Sunday, December 25, 2011

Odious Potions: Verse by Wally Lee Parker

Odious Potions

verse by

Wally Lee Parker

illustration by

Robert H. Brandt

(first published in 1984 – all rights reserved by author)

            I’ve been working on this poem off and on for thirty years.  It gets a little closer to where I want with each revision.  It contains neither perfect rhyme nor perfect meter.  Both those have fallen victim to the message.  And if there truly is an underlying message, it’s simply this; whether your addiction is to alcohol, drugs, obsessive love, or to absolute perfection, the wake of pain that ripples out from one type of addition is difficult to differentiate from the ripples left by any of the others.  All can be destructive not only to self, but to everyone else around.
            If you see any truth in this verse you might be tempted to ask how the hell I of all people should know about things like this.  Any person approaching the biblical three score and ten ought to have some clue as to the way the human heart works.  If not, they’ve actually been dead for some time, just a bit unaware of the fact.  As anyone of any experience can tell you, no matter how scarred, boiled, skewed, or otherwise damaged the heart may become, it still has needs.  And as someone who has held the hand of many a patient as they crossed over, I can tell you with all certainty that the far from perfect human heart is very definitely, figuratively as well as literally, the last thing to go.

Odious Potions

My lady’s a dream,
a witch in the wind,
A shadow that floats
in clouds of pretend,
An ember that glows
neath dark indigo
And rises as smoke
till reason is blind;
A hunger that dwells
the edge of my mind;
This most witching woman
of all womankind.

She conjures my dreams,
invades every thought;
A mystery in flesh
— this love I have sought.
Yet her love combined
with spices and wine
Does taste of a bitter,
deep gnawing ache;
A brooding and angry,
cold hungry ache;
So hopeless and endless
and ever this ache.

With beguiling intrigues
my mistress compels
Black powers to rise
in beckoning spells.
This enchanting witch
with a drop or a pinch,
With a dash, a splash,
a snippet or twist
Contrives a love potion
no man can resist.
These spices she blends
no man can resist.

And what of her power,
incanting a hex,
To sting a man’s heart,
to torment and vex,
To rend with her blend
of desire and sin
The soul that succumbs,
entwined and resigned,
To worship this woman
— her body and mind,
To worship this woman
so darkly enshrined.

So dark and so spectral
is her heritage
That surely not mortal
is her parentage.
For this brooding flower
of rapturing power
Blooms deep in the garden
of my hopeless love;
Blooms deep in my need
for her heartless love;
 Her selfishness thorns
tormenting my love.

In this garden of tears,
baneberry and sorrow,
In yesterday’s garden
— no hope for tomorrow,
She practiced her art,
the thieving of hearts,
And tasted this tattered
emasculate soul,
Shattered by witchery
— artful and droll;
Discarding the shell;
consuming the soul.

A caldron is bubbling
her tart witching brew,
It rises come-hither
as vaporous dew.
A balm for the lonesome,
my opium flower;
Fetching, possessing,
and potent with power;
Willowy, winsome,
and dripping with power;
My night blooming flame
of unearthly power.

Lips brushed in poppies’
bright opium hue,
She urgently whispers
her tempting taboos.
Lips peppered precise
with a splashing of spice.
Rouged to the blush
of an opium flame.
These rubies they taunt
with glittering flame,
And spittle forth lies
to provoke and inflame.

So coldly she plies
her tart witching spice,
Toxicants that enchant,
tantalize, and entice
That deep in brown eyes
of bright, brittle ice
Not a trace of concern
 for what this portends;
The schemes she envisions,
the lives that they rend.
These odious potions
she mixes and blends.

Against my bruised heart
she dash her hurt
— Vast tangles of lies
that so disconcert.
She’ll cry for her pain
and hide from her shame,
But never has time
to listen and hear,
But never has time
to let me come near,
But never has time
to show that she cares.

Though poisoned of heart
and weakened by pain
And chilled by the fall
of somber salt rain,
My garden still grows
the seeds that I sow;
The need for the sting
of her witching spice;
The dream of her love
regardless of price;
My love for brown eyes
of bright, brittle ice.

My lady’s a dream,
a witch in the wind,
A shadow that floats
in clouds of pretend,
And this brooding flower’s
unearthly power
Blooms deep in the dark
of my foolish heart;
Booms deep in the wants
of my starving heart;
Where unyielding needs
are eating my heart.

Links to Other Verse by Wally Lee Parker

Fossil Fires

Night Sounds

An Ode to Red Beer

Love on a Summer's Night 

No comments: