To Lie Down

You call me to lie in the fragrance *
Of the scent of those who only care
To lay odious privilege in the ways
That their pale puffs of new smoke
Ignore the long burning dark fumes
Of those who barely dreamed to dare
The dreams never given a chance

To lay odious claim in the ways
The scent of those who care
For traditions of their halcyon centuries
When their words were held as the only
Voices that ever had the means to say
What was yours to keep, not ours to share

That their pale puffs of new smoke
Ignore the long burning dark fumes
Of the peaceful conflagrations of the tired
Who’ve long held the raisining to explode**
Against those that desire their sweet past resumes
In a future in whose vile stench we’re again choked

For those who barely dreamed to dare
The dreams never given a chance
For we citizens who like you, are born here or immigrated
Still find ourselves the ones on the side alienated
Don’t be surprised upon return to where you’ve called me to lie
Quietly with nose wrinkled and looks askance
That I’m brave enough to be, to see, to rise from there ***

* Line was inspired from the last line of Season of Lilac by D. Margoshes
** Line inspired by the poem, Harlem by Langston Hughes
*** Line inspired by the last line of The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

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Tonight at dVerse Laura Bloomsbury wants us Beginning at the End. We are offered several ending lines from select poems to be our muse for a new work of our own. We are asked to preferably not use the offered lines verbatim as the title or within the writing itself but either cite the reference at the end or place the quote as distinct Epigraph at the top. Naturally, Muse goes a little above and beyond and reference three poems.

dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Beginning at the End

dVerse Poets Pub graphic

13 thoughts on “To Lie Down

  1. I think you’ve woven in references to your three chosen poems subtly yet powerfully. I love
    ‘For those who barely dreamed to dare’ – turning the usual phrase on its head lends power to the seeming impossibility of it.

  2. The structure works so well here – expanding and spiralling. I like the fact that you referenced Gorman, who was referencing Angelou – and so poems grow and spread. Like Ingrid, I enjoyed that inversion of the usual cliche. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I love that you were inspired by three lines and the way your poem developed, the shift from ‘odious privilege’ and ‘odious claim’ to the ‘pale puffs of new smoke’ and being ‘brave enough to be, to see, to rise’.

  4. You’ve woven in your thoughts around your three chosen lines so very well. Moving from odious claims and dreams that seem unable to be reached….to “I’m brave enough to be, to see, to rise from there”
    I’m reminded here of Maya Angelou reading those words Rise Up.
    Well done!

  5. “What was yours to keep, not ours to share” was a line that I think caught the essence of Amanda Gorman’s poem as well.

    I was even more fascinated with her reading than the poem itself… and we both incorporated inspiration from her poem,

  6. This is absolutely stunning! 🙂 I too love the shift from “odious privilege” and “odious claim” to the “pale puffs of new smoke.” 💝💝

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