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Below is the poem entitled Equus which was written by poet Charlotte Puddifoot. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Let me explain how it all began; retrace with me
the sordid steps back to childhood pain.
Imagine an endless war: fanaticism shackled to atheism,
ongoing castigation, brutal flagellation,
guilt's spike rammed and jammed deep inside me.
A mocking crucified rictus leered above my bed,
peered at me, probed the shadow-dark corners in my head.
One night I tore it from the wall, lovingly replaced it
with the head of a haunting horse.
Its soul-sad eye-pools shone with empathy,
radiated liquid love in my loneliness, kept me company.
I loathed the trembling, timorous wretch I was,
fear-filthy and saddled with sin.
My only outlet and release was equine.
To escape, to feel freedom's blaze, I followed
enticing hoofprints across searing amber sand,
pressed my face into imprints
on the gold burnished strand.

Equus, son of Flequus, son of Nequus,
we galloped out together on tumultuous darkness,
his brawny neck jutting from between my vice-tight thighs,
the bit biting into tender, froth-flecked mouth corners,
his flying mane a white whip slashing my skin, spurring us on.
Rubbing my sweat-soaked self against the ripple of muscle
under silk-sleek flanks; the power plunge of thunder-hooves,
the lunge of sturdy shanks; his bludgeoning body
a white gash in the blackness. Aching-wet and wild
to be inside him, at one with him - a pounding union.

Nefandous nightmare stampeded at the stable door. Love became bestial.
I stroked them in strange, strangled dreams;
hauled them, mounted them, whipped them round
the blood-sticky straw of the stable floor.
Twelve coal-ebon eyes stared into a sinuous, skewed psyche,
accusing my urges, pillorying my perversions;
soul-stark, snaffling the bitter apple of blighted youth.
Those eyes - I had to put them out like snuffing stars.
Sorrowfully I sluiced sticky scarlet warmth from fevered fingers,
wretched with regret. But it had to be done.

I still see them: the six silky-flanked, softly snuffling ones;
spike-blinded, eye sockets oozing quiet crimson,
blood-roses blooming on their harrowed haunches.
You still batter me with questions, trampling
the dark dream-dust of my fantasies, seeking answers.
But I have learned how to sidestep neatly,
how to bury guilt and horror silently and discreetly.

*based on the stage play 'Equus'

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  1. Date: 3/24/2012 4:38:00 AM
    Wow...what an incredible piece, Charlotte. Superb imagery, packed with action --sheer brilliance! Congratulations. :)

  1. Date: 3/23/2012 8:42:00 PM
    Exceptional piece, Charlotte! Wow! Absolutely wonderful! Congratulations on your top win! Ruben.

  1. Date: 3/23/2012 12:59:00 PM
    Congratulations on your placement in Chris' "Let The Masks Fall" contest Charlotte. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 3/23/2012 11:35:00 AM
    wow.........i lluved this one. congrats on the placement in the contest

  1. Date: 3/23/2012 9:12:00 AM
    congrats on your win from my wife. Ron.. thank you for your nice words to her.

  1. Date: 3/23/2012 9:07:00 AM
    Congratulations, Charlotte, on your win in Chris' contest. hugs, Catie :)

  1. Date: 3/23/2012 6:49:00 AM
    Charlotte, how much more emotion can one put in this many words---I think none--powerful, powerful win!

  1. Date: 3/23/2012 3:38:00 AM
    I remember this vividly and brilliantly written piece, Charlotte! And it just made me say "wow" all over again! I really enjoyed reading this masterpiece again! Super congrats on your win :) I hope all is well with you :D

  1. Date: 3/22/2012 10:33:00 PM
    Shoot Charlotte, the imagery in this poem is sheer brilliance! You did it again for me, even though my dense brain probably didn't understand all of it. I truly enjoyed the....the adjective-noun pairings(wot are those called? "spike-blinded" "Froth-flecked", etc). Thank you for supporting my contest!

  1. Date: 12/22/2011 6:08:00 AM
    Congratulations on your super win in P.D.'s "In The Mood" contest Charlotte. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 12/22/2011 12:40:00 AM
    Congratulations to you in this contest. I sure remember this well written poem of yours, Charlotte! thanks for commenting on my blog too.

  1. Date: 6/28/2011 1:32:00 PM
    Charlotte, Cool to see a great poem in the winner circle. Agape, Moses

  1. Date: 6/23/2011 8:18:00 PM
    charlotte.I am always glad to see you on a winners' list since you are superb at nearly every poem you write. Congratulations!

  1. Date: 6/23/2011 4:32:00 PM
    Congrats on your win, Charlotte. Excellent story. Nice going. xxxRalph

  1. Date: 6/23/2011 1:38:00 PM
    My congratulations on the win in the contest of carol, Charlotte

  1. Date: 6/23/2011 12:45:00 PM
    Congrats Charlotte on your dynamic win in the horse contest with this exciting entry luv..enjoy another one...

  1. Date: 6/23/2011 12:18:00 PM
    Congratulations and thank you for supporting my contest Charlotte. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 6/16/2011 9:48:00 AM
    Wow! You got me gripped with this very intriguing write, very action packed and so vividly written, you definitely got me wondering with this-- You got me imagining this in my mind-- thank you for adding the footnote-- Wish you the best with this very well-written write!

  1. Date: 6/6/2011 6:49:00 PM
    if you only knew... well i like the way you used the horse to make yourself better. we all need a symblesometimes a symble of an escape vehecle. and you just picked our favorite one, second only to unicorns. john

  1. Date: 6/4/2011 10:22:00 PM
    I really admire your writing here even though I don't really understand it. It just looks like something that is very good. Wish I was not so dense. It seems to be a bad dream and yet it seems based on a reality (within the text). Well, it is about guilt - that part I got!! Luv, Andrea