Slow Infestation


He was a wolf …

a solitary wolf culled from the pack

expertly herding his words

through her undulate terrain.

She welcomed the seduction

amply savoring his patois.


Beguiled by his seeming intimacy

she failed to assimilate the slow infestation

of his oblique aural patternings

insinuating edgy consonants

and limbic vowel howls.

It was her stomach at first that resisted the enchantment

with small flutterings of continual distress.

Slowly she became aware

that his words were predictable

acid but effervescent

lying tips of tongues

corroding her silence.

They dangled from her

like wind chimes with little meaning

Their fractured light cascading

from her now weary ears

pummeling the surface.

So she gathered herself

and sent him,

and his errant words,


Though at times she could still hear their echoing…

The scent of him having so easily

permeated her skin.


To ward off this sonic residue

she bathed daily in lovage root and vervain

and made a tincture of his words,

a verbal potion dissolved in fine brandy

She took one dose timed exactly

as the cusp of the horizon split day into night


Three drops under her tongue,

with a twist…


I had fun with this one. Looking over older work I saw a story weaving between a few different poems and so I threaded a needle and sewed them together. The drawing is an old one too. Newer than the poems, it is cut from the same cloth.


PoePoem and drawing: jana h white                 Drawing: Pastels on black paper

38 responses

  1. I very much like: (his words) “dangled from her like wind chimes with little meaning,” and am especially fond of the final stanza, which reads like a dark little fairy-tale filled with remedies, elixirs – and gumption.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the delicate balance of this piece – and the gentle streaming of the words into a redemptive finale… and yes, one can sense the fun you had while doing this… but one can also sense, the joy you felt in letting go, finding your space even after the ‘invasion’.

    Hope you are well, and on happy terms with the world around you. 🙂

    Take care…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your pastel is captivating, faces out of my dreams, brave colour that shouldn’t work but does. Your poem is also captivating and haunting and needs and deserves to be read out loud in a smoky Parisian bar accompanied by a one eyed sax player…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been on your reading list and I’ve had email subscriptions for a long time now but this has to be my favorite poem. I love the story that gets painted in my mind and how true I know the feeling is.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello, Jana. I wanted to let you know that I was drawn to the pastel painting. It held my attention. I made several passes at the poem, too. In Reader, the formatting doesn’t show up. I wish they’d fix that because now I’m seeing this on your site and it is fantastic. I enjoyed the layers of elegance, complemented by your captivating writing style.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well, I certainly enjoyed reading this and then referring to the images again. & repeating. Very interesting how you describe the experience. Beautiful actually. Beautiful verse. Love the look on her face. Like he’s doing a real crazy-making number on her. So you’re doing homeopathy with his words? A touch of the illness is the cure? A solitary wolf becomes predictable. No pulling one over on you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bingo!…I wish you could hear me laughing, Steven. A homeopathic concept but the cure is working with a more spirited substance than a sugar pill….but you have decidedly grasped the intention here.
      Your comments on the drawing crack me up…they’re perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

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