The I’s Have It

The I’s have it:

I, individual, feel so

insubstantial,

isolated,

invisible,

inconsequential.

I, individual, want so much to be

important,

invincible,

instrumental,

influential.

I, individual,

don’t know if it’s too late,

robbed of my

innocence,

insouciance,

imperviousness,

imagination

I, individual,

one day to be collected,

dispossessed of my

immortality.

Glimmer

Time passed, love lost.

Love lost, time past.

And so I ask you

now…

Is there a

glimmer

of anything

that once brought a smile,

however small and fleeting,

to your lips?

I felt the cold

inside your shadow

when you turned your back

to leave.

Is there an echo

in your ear

of my heartbeat

where you laid your head

on my chest

and whispered of your love?

Do you now say, in your

calculated callousness,

that not only should we have never been,

but you will act as if we never were?

If my heart was anything to harm you,

it was a kindling you set afire.

You hardened it to break off all vestiges

of love to remake, and rearm yourself

into the bomb you are,

laying waste to those who would dare embrace you.

My own eyes glimmer now,

but whether from the hot rage

or bottomless sadness,

I know not.

Only let the crows come,

and take these wretched eyes,

feasting on the memories of you.

Then I will stumble off

to finish forgetting you,

in the

glimmering

blackness of perpetual night.

The Last of Summer’s Flowers

These are the last of Summer’s flowers.

They watch their season go.

They’re leeched of life and struggle

as their colors fade to ‘no.’

Their perfume is not redolent.

Their vibrant petals curl,

turn into brown and sepia,

then plucked by windy swirl.

The icy winds of winter come,

to see them to their end.

And it will die next to its tree,

and lay next to a friend.

Until the springtime breezes block

the grave-cold winter’s eyes,

the last of summer’s flowers bloom,

themselves a worthy prize.

The Untold

The tales grow brittle,

left untold.

The incantations dry.

The knight, the dragon, and the maid

forgotten, left to die.

The hunter and the quarry

cease their endless chasing games.

And all the wild in all the world,

the silence slowly tames.

The story-laden stars go dark,

the woodland creatures cry.

The lantern-flowers give no light,

and fae no longer fly.

Beware the rift of of magic

separated from the earth.

No warriors to save the day,

just empty, longing dearth.

The stories lay forgotten now

on dusty, splintered shelves,

and we abandon to the void

the better of ourselves.

Small Comforts

Do you yet, even now,

find warmth in the rays of a

persimmon colored sunset?

Do you yet, even now,

find the smoke of your pipe

laden with wisdom, laughter,

and gentle gibes from your companions?

Do you yet, even now,

find hope in a blossom that insists

on growing

through the snow?

Do you yet, even now, hope for love,

or see it from this side as a treasure for

others to find?

Do you yet, even now,

give wan smiles at worn memories

when it rains?

Do you yet, even now,

take small comfort

standing just outside

the circle of light?

To be seen as a shadow

that wants to burn bright.

Take small comfort then,

that those who pass by you

in the middle of the night

do not see you at all.

I Don’t Know What She Did or Said…

I don’t know what she did or said

to make me love her…

Perhaps it was the stacking of

small kindnesses

she did for me.

Or the way she managed to hold my attention

when she looked at me and told me her stories.

Or the sharp wit that made me laugh with her.

Or the day she casually touched my shoulder,

looking down at my screen to see what I would do.

But all I did was like the feel of her hand there.

Or the day I overheard her say she thought I was handsome.

Or the day she smiled at me as she passed and said it to me.

Or the day we had dinner, and I kissed her twice,

and she let me. Twice.

I don’t know what she did or said…

Baby Sees the Teddy Bear

In the crib, baby sees the teddy bear

and smiles.

Baby smells the powders and potions,

feel the soft hands,

hears the songs of the mobile,

sees the soft light,

and feels the warm hope,

laughs at the tickling fingers,

and sees love in his parents’ eyes.

On his deathbed,

grandpa sees the teddy bear.

And then he sees the tubes and machines,

smells the alcohol and disinfectant,

feels the soft tug of bandages,

hears the beeps of the monitors

and sees the indicator lights.

He feels the focused shifting of the painkillers,

and laughs at the fading memories,

seeing the good-bye in his legacy’s eyes.

He takes the bear his grandson gives,

and holds it to his wet cheek,

and smiles.

The Vale of Love

She took him to a quiet place

so beautiful to see.

A place of fragrant flowers,

cool green grass

and fruitful tree.

“Now pledge your love to me,” she said

“And I will pledge to you.”

“I cannot pledge,” he answered

“for my love would prove untrue.”

“What jest is this?” she asked in rage,

her brow now stern and cross.

“I love another, fool. Now go! Begone and take the loss.”

The dagger point just broke his skin.

“The only loss is life, for when we loved

you pledged your heart and promised me to wife.”

“I care not if you love me now.

I will not be a fool, so you will be my husband

til your dotage when you drool.”

He fought her for his lady love,

fought long and hard and rough.

They both were bruised and bloody,

and the scarred skin would get tough.

But in the end, she held his heart

cupped in her broken hands,

and walked and walked and walked with it

to far and distant lands.

And somewhere in the Vail of Love

a heartless man does lie.

For legend says the Vail of Hearts

is where loves go to die.

Black Magi 2

You

played by the rules, stayed off the streets,

out of the pipeline,

and never brought static to police radios.

With honors, you walked across the floor

and brought tears of joy to your family,

and a smile on the face of your girl.

You took the scroll that said you did the work,

that ‘school’ was over, and ‘life’ could begin a new chapter.

Know this too,

Black Magi…

those who toiled in the hot sun,

they see you.

Those who endured the lash and the dogs,

they see you.

Those who were broken,

taking their ‘master’s yoke with downcast eyes,

they look up to you now,

and see you.

Those who taught themselves to read by candlelight and lanterns,

risking their lives to pass down the knowledge you were (finally) allowed

to access through the front door,

they see you.

The world over,

the ones who suffered to survive

so you could one day strive to achieve

what they could not,

they see you.

From the bottom of the oceans,

still wrapped in rust and barnacles,

turning to silt on the sand floor,

they see you,

Black Magi.

As one, their spirits lift their heads and eyes,

and every one of their voices, and sing to you

through the centuries of their love and pride.

What happens now, Black Magi?

Who will

you

see?

Proverbial

“Nice guys finish last.”

I’m poured out like a libation,

but not unconsumed.

On the short side of life,

now in the

emerging shadow

of my sunset years.

The bell’s final toll remains

unseen, unknown, and left to hide.

The cold aspect of

the Reaper’s featureless face

gives me a sage nod.

Captured now by my choices,

I live the life I do,

a life forged of heart and mind,

iron will and querulous wavering.

It is not the life envisioned or imagined,

and time turns its back on my recriminations,

moving ever-forward,

taking the vision with it.

And so…

the life I have.

“Nice guys finish last.”

The words sound bitter in the darkness.

And yet, for all the times of hardship and failure,

and getting back up to fight once more

because

it was the only thing left to do,

those words don’t ring quite true.

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