Skip to content

OSI: “The Bear and the Strawberry Tree”

I’m once again participating in the fun that is One Single Impression. If you enjoy poetry and awesomeness of various stripes,check it out,won’t you?

The prompt this week over at One Single Impression is “Muse.” Quite aside from being the source of our word “museum,” muses are regarded as goddesses (the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, or “memory,” herself), the source of all ancient knowledge and, in more contemporary times, the source of creative inspiration (with the corollary notion of an actual woman who serves as a source of inspiration in others developing as an extension of this idea). Of the Classical Muses, I’ve always been partial to Thalia and Calliope (associated with comedy and epic poetry, respectively, as well as one of those weird kids’ shows in the latter case). There’s also a woman who has been my muse for almost a decade now. She’s inspired any number of works, both directly and indirectly, and yeah, I might be carrying a bit of a torch for her. Not to put too fine a point on it, I fell for her like a ton of bricks (that’s how bad it was. She drove me to cliche) about 30 seconds after I met her, and that was that. For me, at least. It’s one of life’s more regrettable truisms that the one you love is under no obligation to love you, even if they like you a whole damned bunch. That said, I’ve probably drawn more inspiration from my unrequited love than I may have from the most torrid relationship with my muse, and for that, at least, I am honestly grateful. This week’s poem is about inspiration in some ways, about unrequited love in others, and also about the way in which we often choose to ignore wisdom in favor of emotion.

 

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree

Somewhere in the tangled,
unmanicured strands of my
unkempt DNA

Lie the moldering
bones of a Spanish countess;
the brocade of her

Heavy court costume
stiff with age and dank ruin,
her jewels, banked embers.

And on the morning
when our eyes and hands first met,
the countess awoke

Enlivened by your
effortless charm, the tiny
bite your sweet smile

 Took from the center
of my guarded, desperate heart.
And reaching out, she

Made of my sternum
a blade-sharp quill, etching deep
upon the surface

Of my leaden soul
An intaglio; ready
to transfer in lines

Of carmine heart’s blood
An image from the Madrid
Of her distant youth:

A bear of sable;
A strawberry tree, fructed
(as they said) of gules.

And from that moment
Each swollen red fruit, both
the bitter and sweet

Would be the only
Forage that could sate my fierce
and ursine hunger

To scribble; to shape;
to build for you a thousand
shining worlds of words.

Mark the very face
of creation with my soul,
praying you might see.

Published inBlogClaire De LunacyFun StuffLGBTlinguisticsOne Single ImpressionOne Single Impressionpoetry

4 Comments

  1. SU SUNo Gravatar

    FROM THE CULTURED WOMAN AWAKENED 2 TH FEARFUL FANGS & CLAWS X A WOMAN SCORNED, THIS PC IS SIMPLY ELOQUENT;COULD NOT HAVE BEEN SPUN FINER BY A SILKWORM OR AN ARTICULATE SPIDER

Let me know what YOU think.

All content ©2000-2015 Claire M. Jackson

Claire De Lunacy™ is using WP-Gravatar