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.

 

 

A Page a Day

A page a day,

the sages say,

is healthy for to write.

A poem, a story, ditty,

typed by day or

penned by night.

But sages are not writers

so no matter what they say,

when Muses seize you

by the throat,

you find you will obey.

So write whene’er you want to friends,

and write whene’er you can.

And listen to your Muses,

for a sage is just a man.

 

(*art by Sam Kennedy)

 

 

The Summit of Self

 

You’ve traveled far to see me, child,

and never told me why.

Am I supposed to love you, hate you,

live with you, or die?

 

You’ve traveled far to see me, child,

but I don’t know your name.

Am I to solve a riddle or to

play a guessing game?

 

You’ve traveled far to see me

following some long dead star.

And now you stand before me here,

so I’ll know who you are.

 

No longer sentient, my child.

Not able to inquire.

I can no longer see or hear

your circumstances dire.

 

I’ve no advice or wisdom.

You must learn them on your own.

The maggots feasted long ago,

and sharp fangs cracked the bone.

 

I’ll say your name to you, my child,

and I will speak it true.

The skeleton you gaze at on this mountaintop

is you.

 

Descend now from this mountain, child.

There’s nothing for you here.

Death’s but a silent, endless dream

and so you mustn’t fear.

 

You weep, my child, but foolishly.

The fate of all is this:

the gods who see us war and play

betray us with a kiss.

 

 

Why Do You Love Me?

“Why do you love me?”

Why should I not?

“How much do you love me?”

I love you a lot.

“What is it you love, then?”

Your smile and your eyes,

your musical laughter,

your soft, tender sighs.

Your hair in the moonlight,

Your eyes when they shine

with tears of rejoicing

when I say you’re mine.

Your lips when they kiss me,

your hands when they touch,

your arms when they hold me

too long and too much.

Now tell me you love me.

“You know that I do.”

I want you to say it.

“Yes, I love you too.”

How much do you love me?

“As wide as the sky,

as deep as the ocean,

as loud as a cry,

as hot as the desert,

as pure as the snow.

My darling, I love you.

You know that.

You know.”

 

 

 

Moon Song

Nothing between

me and heaven.

 

I waited,

watched the moon rise,

saw the earth spin

to look away,

 

But I did not.

 

The wind rose

to pay homage

to its lunar jewel,

 

And clouds

slipped across

its sun-kissed span,

 

a wolf’s eye

rimmed with kohl,

 

A lover’s eye

in a keyhole,

 

a peering beast

rising from

sleep.

 

In the night-blue verdant

branches of forest pines

and late summer leaves

the wind sang.

 

My heart found the harmony,

and for a fleeting moment

I was a floating note,

 

Unbound

in

Moon Song