The Sicilian Defense

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Raven’s cry is more or less likely to be believed;
it strikes
until its cursive plumage is mere murmurs of rawness
against the cloudless skyβ€”
a little to the left,
tell me, how many aspects of the game are you willing
to throw shade upon?
Like dark fury that seeks to cross paths with coyotes,
I stake claim at the center,
I love that eloquence is twirling on its heels at my sideβ€”
deny me safety, deny me dwelling,
it’s quite clear as to where we are headed;
a couple more moves,
shoulder to shoulder,
as onlookers watch and then egotism too was gone.

 

 

Process note: I was thrilled after watching the Queen’s Gambit
on Netflix a few days ago, so much so that I decided to portray a chess move called “The Sicilian Defense,” in a poem. It’s an excellent defensive opening by black in a game of chess. I chose to use a raven both as metaphor and representation.

Photo credits: Fabian Perez Painting, Pinterest

Skylover Wordlist: Dwelling, aspect, eyes, raven, denies, below, shade, less, eloquent, cloudless πŸ’

Ravens bring things to people. We’re like that. It’s our nature.
We don’t like it. β€” Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place

Peter hosts at dVerse and invites us to consider opening lines.
Come join us! πŸ’

Posted for MTB: Opening lines @ dVerse Poets Pub

46 Replies to “The Sicilian Defense”

  1. A poem that starts with a raven, Sanaa, what’s not to love? My favourite lines:
    β€˜β€¦ its cursive plumage is mere murmurs of rawness
    against the cloudless sky’
    and
    β€˜I love that eloquence is twirling on its heels at my side’.
    This has to be an open-air game of chess.

  2. I love how you used the title to set this in a metaphor of chess (at least that is what I thought) … and for me, the raven also means that someone plays black…

    1. Excellent interpretation, Bjorn πŸ˜€ thank you so much, so glad the poem resonated with you πŸ’„β€οΈ

  3. At first I thought, oh this is about chess, but then I read on and realised that it’s about a much older game of strategy. This is alive with metaphors. Well done!

  4. Courting done as chess, raven as trickster and rogue; this soars like so many blackbird songs (Joni Mitchell & the Beatles). It engages and teases us. fearing for the narrator, cheering for plausible romance. A sweet ride and spirited read. (Queen’s Gambit rules!)

  5. I love the idea behind this, the raven as it strikes in a game of chess between two lovers, is so rich in metaphor. I haven’t seen the Queen’s Gambit but I’m gonna have to look it up now. Well written as always! πŸ‘πŸ’ž

  6. I love your word-painting here, Sanaa – the characters, the imagery. The subtle interplay between the characters and/or the pieces. I love the artwork too!

  7. Love the raven image in this poem, Sanaa!

    “it strikes
    until its cursive plumage is mere murmurs of rawness
    against the cloudless skyβ€””

    “I love that eloquence is twirling on its heels at my sideβ€”
    deny me safety, deny me dwelling”

    My personal two favorites!

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