Shadow Love

I see it standing there

at the

bottom

of my life

like a

snarling wolf

at the

base of a ladder

 

This amorphous shadow,

Shifting, shining stars

contained in

incorporeal limbs.

 

I remember when

they reached for me

and held me close,

One hand on my eyes,

the other on my throat

so I would not see it

was killing me,

as it sang

death’s lullaby

so sweetly

in my ear

so I couldn’t feel

my life ebbing.

 

But I grew too heavy

with sorrow

to carry,

and it set me down.

 

Gorged on my misery,

it could not pursue.

And when I returned

to the sunlight

it fled.

 

I remember it,

not fondly.

And these days,

not long.

 

But I can still

feel its eyes

boring into me,

And it waits,

black and coiled

round the cold scraps

of what it once prized.

 

Wanting me back

even as it moves on

to claim

new souls

to suck.

Can’t Swallow Your Poison

I can’t be myself within your parameters

that define me according to what

you think

my limits

should be.

I don’t only belong in the places

you tell me

I can go.

My mind is not limited to your perceptions

of what

I am capable of achieving.

My freedom is not contingent

on your condescension.

My life

is not yours to take

because

you’re afraid.

My will

is not yours to mold because

you hate

what makes you afraid.

My color is not an accident.

My true ancestry is not diluted by you.

My creativity need not celebrate you.

We are on this sphere by divine will.

You are in my sphere through no choice of my own.

But understand, I will not swallow your poison.

You belittle our massive, unspoken love

for this nation of bondage; whenever we are asked to serve,

we do it with dignity and honor, but not at the expense

of our dignity in service to your hypocrisy.

I will not give you water for your pill of denial,

and I will not drink the poison you’ve

slipped into my life.

I give you back your cup, untouched.

Partake of your own bitterness,

And when you leave

I will place coins on your eyes

for the ferryman,

because I won’t carry the weight of

your ignorance on me

anymore.

 

 

 

Plunder

Into my life you came,

bold against the rising sun,

your wind-tossed locks alluring,

your bright, bold eyes searing.

 

And I opened my chest to give you the contents

of its heart, and at first you treasured them.

The glorious days of sailing with you

were warm and secure, with clear skies and

wide horizons.

 

But in time, you craved not the warmth of my heart,

preferring the cold hardness of gems and coins.

Not the stable strength of my arms,

but the fickle roll of riches.

 

Turning yourself to seawater,

you slipped from my grasp

and left me no choice, set me adrift

with no anchor, no oar.

 

Under the stars my heart withered.

The sun-kissed days grew dank with brine,

and the raucous racket of overbold gulls

pursued my foundering lifeboat.

 

I dreamed that in a reef of nascent coral

I put the seawater to my lips as if to kiss you

once more,

but therein lied a fatal thirst,

and under a high tide moon,

I spilled it and left it behind.

 

What remains ahead is unknown, uncharted,

yet with a sense of direction and purpose,

of longing fulfilled, a calling realized.

As the gull calls fade, the windsong rises.

 

And I know that in the distance,

a paradise awaits my arrival.

I shield my eyes from the sunlight

dappling the dancing waves,

and sail on to fate’s warm hearth,

alone

but finally

free.

Light Breaker

I heard the light crash like thunder into the darkness.

Saw the obsidian surrounding my cage

shatter.

Heard the screams and wails and curses

turn to laughter, songs, and shouts of joy.

For too long

I walked under the canopy,

shielded from everything.

Yielding nothing.

 

And the light broke

through the darkness.

 

I saw the sky blue swatch of sky

flecked and speckled with drifting clouds,

felt the breeze of an early summer evening

cool on my skin.

The slope of the climb

to the world above was gentle, easy

and pleasant.

My heart rejoiced.

My will rebelled.

I wanted this light,

this blue, this breeze.

This joy.

But I burrowed

further down and broke

the light,

and sent it on its way.

 

Vanquished

Vanquished now,

I return

to find

all bare of life,

and stilted, stifled purpose

laces the air that has

disguised her

earthy scent,

rank loam in the ruins.

The stones of my home,

my fence,

tumbling

atop each other,

as my men

from their horses,

ungainly unseated,

and skewered

for their lack of skill,

or a champion.

Grasping, bare, black branches soon

reach to pull me into

the shadows

of my mind.

As did she.

Merciful

was the

headsman’s ax,

and swift.

The sky and ground

joined hands

to somersault

in sun-dappled motley

 before my eyes.

And

I returned home,

now

Vanquished.

Sifting Shifting Sand

All my duties come to naught,

and as for all the things I bought,

I place the high-def screens in

front of things that really matter,

 

And put the things that really matter

inside the screen.

 

Pictures of family

Pictures of memories

Pictures of successes

Pictures of loss and regret

Pictures of friends who lost

the battle to live forever…

 

And today,

here I stand

utterly alone,

wrapped in sullen silence,

chilled by cold thoughts and

ironic imaginings

of what might have been

after all this time.

 

Sifting shifting sand,

unable to find what I deemed insignificant

and buried,

only to realize all that

ever matters

is the life you’re living

 

Now.

Honeyed Magic

I see the

honeyed magic

flow

from fingers

filled with morning’s

glow.

It’s in your hair

and cheeks

and eyes.

You wring from me

such wretched sighs.

I would possess you

if I could,

But wishing so

will do no good,

for you’re above

and I’m below.

I’ll stand beneath

the light you throw

as Lady’s favor

to her Knight

in shining armor,

ere the fight

shall take him from

her brilliant arc,

and place him in

the cold and dark.

If you send

honeyed magic there,

I’ll sleep  in peace,

without a care.