Yet more poetry migration. Later stuff. This collection shows maturation (!) in the course of itself. My favorites start around the middle of this collection; they are marked by a freer verse and more use of figurative imagery.
These poems date from Fall 1995 - Spring 1997
The Emperor’s New Face
The Happiest Sadist
And what of this man
who by proficiency of language
elicits the pain and revels
in the torment of his fellows.
A genius by nature
whose nature has turned.
What was destined for good
now bears a halo of evil.
A new prophet gifted
with great reasoning
twists the understanding of men,
leaving them foundering.
Smiling at his eloquence
the man goaded by spirits
turns on the world a benevolent face,
shining with the ambiance of the Dark Messiah
Vaguely I recall a merry life once led,
where a smile and a laugh
were always within reach.
Always ready for use.
I remember when feelings came easily,
sometimes expressed before felt.
Always pure and never faked.
But that was before self-consciousness.
I think about the standard, doing my best always to conform to theirs.
Then I realize my mistake and chastise myself for not being true to mine.
I recall those times only in flashes
while lying alone in the long melancholy hours between twilight.
Staring intensely at a blank ceiling
trying to regain my happy thoughts.
Just For Grins
I’m smiling the smile of a Cheshire Cat.
My mind is gone, I’ve lost it.
I can only wonder where it’s at.
I can hear all of what you say,
and though I don’t respond aloud,
I smile in this peculiar way.
When I grow bored or just feel like having fun,
I’ll fade to stripes, or just teeth agrin.
But just because I’m no there doesn’t mean I’m done.
I’ve faded into my consciousness, where I reign.
Paying no attention to others views, insights,
refusing to share and feel their pain.
I can’t be seen I feel,
and maybe you can’t see me.
Or maybe I’ve imagined myself, and to you I’m just not real.
Come As You Were
Breaking through into their minds
the immortals came and tarried
but just a short while.
The anemic royalty drinking
in a Roman wilderness while
mad children screamed in anguish.
Introducing to fame their
unique brand of eccentricity
and each despising it in the end.
So they walked through the
doors of perception to
sit in the waiting room of eternity.
And when the sun comes again to the land of the smashed
the immortals will return to reclaim the minds
of their friends where they are enthroned.
(a tribute to Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison)
To Be Bigger Than An Hourglass
I like it when my mind is out
and I can see what it is all about.
And I can see time rushing by
and the stars flying high and I know
that I am more eternal than even these.
And I feel farther out and hear silence burst by consciousness like a shout.
And with muscles quivering, my mind
races against the sand falling in.
A quick eternity seems almost necessary.
So with rich rags and humble pride,
I will seat myself at my master’s side,
and I will listen to His wisdom and feel
His touch drain me of all unclean
and with it the glow of my robes dulls.
I am sitting now mortally plain,
my heart bare showing stain.
And he reaches over and shows me his will
and he washed the smudge with a tear-wet cloth and smiles
proudly at what he will help me to do.
To My TV
I see fields once lit with holy light now rendered desolate
and barren by thoughtless and uncaring humanity;
the unwanted by-products of greed and war.
Friendships torn asunder by rumours
trivial moments blown out of proportion
by some soulless entity.
Individuals striving for conformity
preached by leaders meaning well
(for themselves, wanting followers, ego trip)
Where is the justice?
To My Muse
Before introduction I noticed your face
wreathed in mist as though dreamed
I tried to remember where I’d seen
it before; but failed.
I couldn’t ignore the anxious tic
of possibility in my soul each time
you arched your eyebrow with your whole face.
I waited until the right moment
(or so I hoped) to move,
waiting patiently for my muse, Erato,
to show me the words; (enamorado)
stricken, my native tongue fled my pen
in a cowards last effort to hide inside.
I quivered like an aspen leaf as
it was translated, I thought I’d killed it.
Oh, but the joy that flooded
my heart when you finally smiled.
That picture is tucked away forever
I could always be that happy
and go to the end content
If you would just choose me
A Mantra In Answer
A rose is a rose, is a rose, is a rose,
and beauty it doth send to eye and nose.
And it, if not tended, will wither soon.
Others, though seeded, didn’t grow.
But yours in my heart still freshly blooms.
You say it’s not safe to flirt with me,
but remember safe will do as safe will be.
And what is dropped as hint will be found as clue.
Though safe may change from day to day,
there’s still no one as zen as you.
Doors In The Mind
I have seen the edge,
where the mountains meet the sky.
The place where the unconscious takes over,
where lunacy lives and logic dies.
A place where the only difference
between a man and his enemy
is that they don’ t share the same soul
with which they scheme their dark alchemy.
A friend is nothing but a sounding board
to further your own goals.
A tool to aid in your survival,
the answer to saving your soul.
Shadows hid the keys
that unlock doors back to reality,
which is just a degree tamer,
but a much nicer place to be.
The Last Voyage
Ships wandering at sea
ghostly apparitions of pinpoint stars
behind fleeting cloud-like veils
Lonely helmsman peers earnestly
wind borne razor-froth
shaving away the final vestige of innocence
Tonight guided by a new lost star
sailing toward which strange
on the heels of Aries
Screaming banshee winds
attempt to sever the mast
and leave no sails to propel
Now, safely past, sailing quiet seas of reverie
then solid coral reef of shore
splinters the craft to sail no more
I have forgotten the meanings
of almost every tear I’ve shed.
