The Child and The Drum

From behind the curtain

her voice

holds tremolo and vibrato,

high and clear,

sweet and lilting,

with a hint of poignant sadness.

The drum pushes, pulses

her ululations from underneath,

building the bridge

that connects

the world to the origin

of its song,

evolved,

forgotten, debated,

documented, erased,

burned, rescued,

savaged and salvaged,

but ever

created.

The child and the drum.

Two become one,

and the heartbeat

keeps the time of memory,

even now.

A Burst of Blue

Behind my eyes,

a dream of blue waters,

blue souls,

blue bubbles,

blue hearts,

and blue love

 

Ethereal,

mysterious,

the essence of floating spirits

and the color of transcendent skies.

 

It holds a

midnight sorrow

and an afternoon romp

in its hands.

 

It belongs to all,

but is special to us.

 

Unleashed, it holds me

enthralled.

Kissed of the Sun

She,

kissed of the sun,

birthed of the earth’s red clay,

stands a goddess in the green lush alcove

of branches that arch to protect her.

A sorceress that magic

willingly surrenders

its secrets to,

she only has to turn to me

to enchant me

with silent spells

of regal beauty.

She binds my mortal

heart to hand,

and bids me

love to worship her.

Surrender is all the sweeter then,

and for a time, I too, am kissed of the sun,

yet banished at moonrise

to dream once more

that a goddess

once loved

me.

 

*art by Charlie Bowater on pinterest.com

The Sandman’s Bride

Sleep, my daughter, for I am but a myth,

A Muse, they say.

A thing to make a man’s heart tender,

A creature that veils a woman’s eyes with love.

 

I know not what I am,

only that I was born to harvest

the very stars I made,

eons before you were born.

 

Sleep, my son, for I am but a mother,

a deliverer of dreams, they tell me, that bring smiles to infants,

and nightmares to those who see the world

through filters of neglect.

 

I know not what I am,

only that this light is made to sift

through my fingers and dapple

the clouds with twilight colors.

 

Sleep, my children, for I am

but a shadowed, masked, and transient being,

I’m told.

A fantasy of space and time,

contained in the imagination,

freed and manifest in the mind.

 

I know not what I am,

only that this mask

hides me from my own soul,

and the warmth of these clouds

console me in the dark, but are not

a lover’s embrace.

 

Sleep, my darlings, and know that

you are limitless as stars,

boundless as eternity,

and eternal as love.

 

I know not what I am,

only that I share my heart

with you, and we are twinned

in mind and purpose.

 

Take my hand, come with me,

and sleep.

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.