Before it happened

Have you seen the sidekicked —
   he, the silent man;
   she, who makes his stew?

Have you listened to the voiceless?
Have you seen how dust may cover gardens,
   how moss can grow on headstones?

Can you sense how anger brews
   behind a smile?

The thankful poor by Henry Ossawa Tanner

Tomorrow De hosts the Quadrille at dVerse and the word to use is kick. Use it in any way you like, include it and write a poem of exactly 44 words. The bar opens at 3PM EST.

November 6, 2017

35 responses to “Before it happened

  1. Yes. I can sense that anger and, not saying it’s right, but can even sympathize with those who snap. For it was never they who named themselves “voiceless”… And I love Tanner’s work. One of my favorite artists.

  2. I sometimes interpret a poem differently than the writer means it — and that, I believe, is okay as it means I’ve connected with the writers’ words. A lesson I take from your writing here, we must all try to listen, see, and give notice to the “before it happens.” So many times we say, “if only I had . . .” and here you mention the instances — in real terms, and metaphorically. Well done!

  3. What interesting images you have used to conjure feeling in this.

    Side-kicked itself has several meanings; kicked tot he side (which seems most apropos in this; but also sidekicks (like Robin) who always get second light, never quite good enough to be the main hero

    But I digress. I really like how the title opens this up – what is the It, was there a specific event that led to this, or a bunch of things that led up to It.

    The silence between them in the opening stanza – the weight of life is heavy in that room. She being dutiful and making dinner, perhaps in avoidance of “It” in the room.

    Excellent write Bjorn. I read it a few different ways and I imagine there are a few more.

  4. A poem full of questions that make me ponder, even after it’s done. I think there was a gem in every single line. So just imagine I pasted the whole poem here to review again. 😉 Lovely. And there’s something about the voice of the poem that is different than your other work that also caught my attention. Intriguing.

  5. The tension was like a taunt piano string, fraying. straining, unraveling–but the metaphor is behemoth today as Trumps readies himself to fly to South Korea.

  6. Excellent piece, leading us to ponder what someone was like right before they set off a bomb or burned down a house or whatever.

  7. I’ve seen years of this anger first hand. Sometimes people blow, sometimes they maintain that silence. Kicked to the side like a piece of trash is what I get from this. Very sad but ever with us.

  8. I love how you amplified the silence and anger behind the smiles, the ones sidekicked by life~ Love the title too, hopefully we can all do something before it all goes downhill ~

  9. A very poignant write, not everyone can sense the anger brewing or read the warning signs within the silence and behind the smile – in the same way that so many people do not know how to channel the energy behind the anger in a constructive way.

  10. I like the way the title raises questions and expectations before I even started to read the poem- and is followed up with more questions in the poem itself. Who is the silent man and the woman who makes his stew? I especially like the lines:
    ‘Have you seen how dust may cover gardens,
    how moss can grow on headstones?’
    Dark and mysterious.

  11. Love the first stanza especially, the tension just mounts and mounts from there. And the painting feeds the words. Nice work.

  12. hummmm…what a sweet but telling piece…sometimes anger can brew behind a smile.

    Thanks for coming by…and thanks for your comment.

  13. Bjorn:
    “Sidekicked” is a kids novel, isn’t it?
    “the sidekick” means a close companion or colleague.
    Sidekicked is what happens in martial art after someone throws a sidekick at you.
    What did you mean by that expression?

    And when you say “Before it Happened”, what is “It”?
    The rest I get about the work and pain behind the voiceless. I guess you are trying your technique of writing to a painting or photo, correct.

    • Have not heard about the novel, but being sidekicked is being made a sidekick… a wordplay if you see what I mean? The context should make that clear.

      Before it happened – it could be anything that’s fed by anger.

      I almost never write to a picture but tries to find a picture that’s fits after I have written my poem

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