I can’t recall each instance,
but still I know my heart has bled.
I long to live free of harness,
the ropes that tie me down,
the distorted, disowned values
that twist my thoughts around.
I want to see myself in a clear light,
not refracted by disapproving eyes.
I will not conform to your standards,
constantly acting and breathing lies.
I can not understand why you expect me
to affect such an apathetic attitude,
or to act as if I’m at peace with myself
when really I am in a foul mood.
My love for myself and others,
expressed in the joy I radiate,
Must be the only thing I give off
and let this devouring anger abate.
The Apprenticeship Of William Brown
He has stared at the bright eyes
of the car behind him for hours
through the still dusty night
the boy in the back of the truck
is traveling far from home
Stop after stop the child
clambers out of his iron carriage
to glean what knowledge and
local color he can from
behind masks of prejudice
With practice he begins
to notice each outcast
from their description and
wonders what makes them so:
Through oppressive years
spent in sleep sheltered from the sun
and through nights full of experience
he has now learned his land-
the lessons it has taught him
Of those to be avoided
because of obvious differences-
(they have become his friends)-
those to be held in contempt,
and for what ?
When to speak and then
what to say and to whom-
(what does he care,
he has no one to talk to, yet)-
but he remembers the power of words
He has learned the secrets of speech
from old men clustered eagerly
in general stores around the pot-bellied stove
the flickering orange light pooling in their eyes
each imparting his own wisdom
What posture to take for
each audience, big or small
and to each he gives a
portion of what they came
to hear: that someone knows the truth
And hope - for with each
intake of iniquity there came
a solution given by the objective mind
of one person willing to change
what is needed for next time
The youth has become a man
with understanding of the workings,
and why those gears are rusting out
Revered by his teachers
held in disdain by those who still must learn
he has become a master craftsman
hammering out words and phrases with
skill and ease, his training hardly
in vain, his almost ethereal knowledge
relevant to his world
Buying A Lemon
You’re right, it’s good that we talked it out, but it’s also bad for me…
That’s why I love ambiguity,
it applies to everything.
I told you that you wanted to shop
but didn’t want to pay.
I’m sorry if it was rude
but I was honest with my feelings.
I’d say I don’t want to buy because
I’ve found you’re not what I want,
and you’d say I’m a hypocrite.
But why should I have to pay for something I’ll have to return?
Shopping around isn’t the thing for me
I knew what I wanted when I went out.
I opened my heart’s wallet too wide.
You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole, and customer service doesn’t care.
I know now why you laughed when I dreamed you drove by,
You couldn’t understand why I stood alone on a cliff
in the middle of nowhere, unwilling to leave.
But the reason will arrive shortly, and I’ll wait patiently for her.
Learning To Fly
Painful crimson taints pure blue sky,
it’s too sharp to be real.
Muscles tense, feet falter.
On the edge of cliff, on the edge of night.
Rose light washes into grains
of sandstone underfoot.
Do they serve to propel,
or grind motion to a halt?
Ghost of wind, makes sound indistinguishable.
There are others, are they calling
me out to join in fantastic flight,
or warning me of sheer winds, with no ground for protection?
I can only guess,
there’s no help after here.
Now a silver sliver of moon
peeks discreetly over the horizon.
Watching as I inch cautiously forward,
on the edge of cliff, on the edge of night.
Driving toward the thick massing
cloud on the horizon
Black, blue, purple, grey mesh in
suggesting some preternatural force
molding sky pottery
Driving winds subconsciously set the pace, who am I to race the wind?
The air is electrically supercharged
I know, I have and affinity with the rain
Some deep voice issues from the clouds
and my heart responds to the rumbling,
cries out with warm impatience,
affirms that I am waiting here
to embrace the cold, pelting
It can not deny my magnetism
I am instantly aroused, trance of calling
leaves with first drop of water
washed away, runneling down my body
to pool at my feet
It seems that I am floating, no, flying
in the air-space between the two
gulfs of water
I don’t know if I am embodied
that dying corpse is of no use here
I streak onward, nearing terminal velocity.
The rain dies, and my power with it
I wait for the next cloudburst
As I sit
staring at paper,
writhe in agony
at my effort to comprehend.
symbolize in microcosm
the way I relate
I want, I need
but can’t grasp,
put into so many words
Expectations of forever that Now could destroy.
Controlled impatience at your touch.
Wanting to spill out
all of emotion
just to see if you drown,
or if you cling to me to survive.
I listen to your song,
break apart inside.
See clouds that yesterday
were with me now miles away.
Tunnel vision ensues..
Lying on my back in the ground,
the Earth wants to stop me.
Rigor Mortis keeps me from acting.
Parched throat and skin from
falling prey to this merciless sun.
Where is the rain when needed,
to spill down my face,
wash away fear?
Let you know,
I love you.
Crisp starry night,
begging for just a moment alone,
Then it comes, and I allow myself
to be carried away by your caress,
(warm, so warm in contrast to the air).
Inside, yin and yang quit pulling
long enough to bask in adoration at
(the object of their quarrel)
you and I am drunk,
as though I had touched my
lips to the mouth of some jar
(nectar and ambrosia)
wine instead of your
(soft, inviting, enticing)
Then the fire begins.
