Friday, September 3, 2010


Heavily dipped
in sweet warble,
your bored feathers
spread wide as a peacock,
strut upper and outest.

You are blissfully unaware
or perhaps your happy anatomy,
hard-set, craves a sunswept Sunday,
the midnight indigo?

Men scrump fruit below
the bent tree where you perch,
dropping songs,
tokens as innocent
as Mrs. Manion’s panties.

Quick, put on the tight girdle,
play the roll of a caged bird,
before the uptake on
might prove your flutter

Tess Kincaid
September, 2010

Turn your sound way UP and listen for the flirtibird at the end!

Otto Preminger's iconic American court drama, Anatomy of a Murder, 1959, and Duke Ellington's fabulous jazz for the musical score of the film, were also inspirations for this piece.

To join Magpie Tales creative writing prompt blog, click HERE.


  1. Holy cow. I must know, how long does the average poem take you to write?

  2. Oh, that question is phrased which such horrid grammar.

    Lo, I am shamed. Hehe.

  3. And, upon reread... The Jimmy Stewart nod just hit me.

    Forgive me, I've been drinking cheap Merlot for HOURS.

  4. I usually put one together in about an hour. I put it away, then come back later and tweak it here and there. My juices have to be flowing though. Can't make it come, if I'm not in the mood. The Muse can't be on the sofa watching the telly.

  5. You got a lot of meaning out of that apple.

  6. Willow,
    I was under the apple tree yesterday, scrumpting Macs and Cortlands.
    The Bluejays teased
    Ginger in her grave,
    And the fountain pleased
    To send plumes of water
    Shooting skyward
    To temp yonder Jay

    No murder of crows,
    Just all that Jazz.

  7. Rel, I relish the image of you scrumping with the jays. ((smiles))

  8. Dear Willow ....
    Stafford is going to have a hay day with your comment to Jeff .......

  9. .... your mind and capacity for being creative seemingly endless.

  10. Having just watched Anatomy of a Murder I was pleased to recognize your references even before I read your explanatory lines at the end:)...very serendipitous I think...

    Love the poem...

  11. incredible word art willow...awe.

  12. Oh my God! I feel autumn (fall) in your words. A good thing that Lady M is off to London for her first Viv Westwood fitting... She's taking her ball invitation VERY seriously!

    JeffScape asked the question I was too shy to ask. An hour seems so little.

    Bisou, Cro.

  13. Shades of Horton Foote, with
    Truman Capote lingering like
    a gay toad in the corner, even
    though the novel was actually
    written by a dude named John
    Voelker--still you do get to the
    lusty heart of things with this
    piece, those women that Lee
    Remick liked to play, those
    restless, sexy, insecure, hard-
    bodied Lolitas that seemed to
    never be content with only driving
    one man crazy--and you have
    taken us into Ellington landscape,
    where films and TV during the
    50's loved to go, hot jazz pounding
    behind the credits, and spicing up
    the score, punctuating the action;
    remember PETER GUNN, and John
    Cassavetes in JOHNNY STACCATO?
    But still you probe further, as a woman,
    into the secret place that women
    plot from, experimenting with the
    manipulative power they exude and
    exercise over the male of the species;
    the eternal story redone by the poet
    in you, the temptress in you--and
    still more as shards of humor, of
    irony slip in, creating a moment,
    a picture of this bird, this shaker
    of Ids, this woman who will flirt,
    and with enough alcohol might
    do more than that, and to hell
    with the outcomes; the American
    tragedy, or saloon scenario--
    and your argument is sound,
    even confounding George C. Scott
    as the powerful force, Asst. Attorney
    Claude Dancer. Great piece, Willow.

  14. Parnell Emmett McCarthy: Twelve people go off into a room: twelve different minds, twelve different hearts, from twelve different walks of life; twelve sets of eyes, ears, shapes, and sizes. And these twelve people are asked to judge another human being as different from them as they are from each other. And in their judgment, they must become of one mind - unanimous. It's one of the miracles of Man's disorganized soul that they can do it, and in most instances, do it right well. God bless juries.

    Arthur O'Connell played Emmett.

  15. Dear Willow, As always I have so enjoyed this. The idea of 'Magpie's Tales' is so imaginative and clearly attracts many, many talented writers.

  16. A beautiful piece Willow, fit to match the Duke's music.

  17. I especially like the "dropping songs,tokens of innocence"

  18. You know I loved that movie but it has been so long I would have never remembered her name. You have a remarkable mind. I am in a very public waiting room without earphones so the music will have to wait but I look forward to it.

