Drain The Swamp

‘And he saw how the reeds grew dark
At the coming of night-tide,’  W.B. Yeats

Drain the Swamp

a congress of reeds congregates in the shadows
corrupted, its oil glutted rodomont brims,
impassable moat churning pristine and brackish
host to edge dwellers too fearful to swim

as murky gray fog settles round its foundation
turbidity swirls, fire tangoing with ice
the tide ebbs disturbing its frail underpinning
sweeping them into all manner of vice

this haven for hoards of crude middling beasties
conceals crawling shape-shifters, long-legged fowl
slimy, amphibious, hideous predators
hiding sub-surface, always on the prowl


Today’s Prompt Verse for Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats – Day Ten Poetry Challenge is from Yeats’ poem, ‘The Host of the Air.’ I resisted looking up the poem this time, before writing my own, because I wanted to focus entirely on the words of the verse. At first glance I imagined sunset rouged, tidal wetlands, with tall sea wheat and cattails; the day surrendering to evening. But when I looked up the word ‘reed’  I discovered it has a myriad of possible definitions; one in particular that caught me eye...from Webster: a person without strength of character. Oh…it went on…doorman, jellyfish, namby-pamby, pushover, weakling, wimp, coward, milquetoast, mouse, nebbish, nervous Nellie (or nervous Nelly), pussy [slang], wuss (also wussy) sheep. Not the idyllic scene I first imagined, but hey…I went with it, with a melding of the two. With so many reeds to inspire me on the world stage these days, how could I resist?!

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