The Ribbon of a Madman’s Weave by Tony Ashenden

Granite Sliver
Arrowhead I see you spurned
by Pigmy Bowman
yet you suffice and scathe
the greening mortar…
Mind that delibly records
my show and outward personality.

This ribbon of a madman’s weave
is the tape of all my saying
border thin and compass hand
the clutch and stay
Placing granite slabs to face
their palms of tungsten flesh
toward the shortened eye.

Yet soon
the tongue of this my wise and scrawl
became as fever pitch
and heavy as the hammer held
halfway in arc
as the mother would pressing
down urging fingers
in the lock of Isis eye
to the agony that is mother
And now is mine.

Is birth!

The warder
had me carry seven days in labour
before the fertilising seed became
and his eye perceived
the ribbon of wise inflicted
with my word and writing.

He stared
examined even to the letter head
lost in mergence to the polished stone
turning, smiled….
Father dimly smiling through the stain of glass
in the
you can never tell
about face….

He left and straight informed the governor.

The hammer struck
the child full born umbilical cut
began to cry….
My eyes were full of faces
outstretching palms of tungsten flesh.
Their right they screamed
is feeding first
why was I no askance waiting?

They spread upon my word
the slime
and their cement that matched the slab
and then..
Fingers turned upon themselves
they commanded-
called my clutching hand to lease
my living Scribe
this chipping sliver of their granite.

They took.

…. that morning after
before the ashen face
nether time of wanting day whilst less the night
there stood eight mourners
neath the sky bowl blooding red
in their caps of prison grey
and the circle turning tribute
was the Sower spreading quicklime.

And in my cell

There stood another
waiting for the shining mortar’s greening mould.


Tony is a seasoned traveller; a computer analyst, seaman, shaman, and a complementary alternative therapist. He is a writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. In his own words – Life is real only then when I am. Please visit his blog Mine Quick Voice of Aquarius to read more of his work.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. jonicaggiano says:

    This piece feels mid-evil. It appears to be taking place in a prison where sorcery and sacrifice is taking place. This is quite the creative weave. Congratulations on your publication. Happy weekend. Joni

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terveen Gill says:

    Tony’s poetry transports the reader to a prison cell and a condemned man’s predicament of being hunted till the last breath. But the physical body isn’t the end and the soul shall journey forward seeking answers and redemption. Is the prisoner’s voice one of reason or madness? Only time and the events that will unfold will testify to this perplexing question.
    Congratulations Tony!


  3. Thankyou Terveen & Joni for your comments and your interpretations of my poetry. What the poem seeks to do is highlight that small minority of people whose understanding of life and purpose is radically different from others and represents a threat to the powers that be. Except in rare instances the death of such individuals are not recorded to our history -yet there presence whether recorded as madness or divinely inspired has and will continue to change the development of mankind. T.S. Eliot understood that when he said humankind cannot bear too much reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terveen Gill says:

      A beautiful and profound explanation. It is a haunting reality. Thank you, Tony.


  4. a gripping and visceral read Tony.
    congratulation on you publication👏

    Liked by 1 person

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