  19. Duke is my man and Benny Goodman. I am eating an apple because of the photo.. great job..
    It is hard to believe you can write such beauty in an hour.
    Love your talent


  20. Glenn, I'm so enjoying your deliciously rich additions to our conversation.

  21. Brilliant. I can feel the autumn in your words, amidst this work's sweet flight. Great imagery, powerful words.

  22. Sweet! The girdle part dates it so well and says so much about the roles we used to play.

  23. I hope some day I can come close but I fear that I will always be standing on the outside looking in with envy at the real poets. I am a Fan.

  24. A very interesting prompt this week, Willow and your interpretation is brilliant. A strong and thought-provoking poem.

  25. Some interesting trivia out there
    regarding ANATOMY OF A MURDER
    (1959). Spencer Tracy was offered
    the role of the judge. The actor that
    took the role was a former lawyer.
    Lana Turner and Jayne Mansfield
    both turned down the part of Laura
    before the luscious Lee Remick
    took it. Jimmy Stewart credits this
    part in his later starring in the
    TV series HAWKINS (1973).
    The film was called "a dirty movie"
    and Jimmy Stewart's father took out
    a full page ad in Variety damning it;
    which of course boosted box office.
    There were certain forbidden words
    that appeared in the film:
    bitch, contraceptive, panties,
    penetration, rape, slut, sperm.
    The film was banned in Chicago.
    Remember that it was not until
    1964, with Sidney Lumet's powerful
    film THE PAWNBROKER, that an
    American audience actually saw
    a woman's naked breasts.

  26. What interesting word combinations. Just fascinating!

  27. love the girdle and the dropping of panties...wonderful sensually innocent peice...bkm

  28. My, my. This is a yummy little piece Willow. You played some interesting language tricks and made this, dare I say?, suggestively erotic. Grrrrr.

  29. I like what you have done! Thanks

  30. Your poem contains more juice than any apple I've ever eaten. Whew!


  31. Flirt bid - just love these two words together! Your poem lights the flirtbird perfectly.

    And scrumping...what a wonderful word.

  32. I think that flirtibird is the one eating the plums in my garden...but love the jazz!

  33. What can I say? It's briliant.

    "..You are blissfully unaware
    or perhaps your happy anatomy,
    hard-set, craves a sunswept Sunday,
    the midnight indigo?.." My favourite lines.

  34. I thought the lines including the dropping of panties and the girdle were priceless. this was fantastic as usual :)

  35. "Quick, put on the tight girdle" great image. soon, there will be no one left who remembers girdles. I, thank goodness, remember my mom wearing them, not myself.

  36. Your play with words is just wonderful and you've mad a great story of this little harlot.

  37. Wonderful word play traveling so many paths at once.

  38. Those words must've been percolating in your brain before they hit the page. Excellent!

  39. You had me at that charming title, Willow.

  40. Incredible! The forbidden fruit and love the birds throughout.

  41. Excellent composition with a fun title.

  42. Amazing piece - it starts off with a deft phrase and ends with a resounding dare. Wonderful read.

  43. Wonderful. I enjoyed reading it.

  44. I have found something for your collection of Willows:)
    Have a good weekend,

  45. you made the apple look more delicious and inviting..

  46. Gorgeous imagery, a poem to get lost in.
    Beautiful Magpie.

  47. O.K. Here's a raisin! Google returns 5,830,000 "hits" for "Mrs.Manion's panties." Have I missed something?

    BTW . . . your excellent poem was TOP HIT on Google just now for "Mrs.Manion"

  48. Oh, gosh, Doctor, that's too cool!!

  49. Wow, Willow! Fantastic work!

  50. lovely makeup for apples....
    a course that looks delicious in sight.

  51. Willow you have a wonderful way with words! Love it! :-)

  52. What erotic imagery was in this fruity poem, willow - loved it.

  53. as inncent as Mrs. Manion's panites...I would have never gotten such a thing from an apple. amazing.

  54. Oh, this is quite delicious Tess...


  55. An awesome post! Great magpie! =)


  56. Love your take on the apple, Willow. And I feel the suck of that girdle, girl...

  57. I've only seen Anatomy of a Murder once and that was years ago! This makes me want to watch it again!

  58. Every week, something new, something different. Congratulations, willow.

  59. The bird, the apple picking guys, the MUSIC, that mrs. whoever...How do you DO it. I LOVE these, wish there was one each day.

