For The Sunday Whirl:

It is a morning to stay
in the cocoon,
avoid the flinty realities
of life and love
and loss.

But the sheets are drenched
and the barnacles of
aftertaste and bad
decisions must be scraped
from tongue,

and the blur of brittle memories
must be pieced together —
brief visions of austere
men with burnished

rough chalk marks
on pavement —
as tears dried on cheeks
are covered by new ones
as dreams solidify.


Filed under Poetry

20 responses to “Aftertaste

  1. I LOVE your first two lines, been there, felt that….love your expression of the feeling. The entire second stanza is brilliant.

  2. Oh, this sounds like the police chalk marks after a road accident or shooting or some such. Wonderful imagery Mark!

  3. I agree whole-heartedly with Brenda. The second stanza is brilliant. I love cocoon mornings.

  4. Nice poem Mark. Really like the last stanza.

  5. Mark, I like “barnacles of / aftertaste and bad / decisions”. Wanting to stay in bed, yet the sheets are drenched, just as the dried tears are covered with new ones. Great contrasts here.


  6. Really like the idea that we are often the detectives seeking the clues of who we are by exploring the chalklines of memory. Like this whole piece and can strongly identify.


  7. This is deftly handled juxtapositioning – beginning with such a idyllic scene in the first stanza then slamming us with the reality of the second – a very nice device for bringing the reader up short and it certainly got my attention. I like how you never really come out and explain what awful thing happened, just keep alluding to it with subtle hints … very good poem Mark.

  8. Excellent poem, Mark. That second stanza, with its allusions to a crime of passion, really brought me up short. Wasn’t expecting such a CSI ending. 🙂

  9. Irene

    A gritty poem Mark.

  10. I love what you did with the words – each line made me think. Barnacles of bad decisions – that sounds like me. Yes, I think I shall stay in the cocoon.

  11. “the barnacles of
    aftertaste and bad
    decisions must be scraped
    from tongue,”

    I know that feeling SO well….


  12. Mark, I love the last stanza. It is perfect.


  13. Not necessarily because of “chalk lines” kinds of loss — but I could strongly identify with that feeling of wanting to say safely cocooned in bed, then waking to the realities of life and love and loss. Well done. I forgot it was the wordle, you so wrapped me in the story.

  14. Wow…I love this like a murder scene being unveiled! Excellent!

  15. Images of restlessness that cannot be pushed away. Your words found this reader wondering what happened. Great write.

  16. Brilliant! I loved: “a morning to stay in the cocoon” and “flinty realities.” I’m wondering if a crime has been committed, perhaps murder???

  17. Whoa! This kept turning in unexpected directions. Also love, “a morning to stay in the cocoon” and “flinty realities.”

    Racing to get somewhat caught up!

  18. As a CSI fan I really can get into this verse. I can see this as the opening scene with flash backs to the caulk lines and then rolling over…with the next focus on the detectives in the squad room starting to look over clues. And you don’t know if the first scene showed you the killer or the next victim…
    Nicely wordled.
    You can find my piece here:

  19. A wonderful walk through that day…

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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