Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×

:iconsaartha: More from saartha


Featured in Collections

Poetry, Prose, Stories by electricelephant

Text by LoveDoesNotExist

Literature by iPawed


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
August 30, 2010
File Size
618 bytes
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
3,567
Favourites
232 (who?)
Comments
120
×
My father strangled a bird
quietly, calm as gravity,
there in the garden. He bent
as if praying to the torqued wing
reddening his hand.

The night hunkered down on the screaming
wildness, on the kicking legs, the abrupt
and awe-filled silence. I watched him
watch the beak open, close,
like rippling lake water.

I loved him, the mercy
of his heavy knuckles, the kindly
indifferent expression.

He closed the beak like a priest
closes the eyes.
Heart of Jesus, once in agony,
have mercy on the dying.
-Catholic Prayer for the dying


The heck, this got a DD? Thanks y'all. My previous DDs can be found here: [link] [link] [link] [link]
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2013-06-30
Blessing by ~saartha ( Suggested by pinballwitch and Featured by Beccalicious )
:iconjswebb:
jswebb Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013   Writer
I do not know how I missed this piece, but man, it packs a wallop. As one who just had to euthanize a baby squirrel, I feel a poignancy looming. This poem resonated with me greatly.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. There are a few lines in here that I'm really fond of. A few not so much. It could do with a rewrite, no doubt.
Reply
:iconimagoinfinitum:
imagoinfinitum Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Damn, I took it as the 'father' being an embodiment of some authoritative, organized deity, and I took the bird as the common man without conditioned thought, a 'free-thinker', either or, very nice!
Reply
:iconpatrikia-bear:
Patrikia-Bear Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, very striking. I thought it was animal abuse at first and then I realized that it was a mercy killing, to save the animal from more misery. Wow.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That's pretty much why I wrote the first line like that--I wanted that visceral 'oh shit why would he do that', and then the soothing-out.
Thanks for the comment :)
Reply
:iconaconitum-napellus:
Aconitum-Napellus Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional Writer
This is beautiful. My dad recently had to perform a similar mercy killing on our goose, so this had extra meaning for me. And it was quite evident that that was what this poem was about - there was mercy in every line.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I thought most people had experienced something like this at some point or another, but other comments are making me second-guess that assumption :lol:
Reply
:iconstale-serenity:
stale-serenity Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think your father has a compassionate heart towards animals, regardless of the fact that he killed the bird. When an animal is maimed in that way, the only merciful thing to do is to end its suffering.

Your poem expresses that compassion in its closing lines. It's beautifully constructed and powerful in its simplicity. Congratulations on your DD. :)
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Really, the whole thing can boil down to a single phrase: my father, who is kind.

Thank you so much :)
Reply
:iconsnapdragoon:
Snapdragoon Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
I remember once, when I was younger, a starling nest with hatchlings in it fell down, and not daring to interfere with the course of nature for whatever reason, I watched them die slowly. Things like that tend to make an impact on you.

Beautiful poem, by the way.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
We live in a heavily wooded area, so every now and then things like this happen. You get used to it.
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconabsoluteabsence:
absoluteabsence Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
I want to like this but I can't seem to. It just appears to be the killing of an innocent bird with total indifference.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
To sum up: you don't have to like it! That's a perfectly valid emotional response. But I disagree with your interpretation of the event.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It is that partially that, yes.
It would be completely incorrect of me to say that I or, presumably, my father gave more than passing thought to that bird. We didn't care to try and heal it. We 'cared' just enough to give it release.

The bird was going to die. Whether by dog, privation, blood loss, or our own intervention. Strangulation is a much quicker death than any of the others. Should we have left it to the dogs, who would not kill it outright? Allowed it to continue screaming and bleeding?

It's unsavory. It's sad, to some. And yes, it is indifferent in that we had zero emotional attachment to the bird. But I would still call it a mercy.
Reply
:iconabsoluteabsence:
absoluteabsence Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Perhaps the poem should suggest that it was a mercy killing as I did not get that impression from it. I do like the structure of the poem & your images, it's just that the overall impression it gave me was of a violent act done with indifference. Just my view which means little.
Reply
:iconeternalrain27:
EternalRain27 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Student Filmographer
You shouldn't read poetry with the intention of automatically understanding every single line immediately. There can be no emotional or intellectual investment in it if there is such instant gratification. That's the problem with so much poetry on this site. It's boring, point-blank, uncreative, simple and dull. THIS is quite frankly one of the best poems I've read on here in a good while.
Reply
:iconabsoluteabsence:
absoluteabsence Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013
Sorry, I have to differ with you, and your view on the poem & your opinion on my take of it is simply that - 'your view', your opinion, and it is just as valid as any other. My view is simply a 'view' & so is yours. So we can agree to differ.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
'praying to the torqued wing' 'the mercy of his heavy knuckles' 'He closed the beak like a priest'

These were the key lines that were supposed to tell that story. Coupled with the lack of murder-fanfare, y'know, celebration of violence and death type stuff.

