To Monsters [Kin Kelli] – A Poem by Katy Santiff

Sadko – Ilya Repin

Submitted by Katy Santiff

to Monsters

The brackish water,
our mystery sea.
No windows to monsters
or treasures down deep
but mirrors instead,
mottled by breeze.
The sunlight below broke
the murk and the green
in spotlights that only
the oysters could see.

Cousin, it’s never my
hymn to sing, but yours’.
The lyric will always rip
the lossenged lyric-wringer.
Every word unsaid
to the cotton-eared dead
is the ugliest incantation,
is the one that tongues
stick, still unsung.
The fray’s unmended
and washing’s unwrung.
The darning remains undone.

I hear you in chitters of everything:

Cousin, remember me.
I call to you back down
this whispering well,
and when the water
swells beyond the stone,
when the cistern becomes
the boiling pot,
of what will we be
reckoned then? What will
the geyser have wrought?

Blessed are the Dead
Which Die in the Lord,
the stained-glass window read.
I wonder when we
make that switch
in thought and word,
from Who to Which?
I wouldn’t wash your
humours down the drain.
Leave your tawny badges
where they stain,
brickish tomes
to the starless day.
Come back to us,
outgoing song. Remain.

About the Poet

Katy Santiff has written poetry in various forms all her life. A fan of meter and rhyme, she loves lines that hypnotize the reader with their sound. She believes in densely-packed poems, preferring them to be mouthfuls when read aloud. A lifelong Marylander, she loves water-side living.  She currently lives in Edgewater, Maryland with her wife.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

4 thoughts

  1. Katy, your poetry is magnetically seductive and draws me in every time I see your name here. And yes, I am truly hypnotized by the sound of your lines. And oh yes, they are mouthfuls when I read them aloud. I read all poetry aloud so I can feel what the poet has written. As an old drummer, I want to feel the beat.

    1. Thank you, Walt. I’m humbled by your comment, and appreciate it. I’ve always loved the rhythm of poems with driving beats–like the drummers of marching armies, signals and messages can be transmitted not just in words, but in the pace of them. Grief can come to us in waves, can feel like a senseless onslaught, and I wrote this not just as an attempt to honor that experience but to make sense of it.

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