The very thoughts in my head flame.
Images flicker just long enough to
show I can’t interpret them, I’m not
capable of putting out this fire.
It can only be quenched by another
(rapture, oh joy)
draught of the same.
I can’t wait.
As I look into your eyes, they sparkle with the quality of a tropic lagoon.
Cold enough to be enticing, then
warm, to lull into deep sleep.
And I struggle past that trap.
I know everyone can see your beauty.
Diving deeper, I want to find
the fabled oyster, rough, barnacled.
That treasure, worn with time and use,
that until now, has held only meaning for you.
There, inside lies your soul.
The true you,
gleaming darkly through the shadowed folds of your being.
A bounty worthy of a king’s ransom
I would willingly give to know:
What you think,
how you feel,
When did you know?
The pearl an oracle
where these questions can be asked.
While I pause, looking back to the surface for the last time,
then turn again.
Let me inside your head
and imprison me there to be free
Every night I lie down, my life
is recycled through my head
in staring at the dark
I see the blackness that
used to, thoughts of future
Now my dreams are you,
will be. Before
the vacuum future showed
no hope of you , of life.
Of living on borrowed time
in my own Neverland.
Never dreamed this possibility.
Sometimes it scares me that
this dream has lasted.
What if I’m just someone else’s fiction?
is almost too much
when the dreaming at night
meshes with the waking life of the same.
Do castles built of silver sand
the golden sun crumble at a touch?
From underwater it seems
the shimmers are solid,
and the fantasy is kept as reality
for now, until it can be
And I can think of new
black nothings to discover,
Surging surf ‘round my ears breaks
choking brine fills my throat
as in silent desperation my eyes
seek to replenish the salty water
that I have swallowed.
These bitter tears, their taste
unbearable. I know that once they were sweet.
Reminders of actions, under the pretense
of an eternal commitment performed.
Now, without that hope,
Disillusioned. So I turn back
to the point we met, and
the One who brought it together.
Showed an affinity of dreams.
There I’ll leave my heart -
to learn the essence of His will,
to recognize it, accept it.
in order to share it when needed,
to be the strength, the buoy
for others to cling to when
in the same position
I am phoenixed, once again
opened up to a new vision
to emulate the life preserver
that was thrown to me.
I steal a glance to your upturned face
where shadowed lights play
an abstracted version of your passion.
and touch your silken skin on mine.
Lose concentration; reprimanded:
but I don’t need to,
I hear it in your voice
when you speak of that far off place.
I’m looking at you again,
this time you don’t care,
slip down into a sweet kiss
then stop to show something important.
Recognize my passion
but it gives way to deeper one
Pure emotion reveals itself naked,
there is more to gain than lose.
In desperation I cling to you.
Then kiss you.
And you in return,
alternately submissive then strong.
How do I deserve this,
Whom the angels pay homage to.
The ghost touch of your fingers
speeds cold electricity in all directions.
of that door that opens into your soul,
I’m groping blindly.
Then you speak the magic mantra
that has been cycling itself in my head.
Touch your whole perfect form again with my lips, and you sigh.
I can see that fulfillment is attainable.
I silently word a prayer that fate will
continue to befriend me,
as I open my eyes an instant later,
Replay the night again.
A Prayer, A Promise
O blessed faith
with which my present darkness
So brightly doth shine
that with eyes closed
to see that which is in darkness
Blessing outpoured, through
heavenly portals loosed
to fall into this mended vessel,
grown back together, callused.
Break it once again that a
perpetual cycle is initiated.
Love to be given freely, as
instinct, on impulse
To commit, and feel the
rush of forever fill my heart
and then, continue
after the brief glimpse of eternity
Gratitude for release
from solitary confinement,
and with grace to offer the
right key to the Inner Limits
the love shared will be yours
in mirror of what has been
Your promise to wait patiently
until I can recognize
and that trait restated in my mortal manner
and with strength
to withstand the
belittling, finite Time
I’ll stand firm in your
hold me steady in your arms.
To A Friend
When Fate in its selective faculties
directs wandering, subjected souls
against their will to their purpose,
and they, enervated, fall to their knees
hoping their journey was not in vain,
true prerogative is dead,
and choices beyond contemplation are laid to rest.
Then they are humbled
Destiny is revealed,
so simple, yet beyond knowing.
Hidden behind a door not even conceived.
The weary traveler, eager to accept,
tempers desire with experience
and awaits full instruction,
and silently words a prayer that
if in nothing else but this destiny,
sincere commitment can be reciprocated.
We’ve come along to seize the day
We don’t care what we have to say
To take our fill and then to die
Just enough to get us by
It’s enough just to be
We might want to survive
but we won’t show it in our lives
Carpe Diem if you dare
Just don’t let them know if you care.
Friends, indeed, if friends you be
Keep your distance stay away from me
Your greedy, grasping, sweaty clutch
Too much love is transmitted in a touch
It’s enough just to be
We might want to survive
but we won’t show it in our lives
Carpe Diem if you dare
Just don’t let them know if you care.
