by Xanthe   Mar 19, 2013

When I was thirteen, I made a promise to
the western wind, that I'd come back to her.

They told me she sang lullabies to weeping
waves over the cliffs, even to the lowly larks
that perched high upon rooftops or resting
on bowed boughs when they tire of trying
and failing to reach the heavens, like I do.
They told me she could soften even the
hardest of hearts and listen to their ragged
beating until they calmed down. Often, I
lie awake in bed thinking about this. And
I turn over to see 3:16 with its angry,
blaming eyes blink once, twice, to 3:17.

But why? I ask wearied pillows. Why should
hearts soften and their beating calmed down?

I found a magazine once, lying open like
candy wrappers at the bottom of garbage
cans. A galaxy, mid-destruction, lay
sprawled upon once-glossy pages. How
wondrous it was to see a kaleidoscope of
silent colours speak up to me, not fully
realising its importance, its significance;
completely contrasting my self. And
darling, I don't remember any softness
or calmness about it. I don't.

I think she visited me once, when I was
asleep. I found the back doors open
come morning whilst preparing my second
cup of coffee, and suddenly, I felt so cold;
exposed somehow, in ways I never knew I
could be. The coats and hats hung askew and
I remember straightening them back neatly;
pouring my coffee down the drain.

That night, I dreamt of her - lying bare upon
the couch, beckoning me to come use her like
I do beaten-up words at the tip of my tongue.
I watched her for hours instead. Felt the cold,
the calm she brought; breathed it in. She slept
peacefully, but I heard neither breath nor heart
beat. And I only wish I could rest as peacefully
as she does, one day. But not as calm. No.



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Latest Comments

  • 3 years ago

    by Sam



  • 5 years ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    [Weekly Contest Comment: 3/25/13]

    There is nothing in the world better for the reader than being able to not just see what the author has written, but live it and know its presence. The character's perspective and voice has such a vivid presence here, it grabs me immediately and these verses hold a depth I still don't think I may ever understand. Of course the personification of the "western wind" is brilliant to start off with, and "coming back" makes me wonder if the character wanted to escape a situation and return, or if he/she was forced to. Now, I'm led to believe this person was in a sense charmed, told on and on by figures unnamed that she is capapble and can so powerfully calm hearts, even the most wild ones.... The whole thought process the character goes through reflects onto the reader, and now I am asking too, why? But it is almost a twist in my mind with this line "Why should hearts soften and their beating calmed down?" Like why does there need to be that intervention? You cannot change man's character and how his heart was formed. The atmosphere gives me shiver, as if some part of my skin itself is vulnerable, open. I loved the ending lines, dreaming of her finally in all of her peace and wanting to sleep that way too.... but not wanting to be as calm as her. Maybe the character doesn't want to live in a world where emotions are calmed, not experience the anger and sometimes venting humans go through.... A very dark, fascinating piece full of curiosity. Enjoyed this greatly!

  • 5 years ago

    by Saerelune

    "This poem clearly shows that the author has great narrative skills. I am a little bit flabbergasted to spot such typically classic, mythological imagery intertwined with quite modern, every-day imagery ... and it didn't bother me at all, even though it was quite clear. Maybe it's because the language/style remained quite steady throughout the poem. I could easily lose myself into this poem simply because of its interesting language and descriptions, while easily forgiving the fact that it's quite a cryptic write. Maybe because, with these kind of writes, one doesn't necessarily have to feel the meaning, but rather the atmosphere. And I also enjoy it when poets take advantage of structure to set a pace, which was the case at the end of this poem. Interesting write."

    [Weekly Contest 25-03-2013]

  • 5 years ago

    by Wicked Ways

    And I only wish I could rest as peacefully
    as she does, one day. But not as calm. No.

    I absolutely love the entire poem and that ending is a perfect one. ended it really well. . . You went really deep with this poem expressing emotions and thoughts so nicely. . . its no wonder why this poem won. Nice work :)

  • 5 years ago

    by Hellon

    I'm not going to copy/paste the whole poem because it's quite long so..just highlighting part that were interesting to me...

    The first stanza was a great way to open this up...it was full of imagery combined with lots of thoughts that keep you awake.

    But why? I ask wearied pillows.


    Absolutely brilliant line! Possibly the best in the whole poem (IMO anyway)

    The next stanza I loved..there is so much going on here and the comparisons you use are just gobsmacking! The only world I had a little trouble with and..it's also your title is middestruction...I wonder if it should be mid-destruction..it just doesn't look right rolled into one word?

    The next two stanzas I will admit I don't fully understand but...I will read them over and over until I do...believe me I will because your poetry always intrigues me and....I'm pretty sure it's just me having a dumb moment right now.

    Loved it...congrats on your win.

    • 5 years ago

      by Xanthe

      Thanks, everyone.

      Hellon, you're right, it needs a hyphen. I'll change it right away.
      It is quite confusing, but if it helps, the beginning and ending sort of connects. Or at least I tried to. The middle's more on similes/metaphors, a bit of expansion.
      Also, the western/west wind is considered the calmest or mildest wind. I thought it embodied a certain person I know quite well.

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