Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Harper's Ferry, 2010

There is a door just up river painted green
where two white torrents clash with spray,
inside where wispy rope fray curls unseen
that bound the wool wrapped corpse that lays

just down river in the bent autumn reeds
with black boots and face turned downward
looped with sisal and gauntly hidden needs.
Who would dare to turn that grey face skyward?

Behind the quiet door that is painted sickly green
the deed completed as the candle's scarlet dripped,
the pierced body wrapped and silence dragged unseen
to the rushing river with rough wool shroud unripped,

hidden until rosy springtime when the flood
will rinse the clues without a trace of blood.

[Note: I really don't care much for explanatory notes re: poetry since
I believe the poem is just the poem but, in this case, I will allow for an
exception. At Harper's Ferry, while strolling along the river, just at the
point where the Potomac and the Shenandoah rivers meet, there is a
corpse shrouded in a woolen blanket wrapped in sisal rope. I suspect
it's part of the exhibit, but it was shocking to see and there is still a
nagging doubt in my mind.]


  1. I like this a lot. I don't recall reading a sonnet of yours before. This works beautifully on many levels-- rhythmically, thematically, visually.
    I really like "gauntly hidden needs."

    This is simply wonderful.

    I don't mind the explanatory note at all.

  2. @Megan: I think it's my third or fourth. Seemed somehow appropriate to go 'old-school', given the subject matter. A bit of a lark is all.

  3. Your wet and woolly corpse gives me shivers!

  4. @willow: Creepy stuff. There's a picture of it on the astral nomads blog if you want to see it. The Harper's Ferry post.

  5. YOu have this gift to write so right...

  6. @Dulce: Thanks. Just a silly little sonnet for amusement purposes only. I was almost embarrased to post it. Ha!

  7. Ah - don't be embarrassed to post a sonnet!! It wasn't an obvious sonnet anyway - i didn't realise at first!

  8. @Antonionioni: Thx, master sonneteer.

  9. Wow... That certainly would leave an impression; false corpse or no. Great write!

  10. beautiful haunting work; i am there.

  11. @harlequin: haunting indeed. glad I was able to capture some of it from you.