Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Do you remember? (a poem)

Within me is a place where poetry resides. Where a word, or a phrase or an image awakens buried thoughts and ideas and feelings to flow out in a river of emotion and images and words.

Sometimes, they emerge in ways that surprise me, and enthrall me.

The falling poem is in response to the prompt over at Carry on Tuesday, a weekly invitation to use the line provided from a 'famous' poem or song or piece of prose, either in its entirety or in part, to inspire your own creation.

The prompt for Tuesday, November 9, consists of the first line of My Love, an ancient folk song updated and recorded by the English folk-rock band Steeleye Span: Do you remember what we promised when we met. . . .

To read other Carry on Tuesday contributors' poems or prose for prompt #78, go here.

Now, first-off, I have to thank Maureen over at Writing without Paper for inspiring me with her wonderful poem, Cast-offs (and for the copy I used to describe Carry on Tuesday).

And secondly, I have to thank the muse who doesn't care whether I'm feeling happy or sad, blue or gay. She simply moves through me, bringing out what is there in ways I never imagined.

The poem below has obvious connections for me. It's about a relationship long ago that almost killed me. I have long since let go of the pain and sorrow that would hold me down, and have moved into that place where I look at the circumstances of that relationship in awe -- was that really me? What was I smoking? Look how much I've grown and healed and expanded and embraced the wonder of my life today.

When this poem came out, I was once again in awe -- wow -- to be able to create from those circumstances that were so painful is to be immersed in the wonder and joy of my life today and know, I've been given a gift.

Do you remember?
©Louise Gallagher

Do you remember
what we promised
when we met
in that time
when love blushed
with the faint hope
of everlasting
and you rode in
on the rosy dew
of a new day dawning.

Do you remember?
I do.

We promised
as lovers do
in pillow talk
and arms entwined
to never unravel
the mysteries of our love
bedded in the truth
of steadfast faithfulness
to one another
as we held on
tightly
to the shiny splendour
of the promises
we breathed
into each other's hearts.

And then
you lied
and I was broken
my heart impaled
upon your promises breathed
into the truth never spoken
into that place
where the light is lost
in the darkness
of your lips
consuming
the air I breathed
in
and
out
and
in
and
out
in a never ending stream
of the promise
of your undying love
holding me forever
in the tentacles of your unholy embrace.

I remember.

So many promises you broke
The lies you spoke
The river of tears you shed,
teeth gnashing, lies raging
your eyes
dark and shielded
your words
deep and cutting
your promises
bled me dry
a thousand leeches
sucking
my life
out
and
out
and
into
that place
where I was lost
and alone
and frightened.

I remember.

You promised to love me
‘til death do us part
and I said, I do too.
but death to you was more appealing
than our life
together
as one
you promised never to hurt me
I replied, you’re not that powerful
and I turned the other cheek
opening up that place where
you hurt me
again and again
and I cried
and I cried
and I wanted to die
until even death evaded me
and I was left
broken
like your promises of love everlasting.

Do you remember what we promised when we met?

I didn’t think so.

15 comments:

G.K. Asante said...

Heart-wrenching. The line "to never unravel
the mysteries of our love" is just excellent.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Thanks G.K.

faith said...

Very powerful. I could feel the hurt in this. I'm glad that you found light after all that darkness!

Maureen said...

Chills ran down my back while I read this. Especially striking is "death to you was more appealing / than our life / together".

That you can still evoke the pain so vividly shows how powerful the experience was. That you can write it out like this and share it shows the power of poetry to heal.

Hugs, dear friend.

Joyceann Wycoff said...

You are amazing and this poem is so powerful. I think each time we open up those wounds to the light, they heal a little more and the scar becomes a little fainter. This was a very healing poem.

Claudia said...

agh - a sad place to be when everything falls apart...

liked the lines...and you rode in
on the rosy dew
of a new day dawning...
and ...your lips consuming the air i breathed...

sad he wasn't the hero who managed to fight on...

Susanne Barrett said...

I agree with Maureen--those lines about death being more appealing than life together--so powerful. I feel the pain yet can also sense the healing happening below the surface.

I always sound too "teacherly" when I respond to other people's work--comes with being a teacher, I guess. But truly, this is excellent work!! :)

CZBZ said...

Beautiful, Louise. You always manage to speak my feelings for me. Thank you for this tender poem.

It takes strength to admit to being vulnerable. I love your courage and willingness to let people see inside your heart. It's nice and roomy in there, too. Did you know that?


Much love,
CZ

M.L. Gallagher said...

thank you everyone for your encouraging and supportive comments!

It's nice to know when I connect in a heartfelt way with others. It feels warm.

Especially in my nice and roomy heart! :)

Hugs to all.

S. Etole said...

I know about about those forgotten promises ...

Jingle Poetry said...

sad, blessings for you.
you deserve the best.
keep writing,
keep smiling.

Kathleen Overby said...

in the darkness
of your lips
consuming
the air I breathed

Shiver quivers-what a claustrophobic, smothering love! I couldn't breathe with you. Choked.

So glad you're in a different place. Hugs.

drw@bainbridge.net said...

Such an extraordinary poem. And what incredible courage, to go back into that dark place and still emerge carrying light...

evenstarwen said...

This brought tears to my eyes. As I'm in a similar place right now, I found this very cathartic. Than you.

jen revved said...

This is utterly and openly honest and very strong-- thanks for the candor that encourages the rest of us...xxxj