Song of an Apocalypse

The bugs’ skitter-scatter steps
are easier to track than the fidgets of my thoughts.
It’s simpler to eat them whole too.
Memories give me indigestion
and their taste lingers unpleasantly.

Never mind, I’ve been told
I’m too crazy to remember.
Except that I do
remember
the world when I was young.

I had a theme song then
for those daily apocalypses
I was told would pass when I got older.

But an Armageddon came,
that left me to gather
the eggshell fragments of my mind.

Even imperfectly reassembled,
with cracks large enough
to let maggots dance through,
I haven’t forgotten

I wanted to be a light
for the ones that came after me.
Broken as I am,
I might be the only adult left

who remembers
that beautiful horror of youth
and wants to reassure them
this can be survived
even with a mouth full of spiders.  


Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the very last (sob!) prompt at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads, Play it Again Toads. I chose Kerry Says Find Our Poetic Voice. I knew I wanted to go with one of my "nerd poems" (poetry based on something I'm a fan of), but it took a bit to decide who's voice to go with. 

In the end I decided on going with one of my newer fandoms, the Netflix series Daybreak, which is a tongue in check look at the apocalypse with an 80's John Hughes-like tone to the whole thing (Matthew Broderick as the out of touch principal is an absolute delight). The character I chose to speak through was Miss Crumble a.k.a. The Witch.

Miss Crumble before the apocalypse

Miss Crumble after the apocalypse (yep, those are maggots)
If you followed the link to the trailer, you'll see that the apocalypse killed off most of the adults or made them into flesh eating zombies. Somehow, Miss Crumble came out of it... different. I don't want to give too many spoilers, but suffice it to say I think it's good that the kids have some adult guidance and concern in their lives, even if that adult is fairly bonkers.

Song choice:

Non spoilery one - Sing Your Life by Morrissey
Somewhat spoilery (but super pretty) - Sing Your Life sung by Miss Crumble and Angelica 

Thank you Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads, for being so inspiring right up until the end. I will miss you.

55 comments:

  1. This is absolutely stunning in its rendition, Rommy!!❤️ I have so loved reading your poems over the years .. and can hardly believe our journey has come to an end at the Garden. Thankfully you and I have a longer journey at PU ahead. Especially like; "
    I wanted to be a light for the ones that came after me. Broken as I am[ I might be the only adult left," .. can't wait to check out the series on Netflix!!! Wooot!!❤️

    #realtoadsforever

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    1. I'm looking forward to the journey ahead together too!

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  2. "Memories give me indigestion and their taste lingers unpleasantly." Yes! Love that line! This year I have traveled through many endings. Keep being the light.

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    1. There was a lot of bittersweet in 2019. I'm hoping for a little more sweet than bitter in 2020.

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  3. I latched on to the same line that Susie did. Now I have to check out this series!

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    1. It is darkly amusing with plenty of heart. LOL, that hits all my sweet spots.

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  4. I especially love your closing stanza. Remembering "the beautiful horror of youth". Wow!

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  5. I wanted to be a light for the ones that came after me.
    And you are!

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    1. Well, it was more referring to Miss Crumble's idealism as a teacher, but thanks :D

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  6. I am not familiar with the show you refer to in this poem, but the voice is very strongly felt throughout. I really like these lines:
    I might be the only adult left
    who remembers
    that beautiful horror of youth

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    1. Then I accomplished my mission. :D Glad you liked those lines.

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  7. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Is that Scarlett Johansson? Bugs, ewwww, ewwww, ewwwww. If bugs must involved, I prefer her role as the Black Widow!

    Happy New Year, Rommy! I look forward to reading more of your delightful poems and stories throughout 2020!

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    1. LOL, no Miss Crumble is played by Krysta Rodriguez. And the bugs are a running gag, right down to the ones in her tiara. :D

      I hope you have a wonderful New Year too! Thanks for reading. <3

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  8. I have not seen the series, but the voice of the witch is still clear, and even if you refer to an Armageddon in the series, I read it as something far mor personal, especially with:

    I might be the only adult left
    who remembers
    that beautiful horror of youth

    Maybe saying that the build-up to disaster might be worse than disaster itself.

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    1. LOL, well I think it's true that I do gravitate to writing about characters I feel some sort of kinship with. As soon as I saw a Latina character attempt a Spanish version of the Morrissey song, I knew I was going to write about her at some point. But I can't deny that sometimes I've been the only non-dismissive adult advocate in a room for a child figuring out some big life issues.

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  9. Really very meticulous and gorgeous at the same time, as befits the best of nerdery. ;) The first stanza hooks, and the rest deftly wheels us in turn by turn. I especially like the way the first and last two pairs of stanzas work together to make the poem shine. Too many of us deliberately "forget" the beautiful horror and so lose our understanding of ourselves, and the young. Excellent work.

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    1. Aw, thanks Joy! I am thrilled my nerdiness was up to the task.

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  10. Bugs, yucky! LOL! The show sounds good! I have never heard of it before. Happy New Year Rommy! Wishing you all the best! Big Hugs!

