Tempting Fate #DVersePoets

Crossed knives are a bad omen

in the same way loose chords

are an asking moment.

Finger to an open flame

flesh against a bared blade,

split second decisions for splitting.


I should not taste the nail head,

should not press my tongue to the buckle

of its pockmarked tooth,

see if there is any bite left in the iron,

if it will be the last one in a row.


Six feet seems like such a long way

to tumble.

I would look like a marionette

with my tangle of strings

about my throat.

Heart skittering like a humming bird

still trapped inside its cage.






  1. I like your description of the marionette in the tangle of strings. Also that was a very good observation at the end that one would still be trapped inside the cage.


  2. Your poetics are stunning. Your second stanza knocked my socks off. I’m a little lost as to whether Pinocchio or Barabas was the speAker, but was carried away by the tensile strength of your words.


  3. Oh my goodness! Your poem came at a strange time, Carol. I was taken in by ‘loose chords are an asking moment’, enjoying the sensual appeal of touch in ‘Finger to an open flame’ and ‘flesh against a bared blade’, and then taste in the following stanza, all things that some people might try at some stage in their lives. But then my heart stopped when I read the final stanza. A colleague of my husband’s hanged himself in a local wood this week, and we were talking about how it wasn’t a cry for help but a final statement. You’ve made me think again.


    1. Hi Kim, I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s colleague. Suicide is always a tricky topic and it’s got such a long reach as well. I can’t comment on anyone’s personal struggles, only that it’s terrible that they found themselves in such a dark and desperate place. I can only hope that your husbands workplace uses this as an opening to have a frank and honest conversation about mental health in the workplace and look at the support structure in place for their staff.


  4. I really like the last verse. Somehow those two metaphors go very well together. Perhaps it’s the pairing of skittering with tangled strings, and both images are equally fresh and arresting. If this were my poem I’d consider letting the final stanza stand alone – it’s that strong.


  5. The final stanza spoke to me. The beautiful 25 year old daughter of a dear friend committed suicide this month, at the end trapped in her personal cage of bipolar disorder. Your words brought her to my mind. God rest her soul.


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