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The Only Shrine I’ve Ever Known

The whole world is soft shades of grey
                        Punctuated by your eyes:
            Clouded pieces of sea glass worn smooth
Through the tireless waves of nights lost to loneliness;

You lead me, hand in hand, to the oceanside,

            "There is magic here"
                        You exclaimed excitedly,
                                    "Here, words have power."

            "Words have always had power"
I hummed, waters retreating before a fixed stare,

            "Words were meant to be whispered to waves,
Overheard and carried by the wind rustling the dune’s crest;

Words were meant to be borne then buried in unmarked sands
                        where they can be felt, but not seen.

Words have too much power, they should never be seen.

            "I’ve seen yours..." you said, uncertain.

"Broken castles waiting to be recycled” I replied,
            “those are the only words I’ve ever known.


            The sun is a cancer,
            Airborne and contagious,
            Oil spilling across a gaping horizon

I laid myself down, a canvas on felt,
Backlit and see-through, and you discovered
Obelisks anchoring my chest to the next life;
            Observed a prison of neglected monoliths
                        collapsing in on themselves.
                        collapsing in on some center.
            Holding me fixed, and holding me under.

            You asked for three words.

                        Honestly, I told you:

                        "I grew up in the city,
                                    there are no words.

            Blow up the sun, let the fires rest,
            Destruction makes the world burn
                        brighter than any star.

                        I, Mountain

            Freedom never felt so sweet:
Pulling the darkness from out my throat.

Laying with the sand, feeling the waters strip me bare:
                        A shade of blood
            For every emotion I’d ever experienced.

                        Sunsets paint the sands black,
                                    I’ve never felt more alone:
                        Salted wounds and cold sores,
                                    I’ve never felt more at home.

                        Long shadows mark still longer days
            Silences punctuated by a gentle swing and sway
                        of chimes, of wind, of fleeting shade;

            Freedom never felt so sweet,
                        But damn did it taste bitter.

            The Only Pyre I’ve Ever Known

            The fires outside, they’re burning,
            Burning for themselves a home.

                                    But you,
                        The fire is inside of you
                        burning your eyelids dry,
                        burning for itself a home.

                                    And I,
                        I have an hourglass mind,
                        the sand has collapsed to ash;
                        I have an hourglass of ash,
                        but no longer a home to burn.

            You can’t surprise me anymore;
                        I am never surprised.

Silence is the cure for cancer;
            Silence is the modern miracle.
Do you know why it is so difficult to focus on the horizon?
It's because the horizon is on fire, fire as far as the eye can see.

I've been trying to write this piece for a while, finally found some semblance of a finish line.

:iconwriters--club: are holding a writing tournament, this is my entry.
Add a Comment:
I admit I don't fully understand your metaphors, but I loved this so much I wanted to do my best to critique it anyway.

First, your sun metaphor and the way you carry it through the poem is exquisite. I especially love your use of "Panopticon" as a reference to the sun, if I am reading it right. And also your use of obelisks, which I am told is supposed to represent a frozen ray of the sun. And your line in "I, Mountain", "Pulling the darkness from out my throat."

I also adore what you've done with the sea in your first section, "The Only Shrine I've Ever Known."
"The whole world is soft shades of grey
Punctuated by your eyes:
Clouded pieces of sea glass worn smooth
Through the tireless waves of nights lost to loneliness;"

The way you interweave happy and sad is wonderful, and especially poignant in the lines in your third section:
Sunsets paint the sands black,
I've never felt more alone:
Salted wounds and cold sores,
I've never felt more at home."

In fact, this poem is so full of contrasts I love it. You start the poem talking about words, and end it with silence.

Okay, now after sorting through some of my scattered thoughts on the poem, I am going to try to interpret it, and you tell me if I'm on the right track. After several read-throughs, I decided this poem was about solitude and the freedom that it brings. Not necessarily solitude in the most literal sense, but a solitude of the mind. I catch this from the throwing the smartphone off a bridge and the lines I quoted above about being alone and being at home. The sun and its fire, as well, are a symbol of burning away all that would keep the speaker from his silence.

The lines that still give me trouble are what I see as a juxtaposition starting here:
"... and you discovered
Obelisks anchoring my chest to the next life;
Observed a prison of neglected monoliths;
collapsing in on themselves.
collapsing in on some center.
Holding me fixed, and holding me under."

