a pretend genius broadsuction
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the writethis.com banned words poetry contest 2007

catherine edmunds

A band of words were banned, abandoned, lost – 
methinks ’tis time these words were used, not tossed.

Above the awesome abyss beats the black
and broken breeze. Breathtaking darkling cloud
obscures my sight. I burn! Alas, alack,
I’m clutching at confusion in this shroud.
(Creative kindness is the crunch of death.)
I do desire this demon, ah, ’tis true!
And yet I cannot bear the devil’s breath
which counsels me to savour thee, not rue
the demon of desire, the dragon bold
which springs from earth’s eternity in flame.
A fantasy of fire I fain would hold
bereft of forest flutters, flowing gold.
    Behold this flower, glimmering and fell
    that follows me to heaven or to hell!

Fair Jennifer lies by my side in joy,
two hearts upon the grass, no longer ice
awaiting lightning touches, longing loins
impassioned as each eye on thigh alights.
Infinity of heartache fades away – 
I lief would leave this life of longing love,
forswear my vow for ever and a day
in mystery of doom, my darling dove.
I have a mind to lose myself in mist,
be nevermore a knight, full and replete
with fine obsession, pain and passion, kissed
by death, pulsating poetry, defeat.
    ‘The quest for passion fails with aging,’ quoth
    my servant and his lover, wise men both.

And so I leave this road. The shadow grows,
the shores no longer shimmer and the shard
of searing sepia sex now sifts. Thus throws
the silhouette of scorn the old trump card.
The slayer of the sky blows out soft snow,
a soul song sparkles, stung by summer’s sword.
So wouldst thou thunder, slay my sweetheart? Show
me tears that sparkle – all I can afford
is spiritual and surreal defeat,
a path through twilight, where I may unsheath
and lie upon the ground beneath your feet.
This knight has lost his sword, his dragon’s teeth.
   My wicked wings, unreal, no more unfurled,
   I travel on beyond this wooden world.