Ouroboros~ by Lisa Brandel

Mired soul, immovable in body and mind.
The constrictors coils flexed a back broken
Unhinged jaws swallowed your willing spirit.

With your permission, digested
Became that thing that killed your spirit
Ruined your sincerity fusing mutiny
In your veins.

You never passed through these moments
Caught in the gullet of the beast you hate
You have become the viciousness
You grew up loathing.

Breaking others as you were
Swallowing hope, innocent souls
Calling yourself redeemed
Swaddled in the scaled deceit

Of the moment
You never left

ⒸLisa Brandel  2012


13 thoughts on “Ouroboros by Lisa Brandel

  1. The idea of becoming as impatient and critical as my mother was the image I had; and I knew it wasn’t just that simple –the mythology of the snake swallowing its tale and thus becoming a symbol of eternity was intriguing and I found myself thinking of the Edenic archetype turned upside down and the gate locked as we repeat the same cycle until there is an opportunity to swallow ourselves whole and find rebirth as the phoenix does. There is that repetition in nature and the fractal and mandala may be the evolution of the primitive snake with its circular form and maybe even the moving away from the part of the brain; the limbic and reptilian part that we are moving away from. I swallow myself whole; I can visualize that Lisa, but not the devouring of others which is where I get confused. The last two sentences at the end do not clarify things for me, and I really will think about a poem in terms of mythology and many different approaches although a poem typically should be written with the readers in mind; a title that is challenging is not something I look up in a dictionary but learn because of the context of the poem. I will continue to think about this and admire you for letting yourself ponder what occurred to you so many months ago. I really think it is almost surrealistic—and the feelings and meanings are confined by some restrictions; I could not believe all the different meanings and want to think outside of the box; you have a brilliant poem yet I don’t see how one can swallow others while being swallowed as well. I guess that is what throws me. I am anxious to see how my Maori friend interprets it; I am sorry for writing an essay but how can I go shallow in deep water? Thank you!!!

  2. This is such a complex yet pure statement of how we [so many people] become the things we despise. It is interesting that we struggle against it with good intentions and never realize we have absorbed it at all, or too late. A very powerful verse!

    • The very story I was hoping to convey…I wrote this about a year ago, when it came to me watching people ( myself included) become all those things we claimed to hate…this was what was born. Thank you so much <3

    • Another huge complement from an artist I respect. Thank you, Neil. You know poetry isn’t my natural “paint” so the fact you can feel it makes me very proud <3

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