"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Conversation with a Hanging Man

Behold, the grave of a wicked man,
And near it, a stern spirit.
Stephen Crane

The Hanged Man (Tarot)
Artist Unknown


I sat at the feet of a hanged man once,
and asked of him, “Did you die
for equality?” but his eyes were glazed
with dust from the road.
“Was it for dignity?” but I saw
that wild animals had gnawed his feet.
Strange that I felt at one
with his studied silence, the bewildering
simplicity of his demise.
“Tell me it was not for love,
but for laughter, friend.”
Now his rictus grin disrupts my dreams.


For Izy's Out of Standard prompt in the Imaginary Garden, I have returned to the tarot card conversations, which began HERE on April 1st.
My chosen protest sign is taken from the many currently on display during the rolling mass action in South Africa this month.

Source: Sullivan Photography SA


  1. This blew me away, Kerry. Flawless.

  2. I love when your poetry dances towards grim. Because you present it in such a gentle way, like a lullaby full of happy corpses--uncanny, decaying, sweet... and terrifying.

    1. What an amazing compliment. Thanks, Magaly.. I'll try to keep the happy corpses lined up.

  3. Powerful write and flawless indeed. The closing line sent a chill down my spine - I think it might haunt me for a while.
    Anna :o]

    1. Oh, thank you for that. I was feeling a little out of the game after my non-writing days.. Not too sure if this one would hit the mark.

  4. Deftly you draw in nthe reader and then wham! Nightmares for all ;)

  5. "Strange that I felt at one
    with his studied silence"

    I love this ... and the last line.

  6. Toy with our minds, why don't you? Thank you

  7. Wow! This one might haunt me for a while.

  8. I freaking love you...er I mean this poem....er I mean your poetic sensibility that treads on bittersweet romanticism with a healthy wallop of real mysticism. You do this far better than I could. This poem is such a good example. The hanged man with eyes glazed with road dust and the inquisitive narrator, not sure who is interrupting who, but the tension and honesty echoes with me and brings me such comfort. Thanks you for posting this and Viva La!!!!!!

    1. I am just an old bittersweet romantic at heart, Izy.
      And I love you too. Thanks for taking my simple scene to heart.

  9. His grin will disrupt quite a few dreams, not just for how macabre it is on its own, but for the cautionary tale he keeps pressed tight in the rigor mortis of his lips.

  10. Wow, Kerry! This was pure magic, or more like a bad spell!


Let's talk about it.