Still Water – A Poem

 

Still Water

Still water mirrors the trembling branches.
Fifty breaths of fresh air stings my lungs.
I am reminded by a voiceless light that I
remain bound to a paradisiacal wasteland.
It falls from a red moon, whispering comfort
in the clever way it colors the landscape.

I am the same as I was before, and this truth
is a testament to my own insecurities. With
the rise of sin comes the guise of pity. I seek
out those delirious patterns of love which I lost
in my youth. During a time before joy became
stained and was driven into the scarlet abyss of
a baptism pool – whose still waters now mirror
the twisted, trembling branches, and where
the fresh air hovering under a lunar sky
bites at my skin and stings my lungs.

Summer Swims – A Poem

 

Summer Swims

Botanical offerings on
Sunday morning. Bakery closed.
Half a mile jog to the river.
Boats row unison lines
in lavender water.

Brake.

A violin concerto hiatus.
Movement strung tense flows
across the park. Cat on crates
peeking into the corner shop
window. Between the curtains.

Drawn.

Hands remove pollen
from the fir trees. Cracks appear
in solitude. Summer brings me
iced tea filled with lemon.
Citrus flirtations.

Bloom.

Man at the bus station waits
for absolution. Wet clover on his shoes.
Children swing and climb and
slide. The faithful regrets of
fate.

Wither.

Cloud drifts cumulate. So high
in a sky so orange. Heaven
pontificates appropriate answers.
In the pond with biased fish
summer swims.

Oil on Water – A Poem

 

Oil on Water

Oil on water or on
canvas
and I am now and always was
and never have been.

Oil
on water or on canvas
and I am forgotten or remembered.
A shoreline.
Tides roll.

Oil on
water
or on canvas
and green blue morning yellow at sunset.
Wake by four, walk by five.

Oil on water or on
canvas
and when and how
but not this.
Not yet.
Grey stone gateway a marker.
A path bearing right
disintegrates.

Oil on water
or
on canvas
and naked mouths shout riddles.
Closed meaning justification.
Orange tree
daydream a straight bridge home.

A Table Set for Five – A Poem

 

A Table Set for Five

Notices from the delivery driver
that we have now been avoiding for years
have gone unnoticed.
They are piled up by and tagged to our front door.
And still our past has found a way to disgustingly
cling to us.

A table set for five overwhelms me
and I excuse myself
to drink alone out on the patio.
“There are nights where sometimes I almost miss you,”
you tell me as I leave and to which
I have no response.

In their monolithic eyes I can see how even the children
have rejected me.

The liquor does not burn any more.
I light a cigarette and look around
for secrets that are not there.
A garden with flowers and wind and sun and moon and stars
and circles
and circles and circles and
my stomach hurts
and my head is sharp and feverish
and there was delight
there was
delight
wasn’t there?
wasn’t there?
remember?
there was
wasn’t there?
and no matter and matter.

One time as a little boy I think there was a dream.
This dream may have had a name
but so too may the leaves
and the grains of sand.
She may have been lovely or hideous.
Living or dead.
Or maybe not have existed at all.

You asked me for a meaning once and
I handed you a bullet from our bureau drawer.
Inside I can see you at the table
blend into
the children’s lives.
Shades of heaven change hues
in front
and in between us
that are just out of reach.

Springtime is in the air
fragrant and true.
It melts in the ice and dilutes my gin.

Yellow Flowers – A Poem

 

Yellow Flowers

You read the outbound manifest reports
in a predictably clerical fashion
and the room is enraptured at the miracle
of your voice. There was a calamity
in the greenhouse that was
overlooked during the press conference.
A border collie was let loose
to run amok,
and he ate the tomatoes fresh off the vine.

Journeying down an alleyway I wonder if
there are mountains still in the
outside world, and if so, do they yet remain red,
and silver and blue.
Do others truly ride bikes in the countryside
where the windblown trees whimsically
bring a stillness to their bones?

Bob in maintenance dances to the
sound of your lyrical voice
reciting delivery schedules over the intercom
as he cleans up what has been dubbed
The Disturbance in the Greenery.
He bows to his red stained
mop, and weeps for the fate of the
paw printed concrete. An investigation has
been called forth led by one
Detective Monroe who has an
unnatural abhorrence for maintenance
of any kind.

I ponder retribution and its consequence
while collecting fresh sprigs of mint
at an open air market for the pork chops
I will be cooking tonight. There is a lovely star
in the sky, silver sparkling red in blue.
The sun’s light a grotesque monster
in comparison. I feel like pointing out
the star to the lady at the stand,
but her face is bored
and not inviting, taken in as she is
by your voice droning on about
exchanges and volatility
over the radio.