We’ve come along and missed the way
We don’t care what we’ve had to pay
It was worth the price to avoid the hurt…
It’s enough just to be
We might want to survive
but we won’t show it in our lives
Carpe Diem if you dare
Just don’t let them know if you care.
In A Circle
This is a ring.
To someone else that may be all that it is.
To me it symbolizes
one of the hardest, and most fulfilling
years of my life:
the struggle, the triumph, the pain.
It is something I value.
You, too, hold so much value.
As a friend you have been an example,
an encouragement, and a smile.
As more, you have given me challenges
that I alone can not keep.
So I’ve put them in the hands of a higher power.
I hope that when you wear this
you can feel secure in a friendship
grounded in our Best Friend
that will grow into something else,
and free to be the same
carefree, fun-loving individual
that I have grown to know and love.
The gap widens, patience grows thin
The struggle of my will against the eternal weakens,
the fight leaves me, time wins.
Air is heir to all that love couldn’t make fly,
wings sprout from a heart’s soil,
too long thought to be dry.
Equip to take up and away
on a journey too special to tell, God answers me: wait.
Not now, maybe never, maybe someday.
“ All of that heart’s strength belongs to me.
I am the only one that can deserve it,
all it needs right now is me.”
I nod my regret and hopefully pray,
For guidance, strength, and safety,
and that I’ll get another chance another day.
To rejoin with what she takes as she departs.
The smallest, least obtrusive, and heaviest piece of her luggage, my heart.
Now enter the dragon and steal his heart
Take his treasure and perfect his art
Become the worm you hate the most
Kill yourself, kill your host
Dine on thought stolen from another’s head
You know the future face it with dread
Kill the passion
Drown it in pride
Gasping for air I turn inside
No longer I am, nor is he in me
taken leave I pretend to see
Eaten alive by the worm in me
I see friend as foe
saviour is enemy
My last and dying breath
a tiny prayer escapes my lips
I pray you
won’t like me
wander back and forth for eternity
I visited death in the morning,
and my father took his hand
the sun was bright, the wind was still
Time felt like an hourglass with wet cement sand
From across the room I met
The man who had no face
I told him he looked better than while he had lived
and he looked happy in this place
As we stepped from the house
where the walking dude lived
the day was smooth as glass, the air as heavy:
reality washed through a sieve
Death visited me in the evening
and asked me for my hand
I shook my head and withdrew my gaze
but was anxious to see her hand
She told me she could wait for me
and I answered I could do the same
but when the dust had settled
she had won our little game
I tried to cheat Death
and her twin sister Fate
I had the dream, I had the heart
I realized I was human only too late
Solitary source, light permeates
They light on the glass face
Neon-bright tube inside: the siren.
Enticed, I watch as they search in vain
to find an opening, a tiny crack
to admit them into the warm presence-
the irresistible aura.
I realize I’m the same.
The spark, the light shines from you
it seems, generated by some mystery
in your heart’s depth.
Some pertinent fact I should have acknowledged
goes unnoticed until now:
Eureka! Like the lamp you shine,
piercing the darkness around you
but in reflection, lunar fashion.
You’ve kept your heart open and polished
and it reflects the Son’s light.
The depth is seen in you, but found in him.
Air-rush, glides over fingertips
Green lunacy slides backwards in the mirror
Growing down the track
The sunshine lazed lucidity
is the only emotion (or lack of all)
to the sun glint in the cracked glass.
The wind is blowing backwards
the things follow in regal procession
Am I really going forward?
Or caught up in illusion of regression
I know truth
Truth is in me
But human is too and I fall
Victim to secret mugging
Bashed skull to wood
I swore never again to stand where I stood
crushed seat of judgment
the expression is costly
Uncaring I speak
“So Baby, what’s your spiritual gift?”
fate is sealed with a kiss
Eternity a dream I will miss.
I do what I say,
say what I do
unless I happen to be with you.
Live my passion
to the limit
the problem is you can’t be in it.
Why can’t I be me with you?
Love and reserve make a strange brew
If I’d never known I wouldn’t mind
because then You wouldn’t affect what I do.
I’d give all I could
But it’s already been given
Drink my poison to be shriven
It’s not bad except when
I can’t stand it
If I don’t cry it doesn’t hurt a bit.
Either way you tear me apart
Each moment with you I lose more of my soul
And with out your care I don’t feel home.
Beat a freak
the bunk you speak
confused your mind-
you can not link
Convince the mass
with sleeping gas
destroy the truth
revert the facts
You ate the devil’s pomegranate
You’re trapped in hell and can not stop it
You caught the power, or the power caught you
Repeat the cycle, it’s all you can do
Lines of grey
in the fray
Right & Wrong
you lead astray
blast the power
end the innocence
in a fallout shower
You stole away Pandora’s box
scratched the wood and broke the locks
let illusion get away
it taints your thoughts everyday
All’s Cool In Wellville And Other Unattainables
A lone figure strode out of the trees
to day, where he still walked in shadow,
as though something passed between
him and the Son.
In agony his journey made-
a desperate, blind search for
a future, a dream.
Somewhere inside, the path had been laid,
the direction given.
Insecurity, though, hindered and constant
second-guessing lent strength to his nightmares,
dreamt in oblivion.
Incapable of keeping his sanity in static existence,
he began his journey to capture a spark of life,
if it still endured.
