The Hermit

in #poetry2 years ago (edited)


I look at you,
O Virgo of the Seas,
coming out of your shell,
and I seek to emulate you.

This Cancer,
grubby skin white,
its nakedness blinding,
its grabby limbs frail and weak.

You tell me to put my armour back on,
even as you clutch me close to your bosom.
Young in the world as you are,
you know it does not do,
to walk around heart-bare.

I don my armour once more,
but it is ill-fitting,
tight in the chest.
So tight.
Yet who could've taken my armour,
When only you and I are here.

It would be far too easy,
to be an ill-willed golden fish,
and give you what you asked for,
but not what you wished for.

It would be far too easy,
to detach myself,
and to drift, to float,
with the currents
of this vast ocean.

But I look at you,
and my eyes smoulder,
as I bank the flames
that burn within.

I hold onto my emotions,
even as they sear this brine-baked flesh.
I will not let go,
of the warmth,
in this water-filled tomb.

Separator line_smallEST.jpg

This piece was inspired by and written for @mamadini, may the inspiration from this muse flow always.

Thanks to the @isleofwrite members who gave feedback on the piece: @dbooster, @themadrunnah, @jrhughes, @whoshim, and especially @carmalain7 who gave a suggestion I incorporated (and others I did not <3)

This piece is the second of two that were written and are both contradictory and complementary in terms of themes. The first one, Illusions employed "The Hermit" card from the Tarot, as its themes. This one employs "The Hermit, Reversed," as its themes. I wrote them as two takes on something, but how the card fit the imagery came to me later, rather than as inspiration.

Check out my latest posts:

Art and flair courtesy of @PegasusPhysics

Top Image source.
Bottom image is The Hermit from the Rider-Waite Tarot, and is public domain.

© Guy Shalev 2018.


I'm a big fan of the proto calling to the muse in the first stanza, the set up for the piece, how easily you attach the narrator with the extended metaphor with the reader.

The effort you put into showing how vulnerable the narrator is without their metaphoric armor, the dangers of outgrowing or, worse yet, discovering the wrong fit, taking damage from the world - but hark! it is dangerous to go alone, take this (armor)!

The third to last stanzas paralleling of a different piece I read a day or two ago, it is so important to build that contrast with the last to stanzas.

And those last two stanzas, straight fire! The type that consumes you! If I hadn't already Hark!ed, I would surely Hark! again. I really like the end, the importance of the tomb, the importance of the armor in the ocean. Yes, I really like the end.

and the image, you are too clever by half, Guy. ^_^

Always a fun read, usually an enlightening one; sometimes that narrator is a vulnerable one and it always reads stronger for it.

I almost called her "Virgo de Milo," if only it weren't actually the name of an artist.

Sometimes I think putting on armour can be more dangerous than not putting it on. Even moreso if it fits all too perfectly, because then, you don't see the need to ever take it off. And that way lies The Frozen Throne, O Terrible Suit of Armour that He is.

And yes, putting on an armour sure is too similar by far to detachment. Can't feel things through platemail, can you?

I'm glad you liked it, friend Alain, thank you for harking oh so carefully, heh. And isn't the narrator always vulnerable? It just that some pieces are about this vulnerability, which I think speaks more to some people, including me, including you.

(And I am too clever by half. My wish is to one day be as wise as I am clever, to be able to get myself out of the messes I put myself in :P )

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