spiraling down. (K)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “Well you’ll only ever really know you’re living
    If you’re totally sure that you’re dying
    Maybe we get where we want to go. I don’t know. Fuck it
    Maybe the earth opens up and swallows us whole”

    Laura Jane Grace

    I love your poem, the sounds, the snapping, the now and nowledge of it,


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