Moth, or: Wick

‘Stepping Off the Sidewalk’ – a d’Verse poetics prompt


Ask no questions of the moth in the candle flame…

Attar (c. 1145 – c. 1221)
fans flames of sheer with gossamer notes
burn dark bright through seared clear words crisp
lick searching for hell's deep heights of
verse parches air thin burning with
a yearning melody leaves shivering all
it warms sighs crying elegies fierce
flashing flaring fiery forms
doomed desperate winged pleadings pierce

At d’Verse, we were asked to write a spiritual-mystical poem using a line from a list of several. We were allowed to use the line as an epigraph at the beginning of the poem. I chose the line written by Attar as my epigraph.

71 thoughts on “Moth, or: Wick”

  1. Well I wanted to pick a favorite line but I can’t. They all so beautifully work. The beginning and the ending are gorgeously visual and the middle supports the beginning and ending. What more can you ask for in a piece. Lovely work. Hugs 🤗 Joni

      1. My pleasure my friend. Your poem was visual stunning and your use of descriptive words brilliant.

        שיהיה לכם סוף שבוע ושבת מבורכת וחנוכה ❤️🦋

  2. I have often watched and wondered at moths circling light. When I read your very atmospheric poem, the thought crossed my mind that we are all a bit like the moth. We endlessly circle things we think we want, but they have the potential of destroying us. Loved your poem, David! 🙂

  3. David, you’ve turned the butterfly on her ear and spun her up in her shining doomed magnificence. If her going warms others, all the better. The title sets the stage as does the image. You slam-dunked the prompt!

  4. Smiles, poems and characters take on a life of their own…We might start thinking we are writing something, but the more we write. we see, we are not entirely in control…as you say, What can you do? Then, there is the interpretation of each reader, which is also a phenomena..that I actually love.

    1. Yeah, it’s actually quite fascinating. I could see somebody doing a Ph.D. study of what it means for words to have lives of their own and how they speak differently to different people 🙂

  5. Doomed and pleading to be consumed….very powerful visual here..almost painful to read and imagine David!
    |Interesting, a feel the soul of Poe in this one, who by the way, was my go-to writer when I was 11 after my father’s death. love the parade of f sounds in line 7. It all rolls off the tongue, when recited out loud.

    1. Originally, I sort of had a concept of the moth being the cause of the never-ending flames, which represent its grief… but I think the poem went in a somewhat different direction.

      What can you do? 🙂


  6. Hello Ben thank you for liking the comment I left on Luna’s blog concerning female rage. I have left two more comments there. For me this is one of those issues I feel so strongly about that I do not mince words nor take prisoners.

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