Shout! The Heralds

by Shannon Blank

Shout! The heralds
have offered up a pall
not at all, not at all.
Lighter! Lighter!
After all, after all,
Come the peepers with their call,
To us all, to us all.

There, there.
There she was once,
An uncomfortable heliotrope,
A violet meringue, in
An isotope cloak
Feeling starved and forgot
With an egg in her throat
And feigning around it
When she could get the breath
An icicle aura
To help with her rest.

Do not stall, Dr. Small!
Bring them all! When we call,
Dr. Small, Bring them all.

An isotope cycle,
An icicle cloak,
Some grease for the egg
That got stuck in her throat
A harangued grape meringue,
And the sound of a goat
With some other good things
To help her to cope.

Dr. Small, Dr. Small!
Bring them all! When we call,
Dr. Small, Bring them all.


Shannon Blank is a young woman reading and writing in the border foothills of West Virginia.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

7 thoughts on “Shannon Blank: Shout! The Heralds”

  1. I’m about two steps behind at most points of this poem, but I still find it oddly funny, charming, lyrical, and even heartening. I particularly love the stanzas on Dr. Small.

  2. I could echo William–except that I find the parts about Dr. Small more mystifying than anything else. May I ask who or what he represents or references?

  3. Well, Rebecca, I may jump back in to offer my shade of understanding, lest we break the sacrosanct rule that a poet must never, ever actually say what their poem means :). I think this person with the egg in their throat is under some type of ailment (depression?) and the coming of spring (peepers) with all its accompanying small moments of joy (goats bleating, etc) is to cure her. Thus, Dr. Small stands as a metaphor for these multitudinous small fixes that nature and life may bring for her. Maybe?
    That’s my take. I’m not a big fan of puzzles that have a lot of missing pieces, but I’m aware there are brighter minds than mine, to which said puzzles are the only kind worth considering. And so I hand it to you Shannon, that even though I’m not in you guild, you wrote something I appreciate on some gut level!

    1. Thank you for these thoughts, William. Dr. Small makes a little more sense to me now.=)
      My own interpretation of the poem was an image of a crocus or some such flower, finding its way to new growth in spring, with the flower’s bulb being the egg in the throat. So it’s interesting to hear yours.
      Perhaps this is a poem meant for each individual to take in a way that fits their world–which is, after all, what poems are generally supposed to be. This one has been going around in my head and the wide-open feel of it is fascinating.

  4. It’s good to read your thoughts, William and Rebecca. Most poems intend a greater degree of common-sense-making than this one does, I think. Doesn’t it seem this one is mostly just playing? It’s deliciously odd: “With the sound of a goat/ and other good things/ to help her to cope.” I too find it going around in my head, especially: “an isotope cycle/ an icicle cloak. . .” I think it is talented, definite, delightful nonsense. Something in the neighborhood of Alice in Wonderland maybe?

  5. Thanks for that input, Conrad. It was fun to think about what this poem might mean, and it’s also fun to read it as a nonsense poem. (It did make me think of Lewis Carroll, actually.) I am too prone to take everything seriously, so it’s good to be reminded once in awhile that not everything is necessarily intended to convey High and Lofty Thoughts. =)

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