Three Poems for Sylvia
MERCEDES JEAN WEBB-PULLMAN : you are ash
MERCEDES JEAN WEBB-PULLMAN : seven sorrowful letters in November (cento)
MERCEDES JEAN WEBB-PULLMAN : Mother (after Plath's "Daddy")
POETRYREPAIRS v12.09:102
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you are ash seven sorrowful letters in November (cento) Mother (after Plath's  
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MERCEDES JEAN WEBB-PULLMAN
you are ash
Three poems for Sylvia #1
that's not what the flyleaf inscription read on the gift to her husband from his Aisha emotional dyslexia created it thus for Sylvia who became ash: hydrogen aftermath salty earth grim pillar Pompeii Hiroshima One spring, caterpillars attacked the cherry-tree leaves, eating their green flesh so a bleached vein skeleton remained, lace-like, delicate. We didn't want to spray but there were too many to squash by hand, tiny slimy dark brown slugs that seemed to excrete acid, dissolve leaf tissue then suck up the mess. A neighbour suggested ash, thrown at the leaf undersides where the slugs ate. It worked – multitudes died. The pain of a million fizzing snails. Ash tastes bitter, and stings your eyes.
POETRYREPAIRS 12.09:102
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I have many things to write unto you but   I will not write with pen and ink
--JOHN the theologian



The poet notes "I used Ted Hughe's poem 'The Seven Sorrows' melded with the lines of Sylvia Plath's poem 'Letter in November' to create this 'Cento' or 'found' poem.") CENTO

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you are ash seven sorrowful letters in November (cento) Mother (after Plath's  
POETRY requires a mature audience ENTER only if you are 18+ under 18? klik here

MERCEDES JEAN WEBB-PULLMAN 
seven sorrowful letters in November (cento) 
THREE POEMS FOR SYLVIA #2
The first world, sorrow of autumn love turns slow streetlight color, turns suddenly goodbye. The rat's tail garden, so long in the evening splits through brown poppy pods, nine morning laburnum heads, Arctic still, and it cannot go. Black sorrow with its circle of grasses torn from second babies' silk hair holds empty green feet in the air; soft hook of brother pheasants hanging delectable. Gold woodland cushions have lovingly folded my head in a bag like the is of feathers. I think the third flushed sorrow may warm this slow, enormous goodbye like a stupidly happy sun, so birds gather and gather at my Wellingtons as red evening minutes squelch through beautiful pictures, golden holy ground. Two times today my sorry property has gone forth to the black pond. I sink to the ruins, sniff water, pace the palace, the beetle city, barbarous viridian catacombs of iron dragonflies, pure scallops of holly. Slow sorrow and walled goodbyes; odd how I love them, fifth woodland of quiet histories breaking camp like apples, imagine that - one day litter, next day golden firewood. think of left tentpoles seventy-six tree foxes holding ruddy gold balls of sorrow, thick huntsmen, gray hounds in death-of-joy soup, a million pounding metal hooves on earth's ear, closed to gold leaves and fox's breathless prayer. Nobody but my irreplaceable celibate love and the tatty fairground children bleed sorrow through the gold window, slow, waist-high as the seventh wrinkle deepens and the year packs wet goodbyes into the mouths of Thermopylae. (I used Ted Hughe's poem 'The Seven Sorrows' melded with the lines of Sylvia Plath's poem 'Letter in November' to create this 'Cento' or 'found' poem.) CENTO
POETRYREPAIRS 12.09: 102
Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul - Plato





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you are ash seven sorrowful letters in November (cento) Mother (after Plath's  
POETRY requires a mature audience ENTER only if you are 18+ under 18? klik here

MERCEDES JEAN WEBB-PULLMAN
Mother (after Plath's 'Daddy') 
Three Poems for Sylvia #3
You neither sleep nor wake you're elsewhere, face strained and your eyes stare through my eyes, searching behind for some final message for you. Mother, I want to kill you. You suffer in this final zone— feather-light hag-bag of bones, frightening mummy, one huge eye bright forget-me-not blue the other winks with a droop and nod in your coconut head small on the hospital bed. Once I thought I could save you. Failing is nothing new. As your tongue lolls, your lips spit down your bristled chin saliva strings and food. A gentle kitten wipes you, a touch you never knew. You gave my first boyfriend a look like something was stolen from you. When he saw me naked, you took much pleasure in beating me raw as if innocence breaks some law. Secreted between cheek and jaw food goes rotten, sickening you. Your clenched fist a claw grips odd scraps of bread - your knuckles clamp frantic and blue. Your mother had no time for you. How to learn what mothers do when you'd been unwanted too? I chose not to have children, I knew as a mother I would have been cruel. The green plains of GPpsland, clear air hide ancient atrocities too where your ancestors, with poisoned flour murdered tribes. Their brutal power killed dozens, not just a few. I was always wary of you, with your sticks and wooden spoons when your eyes went crazy, the blue hidden behind glazed rage and spittle and curses flew. Your God never listened - you sat beside me whole services through though I offered my bruised self as proof of jack boots stamping, of brute force, brute love, brute you. You kneel in the garden, mother in the best memory of you, your smile, your dimple cheek as we work together. We don't speak but somehow we're one. Then you pinch my arm nearly in two and later when dark blood comes and I don't know what to do with these woman's things, all new you make me learn from mistakes. I was sixteen when I left you. At fifteen I'd tried to die to punish, to get back at you. I failed at suicide too. You hated me when my breasts grew now your breasts, like rubber tubes dangle down to your lap while mine went unused, fed nobody life. You're as helpless as I pictured you when I wanted you dead, yet I flew from my own home to care for you. In some way now you're my child and I'm learning motherhood too as I feed and change you and wipe; it's at night I still want you to die.
POETRYREPAIRS 12.09: 102
MERCEDES JEAN WEBB-PULLMAN : you are ash
MERCEDES JEAN WEBB-PULLMAN : seven sorrowful letters in November (cento)
MERCEDES JEAN WEBB-PULLMAN : Mother (after Plath's "Daddy")
Three Poems for Sylvia
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