A Golden Shovel for dVerse

Under the 500 Spires of Prague

It’s the same dream of 500 golden spires, here
by the fast-flowing waters of Bohemia. Are
you and I just vanished reflections off the
old Charles bridge? Are we the fallen red tulips
that are rolled and floating into damp budded
folds? We stroll the ridge of mortar rot, and
feed stray dogs our bread. This bridge full-blown
of hunger, these men’s boney constitution. Their
eyes wonder at our procession, as a crow swoops
and steals time by scraps. A vanishing star, and
the fast-flowing water of Bohemia dips and dips.
Hear ragged ancient voices going nowhere, their
craggy shadows are old clock hands, gold gloss
across their faces. We’re shallow, a stray step, and
yet we eat our bread and suck pork fat, poses
freed by wine. And St Vitus bells ring out, the
peal of emptiness that rips away our satin.
We hide in this timeless place, from and of
its long pendulum swing. Tick-Tock at their
foundations, and into its poisoned darks.

Peter pitches a golden shovel at us today for dVerse Poets. For details of this poetic form, visit dVerse. The line I chose is: Here are the tulips budded and full-blown their swoops and dips their gloss and poses the satin of their darks from “A Genre Painting” from “Dearly, Vintage” a collection of poems by Margaret Atwood. Those words were used as the final words in each line.   © Misky 2020 Image is from Wikiart.

40 responses to “A Golden Shovel for dVerse”

  1. Wow! So stirring and dark.

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    1. Not quite dark. Maybe twilight. Thanks, Lucy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe so then. 🙂 You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel that despite the dark place there is some comfort to linger in… sometimes we just have to shut the door.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a dramatic depiction of Prague and I feel like I’m wandering through those scenes as I read it. You set yourself a challenge with that line from Atwood but rose to it and then some!

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    1. Thanks, Ingrid. I have several of Atwood’s poetry books, and I’m a fan.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve read most of her novels but I think I need to read more of her poetry!

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  4. So evocative of Prague in the gloaming – the images recurring – the stray dogs, the bread, the bars, and (the almost incidental) tulips – a rich layered piece – full of sound (bells ringing) and sensation and portents. Now I’m all nostalgic for travel and all the places I want to see and see again. Bravo.

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    1. You and me both, Peter. Prague is one of my favourite cities in the whole of Europe. I’m just itching to explore again. Happy Christmas to you, Peter.

      Like

  5. Wow–this flows so well. I feel like I’m wandering there. I gave me a sort of noir feel, like I was in The Third Man.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can hear clock ticking and imaging a sky-sized grandfather clock, its pendulum swinging slowly. I’m glad someone is walking with you through the village.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, now I’ve been to Prague and stood on the old Charles Bridge. Thank yoU!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re entirely welcome.

      Like

  8. A very successful GS, as your poem is strong and well balanced, not dragged about like i felt mine was. Yet it was/is exhilarating as the poem writes itself. Yours has a classic feel to it.

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    1. Thank you so very much, Glenn. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.

      Like

  9. The verses flow very well with the shovel form. I felt like I was in a dream enchanted by the spires and the bridge.

    Thanks for being part of our poetry community. Wishing you all the best!

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    1. Thank you, and all the best to you, Grace.

      Like

  10. Tulips are my favourite flowers and I love that Margaret Atwood poem, which you’ve blended so artfully into your golden shovel. I also love Prague, so Gothic and twilit, which you’ve captured beautifully in the lines:
    ‘Hear ragged ancient voices going nowhere, their
    craggy shadows are old clock hands, gold gloss
    across their faces’
    and
    ‘…St Vitus bells ring out, the
    peal of emptiness that rips away our satin.
    We hide in this timeless place, from and of
    its long pendulum swing. Tick-Tock at their
    foundations, and into its poisoned darks.’

    Like

    1. Thanks. Daffodils are my favourite; their petals don’t fall off quite as quickly. When the snowdrops and daffs appear, I sigh relief, knowing I’ve made it through another winter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We already have snowdrop shoots – quite big, lush green ones!

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        1. Extraordinary. We’re just a boot-sucking puddle of bare clay here.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. My very fave part is “are we the fallen red tulips”…what an image, what a marvelous poem you’ve given us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m delighted that you enjoyed it, Jael.

      Like

  12. We are too often too much with ourselves, cloistered amidst what feeds more of the same. Haunting. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like the recurring theme of bread…it somehow seems key to the feeling of fast-flowing water and the foundation of the poem

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting observation. Thanks for reading it.

      Like

  14. I’d never heard of golden shovel until last week, and now I’ve read maybe a dozen; but I gotta say that if someone asked me how to go about doing one, Id point them HERE. Wonderful work indeed.

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    1. Thank you, Ron. That’s really lovely to hear.

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  15. Simply stunning ……

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  16. Amazing golden shovel poem! I liked this image, “crow swoops and steals time by scraps.” The poem moves well and it just feels like we have this magical guided tour through Prague! 👏 Cheers to more poems in 2021 with dVerse! 🍷

    Liked by 2 people

    1. that was also my favorite line, of all the large and ponderous time pieces in this poem, the bells, the spires, the river, I identified mostly with that poor crow, hanging on one scrap at a time, and yet not really diferent from all the supposedly higher forms. lovely Poem Misky!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very much, and happy new year, Lona.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Excellent response to Peter’s wonderful prompt. Hope you have a great holiday season, and look forward to reading more of your work in 2021.

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    1. Happy Christmas, Rob!

      Like

  18. “peal of emptiness that rips away our satin”

    You outdid yourself on this one, Misk!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and happy Christmas to you!

      Like

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