Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Poem of the Week - Deus Ex Machina

Selected by Susannah Bec

Shay's Word Garden

Deus Ex Machina

The Halloween suicide walks out along the flag pole

In resale shop black shoes.

There is a kitten named Giuseppe Verdi riding in the pocket of her smock,

And his big yellow eyes say,

"Please reconsider.

Think of all the tuna fish I would miss.

Think of Tanya,

Across town, serving lattes to strangers,

With your heart folded carefully and kept with her car keys and her fabulous accent."

But the Halloween suicide falls like the notes of an adagio,

Giving first one graceful foot to the empty air,

And then the other.

Her smock spreads out

Like bat wings

And she and Giuseppe Verdi float through the nippy October sky like two leaves connected at the stem.

"Tra-la," she sings,

As they arc this way, then that.

Clearly, they ride in the palm of a Divine Hand.

They come down softly on the patio of a chain coffee bar.

Inside, Tanya looks up from counting her tips and smiles.

No opera heroine ever looked more beautiful.

Later, petting both aviatrix and kitten, she says,

"Don't you know you can never leave as long as I own your heart?

I am your deus ex machina;

I will always cushion your fall and welcome you back to my arms."

The Halloween suicide begins to cry, big fat tears melting into Giuseppe Verdi's black fur.

"Why are you so good to me? I'm a mess," the flyer says, looking up. "What's in it for you, Magoo?"

Tanya laughs and kisses her.

"I love you for your magic,

For your ever-broken heart,

And because you need me, like Giuseppe Verdi needs you."

The kitten rumbles under her hand,

And she knows that it must be true.

~ Fireblossom

(This poem was selected by Susannah Bec.  She is currently one of our contributors and poets found here at Poets United.  If you would like to learn more Susannah about or read some of her own poetry you can  visit her blog "Out of my Ocean" or keep an eye out for more of her posts.  We would like to thank her for all of her hard work.)


  1. "Tra-la" Shay - love it Congrat's on being highlighted...I love black cats...anytime of year....bkm

  2. Shay's a favorite of mine... she really breathes life into her characters, and can do so in an astonishingly short span.

    Speaking of talented ladies, I've discovered another admirable poet at The Letter Shaper (I also dropped her a note about Poets United)

  3. Very interesting poem. I enjoyed the characters and how the story was told. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh yay, a poem of Fireblossom's - she's one of my faves too, always blows me away with her non-stop creative genius. Good pick, Susannah. And thanks for the tip, Eric, will check out The Letter Shaper.

  5. I'm tickled that my poem has been selected for Poem of the Week, and even moreso because it was chosen by Susannah.

    I hope that you all enjoy it. For anyone who might not know. "deus ex machina" literally means "God by machine" (from the theater device) but in a larger sense means an unexpected rescue from a difficult situation.

  6. A wonderful character study! Excellent choice of poem, Susannah. Great work, Shay.

  7. My first trip to this site, following one of my favorite poets. Glad to see Shay featured,she deserves far more recognition, and this is a fine poem to pick.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this. A wonderful choice, Susannah.

    Well done Shay.

  9. Amazing work. Drove me straight to Shay's Word Garden where I hung out too long and almost ruined the Chicken Marsala. This woman has talent.

  10. Gorgeous piece! Shay is an incredible writer.

  11. I love Shays writing and you ought to see the job I had deciding on just ONE poem to pick! I had a shortlist of at least ten.

    Her writing both intrigues and delights me, she has a style all of her own.

    Keep them coming Shay! :-)

  12. Wonderfully creative piece...I adore the imagery!

  13. Shay,
    Congratulations on being selected for Poem of the Week. A well deserved choice.

    Susannah a great poem and poet!


  14. I just adore your work, Shay! Congrats!!!


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