Sullen

After countless years and so many sullen stars,
we yearn for sparkling seas, fast running rivers,
snowy mountain tops and vast green plains
on our home planet beyond the moon.

We have longed to escape the monotones
of this metal box: utilitarian grey and brown,
the tasteless sustenance, our heads blown
by shifting body fluids, circadian rhythm thrown.

Even with the two of us hurtling through space,
we miss the companionship of the human race:
hugs, handshakes, a gentle brush of lips on face –
we’ve become as hard as our metal carapace.

And yet, when an earth-bound comet flashes by,
our eyes meet and our smiles synchronise.

Kim M. Russell, 11th April 2020

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads NaPoWriMo Day 11 Play it Again in April 2020: Soviet Kitsch, also linked to Poets and Storytellers United Writers’ Pantry

Izy’s prompt from 11th April 2016 is another amazing image prompt: posters from Sci-Fi movies in the Soviet Union. She invites us to use as many of the given images to write a new poem and, if none of the images takes our fancy, we are free to find another Sci Fi movie poster online. 

I’m merging this prompt with Kerry’s Skylover Wordlist, sourced from Dylan Thomas’s poetry collection Deaths and Entrances, from which the eleventh word is ‘sullen’.

45 thoughts on “Sullen

  1. We have similar tastes don’t we? 💝👏 I love your perspective of the image! These lines took my breath away; “We have longed to escape the monotones of this metal box: utilitarian grey and brown.” Woww!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A sonnet!! I am blown away, Kim! I adore the sullen stars, and that final couplet is just so perfect. It has me smiling from ear to ear. A personal favourite for me this month.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful, I love your interpretation of this image. I especially like the lines “Even with the two of us hurtling through space,
    we miss the companionship of the human race:”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They say that a whole life can’t be fixed or made sense of in a final moment, but… the poem makes it feel like “they” might be wrong–that final look, that final smile seems to make it all as it should. Even I am smiling, after seeing/reading the exchange.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, Kim, you can “miss the companionship of the human race” but ‘aren’t you glad’ that it is your sweetie that you are locked in with!!
    Sorry I’m so late in returning your nice comment. Thank you.
    Stay Safe.
    ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jim! I consider myself lucky. I’ve read about so many couples who have fallen out under lockdown, We still smile and make each other laugh. Stay safe and well.

      Like

  6. I remember this prompt, way back when the Imaginary Garden was a-hoppin … First reading years later, the dull soviet greys here remind me of London in the 19th century, besieged by the toxic fumes of the Industrial Revolution. But the “sullen” has become a Russian trope and our more general Earth despair. Reminds me too of those who speak of leaving a dying Earth to colonize Mars and beyond. (As someone pointed out, why leave a half-alive Earth for a fully dead Mars?) Nice compact sonnet, well-wrought rhymes; my favorite line is “we’ve become as hard as our metal carapace.” Thanks for landing it here again at earthweal, welcome home. — Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is those shared human moments that lift us out of the isolated feeling of this pandemic. Loved this poem! My fave line is the one Brendan quoted.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It is those shared human moments that lift us out of the isolated feeling of this pandemic. Loved this poem! My fave line is the one Brendan quoted.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really enjoyed your poem and the flow of your words. The gentle reminder that, even nowin theese difficult times, there are wonders to be seen that lift us out of the daily grind really hit home for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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