He scoffed at knowledge,
his teachers had been blown apart in their
His enemies, those whose words he had been warned against,
now seemed to brim with the possibility of
He led a life of detachment,
where the paradox of being separated disconnected him even more.
In dreams, his expectations past childhood were void,
and now, half-believing in this melancholy reality,
he wandered in obscurity.
Secretly building up perfection,
but never daring to hope that it might come true.
So through the turmoil of life he trudged,
insatiable in his search for contentment.
His worn leather backpack hanging askew,
(though it fit like some strange tumor)
its sun washed hue matching that of
the tattered buckskin of the man’s clothing
and his weather beaten skin.
He stopped as he noticed a sign by the side of the path,
“Welcome to Wellville,”
the message simple, but not applicable,
for there was nothing but grass and
a few towering trees whose posture
told of old age and wisdom.
As he moved forward again,
dust fell from his feet,
too tired to continue this journey.
Somehow, his fatigue had by-passed his mind,
leaving his perception ringingly clear and
his thoughts entirely lucid.
Suddenly, to his left, he saw a
shining unicorn stately step
from its shade beneath a tree.
Only it wasn’t a mythical beast,
a woman dressed in silver
whispered a greeting from, seemingly,
the eyes that held him in check.
They spoke of restrained longing
that fearful curiosity kept prisoner.
She invited the stranger into the
shade of a tree and bid him rest.
As he sat, drank sparkling dew
from a cup-shaped leaf,
she knelt, oblivious of her shining raiment,
in the dust to tend to his
the constant companions that had propelled
him on that well-traveled but unkempt path,
Life, that had led him here.
He wondered how many travelers,
plodding this way, went on not knowing of the
joy that he felt lived behind each shadow.
He marveled at this creature, she,
seemingly unknowing of her obvious rank,
began the most menial task of washing his feet
and balming the wounds thereon.
As he closed his eyes, the traveler
looked once more into the two unfathomable
pools that sat in place of her eyes,
they burning with the promise
of forgotten (or yet undiscovered) treasure
beneath those depths,
let his gaze travel down the proud nose,
to the lips that spoke soothing words.
Instructed him to lose himself in dream.
The sun ghost coin set in heavy haze.
The green below so alive it seemed to
writhe in its primal effort to grow.
Alien sounds of screeching, calling suggest
that the activity here is ancient, and secret.
The origins of these sounds lost in shadow
they try to deceive the ears.
The air is thick, tangible,
sentient, it knows that it is a servant,
but is proud of its station,
its ability to assist in the life of some
and the living of others.
Then the sun breaks the watery veil,
at the same time a huge black
eagle in flight, its proud majestic plumage
catching the silver glint of the sun
as it is framed against the eternal blue
of the sky, dives.
As he hangs suspended between the two
massive walls of stone on either side,
this Great Rift holding a boiling cauldron of life,
he floats above where cooling winds
allow for thought.
Then, folding wings underneath,
plummets earthward toward a lively sea of green.
His sharp eyes peering into the deep shadows
where sustaining life hides, partly in fear,
and in envy of his ability to roam free.
His home perched precariously between
the teeming mass of life below that has always
been his dominion, and the all-knowing,
seldom forgiving mystery of nothing above.
Wings shift slightly,
initiate a smooth dip.
The curving arc of his flight leaving
afterimages where the rushing air is displaced.
Soaring again heavenward, toward the
nest in the cliff, then up past, and up
where skies so clear could induce insanity.
Dream fades to a landscape postcard
as the avatar of his soul circles eternally
against the rainbow-washed sky
flaming orb on the edge of the world.
The grey clouded sky that rests on the
far-off horizon seems a distant cousin only
of the early twilight blue of the overhead skies.
The green rolling hills of a fairy tale
backdrop for the stone cottage
its open inviting windows and hint of smoke
wiping from the chimney gives a cheery ambiance
to the home.
He walks arm in arm, over the ancestral sod
of Eire, with a strangely familiar woman.
Her scent clean and beautiful as her face,
pure as a vanilla blossom.
The springy turf underfoot eagerly speeds
them on their way, reminding them that
the spirit of millenias of their clans
lie buried here, whose coincidences of combination
lend strength to their own.
Eventually, their conversation,
reverently quiet before,
is entirely drowned out as the sound
of a babbling brook pushes itself into acknowledgment.
The path, noticeably well-used
stops at the foot of a silver waterfall
that spills down black rocks, their purpose
apparently to show off the cascade.
The green fades darker into this scene
where a smooth bench of stone holds
the two happy souls in adoration
it seems the two have become
a jewel and outshine their green and black setting.
Then all other movement ceases as they
lean closer together, the man and this
strangely familiar woman,
and lose themselves in the passion of a kiss.
Unbeknownst to them, the couple has erased
as in their minds they have run
through all of dreams and approached
the thought of eternity, blacked out into
nothing but sensual creatures.
The waterfall begins again, and the grass once again
glows vibrantly as, hand in hand, they
start homeward, silhouetted against the warm
orange-reds of a sinking Northern sun.
Towering sandstone cliffs
ensconce the thundering waters that
He soon will enter.
They, the only ones alive here
ignore their misgivings
and in their raft plunge headlong into
the raging torrent of movement that
is the river.
