Creative Work: ‘Tea Leaf Metaphors,’ ‘Opus 17,’ and ‘Ilmarine Scolds an Apprentice’ by Margaryta Golovchenko

Creative WorksThis week’s post features a young voice from Etobicoke, Ontario, that of high school student Margaryta Golovchenko.

There is a quiet poise to Margaryta’s work that leaves space and breath for contemplation. She paints her images with a precision and depth of control that draws the reader skillfully into her vision.

Tea Leaf Metaphors

I watched a piece of chocolate
glide atop a black lake, infinite
in its own right.
See how it dissolves? There’s the Jordan
growing tentacles,
a phenomenon the aristocrats of old
have forgotten to make note of.
And there, that tiny
island staying afloat, a persistent babe
in its survival. Oh,
don’t tell me –

you’ve forgotten to leave a crumb trail
as you ran from Eden.

Opus 17

The interstellar cloud is no more than a curtain
of a space opera, nothing I could have
seen from the glittering polar realm below (they
didn’t lie when naming the bath bomb Phoenix Rising).
The egg shell in which I am the yolk is cracked thus
I, too, must be defective, a drifting chick no fox
would want. A plastic diamond sits at the edge, silently
judged by an empty Chanel No. 5, and I remember the
harpsichord playing around midnight yesterday
accompanied by tiny pattering of chandelier tears. Such
nonsense, I marvel – light makes no sound when
it cries, swallowed by peeling plaster foolish enough
to believe it’s Helios’ blood. A cuckoo chirps a strangled
warning, the phoenix about to be reborn.

Ilmarine Scolds an Apprentice

When I ran out of bullets everything
went into the gun, a black oak heart encased by
golden claws. Primarily

it was the beginnings of icicles
I caught in the square, creeping down
to soothe the sheepskins. First shot –
misfired, landing like a firecracker
on the gods’ blanket of champagne stars. Second –
still stuck in the glass vein as I sat, stark
naked, painting oxygenated snowflakes
for bandages. The third

never left its womb, never unraveling
Maaemä’s fingertips. Instead it sleeps at the bottom
of the kissell, a mosquito within an amber
palace awaiting an army of teeth.

Margaryta’s work shows a remarkable control of language, from the concise evocations of Tea Leaf Metaphors, to the otherworldly images of Opus 17, and the bleak beauty of Ilmarine Scolds an Apprentice. The reader is left with the sense of a great journey achieved with the simplest movements. The pieces were a pleasure for us to read, and we hope you’ve enjoyed them as well.

Stay tuned next week for more wonderful work from our talented contributors!

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