for better days

 

Moscow, winter 66–
we walk the cemetery, black and white
a giant, wrapped in exhaust fumes
with open mouth–

she’s gnawing on our skeleton,
feasts on my brittleness,
we’re centered–

in the coughing of the dead, yelling
louder than their newborn’s cries,
your eyes shine blue–

beyond them

i see ships, trading their freight
for better days and know

you gonna kiss me
when we reach the top

so i prepare my lips since then
with honey from the black bear’s cave
and Death Sea salt to neutralize
the pain, we walk

on lanes with thousand names
between us– & the snow

rests like a pillow
on the hardened leather of our shoes

.

this is a magpie tale..

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33 responses to “for better days

  1. def atmospheric…and interesting walk claudia…the expectations of the kiss…the tension of the bitterness…the preparation of the lips with honey and salt…the salt to take care of the pain…lots of underlying tension in this…

  2. I felt a sort of tease from death, which we walk on constantly. But we live, with kisses, bitterness and all that makes up life, until we rest.

    As always, I enjoyed reading.

  3. there’s such a resolution for me in the sequence of the lines, from harsh to mellowing, yet retaining that hardness from the beginning, so nicely done

    there’s way more, but really liked,

    “i see ships, trading their freight
    for better days, i know

    you gonna kiss me
    when we reach the top”

    thanks claudia ;-)

  4. I got that “Winter 1966 in Moscow, and hardened cracked leather of my shoes, the tops of which were snow-pillow covered.” WOW! Then I started shivering from that coldness.

    Looking backward I found the honey, of which very little was relegated to my lips, as most of it went directly into my stomach. Ummmmm!

    Thanks Brother Bear-in-cave!

    Good, Claudia.
    PEACE!

  5. Nice job Claudia, really has some great images here and for me at least had a real anime storyline feeling to it, very cool. Thanks

  6. You warm it up with your words, but it still sounds cold and that snow, must kick that off your foot. Can’t have such a thing..haha. A bit mystic/eerie feeling to it indeed, nicely done once more, at your shore.

  7. wow…love these lines…& i prepare my lips since then
    with honey from the black bear’s cave
    and Death Sea salt to neutralize
    the pain, we walk…….

  8. Winter 1966 Moscow…not a place I would care to have been. The mention of the ‘coughing of the dead’ and ‘newborn cries’ in the same stanza is eerie equality of importance. I am trying to figure out ‘you gonna kiss me when we reach the top.’ Wondering what ‘the top’ refers to. Snow rests like a pillow…I am sure. any pictures I’ve seen of Moscow winter chills me to the bone. Very evocative images in this poem.

  9. You evoke not just a physical atmosphere but an emotional one here, that last line is bittersweet indeed, as are all the oldest memories, like looking back on a film, sometimes–cinematic and sure touch with this one, Claudia.

  10. Yes, as others might have said, there’s a dark, almost cinematic quality to this, with stunning, unusual imagery, like a film director might use, juxtapositions etc. Lovely.

  11. i’ve read this several times and it just gets better…the honey and the salt had me presssing my lips together…the cold…the bones…fab-u-lous!!

  12. This is a lovely one, the last half particularly, I thought — all the names, the snow and the hardened shoe leather–beautiful metaphors subtly placed. k.

  13. … and then there are those who are talking Valentine’s Day … I’d take a day in Moscow at -66F any day … as long as he tells me he loves me … Always, cat.

  14. I love this poem, because it encompasses everything that is important in life: birth, death and love. And that there can be so much tension, even when you know … it is going to happen.

  15. we walk

    on lanes with thousand names
    between us– & the snow

    rests like a pillow
    on the hardened leather of our shoes

    Beautiful, the way it winds down at the end to something as everyday as the snow on a shoe.

  16. only you could make a walk through a cemetary sensual, claudia! i felt impending danger… then came your lines ~

    “you gonna kiss me
    when we reach the top”

    and took the danger in a whole new direction. LOVE this! ♥

  17. This poem almost seems to describe how the recent Putin protesters in Moscow must have felt! Wonderfully evocative of all the sensory reactions to such frozen days and hopes.

  18. you gonna kiss me kicked off the magic. and what i loved is the idea that if we are brave enough to walk through a cemetery, there’s something worthy in it for us to discover.

  19. “Moscow, winter 66–
    we walk the cemetery, black and white
    a giant, wrapped in exhaust fumes
    with open mouth–

    she’s gnawing on our skeleton,
    feasts on my brittleness,
    we’re centered–”

    Hello! Claudia…
    Oh! yes, this is the poem that I missed
    Thanks, for sharing your very detailed, very descriptive poetic words…the words in your first and second stanza(s) are so dark, so cold,but yet so beautiful all at the same time…

    …So many uber poetic words jumped out at me in your Magpie Tales poem…However, I knew that I could only “grab” one or two stanza(s)…Tks, for sharing!

  20. The coughing dead, honey from the bear’s den, Dead Sea salt for the lips, bitterness, brittleness. So much here, I’m only repeating what others have said (much better) eariler. Wonderful, Claudia. Thank you so much.

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