Through this, the home of the ancient ones,
they ride the animal that at once
wants to destroy them beneath the silver-speckled froth,
and then speed them downstream
in a schizophrenic frenzy
to leave them at rest in a quiet pool
below the cliffs.
They clamber out,
taking backpacks and rope
to conquer the vast walls that stretch onward up.
With tireless efforts of ants gathering food,
they find handholds to pull themselves
up, the timeless rock
indifferent to this human insect scaling its height.
The man, as unknowing of the canyon’s
sentience as it’s uncaring of his, drives
steel spikes into the ribs of this sleeping behemoth,
leaving a trail of his hurried search
fast fleeting dreams.
Breathlessly, he reaches the top.
The decaying houses of Indians long dead
only half as awe-inspiring as the panorama
at his feet.
The setting sun a reminder of the Anasazi
who once stood there and talked to God.
Small engines flutter to life as
a small group of brave individuals
step aboard, take the first step in affirming
that they can conquer the Final Fear.
The plane mounts the elevated roadway,
climbs toward the thin wisps of cloud
whose reaching tendrils mark the boundary
between the terrestrial body of air
and the infinite nothing past.
The craft levels off,
passengers make final preparations
to leap; look and laugh death in the face.
One by one they step into the opening
and disappear into the blue void.
He was last, gave credence to
his theory that misery wasn’t the
only one who loves company.
And he flew.
Not as a bird, but as himself.
A human stepping past the boundary
of his mortality, the winds once again
whip past his being,
lifting, carrying, but he controls it.
The earth now a patchwork model,
rushing in timeless slow-motion.
He realizes that he has no pack, no chute.
The feeling of his internals disintegrating,
and he became immortal in that instant.
Suddenly, flash to black,
opening of eyelids to the strangely familiar woman,
her lips leaving his in reverent caution.
Back beneath the tree, and only moments later!
The sheer weight of realizing his dreams
(and that he was capable of aspiration),
still flagging his thought,
he tries to orient himself.
Memories dance in the
conflagration of the kiss.
She gently wipes a tear from his cheek,
smiles inside that it could touch him so.
From nowhere, she produces a well-worn hat
made of tanned leather,
places it on his head, it blends.
He feels its magic wash away confusion.
“Es iste ein zauber hatte.”
(it is a magic hat.)
He knows the words but not the language,
it soothes his soul.
A stray beam of sunlight lands
on his face and spills a warm shower
down his body.
He is glad that the fear to stop
was overcome, wonders what
would have been his life
had he not stopped.
Recognizes his need to move,
to stay here forever.
The totality of his dreams together,
the culmination to this moment
has all led to her.
The unconditional caring, though masked.
The ageless beauty of silver in her soul.
The cliff at which he now stands,
looks over the edge.
To walk away would mean safety,
but not knowing.
To jump, walk the air between here
and that dream world below.
He has never approached something with so much dread,
wondering what keeps him going against his better judgment:
is it fate,
or some perverse sense of humour on the part
of the eternal?
Nevertheless, he moves forward,
dreams slowly swallow his senses
in blackness and he remembers
Alone, no magic this time.
He lets the tears fall again.
The black void in this place emanates from him.
A vacuum sucking hope from nothing, his heart
realizes his loneliness is a state of not-being.
He’s not moving, so all this nothing
must be coming to him.
Then, she is in front of him again.
Her beauty is still unmistakable underneath
a mask of sorrow,
the visible representation of her imprisonment.
The gravity of her feelings pulls her countenance down.
With a drugged voice, she tells him only two things,
but they speak volumes.
He supposes the words are meant
and listens, intent on understanding.
“Dreams can’t be realized until
you do something about them,”
but discouragement stems from always
reaching, falling short of those unattainable
products of the imagination.
“The incredible thing about pain is: when you
stop thinking about it, it goes away.”
He makes the connection!
Being discouraged only comes when you
think about the failure, and that
keeps you from striving ahead.
In total abandon, he throws emotions at her,
and she cringes, cries out that she
can’t give back, not now.
But he understands now,
he has more than enough to give.
His whole journey down the Path
striving for individuality,
he had fallen behind his guide,
given over to self and trying to avoid
hurt, only to cut his feet as he
stepped over the stones,
where the Son could have carried him.
Realizing, in almost religious rapture,
light streaming into eyes that
before were scaled over.
Once again he experiences that warm
shower of emotion.
You can’t fly free until you’ve been tied down.
The eagles nest.
His home and family.
Being tethered to the ground by lack of wing.
Letting someone take over your soul…
In it all he had come to fathom
he wasn’t incapable of visualization,
just that he had refined perfection
to the point that nothing else would satisfy.
And it is all in her!
If he had to wait another thousand lifetimes,
learn her ways, discern her thoughts,
it would be reward enough in the end.
Wanting to wake and tell her, he scrambles wildly back toward
the source of light.
But, turning, she is already there.
All that he needs is assurance - more than words,
than actions. Enough that in itself
it articulates and is, indeed.
She smiles, understanding.
The message is once again conveyed
through her eyes,
Stick To It
I lovingly sort my lint
my hold is secure but flexible,
I feel it when you leave-
hold on to what’s left.
These details are what I live for.
