Tuesday, December 22, 2009


[Here's another of B.N.'s marvelous poems; please enjoy!]


Mercy is when you get
a clear shot
you take it. The animal's
legs give way
and crumble under him.

We know how to betray
the dead with beauty,
making each bruise gorgeous,
the mark a prophesy
spot, and each heart

For months we've lived
in the house with
peeling wallpaper,
alongside a child's stars pointing
home, and a stick figure
etched on the wall underneath,
thinking very little
of a sad child.

I need to feel the body
move. Jazz or blue.
Suddenly everything is strange
and exquisite. Perishing
is a blessing,
the world closes behind us
and the birds' wings
open like hymnals.

© to the author, 1983-2009


  1. This one made me so sad.

    Love yesterday's rendition of the song, along with the slide show. Very beautiful!!

    Happy solstice. Onwards to 2010!!

  2. To B.N.--
    I have read your poetry on RFB with happy admiration and a great deal of emotional response as well. I love this one. There is sadness in the landscape, but I also felt an intense and familiar resolution to sadness. The place each stanza took me to - the place of violence and mercy, the betrayal that an experience of beauty can be, that intensely accurate landscape of house, and then the moment of complete awareness of the strange exquisiteness of life- each place was in itself so clear and true, and then the cycle of them together- transcendent. The perfect poem for a silent morning of snow and a day off from work when the mind can travel freely for a while, unencumbered. Thank you.

  3. Lovely images. The bird's wings hymnals and the animal's crumbled legs really hit me.
    I enjoy your poetry very much, oh mysterious, B.N.!

    My best wishes to you, John and Eberle your families and friends for a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!


  4. Oh, this makes me so sad. (Just looked over and saw that Reya said exactly the same thing. Well, there's no other way to say it.)

  5. Hi Reya & Eberle & Kat & Karen

    This is a poem I've liked for about 25 years, & glad you all had a chance to see it. Happy holidays to you all!

  6. Very meaningful and beautiful lyrics. I particularly love the way you have woven your words to evoke the emotions with these relative experiences.

  7. WOW. Who is this poet, John?

  8. Hi T: B.N. is an old friend of mine from my days in Virginia; she's an extremely talented poet who's generously agreed to have her poems posted on RFBanjo; however, she asks that her actual name not be used. I can tell you that while she has a respectable publication record in literary journals, she is not a "known" writer--tho she should be. Glad you liked this; B.N.'s poems appear every other Tuesday.


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