Drying our wings


When even hell has closed its doors
we’re waiting by the river shore
empty purses, swaying, waiting.
saying: we cannot pay the ferryman.
And every night the river suicides
will bring us back again.
Drying our wings at dawn.

The boys of town are hiding,
behind the sewer main,
dream between our legs,
They’re growing to be men,
with miner’s callous hands
soon to soil our wings.

Van Gogh - Das Bordell

Van Gogh – Das Bordell

Grace wants us to write poetry inspired by James Wright at Toads. This one is written in response to the poem named “In response to a Rumor that the oldest whorehouse in Wheeling, West Virginia has been condemned.” I have borrowed some sentiments and tried to talk the voice of the prostitutes. I will will also link this to Poetry Pantry.

December 13, 2014

38 responses to “Drying our wings

  1. I specially struck by: Not being able to pay the ferryman, and those men soiling the wings ~ The voice of the prostitute comes clearly, fraught with grim reality as the cycle is unending ~

    Thanks for linking up with Real Toads Bjorn ~ Happy weekend ~

  2. such a delicate topic but you have conveyed it very well. was being in a whorehouse, a choice or not? question for both the men and the girls.

    the image of drying our wings is very poignant. but at the same time it screams hope.

  3. I didn’t think of prostitutes until I read your comment, Bjorn, but then the poem seemed less surreal and more of a gritty realism that could be a painting of Cannery Row as well as the dock to the underworld.

  4. Sounds like the men and the prostitutes are stuck in a never ending cycle of “that’s just the way it is”. Excellent writing, Bjorn!! Always a pleasure to visit your space here 🙂

  5. Excellently executed Bjorn. There is despair in every river, licking against the sides of life. Sometimes the comfort is in drowning.
    Anna :o]

  6. Haunting and mesmerizing. The “crack” of rhyme/near rhyme throughout (doors-shore, sway-waiting-saying, again-main, hiding-behind . . .) is masterful and, for me (even though it is, indeed, free verse) imparts a dirge like incantation to the piece.

  7. This is gritty, Björn. You’ve got under the skin of those prostitutes and I didn’t have to read your explanation to understand what the poem was about. It brought Dylan Thomas to mind.

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