Laying Stones

One night I woke, and watched you.

Saw the past in your mind, through your eyes.

So still you were, but there were tears in the moonlight.

I don’t know if you built the wall

or someone took you behind it,

but it was a place I could not go.

I tried.

I fought.

My hands were rough and bleeding,

and I had no rope, no grappling hook.

When I was almost there, I reached up for you to help me.

And you walked away.

I tried again, until I could no more.

When I passed through the gate

for the last time

I turned,

and you were there

in the window,

laying more stones.

Still crying.

 

(*art by jonasjensenart.deviantart.com)

Poetess in the Park

I stopped because she was absolutely riveting.

She actually wore a beret, had fully bought in to the whole scene.

Everything came together as I watched her perform,

as I watched her play the crowd.

I wanted her to hesitate when she looked at me, to stumble over her words, and come to a stop.

But she didn’t.

I understood: The poem was all to her, everything to her.

But to me,

she was the poem,

the art of something so out of the ordinary

it could never fit in.

I wanted to be that vibrant to someone,

for someone to know me so well they’d anticipate

what I’d improvise.

I wished she was my all and everything.

But I never asked her name.

The Empty Poet

He searched the floor of his life for more words,

but there were none.

In his day, he waxed quite elegant, his inimitable style admired

by all who attended the readings full of smells of coffee, sweat,

and too much perfume in close quarters.

The applause, while not thunderous, was engaged.

The conversations, while not stimulating, were polite.

“I liked that poem.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. I just did.”

“Thank you.” Sips coffee to indicate

the conversation’s over.

The microphone was no longer a beacon, but a flickering ghost light

in a dark theater.

The notebook paper and computer screens were all test patterns; nothing to see.

Nothing in them. Nothing on them.

My life isn’t over, but it seems to have run dry.

Was there really nothing left to say? Nothing that moved him? Touched his heart? Enraged him? Set him laughing hysterically?

Desperately, he mined for it, memories in black, oily sludge best left buried slipping in stringy fragments through his finger.

Feelings unrequited. Longings unfulfilled.

And now, the words have flown as well.

No feathers to fly, unfettered, they flee.

The skin dries as the words evaporate,

and the poet is now a husk of man.

Desiccated and empty, seeming all of a man, but containing nothing of him.

The pen slips from his fingers; the battery in the digital thing no longer holds a charge.

Change is forthcoming, but he will stand and remain, no regrets.

The memories are old, unrelenting, full of sharp rebuke.

He rises from kneeling in the sludge of his art,

As his husk dries slowly in the morning sun,

as the poet’s soul slips free.

Words Like Seeds

You turn your back on

the futility of letters.

‘Try,’ they keep saying.

‘You must keep trying.’

So I cut back, and set fire,

not to plant,  but purge,

yet the seedlings land

inside the spongy soil.

With sustenance unseen,

they wait their seasons,

testing the moments.

Heart and mind,

Soul and spirit,

are made verdant.

Pods of ideas,

Sprouts of imagination

flourish, rising and twisting

through the lattices.

They pollinate on paper,

and pluck pixels from our fingers,

working the pages of trees,

buzzing among the LED bulbs.

The pencil is the silvered scythe,

the poem reaped in harvest,

and placed on your table,

steaming and new

before your eyes.

Savor it, for it is one of a kind.

 

 

An Eloquent Quiet

When there are

no words,

the eloquent quiet

speaks to a deeper space

of meaning within us,

where there is no hiding

from that which forms

the core of us.

Buffeted like harvest scarecrows

by winds from every corner

in the open field,

will you stand,

though you rot from the inside,

or be pecked apart

by scavengers

posing as pretty distractions,

making unlikely alliances?

When the colors

of the new moon

form your corona,

aligning with a deeper darkness,

and your voice is your only

weapon,

scream into the eloquent quiet

and let it amplify

the beating of your heart.

 

Dappled Shadows

In the shade, the sun through leaves

dapples the ground with spotted light.

And in the pleasing breeze,

the butterflies and dragonflies

dance

in fluttering, staggered, hovering

grace.

Seagulls skim the slate gray bay waters,

and the white clouds smile

in the open blue of a late summer sky.

There is no contemplation

of darkness here, for that will come

unbidden, inevitable as a

change of season.

There is only the pleasant moment,

recorded in meager words on a

quiet afternoon.

For now, I will fade into the dappled shadows

and just

be.

No Quiet Silence

There is no quiet silence.

there’s the turning of the page,

a peal of laughter,

a snatch of conversation, innocuous and inane,

the rush of wind over the ears,

the rustling sway of wind-dancer branches,

the susurration of the sea,

the cracking of the baking soil,

the buzz and click and hum of droning insects,

the sizzle of fires

the churning core of the world birthing mountains

the hiss and patter of the blizzard’s snowfall

the wail of the newborn,

the dying sigh of the old.

And death itself is only sleep,

as restless spirits manifest to tell us all:

There is no quiet silence.