Heart of Steel, Soul of Stone

The heart of the city

is made of steel.

Its soul is made of stone.

It gives no mercy, and has no pity.

It eats the unprotected innocent and spits out

runaways, junkies, whores, and thieves.

It gleams like a glass eye, but like a glass eye,

doesn’t see the harm it causes.

Some write upon its heart to make their presence known,

their absence felt.

The city makes it a crime, and begins its slow erosion

of the anguish of your screaming soul.

It will not remember your name.

It will not care.

It may pay you in cash,

or redeem you in blood.

The choice is yours,

but not really.

 

*Photo by Loes ten Den at Unsplash

Holding Out Hope

 

Here, a small bright blossom

that contains a wish,

a hope,

a fantasy,

a dream

you hold dear,

a love you crave,

a life you desire,

a treat you’ve been missing.

My gift to you,

My wish for you,

My prayer over you,

My love of you

is all contained

within this

small, fragile,

world,

soft and fragrant,

sweet and kind,

and forgiving

of the fact

that I plucked it

from the source of

its beauty, now fleeting,

because you

are worth the life

of a small, bright blossom,

lasting,

and far lovelier.

Take it.

Together

we will be,

fragile, mortal,

and fleetingly beautiful,

holding out hope for far more

as we get less

than we truly deserve.

Dreams in Flight

‘Follow,’ they told me.

“But it’s way up there! How am I supposed to follow it?”

“Move.”

“But it’s faster than me.”

“Overtake it. Capture it. Subdue it. Claim it.”

“But it’s…”

One by one, they fell silent.

One by one, they went away.

The dream flew onward, and higher,  and further out of reach.

I watched until it was out of sight.

The cold darkness engulfed me,

and the ticking of the clock

grew a little louder.

I sighed, and walked through the night after my dream.

“Surely, it will land soon.”

But I’m still walking,

and the sky is clear.

 

*Photo by Ian Espinosa / Unsplash

Tears Are Not Like Rain

They say, these poets and writers, that tears fall like rain.

Tears don’t do that.

The salt of suffering is not in raindrops.

They accentuate the sadness already in your soul.

They make the room more intimate, and proximity

to a pretty mouth a dangerous and exciting time.

But they are not tears.

Tears are born of the sea, of emotions set adrift,

of a loss of direction, like storm clouds

blotting out the stars.

Tears are quiet, glistening

in the persimmon light of the setting sun.

Creeping like translucent shadows to hide

in the corners of the lips of that pretty mouth.

Tears are a release, a breaking dam that floods

the plains of your reason,

that slakes the thirst and balms the wounds

of a broken heart.

Tears are not like rain, but they are a reflection

of the inner turmoil of the roiling sky,

washing away your resistance.

And like the storm,

whose sobs are bolts of lightning,

let the quiet, pelting hiss of hurt

pass over you, until the clouds break,

and the tears stop.

And the sun in your smile returns,

bringing a rainbow to bind

the pieces of you

back together.

Tears are not like rain.

 

 

Rue for Ophelia

“And some for me,” she whispered all those many years ago.

Drifting down the river in the current’s gentle flow.

Sorrowful she lost his love, her rags a favored gown.

Still in love although its heavy weight would take her down.

 

Her brother all remaining now.

Her love and father lost.

Her weeds and flowers told the price

That each would pay in cost.

 

He asked in her orisons she remember all his sins.

And now the current lays her in an eddy as it spins.

The softened mud receives her like an offering that’s due:

The gentle, fair Ophelia, a flowery sprig of rue.

 

Oh, she deserved far better than a bitter boy untrue.

The river silt blocks out the sky so clear and bright of hue.

And seals up Ophelia’s unseeing eyes of blue.

Insane and sad Ophelia, a sweet bouquet of rue.

 

In pain, the mad Ophelia,

bouquet of

bitter

rue.

 

Moon Angel

She flies on wings of ivory cloud,

the sun no longer gold,

within a silver amulet

upon a chain she’ll hold.

Her ebon hair now dancing

in the gentle evening air,

She sees the dreams of mortals

as she says her moonlight prayer.

There will be those she’ll cull tonight,

and those she will give dreams.

Her fingers gentle on their brows,

aglow with moonlight beams.

O come now, sweet Moon Angel

for your restless servant waits,

to once again ascend with you to

great Orion’s gates.

 

 

Pilgrimage

A solitary torch, a solitary man

who led a solitary life,

wondered what the world held

that all the people moved about.

So he wandered

beneath the stars,

and found an alcove

arch of stone,

supported by a wall

with two entrances

on opposite sides.

Did they lead to different places, or meet again?

He stood there, now knowing which way to go, unable to choose.

He is there still, but the fire has gone out,

the stars no longer shine,

and within his never ending

quest of questions,

treasures of answers

remain gathering dust.