The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 * Week 22: Sudden Death Write Off-Open Topic

Fallow

A slow climb into the sunlight after
a season and a day in the deep rock,
the air restless and
shifting this way, that way

caressing curls, languidly drawing
fingertips across chest, neck,
and back, down thighs and over cheeks.

Earth swallowed her up to the shoulder,
edges dissolved into the sun baked
ground, nerves spreading wildly,
a root system cast wide and searching.

She nuzzled against the grim reaper,
buried her head in his hood to lick his
teeth, to kiss the corner of his smile.

He swooned at the scent of her blooming,
left her with a molar as an offering,
promised to be back again soon to sink
incisors into the
fruit of her becoming.

***
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The voting closes
Sunday, May 24th at 7pm EDT!

The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 * Week 22: Hiraeth

I once sunk deep
into plush moss,
their supple hands
gently packed the
dirt all around
me, whispering.

I was brought back
from the rich soil
by strong fingers
which carried me
to the river,
loving arms
sunk me deep
into the cold
water, singing.

I was swaddled
in thick wool,
walked down the
pine needle path
to the hearth
burning bright
with holly and
laid bare on
the fire-warmed
stone, humming.

there I shed
precious naïveté
like a snake
itchy from skin
that is too tight,
hemming in
the space we
were meant
to take up in the
world, growing.

There I was fed
milk and honey
to take away the
bitter bite of the
potent herbs which
Would awaken me
to the truth of
things, aching.

My heart rended
Slowly, slowly...
over long days and
endless nights,
opening up to
the pain of losing
which I thought was
mine that never was,
yearning

that pulled taut
every nerve,
frayed every fiber
until

I thought I would come
apart at the seams,
at the joints,
at the synapses,
to become

A floating cloud of
loose particles rising
like mist from the
low valleys, which
hold the echoes of
hopes and wild wishes
in the cupped bowl of
the earth’s palms,
where I would stay,
haunting.

***
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The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 * Week 21: Sudden Death Write Off-Open Topic

She thrice casted her voice
into the atmosphere,
implored the answers to come
down from on high to kiss
her brow with golden lips,
so she could finally get
the miracle of knowing.

Instead, the haunting came
down the hill
to stay for a while
on the wide
expanse of her frozen chest which
labored under the thudding
weight of cloven feet,

Ghosts play fanciful tricks;
swell your tongue to choking,
give the promise of maggots
under your tender aching
Skin, so sleep will not come,
your eyes sting
with the grit of
undreaming.

A bell tolled in the distance,
rolled across the foothills,
reverberated through
the soles of her feet,
climbed her bones like
invasive ivy.

The omens rooted
into sinew and bone,
her nerves crawled
with millipede feet
thrumming and
possessed.

***

It was a seven way tie for last week's contestant only vote! If you liked this entry, please go to the poll to vote for it! https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1133711.html
The poll closes , Tuesday, May 12th at 8pm EDT

The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 * Week 21: The Way Back

“To go forward you must go back,
but don’t worry, you’ll see the way,”
she said as she spun around three times
plucked out her eyes, for luck
she blew on them
like dice, rolled them
down the hill and said,
“Go.”

She read every spell book
upside down, rightside up,
chewed on the edges of each page,
licked torn bindings
to know.

She dropped belladonna elixir
in each eye to let in the light
gasping through clenched teeth
at the harshness of sight,
then she sat in the deep dark
to know.

She counted poppy seeds
pulled from the black earth,
gathered them in a small
pouch woven from her own
hair, then planted them in her
skin for spring
to know.

She scrubbed the blood from
the baseboards in the mean
time, but every morning there
was the stain again, so
she performed exorcisms,
shook hands with her ghosts,
asked the names of demons
to know.

She deconstructed walls,
pulled up floors,
dusted off skeletons, pulled
them into the sun to watch
their bones bleach brilliantly,
patiently waited until they started
to tell her the stories she was afraid
to know.

At the end of a season the roots
went deep into center, strong
with perseverance and wanderlust
spreading the
knowing.

Sunburnt, nails black, eyes crossed
mouth full of blood, she turned around
three times
to rest.

***
It is contestant only voting this week, but you can read more entries here
https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1131549.html

The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 * Week 20: Boondoggle

We stood heel to heel,
walked three paces,
turned around and
took our best shot
to ignore the
obvious.

Unwilling
to admit our ache
was chronic and
the emotional
expenditures too
steep to justify.

I took your words
at face value, chose to
believe you knew
yourself better
than I could ever know
you, because I was full of things
I did not expect you to understand.
I thought there must be a myriad of
worlds living inside your head
I could never
comprehend.