But if you didn't get that message, there's nothing wrong with that. It only means that either this poem isn't presented in a way you are used to reading, or I was overly vague--which is very possible.
Reply
:iconabsoluteabsence:
absoluteabsence Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Torqued wing, does that mean the wing was damaged? I didn't get that in the poem. Like I said, I like your images & wording, I didn't see the phrase 'tip offs' that you mentioned though as referring to 'mercy' so much, but that may just be my own lack of insight into the poem. I do like your poetry, I have read others, & I hope I did not offend with my comments, it was not my intention.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
'Torque' can mean 'a turning or twisting force'. 'Torqued wing', then, means 'a wing that has been turned or twisted.' Because this phrase is followed by the word 'reddening', we can assume there is blood, and that most likely the wing is broken or otherwise severely damaged. That was the process I was using, anyway.

I'm not offended at all! I much prefer this kind of conversation, question-and-defense style, to just comments like 'good work, I liked it.' It means you put some sort of thought into it, that you're taking the poem and applying it to yourself instead of just skimming.
Reply
:iconabsoluteabsence:
absoluteabsence Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
I actually found a crow once with a broken wing & I tried to save it, tried to set the wing, but the poor bird died while I was holding it, his eyes rolled back while I watched. It was quite sad.
Reply
:iconmrs-saxobeat:
Mrs-SaxoBeat Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful; I got shivers.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, glad you enjoyed.
Reply
:iconcalicowingedcat:
CalicoWingedCat Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Congratulations on the DD, very well earned.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You're too kind :)
Reply
:iconlightningidle:
LightningIdle Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Woah. oAo
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks.
Reply
:icondarvia123:
Darvia123 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow mixed feelings on this... but...
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Haha, unpleasant events will do that to you.
Reply
:iconspace53:
Space53 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Lovely piece.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconthesupermkmaster:
TheSuperMKMaster Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
I like this!
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.
Reply
:iconsheik91:
Sheik91 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
This is bittersweet. It sounds like a memory. Also, the picture of the father killing a bird (symbol for hope/freedom/liberty) and the child admiring his act (the "mercy" !! of killing) is a profound description of what the psychoanalysts might call loyalty.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It is a memory, though I was 21 at the time of writing this and at the time of the event. Not exactly a child :) I also wonder if you're taking this event in a somewhat negative light, which wasn't my intention at all. In reality, this poem isn't all that 'deep.' It's just a daughter watching her father do something unpleasant but necessary, and loving him in spite of/because of it.
Reply
:iconsheik91:
Sheik91 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
You will always be the child of your parents, no matter how old either of you grow.

I am not taking it into a negative light at all, I just shared some thoughts on it, having a specific attitude of mind (the psychoanalytic) in ...mind. You may argue that it's not all that 'deep' but I would argue that it is not you (or at least not 'concious you') that decides how deep or shallow it is (under the assumption that there is infact unconcious material surfacing in this work).

So in essence my interpretation was what the psychoanalytic school of thought might make off the poem. I mean to spark a tought, some creativity, nothing more. :)
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh no, feel free to interpret and analyze as you please! It wasn't my intention to come off as angry or anything. I'm just responding to your thoughts.
Reply
:iconsheik91:
Sheik91 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013
I understand. Thanks for the response, by the way.

Either way. What got me interested was that there evidently was something within you that deemed it necessary to write a poem about this event. And that alone is a meaningful thing. Hence my urge to observe and interprate the work.
Reply
:icondoublethefun:
doublethefun Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Amazing piece of work.
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I appreciate it.
Reply
:iconshonalikapoor:
ShonaliKapoor Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Congratulations on the DD! :hug:
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconrema-alkhany:
Rema-Alkhany Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Hi, this poem is good and sad. i hope you feel better

ا
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This isn't supposed to be a sad poem, nor was I ever sad when writing it :) It's just a little contemplative, that's all.
Reply
:iconrema-alkhany:
Rema-Alkhany Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
I see ,welcom
Reply
:iconrayckro:
Rayckro Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Congratulation on the Daily Deviation! :D
Reply
:iconsaartha:
saartha Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconwaterlily2544:
Waterlily2544 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
This is my type of poem. I love it! Great job!!
Reply
Add a Comment: