Foretelling

Someone— who?— years ago
traced the lines on my palm to read

by candle-glow what the crossways meant,
the breaks, faint spiderwebbing wrapped

around the edges of my hand to say
how many children I would have,

how many loves, how many times
the heart would bend to the swallowtail’s

random dance. What coins changed
hands, what turn of fortune spilled

its fickle evidence of numbers
on the table? Some years are silken

threads that loosen quickly from flimsy
moorings; some years are patient

caterpillars inching up the rough-barked,
bunioned trees— Any day now a god

might unfurl its wings to rend the canopy;
any day now, that radiant and elusive life.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← TrauermantelAubade, with Sparrow →

3 Comments


  1. ‘how many times
    the heart would bend to the swallowtail’s
    random dance’

    Oh my!

    Reply

  2. The arm and thread from the original seems to translate readily to palm and lines, but the use you made of the swallowtail really surprised me!

    Reply

  3. I hold my hand over my heart/ because I know it knows no rest:/ it does not want to mourn what/ passes from this life, just yet.—From “Trauermantel” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 05-28-11

    Any day now a god /might unfurl its wings to rend the canopy;/any day now, that radiant and elusive life.—From “Foretelling” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 05-29-11

    NOBLESSE OBLIGE

    It alights on the most unlikely places
    when it is ready to unload its augury:
    a herald that answers to no postmaster.

    Did it touch your face before perching
    on your head preening like a silken bow?
    Fear not, but beware its noblesse oblige:

    Whom the gods want to destroy, they
    first caress, a beau geste for its fondest,
    most innocent, most willing sacrifice.

    Like the heart that knows no rest,
    the mourning papillon flits from leaf
    to welcoming petals ready with nectar.

    Though it comes bearing sweetness
    for its bounden message, it drops its
    wings to let the doleful colour show

    and flies out of reach and rancour, out
    now into the cusp of wind and fire, out
    of grace, out into the world of Tiresias

    blinded but must prophesy what passes
    from this life, all loves and lovers, gone
    but never let loose, ever, not now, not yet.

    For any day now, the heart that bent
    to the swallowtail’s random dance,
    would find its elusive life full of radiance.

    —Albert B. Casuga
    05-30-31

    Reply

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