Circling Infernos

Meet me if you can in the silence
between variegated walls of earth
whose surfaces crumble and contaminate
I won’t inhale

Here are dry thorns uprooted like gold teeth
their seeds germinate – branch – blossom
as spent bodies mulch and seep beneath concrete
to decompose new drafts

March with me through circles built by human hands
infernos of trench and gas chamber
atom and napalm searing out of the blue
aircraft turned missile

Imagine our homes with their loved faces in ruins
circled only by poets

Come excavate while we can the shards of stone and bone
that sift through cupped hands into a glass case
recover memories that hang from an out of date calendar
a misplaced abacus that measured moons in unhatched eggs

Help sound a bell to guide lost causes that still might save our souls
witness open minds branded heretic
exiled to snake across alien lands
trafficked where sharks feed

Tell me if you can why breaking hearts don’t crack circles

Mori Glaser spent her earliest years in Singapore, grew up in the UK, and moved to Israel 35 years ago.

Her poetry and flash have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Eunoia ReviewThe Alexandria ReviewUnbrokenVine Leaves Literary Journal: a collection of vignettes from across the globe; Between the Lines’ anthology, Fairy Tales and Folklore Re-imagined; Akashic Books web series Thursdaze; The Molotov Cocktail’s 2017 Shadow Award (3rd prize).

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5 Responses to Circling Infernos

  1. Tribal gypsy says:

    these are some seriously tragic images now imbeded in my membranes I am sure they will creep into my dreams at night.. good work

  2. Mori Glaser says:

    Thank you for responding to my poem. I hope your dreams have been enhanced, not disturbed…

  3. joe ryan says:

    The poem reminds me of a famous passage from Holderlin quoted several times by Heidegger about skeletal remains of open apartments ravaged and created by bombs, all of the lived items now just hanging there marking times gone and buried. The brain and heart also have such caverns arranged in circles like catacombs. There are of course the Dante circles here, and the burying places of the bombed. There are then the paths of the exiled buried in the seas in which they have drowned. The theme of uprootedness is very keen in you. Recently I have experienced the hells of uprootedness in the church here, as in Rome, where nothing seems attached to matter, to animal psyche. All is spiritual abstraction, asceticism, veiled nihilism, where the hope of discovering substantial actuality has been abandoned. The poem is very moving, though deliberately elliptical about precise settings.

    • Mori Glaser says:

      Thank you for sharing these thoughts, Joe – this poem is important to me and took a long time to complete so I’m happy that it speaks to you. I have just begun a new poem triggered by memories from 1950s London, of the skeletons of bombed houses with the front wall of the building missing. You remind me of the saying “god made spirituality and the devil came along and made religions”. I also find spirituality in the human and material world, particularly in nature.

  4. joe ryan says:

    I don’t know the Rilke poem. It is more a long piece of prose description amounting to poetry. It is several times in Heidegger who is fascinated by it. To me spirit arises out of material tensions in the psyche as a means of survival, of clear mimicry and observation, and then becomes a plane of witness all its own with a disinterested grasp of truth transcending behavioral tensions which merely accomodate adaptation and yet underpin all things by grasp like tentacles. I have come to be sceptical of all religions which initiate spirit in pure immaterial act. Pure spirit, as Nietzsche says, is pure lie at least in creatures with a basis in an animal psyche. Christianity has failed to incarnate spirit. Thank you for sharing your poems with me.

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