Honey on Her Lips

And when she turned to look at me,

the light hit them

just so,

just so,

so soft light

made soft petals

of her soft lips,

and the drop of honey

gleamed like a dark jewel

born from dark fire.

A scent of flowers on her sweet breath,

a sweet drop of an amber diamond

on the tip of her tongue.

I moved forward to taste it, take it,

plunder the sweetness within

from her.

She turned and ran,

laughing as I gave chase

for the rest of my life.

Ever in past longing,

ever in present, seeking need,

ever gloriously lost in far away,

right here and now,

with the honey

on her lips.

Quilted

Patches of good times,

pieces of bad,

quilted and stitched

in the life that we had.

Remnants of memories

sepia tones,

yellowing love ages

into our bones.

Did I do this thing

or did you say that?

And does it matter now

love has gone flat?

You sit in your chair,

and I’ll sit in mine,

alone and together,

and lost in the wine.

Arguments, fighting

familiar as dust.

Then after midnight

it’s make love or bust.

Time to be quiet,

even our sighs.

As silence settles

we watch the moon rise.

Tomorrow then, we will

remember this day,

more fragments of memories

to put away.

As life gets more peaceful

the older you grow.

the sun lights your quilt up

with just the right glow.

 

Dreamscapes

The sun sets,

life leaks away

and the reaper’s

silver scythe is

heralded in silver hair.

 

Time watches

from a distance,

its steady gaze

holding your eyes

as it keeps pace

beside you.

The dreams you pursue

grow translucent

in your hands,

and there are days you can’t be sure

if it’s them, or you,

slipping through your fingers.

It may yet be that

you are one and the same,

but one has to stay,

and it can’t be

you.

The Words We Leave Behind

No more impassioned pleas of poetry

to pour into the ears of poisoned people.

Fattened snakes, they peer through narrow slits

for more morsels than they can consume.

They can’t hear their vomit splatter on

the opulence they claim to own,

luxuriating in their greed

though they rot the same as street urchins.

The clashing of cultures and colors

consume the country.

The passion of misguided zealots

wars with

the passion of misguided fools,

though they have

more in common than not.

The poets read to rooms bereft of thought and innocence.

The writer’s craft crashes,

crushed by corporate creeds of false benevolence,

revealing itself a malevolent presence sitting on

the writer’s hand.

We are blind to the irony of a gated community,

and when there’s no one left to bear the blame,

we will hurl each other out to be first in a

wasteland of liberty.

Our words will be the legacy of our spirit’s journey.

The words we leave behind will be the journals

of our departed souls.

For now, for better, for worse,

for a future we won’t see,

we write in the darkness,

ever moving toward the light.

Ethereal Thread

All that holds me

to this earth,

bound and abandoned,

are hope, dreams, and love.

A threefold cord, they’ve told me,

is not easily broken.

Nor should it be,

but the struggle

unravels

the way we’d like this

to end.

Clinging to life

by ethereal thread,

I hope it holds my dreams,

and love not sever it.

Shrine

With shades of orange and pink, the rising sun smoothed the jagged edges of the snowcapped moutains, rendering them deceitfully gentle for a time.
Topping his final rise, the bedraggled soldier Olnan saw the shrine in front of him, not too far away now. Taking time to rest, breathing deep of the fresh, chilled air, he took a moment to admire its beauty.
As he admired it, a memory came unbidden, but not unwelcome.
************
His father was holding his hand. He seemed happy enough, but his breathing was labored at this high altitude.
“Are you well, father?”
He smiled at the note of adult concern in his son’s voice. “Yes, Olnan. I’m fine. We’re here now. All is well.”
“Do you want me to go in with you?” He was curious to see the inside of an actual shrine.
“Of course I do. It’s time for you to learn the rituals I perform that honor the ancestors.”
“Like …. ” Olnan took a moment to figure it out. “… your grandfather?”
His father laughed with pride. “Yes, Olnan! Well done! Yes, like my grandfather, but also those who came before him. We owe them a great debt we can’t repay. They went through many things to settle us here, and faced hard times.”
Olnan beamed at the praise.
His father lapsed into silence, but didn’t move. Olnan knew when that happened that he was supposed to wait; Father was remembering something unpleasant. When he spoke again, his voice was husky with emotion.
“But they didn’t give up.”  He looked down at Olnan. “Let’s go, son.”
Still holding Olnan’s hand, they entered the shrine.

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

Olnan felt warmed by the memory, and sadness at the empty space beside him now hit him unexpectedly hard. He took another moment to gather himself.
And now, my father has become an ancestor, and I’m not yet a father myself.
He took the offering pack that held the ritual’s needs off his back and held it instead.
It seemed even now that he could see his father there at the door, motioning for him to come inside.
Taking a deep breath, he walked toward the shrine, smiling through his tears.

   One day, my children…

The Burden of Poetry

These words, each one,

holds a piece of me,

pulling apart like fingers in

a warm loaf of bread.

Then other words come

and add their own flavor to it:

some bitter, some sweet

some tart, some tasteless,

but always the words remain.

While I am here to tend them,

they’ll continue to gather me

from every hidden corner

of my mind.