still born


“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.” ~ Diane Setterfield



this poem is fashioned from immortal ink(ed) flesh

carved deep into the white screen of space time

it can never die nor disappear from this cyber-womb

birthed to exist fully preserved and free from annihilation

frozen in pure mothered breath-steeped dreadful magic

whisper it to the wind…this voice is a miracle of timelessness



Magaly prompts us this morning in The Garden…she offers this:

“I began this prompt with a quote from The Thirteenth Tale because on the 13th day of our 30/30 in April, I wish to celebrate the number 13 and metaphor (as a poetic device).

The guidelines:

– choose 3 to 13 (nonconsecutive) words out of Setterfield’s quote

– use them in a poem that is a deliberate celebration of metaphor

I went for 13 😉 As with the whole month of NaPoWriMo I’m hanging with the toads.

17 thoughts on “still born

  1. Magaly Guerrero says:

    I feel like i should get up and do a little dance around the house. I just get such joy when a poem blooms out of poem looking as natural as breathing (while reminding us just how complex the respiratory system is). I love the smoothness of your metaphor, Paul, how you weaved word and feeling in such a way that none can say they didn’t just burst out of your fingers… fully formed.

    Also, I might be in lust with the phrase “immortal ink(ed) flesh”.

  2. elleceef says:

    Enjoyed this so much, your last line sums it up beautifully,
    “whisper it to the wind…this voice is a miracle of timelessness”
    Very well done 🙂

  3. willow88switches says:

    you made it look far too easy …. oh the dreadful magic dance of ink to skin, foolsc[r]ap this is not!

    great job! Cheers and Happy weekend Paul.

  4. kanzensakura says:

    Wonderful. Except the bolded words (and in other poems italicized words just make me stop and I have to start all over again reading). I like very much the idea of “whisper it to the wind…this voice is a miracle of timelessness”..I like your extended metaphor so much.

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