View Full Version : The True Story of a Prayer Left on the Lips

William Haskins
12-19-2015, 07:34 AM
A curious morning
lit on my finger
a butterfly of
shivering beauty,
who sturdied its
thread-thin legs,
pushed with all its
might its wings
against the cosmos,
but still could not lift me,

physics being
one of God's drier jokes.

A furious night
coiled 'round my leg
a serpent, exquisitely
hissing, but having
no limbs, no amount of
constriction nor
malice short of
its venom could
pull me into the
deep damp earth,

fear being the
Devil's finest feast.

there is no lesson.

you stand like a tree.

Stretch to the light,
dig into the dirt
and fall.

12-19-2015, 08:42 AM
Dig the dichotomy between good and evil, light and dark. It's often used, but rarely executed well. I think you nailed it here, using the butterfly on the polar opposite body part while the snake makes his move. Well done, fun read.

12-19-2015, 08:49 PM
Once again, I think William's title is the key to this poem. I see a trembling butterfly of a loving gesture struggling futilely against the beast of trouble and depression tormenting the narrator. But though the gesture cannot free the narrator and is powerless to lift him, the beast, while it causes exquisite pain and fear, is unlikely to kill the narrator. Sometimes the only way through is to dig in, reach for the light, and keep standing until one no longer can.

It is a beautiful poem, although (despite the message of fortitude and endurance against trouble), it makes me sad.

12-19-2015, 09:03 PM
Liked this. You're on a roll, and that's no onion! FYI, my recent prayer flew from my lips to God's ear with GPS accuracy, apparently!

12-21-2015, 06:38 PM
You are so fucking talented, it's almost hard to watch. :)

Another fine example right here.

12-23-2015, 01:16 AM
I've come back to this one many times over the last few days, trying to find the right words, to come up with a fitting response, but I have nothing. Only that I understand it, find it lovely and painful all at once, and I am thankful that I've dug in enough times to be around to read it over and over.

12-23-2015, 01:24 AM
I'm with you, Sara. I printed this one out, along with William's last one.

No one does poignant better than William.

12-27-2015, 06:15 PM
Love this, love your work. Just read it for the first time and plan to re-read much much more. This is my absolute favorite kind of poem, a poem that I can feel clearly yet whose meanings seem to peek out from beneath somehow. The kind of thing I almost don't want to "figure out" quite yet, just want to enjoy. Beautiful!