The odd little jobs. Obtain,
The job is a perfect match.
I enjoy it.
The yard doesn’t need to give any more appreciation
for the attention it gets than
its being. Its beauty.
Just the same for you.
Don’t try to hard.
I’m not worried.
I may not know what the future holds,
but I know who holds the future.
I know who made me the velcro man.
I know who will help me stick to it.
Like an automaton, she moves mechanically,
carefully wiping the dust from the collected treasures
some she lovingly caresses,
others merely performs the perfunctory functions.
One strangely bulbous object
in a jar on the table: the label on the jar identifies
the pulsating object inside.
On one side a list of ingredients,
on the other a series of names-
written, scratched out, and re-written.
For the last time she picks
up the jar and tries to understand it.
the glass is impenetrable, and
discouraged, she walks to the windowsill,
empties the jar’s contents.
She is crying-
two glistening drops fall on the heart.
Silver wings emerge, germinated by
the sorrowful precipitation.
She turns her back.
It flies, but not through the open window.
Rather to a top shelf, there in the dark recesses,
far from the flickering light of the
fire the wings metamorphasize into the
bloody rags of what could have been a glove
wraps itself, shivering.
Its essence misting in fear and frustration
no eyes: no tears.
No mouth: no angry words.
Just the decision to be made…
It continues beating, venting emotion,
like some organic potpourri.
In its cocoon, hopes to become
pilfer-proof, from the growing pain.
To be preserved, until found again.
The empty jar, fragmented in the yard
sun glints from the shards.
Two labels remain:
“Friends, maybe something more.”
A study in form
the aesthetics of movement
captured in a still frame
silver moonlight strikes the mustang’s
bronze back with a metallic clang,
catches the spray as the leader
plunges through the water.
I turn, and gaze at my companion,
she is smiling, her beauty radiates
a light of its own.
She comments wonderingly at
the detail captured here.
The flaring nostrils, wide eyes,
veins bulging, full of pumping life.
She notices a colt, hesitating
on the bank.
It is the first time she’s seen it.
I wonder why it has struck a chord?
Why is it scared?
What could be holding it back?
Does she relate?
Almost home, she takes me
by surprise, articulates
a feeling that has been repressed.
What is the purpose?
Does she merely want to say it,
get it off her chest?
Or is she looking for a reaction?
All at once, desires that
had been controlled are clamoring,
questioning, wanting to know if
there is a kindred spirit.
Then I’m reminded why the questions
have never been asked, re-resolve
to allow the plan to work
out in His time
Draw a line separating
and she crosses it to
take me in her arms.
Pieces Of You
I’ve seen part of it
in the mist that ensconces
the pines like Christmas candles
the mystery, the adventure,
I’ve heard it in the river
as it smooths over the sand
and rocks, cutting through time:
the fun, the timelessness.
I saw a bird looking
for the same, walking by
the side of the road.
Eyes darting back and forth
the needle carpet.
The piece of himself
that soaring was not the same without,
patiently he seeks it so that
he may return to the wild blue heaven.
I’ve seen fragments pieced together
in a life where He has put everything
else in place, try as I might, flight
isn’t the same without that whole that
fills the hole.
When in friendship
a sweeter bloom is found
and hearts conspire
then love is begun.
Commitment past feeling,
past gain, and unselfish.
Patience is the touchstone.
A ringing laugh, a
No explosions or neon signs,
just a still small voice, guiding in His will.
Slowly build tolerance
to avoid allergic reaction.
No additives or preservatives.
Dream of crystal waters where
you can reach down at will
and scoop up the gold dust at the bottom,
sift through your fingers, diamond chips specked with gold.
Stormy skies, raging waves:
Lightning and fire passionately
play the light reflected there.
Imaginative mind games,
self-stimulation. Keeps me busy
when I’m far from home.
(Home is where the heart is)
I eat the salt tears,
where the prow has cut the wave,
mine own when solitude (self-pity)
sails my sea of thought
Down below I cry
“Master, save us!”
He wakes, majesty shines from him
as when a tawny lion stretches itself after nap,
Calms the storm with a word.
At once I am grateful and humbled,
the wind was His all along and all I needed
was to lay my troubles on Him.
the ground rumbles
in bass vibrato, or
is it me: pent up,
The rhythm of the rain lulls me to sleep-
Waking: hello enigma, angel queen.
Tell me your intentions,
be they base or sublime.
And what of this sweet gift,
can you mean it to mine?
A silver-inlaid dream,
reflections of moonlight
on inverted blooms,
to dry with other memories.
The beauty changes but is not lost.
Evolves from what it was:
fresh, new, vibrant - into
trust, contentment, and comfort, and in these
a cycle of new growth and enjoyment.
They stay fresh if kept up,
their perfume remains.
Thunder rolls again.
This is when I feel most alive.
Somewhere, miles away you think of me,
And the warm thought covers me
as I slip back to rest.
I asked my friend to protect me.
He gave me the chalice of danger.
I asked him to keep me strong.
He gave me forgetfulness to drink.
I asked him to control what he had no business in,
and he geared it to his desire.
I asked the wrong friend.
Now drunk on my betrayal,
I sit, dunce-cap marks my spot.
No corner for protection,
my conscience won’t let me sleep,
where dreams plague, destroy any rest.