You said you wanted to stay,
so I trusted that you meant it
without reservation, never
suspecting there was
an underlying caveat weighing down
every reassurance you shackled
to my thin ankles,until

I was on the edge
of the deep pool watching
in horror as you pushed each
and every one of the
anchored conditions
for loving me
into the water,

You, incredulous I couldn’t swim,
angry with my exhaustion,but
mystified I wasn’t drowning,
surprised I was not asking
for you to save me
from the trap
you devised.

***
If you liked this poem, head to the poll to vote for it: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1130664.html

The poll closes Saturday, May 2nd at 8pm EDT. The bottom 2 will be eliminated.

Be sure to read some other entries while you are at it, there are talented writers therein.

The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 * Week 19: "I can't get calm"

A rhythm beats
through my body,
thumping across
my skull, the lyrics
release the knot in
my throat,

“Help
I’m alive
My heart keeps
Beating
like a
Hammer
Beating
like a
Hammer…”

The silent plea for help
for my existence is a
sentiment that is a
most faithful companion.

An upbeat tune is the
exorcism of death wishes
buried deep in my guts,
the sentiment pumped through
my body with cortisol and
adrenaline.

My spirit flew right out of my
body every time a voice was
raised at me, the emotional
turmoil laid across my face like
a thick wool hood, ready to hide the
distasteful death lull of my mouth
when the axe came down on my
taut neck.

I fought dread with careful avoidance,
light footed and thin
I walked across eggshells,
breathe steady, shallow,
hold still, observant
hands shaking,
ears ringing

after the deafening
Beat beat beating
of my dreadful heart

***
If you liked this poem, head to the poll to vote for it! The poll closes Thursday April 23rd at 9pm EDT
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Be sure to read some other entries while you are at it, there are talented writers therein.

The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 *Second Chance* Sudden Death Write Off: Open Topic

Open wide
gaping gasping

The air held tight
unmoving, heavy as a stone

unlike the heart which
continues to beat

beat beat beat
a bass line to the
rumbling in my ears,
the sound an avalanche makes
tearing down the mountain.

to be encased in all that
perfect white, sweetly serene
cold stillness, crystalline
encompassing,
no sense of direction,
no need to be any
where.

Just frozen meat in a landscape
that rolls on forever, quiet and secret.

These embers
roll down my shins
to be kicked furiously
into the straw house
built with lamb tongued
wolf skin,
vulture
hearted.

Planted deep in
the ground, pressed
cheeks against
unbecoming

Incantations caught in my
hanging mouth

snagged by a fisherman
who pulled me from the depths
to tell me I was a rabbit,
Hook line and sinker.

I swam out to sea,
unsurely dreaming
of tundra and teeth.

***
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The poll closes Wednesday, April 15th at 9pm EST.

The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 * Week 18 *Second Chance Week 6: Glass Cliff

We are good at untying things,
mending them in the night
when the rest of the world
gets to rest.

lithe fingers
discerning eyes
undo
to redo
what was
done
poorly

A finger tip dragged
across the rim of the world
a keening vibrating through
a transparent landscape

toes dangle off
the edge,

imagine
bones cracking
off sharp
edges

A shatter.

***
If you liked this poem and want to vote for it, please follow the link to the poll to submit! You can find my entry in Second Chance. https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1125307.html

The poll will close Saturday, April 11th at 8pm EST.

The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 * Week 17 *Second Chance Week 5: Moonshot

My third eye put my
rabbity heart into
a sling,

shot my devotion
to the moon

where a lover
cross legged
and serene
awaited
me

with palms full
of cheese and
pomegranate seeds,
a plate of hot
peppers in oil
ready to nourish
me wholesome and
full
even in times of
waning.

The story she told
fell from her lips
honeyed with the
sweetness of foresight.

She pronounced
unpronounceable names,
taught me about the
many shapes of love,
the dedication in
patience practiced
to wield it
unquestioningly,
without expectation,
or judgement.

A pure,
simple
orbit around
celestial
bodies,

deep in the
central
hearth
of her
divinity.

***
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The poll will close Tuesday, March 31st at 9pm EST.

If you are curious about the story relayed to me, listen here https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/282571-distance-of-moon

The Real LJ Idol * Season 11 * Week 16 *Second Chance: Backwards and in Heels

She carries a haphazard
Mountain on her
back, loose rock
and gunpowder.

Her skin pricked with
Fear of the heat
of a frustrated
Sigh,
the glowering
Ember of a
contemptuous
glance.

The pebbles roll down
to knock her teeth out.
She spits
Blood into the dirt
at her feet
the quagmire
is forming and
her knees slip
into uncertainty.

Her spine is coiled
like a snake,
too cold and weary
to protect center
of Self.

She retraces
the steps
on tiptoe
to find
the moment
she slipped
Backwards
into a
Wrong
turn.


***
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https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1118866.html where you can also read the other talented writers' work. You'll find me in the Second Chance Poll.

The poll will close Friday, March 20th at 9pm EDT