    I had written a--much toooo--long comment, and lost it, too tired to revive it. Sort of like Mrs Manion after she dropped her WHAT!!????

    Willow, you are ONE OF A KIND! Thanks for your service here.....

  60. Birds do it, bees do it, poets not in front of TVs do it... :)

  61. Tight girdle or no, I envy the flirtibird!! So original...

  62. Hard to beat a flirtibird
    'heavily dipped in sweet warble'
    (inspired line btw)
    Don't know the film, but I'm with flirtibird, girdled or ungirdled.

  63. Excellent film! By the way, the actor who played the judge was not only a former lawyer, he was Joseph N. Welch -- who lived in Massachusetts, as do I -- the man who stared down Joe McCarthy and asked "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

  64. You are the poetry mistress. No contest. This is a humdinger!

  65. Loved to read so sensually rich...

  66. Can't add to this. Except perhaps -

    Bravo, Willow!

  67. It's rather extraordinary that you and I were both posting about girdles the same day.

  68. Well, I listened for the flirtbird and I read the poem twice, and the comments helped me understand a little, but I think I will have to see Anatomy of a Murder in order to get the full flavor. Lee Remick and Jimmy Stewart. I know I've seen it but can't remember right now. Can't wait.

  69. Shari, the poem isn't necessarily about "Anatomy of a Murder", I was just inspired by the names of Ellington's songs, and of course threw in Mrs. Manion's panties, just because.

  70. this is fantastic - even though - for me as a german - it was a real challenge to read….

    …loved dropping songs…

    here's my magpie

  71. She only seems blissfully unaware...the show is deliberate...

  72. Delightful, Willow! And thanks for the link to the Duke.

  73. wonderful wonderful - love your poetry and the Magpie!

  74. dropping songs... i love this...

  75. Good one!
    Do they make scrumpy where you are? Or is it illegal there too?

  76. lovely poem, this reminded me of the whole movie i saw a few years ago and especially the whole debate over the word 'panty' if it should be used in the court.

    one of the best courtroom drama's i've ever seen.

  77. Willow, your poems never cease to fascinate me. Beautiful imagery!

  78. love your take on the prompt Willow, totally fab, love the musicality of this piece.

  79. I picture your poems as a colorful clothesline of words and symbols, which a breeze causes to flap, sway and dance to the wind's tune.

  80. Oh man, this makes me long to teach English again! I'd love to set my class loose on this, to glean all the meaning. Awesome piece.

  81. speechless....there are so many lines here that are perfection that i wouldn't know where to start....i suppose i like "men scrump fruit below the bent tree where you perch, dropping songs, tokens as innocent as Mrs. Manion's panties," the best....


  82. Willow, I'm equally amazed and thrilled to read such a creation of your mind... its simply awesome and hauntingly creative :).. Just loved it..

  83. 'tokens as innocent as Mrs.Manion’s panties' what a fabulous line! Take it away, Willow....another joy to read!

  84. Girdles are a lot like a wired cages! I enjoyed stopping by your blog today!

  85. Each fall I try to leave one tree in the orchard full of apples hoping the starlings and robins will appear at Christmas and have a happy meal fluttering amongst the other barren trees. Their singing and squawking make for a perfect Christmas morn.

  86. Your prose takes us to wonderful places, hearing the sounds of the birds. Thank you for the reminders... and the great photo prompts left to inspire us all.

    Thank you for following me over at my journeys.

  87. I had to think about this one. It is not immediately obvious what is the poet's intent.
    I think i worked it out in the end. It is good.

  88. I really like this poem. And I especially like the title and your playfulness with language. I ead you answer to Jeff's question about how long it takes you. One hour??!! Yikes.

  89. Wow. Sexy, playful--and Mood Indigo to boot. Love "scrump" what a great word. Thank you for this.

  90. What an enigmatic and enchanting poem.

    Thank you for the wonderful photo. You got me trying my hand in fiction again, and I'm really happy about the experience. All your pictures here are lovely, actually.

    By the way, I also adore the dance of words on a page :)

  91. Whoa! Me likes!!
    Sensuous and playful.. dark and mystic..
    All in all, very well played, Willow! You are too good!

  92. I LOVE the conclusion of this poem.

  93. You know a great poem by the comments following its post. From the first one by Jeff all the way through it is unanimous.....
    flirtibird is excellence among us.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)