I fretfully scan the edge of the fading light.
Misused emotion and wasted time pummel
from all directions.
I struggle to open my eyes.
Long European hair
trying to understand
that I’m screwed.
I never lied, except to myself.
I can’t trust me.
Never believe a dreamer,
Time will make a liar of him every chance.
c.h. & e.p.
Ocean-echo, millions of drops of spray on
the roof, prolong the underwater feeling
of slow motion.
If wishes were horses I’d have ridden
to you at the first clap of thunder,
eager to be rocked to sleep in your arms
with the lullaby of each drop.
I’m torn between responsibility and desire,
and which in the long run will hold out.
The first, I think, has a stronger base.
bunch-curled in the midst
of overgrown, wild tangle-
this garden, once a haven
is now asylum for catatonic
eyes that can only see what is in here,
severed from the ordinary world.
Raw beauty of nature in painful shades
of red and tranquilizing greens
bordered at the claustrophobic horizons by
cool grey stones.
We built them and I stand guard.
Out here, in the perimeter, we
go crazy silently, and eagerly toy
with the cold dark infinity.
Every day at dawn, a pow-wow
with the past residents
and dirges sung for dreams sought
and lost. They don’t die here,
just quietly waste away, everyday
withdrawing into their walls.
Turned inside out.
No fear, no anger, no hope -
they take too much energy
better spent in thoughtful recollections
of nothing - in stark blankness
anesthetic white eases apprehension.
Inhibition and obedience become
traditions lost in dew, evaporate
with glaring starlight.
Fragile mists eat at the edges,
haze the boundaries.
Clear, piercing gaze belies vegetable state,
and camouflage is nearly perfect.
Pretends he is the rose and retracts petals -
back past bud and stem, to the birth
of flower in dream. Men with hearts,
and their women who lie and betray them
might someday hope him back into existence
on a momentary whim, and he’ll prepare
to fade into nothingness so that man
will have a place to reflect
when he has to walk away from
the silver shards of shattered mirrors
that distorted his life,
and new tears will hit the ground,
mist into the poisonous vapour
that will carry him on the way
to becoming mad.
The garden door is opening,
a hand slips through, holding
the key that is supposed to stay hidden in crawling vines.
This stranger comes unannounced but since
he comes, he is brother.
I’d cry with him, but I’ve forgotten how.
Instead smile grimly and close my eyes
on this feast of pity and let
my brain melt and run out my
ears, drip on dirt and metamorphasize into
worms and feast on friends:
kings, old men, poets
who lied here to form a lonely outpost
nowhere in the vicinity of the soul.
Making A Door
I stand inside my garden walls
and the sweet smell of roses can
no longer mask the odour of
rotting dreams, decomposing shades of myself.
I don’t want to be here alone,
but the walls are protecting me,
all too well, keeping me in.
I hear you outside. I want to let you in,
but this old plot
is not suitable, it can no longer
Slowly, with measured steps,
I approach the wall.
I notice one stone I loose
and remove it, carry it
to the center, then return, and repeat.
These walls are difficult to tear down.
Built of naïve hopes, what
once seemed solid is
now styrofoam illusion.
Cold mortar, old and crumbled,
falls to the ground.
It, the substance that
held all these things together
now lacks strength
(if it ever held any).
As I carry these memories
to where I have piled
the carcasses of those dreams,
to build a cairn -
a bittersweet reminder
and caution - but not altar.
Finally, I have broken the wall,
and you stand there smiling
ever patiently, arms outstretched
open to greet and accept.
I want to invite you in,
to assist in my constructive deconstruction.
The climbing limbs of rosebushes
press against the remaining wall,
yearning to break the barrier,
like me, spill free into that
wide everything, to bask in it’s light,
grow in it’s untarnished soil.
With reserved boldness, I too stretch
forth my hand in invitation -
articulate my desire to give you entrance
into my heart of being, my soul,
can I trust you with the invitation?
I think I can.
There Comes Another
It’s midnight in the garden
my walls are all torn down
there comes another through the gate
he instinctively finds his way through the
dark portal and trailing vines
the only remnant
he takes up residence easily
each has waited for the other
lusty spirits sound as the tenant
has begun to build, piece by piece,
from the cairn, releasing those demons
His silver-moon reflected orbs
stare wildly through tears
A void where his crusade has
turned inward and found the door blocked
The roses too have turned dark and thorny
and feed on the pain he bleeds
reach inward to comfort him
their sharp beauty
and caress him with dark velvet forgetfulness
An automaton, he moves back and forth,
noiselessly, mindlessly building
a protection and haven
His wall is smaller than mine
and there is enough stone left for a throne
I gladly let him rule the ruin
this Arthur whose chain is his skin
his lady stolen by those thoughts within
a toad his usurper,
a dark troll of fantasy making is the beast
It’s mid-day in the garden where good
and evil are twins, but to the new king
the world is still dim.
The sun, in reverence, shines behind a veil of mist
Motionless, the granite within molds
him to his earthy seat, stone of heart
and of will blend to build his part.
Transfixed as he is, he can not notice
Those spirits harpies whose claws are
the memories reshaped in his head
The roses frame his regal smile and
throw shadows into those moonstruck eyes