The scent of malevolence drifts over
the cobbled walk as I leave.
There were yellow flowers once that
lined the city streets.
From what I was told, they were
harvested in a glade deep in the woods
by the most desperate of people.
But where the flowers and the people have
disappeared to now
I cannot say.

Candlelight – A Poem

 

Candlelight

In a room illuminated solely in the glow of candlelight
I complain that I can’t see
very well.
You’re motion; disguised
and fluid.
The taste of sulfur is covering your skin.

We’re weightless rotations trapped in an
astrological design and I begin to feel
ashamed.
You plead to me in enigmatic tongue
I do not understand
beaconing me forward with a temptatiously
selfish kiss.

I attempt to lose you in a veil
-ed
reference
to a prayer by a monk
who meditated in the Egyptian desert
under stars
that no longer shine
but
your lips sear my skin
and weaken my resolve.
Desperate I gasp
uttering
“Grace, Grace…”
as you bare your sharp white teeth
in a destitute smile
and remove the bandana you have wrapped in your hair
to tie it
about my mouth.

“No blasphemy here
love”
you say while coyly biting my earlobe.

And it is not with surrender
yet with something far more desperate
that I yield into your allowance as
you open
and surround me
reassuredly whispering to me that
“There is no blasphemy
here.”

Listening to the Acorns Fall – A Poem

 

Listening to the Acorns Fall

How
brave
we seem beneath
the grand
design
of our barbarism.

Light
clings and crawls
in
fractured golden
fields
reminding us of a spring
we shared
that
never
took place. Mirth absorbs
the
cosmos and leaves
us
breathless.

Listening to the acorns
fall
on the dry earth
we
decipher a new
map
of the fertile mind
and
esteem
monstrous platitudes. A
heritage
out of synch
with
its soul
dependent
on
promises of
a
blissful
wasteland.

The Sparrow and the Veteran – A Poem

This is another poem set at The Way Station for the Afterlife. The first part is not really required to be read as I wrote this as a more stand alone piece, but if interested you can find the first part:

HERE

If I should write more with this setting I may create a page for it for easier reference.

*********************************************************************************

The Sparrow and the Veteran

A sparrow of a girl brings me my coffee in the morning.
I prefer to keep the lights low in my room
but against my protests she will always open the drapes
to allow
the cold sunlight in.

“The Veteran has passed,” she tells me
and I feel unprepared
to hear the news
dressed as I am
still in my pajamas.

When?

“This morning.”

He lived in the room next to mine.
A respectable neighbor
always
clean-shaven and well-trimmed.

We drank together on occasion
usually Scotch
and he would tell me about his vacations
in Switzerland
and the hikes he would take there in summer.
He enjoyed watching the reflection of the mountains
in the lakes’ cool waters.

That is too bad.

“Yes.”

She sits at the foot of my bed
and I admire how the sunlight strikes her long nose
how the shadows lengthen
tighten
under her eyes
as she looks down to examine her hands.
She rubs her thin fingers
together
nervously.

“Are you a painter?” she asks.

No, I was a journalist.
Why?

“Is that how you knew the Veteran?
You were a
correspondent
during the war?”

No. I never met the man until I came here.
I covered sports.
Mostly baseball.

The Veteran never spoke about the war to me
except once
three days ago in his room.
Bartholomew the cat sat on the window sill
and outside the clouds were
purple and jagged.
He said that he was a captain.
That he had served with distinction.
And that he was sure as shit
he was going to hell.

Pour me a Scotch. For the Veteran.

She grabs the bottle and a glass from my desk
sits down next to me
expertly measures out my serving.
Hands me the glass.
I drink while she combs out my hair with her nimble fingers.
I take one of her hands.
Scrutinize it to her bashful
resolution.
There are callouses.

How did you come to work here Tessa?

My Sparrow Girl.

“Rosa is my aunt.”

Rosa is the owner and proprietor at
The Way Station for the
Afterlife.

Tessa Sparrow lays down
her head in the crook of my arm
my free hand coming to rest on the narrow of her back.
She is warm
fragile
and tense.
I’m filled with an unorthodox ease
listening to her breathe.

Bartholomew comes in
meows
and jumps up on the bed.
He finds a place to rest by our legs
Sparrow Girl’s over mine
which are still underneath the covers.

“You just seem like a painter.
You have the
demeanor
of one.”

From down the hall
the ringing of bells
begins to sound.

Did you know the Veteran well?

“No. But he was kind to me.
His heart always had a
foreign type of courtesy. You know?
It just all seems
so unfair.”

That is because it is.
All of it.

Her heart flutters
and the wind picks up outside
rattling the window
blowing sand and clay
with no caution.