Black Silt Abstract – By Iain Sutherland

Clean glistening fibres
Wrap a broken lightness
Around unkissed Soldiers;
The wound cutting blue-black
Remedy hides no hope,
For Him frozen lifeless,
Barely breathing, despite
Elixer dispensed love.
 
Tunnel vision expands,
The world drops from view,
Faces fade only mist, for
His blanket still new cut;
Medicated tear, runs away
from those loved, to hide
A foolish fleeing heart:
Cocooning frame shivers. 
 
Blanket of old see holes
Cut by snags, torn into
Black silt abstract, see rain
Comes over hilltop for trench;
Diminishing frame flails,
Wrap it tighter, clasp it, 
All He’s got is holes for
A blanket, shreds for heat.
 
Sun blind, moves Him away,
Water carries frail bane 
Of change, His blanket stink
It feels to Him a home;
White pillared home, He runs
To resist kindness, oh
Prefers stink to clean light, 
Dull spoon to fresh fibre.
 
Cotton-rott, stench fills room,
He wonders at nourishment,
What it means to be warm
Light linen, fresh fibre hot;
To prefer mould over 
Nestle sheets, and floor to
Plush bedded tomb of life:
He casts off His blanket. 
 
– By Iain Sutherland (The Ink Jester)tumblr_ml2lwjnZTT1ruw29zo1_1280
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8 thoughts on “Black Silt Abstract – By Iain Sutherland

  1. You said elixir dispensed love, and I could not keep my mind from trying to interpret this as an allusion to Final Fantasy. 😛

    I’ve noticed that you’ve capitalized all references to soldiers or the narrator. He and Him are commonly a biblical reference. What I pick up from this piece is that a solider is dying, but he still doesn’t want to die.

    The blanket is his life. It is shredded and in tatters. There is little value in it. It stinks. Death has heaven to over him. But he continues to want life over heaven.

    All the references to cleanliness and warmth are references to heaven.

    Though he prefers life over heaven (because of fear of death?), he ultimately casts off the Blanket that is his life.

    • You are very perceptive James. I think this is one of my favourite poems, possibly my favourite, of the ones I’ve written. First, it marked the beginning of a journey out of depression. Second, it was the first time I wrote poetry that wasn’t just about me and my emotions. Although there is a personal dimension (the blanket can be seen as the comfort of depression), my main objective was to add character for the first time into my poetry.

      The capitalisation was something I wrestled with. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted the biblical sense to be obvious. In the end I decided to keep it as it brought further depth.

  2. I can’t see why this one isn’t radically popular. Some people have no imagination. I loved this piece. You catch little at the surface level, you have to dig deeper.

    You are masterful.

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