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    1. It really should have been advertised better! It's wicked funny while having a lot of heart.

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  11. I love, love this and must check the show out on Netflix! Happy New Year.

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  12. Yes, I agree with everyone who thinks this is wonderful – and also with everyone who goes 'Ewww!' at bugs. So I'm not sure I would watch the show, but you make this witch so intriguing and sympathetic, I just might. I like the lines others picked out, very much, but my favourite of all is 'the eggshell fragments of my mind'.

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    1. LOL, like I told one of my BFF's (who is also bug phobic) that's not a *huge* part of the series, this is set during a zombie apocalypse, so there's a high gore factor. Still, it was surprisingly sweet and tugged at my heart strings in ways I didn't expect.

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  13. I lingered in the second stanza... It made me think of how so many people think that they know so much about others, about what goes on in their heads and hearts, and how the truth is that most of us know nothing beyond what we are told. So many walk around with their memories tied around their necks--often hugging and squeezing a the same time--and only finding balance between the two allows us to continue breathing.

    Also, I should totally check out that show.

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    1. That's an idea that gets explored a lot in the show, alongside other themes I found very intriguing. LOL, and yes you should! As Max said, "you come for the laughs and stay for the feels."

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  14. Am going to say "even with a mouthful of spiders" is the most hopeful thing I have heard this morning - given that I was on twitter the last few hours!

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    1. LOL, that makes sense considering the world we live in.

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  15. What a way to start a poem with ‘bugs’ skitter-scatter steps’ and fidgets of thoughts! You’ve given me a taste of the craziness of surviving Armageddon, Rommy.

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    1. Yes! I was really hoping some of that feeling would translate in my words.

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  16. What a stunning poem - some really captivating images

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  17. I too agree that this is a wonderful (captivating) write and the protagonists closing lines are ace. How easy it is to forget the horrors and fears we felt in childhood, but I haven't either and hoped that leaded to better parenting, hopefully...

    Will check out Netflix too.

    Anna :o]

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    1. It sometimes surprises me how many people forget. Heck, sometimes I forget in the middle of my grown-up hustling how intense some things felt back then.

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  18. The humor: "Memories give me indigestion" = Truth! And the melancholy thoughts hint of days past: "that beautiful horror of youth/and wants to reassure them/this can be survived"
    A reminder that survivors will overcome in the end.

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    1. I apologize for not writing thank you for sharing. (Ugh, hitting the button before finishing.) I like the lighthearted but serious undertones throughout.
      With any good writing, it makes me think along the path.
      Thanks, Rommy

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    2. I am so glad the humor came through. Part of the challenge (for me) when I write pieces like this is to keep some of the tone of the source material present while I shape my words around it. Daybreak is very darkly funny, but also touching in ways that surprised me.

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  19. You had me at eating bugs. It reads like a science fiction and leaves me curious for more (words not bugs).

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    1. I am so glad that it kept to a sci-fi feel. I highly recommend the show. Bugs are optional as snacks. :D

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  20. Quite a vivid image you paint here! Even though I'm not familiar with Daybreak series, I can in a way relate to childhood fears and horrors.

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    1. Childhood fears are a big theme in this series, as is how we as an adult shape (add/detract) to those fears as we shape kids for the future.

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  21. i think it is a fun poem, very delightful to read, but thoughtful with serious undertones.
    i have not seen this series, but i have watched some other Netflix shows too, and i wonder how the writers can come out with such engaging & memorable characters and plots. :)

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    1. I freaking LOVE this show. I love the humor and how they got you to care about the characters (even if it was "OMG, why are you still AROUND?"). Good stuff. I've been humming Sing Your Life ever since they featured it on the show.

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  22. I really must watch this series now. The mouth full of spiders really got me. The weavers of words and stories. How we are captured by the tales they tell.

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    1. It was an unexpected delight when I discovered it. LOL, well my husband discovered it first and insisted I should watch. He''s usually really good about spotting the fun stuff.

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  23. I had to read this several times, Rommy, because there is so much interesting activity and metaphor and reference. Pieces can be interpreted in many different ways. Brilliant. But the overall tone of the poem is just so juicy...and gooey and crawly. Your work always inspires. I love it!

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    1. Woot! I am so glad to hear you say that. There were a lot of things I wanted to convey with this piece and it's always ore of a challenge than it seems to get the tone to fit just right with the source material. There was a lot of stuff going on below the surface of this series. I loved how they took tropes like Manic Pixie Dream Girl and bent them in delightfully unexpected but true feeling ways.

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  24. I like the bug references - not something I would ever think of but I see your inspiration. Enjoyed the poem. Made me think of some of the creepy times of my youth.

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    1. I wanted to be more of a goth in my youth. This show definitely appealed to that part of me.

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  25. Wow! Rommy, I enjoyed the voice you spoke this poem in. I’m going to add Daybreak to my to-watch list. You captured the sense of ‘ otherness’ here. Bravo!

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    1. It's such a fun show. I hope you enjoy it!

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  26. “Broken as I am...” and yet her spirit still “fights”. Love that

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