Poem of the Day – 23.08.2013

Master of my soul

Christina de Vries



Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


-William Ernest Henley

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Hunger of the Little One

Most touching



The little one suckles from her sagging breast,
her milk dust in its mouth,
and when it cries the hag casts a spell, saying,

“There, there my child, ne’er fear,
for the time that is your end is near,
now drink and drink to your heart’s content,
and walk slowly into the dark, my dear.”

The little one suckles from her sagging breast,
falling asleep to the rasp of the old hag’s voice,
and no longer cries as little one
slips slowly into the void.

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When Starlings Fall

Beautiful…. They don’t write poems like these anymore. I totally enjoyed this, I’m sure may others will.



Fallen Starlings

Belfast, 1920

A sash of winter starlings
rising shoreward
from The Narrows
disintegrates in freeze
of intrusive Arctic air.
Hits zero to their bones.
Their flutter tumbles
jostle willow scrub.
Soft rustlings all around,
and thin twigs snap.

Where low breakers
wash crispy sand flats,
a Portaferry girl and boy
gather rubbery sea wrack,
to pack in wicker baskets
to strengthen soil at home.

The children startle,
logic flown,
to glimpse death
so precipitous
as birds falling from the sky.
They stack dead starlings
black green purple shine
in rows upon the wrack.
Feed for the pigs.
Da might smile.

Boy snaps the necks
of birds that struggle
with some trace of warm.
Thumb and forefinger.
Strong hand, that.
He walks the sand for more.
Girl…she lives the troubles
knows to set the moment
of her brother’s joy in killing.
Tiny sparks to nurture flames.

Bonnie Marshall

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