There seems to be some release at the end of this section:
"Blow up the sun, let the fires rest,
Destruction makes the world burn
brighter than any star."
Am I making up connections here that don't exist? Well, I know this isn't a typical critique, but hopefully seeing into one reader's mind might be able to help in some way, and I hope you can tell me more about this poem so I can understand the vision behind it better. The star I knocked off on impact was only because it took me so long to understand it, but I think that is more a critique of the reader rather than the writer. ;)
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
6 out of 6 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Professional Writer
I love this, especially the first several stanzas up 'til "There are no words." Beautiful use of imagery.
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014
Honored miss, unequivocally honored.
BoopKittenMoonSugar Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Words do have a lot of power in them... Much more power than most people often realize. This is beautiful. 
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
I very much share the sentiment.
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I feel like I only somewhat understand what you were trying to communicate here, but your imagery is just beautiful. I always love seeing something from you in my inbox because reading it will be a little like a puzzle I'm trying to solve, trying to understand the meaning behind each of your metaphors and descriptions. All the same, I love this. I feel like maybe this is you trying to describe a bit of who you are and why?
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014
You probably understand much more than you give yourself credit for, I think anyone who is drawn to my writing shares a piece of this world with me in our lives. I also think that everything I write carries more of me than people give them credit for, but, you are right, this piece more than most.

You, good miss, are the most delightfulest - thank you so much.
TheMaidenInBlack Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014
This is really beautiful. And I have nothing else to say, honestly, because I don't like dissecting things a lot unless I'm asked to, and also, it feels like something personal and it would make me feel weird to critique it. But yeah, I think the contrast of feeling and your metaphors were all amazing.
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014
Aww, thanks Ht. :blush:

Honestly, if you ever feel like dissecting, criticizing, or descrying anything I write, I would be honored. Nothing is too personal in what I write that I can't step back and evaluate it from a writer's perspective. Not to say that you have to write anything, just to say never feel restricted when it comes to my writings - I wouldn't post something if I couldn't accept critique or thoughts.
TheMaidenInBlack Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014
(: :hug:

It's a healthy approach to have towards your writing, and I agree with you. I don't have a lot of critique to offer, "sadly" (:P); the only thing would be the first part, where there is the dialogue, it uses the same vocabulary as the rest of the poem but in a way, it feels "out of place", you know? Like the dialogue is a bit too constructed, and not very natural. But that's a minor issue, ad maybe it's just me.
WhenNightmaresWalked Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Student Writer
"A shade of blood / For every emotion I'd ever experienced." I'm bleeding shades of love all over this poem - my heart is beating with the words you write about not having and I think you should know that this is beautiful. Keep writing and never stop. Thank you for your words.
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
This is such a Valentine's Day response. ;p

I am so delighted that you have taken something away from the piece, good miss, it really means a lot hearing such candied words, haha. Thank you so much :thanks:
Shairese Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm in love with this. I don't have the right words to adequately describe why, but I think it's striking in the most beautiful way. 
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014
I feel struck in the most beautiful way by your comment, so I think your words did you more than enough justice, fair miss. Thank you so much.
ghostinafog Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
Panopticon is especially powerful (but then again i'm partial to fire metaphors)

Silence is a miracle.
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
I can see why you read this, being partial to fire metaphors, the whole thing is one step away from going up into flames.
sophiaazhou Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
Smartphones bare and unhealthy resemblance to flip phones

"Smartphone bear an unhealthy resemblance to flip phones" ?
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
As it is supposed to be past tense, I think maybe I have 'bare' right?

But the 'and' just goes to show you that no matter how many times you proof-read (which is an infinite), you suck at proof-reading your own writing.
sophiaazhou Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
If it's past tense, would it be "Smartphones bore an unhealthy resemblance to flip phones" ?  Because use of "bare" is for uncovered things and exposing them -- it's kind of a pervy adjective that way -- and "bear" is the versatile one, being a verb or else a grizzly noun, which is impressive thing for a word to have in its skill set. 

I could be wrong though; it's been a long day. Just put me under a paper bag if that's the case. :ashamed:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
I believe in you, both because you are a smarter person than me, and I was going on instinct.

Also, did I mention you are smarter?
sophiaazhou Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
I don't know about smarter; rereading my comments and seeing the typos and crap now that I'm more awake, I feel like a hypocrite. :/
Smarter doesn't equate to wiser either; it's not like it was a very good feedback at all to leave in response to your piece.
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
You worry to much, I'd say that the piece is definitely improved post your comment, and that's good feedback in my book.
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Submitted on
January 22, 2014


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