I Dream an Autumn Love

Sepia,

the last of the colors,

a dull revelry,

a thrumming, just beneath the surface,

heralds the dormant outdoors.

 

I see you in the blue and lavender shadows,

your hips swaying like dark wheat in a gentle breeze.

Your smile is shy and happy,

your lips, all the shades of honey.

I bend to sip them from your mouth,

and find the bittersweet taste of summer’s end

on the tip of your tongue,

and lose myself in sweet dreams

and bitter time.

And there is time to savor.

 

As the last leaves

break free to fall like spent stars

from their heavenly sockets,

I dream an autumn love.

 

 

Of Summers Passed

Ah, I see. You must leave again, my love

to pave the way for your older sister,

the one who colors before the whitening kill.

I shall miss you.

Will you miss me?

We dance this dance

year by year,

and the music,

while ever as sweet,

slows down to the rhythm

of our ending.

I do love the touch of

your sun

upon my skin,

and the way your breath of song

makes the branches dance.

The brightness of your eyes

makes me don that which

tames their radiance,

and the weight of your stare

warms me.

The touch of your hot kiss

on my face

makes me close my eyes

and offer up my cheeks.

My heart takes sanctuary

in your

ethereal greenery,

as even now

you start to fade.

Summer,

I will miss you,

resting in the surety

of your

perennial return.

Sleep well, my love,

and know

my heart

is ever

yours.

A Father’s Day Memory

It was a sunny afternoon, and I was helping my Dad with a project; he did woodwork / carpentry as a hobby sometimes, and I was sanding something for him. I don’t remember specifically what it was, but I remember at the end, when the piece was finished, something was off.

We had some difficulty, but he knew how to fix it.

“But it’s going to take longer,” he said.

I looked at him.

“I’m going to do it the faster way,” he said.

I realized then that he was slowing down; he never considered doing anything less than a quality job, in spite of the problems.

I admit I was surprised, and as much as I hated these projects (because I’m better at writing than woodworking) and wanted to finish this, I said to him:

“That’s not your style.”

He looked at me; it was his turn to be surprised.

“Do it the right way,” I said. “If you take the shortcut, all you’re going to do is take it apart later and do it the right way anyway. I’m here to help you, so just do it now.”

He smiled, and we fixed the problem the right way, and he was happy with the work.

He recounted that story to other people for years afterward, pleased that I was there to admonish him to stick to the very principles he taught me about working, whatever the job, and to do it with a sense of pride and excellence.

I was glad we had that time, because I discovered too that sometimes, as much as we need our parents, they need us too.

I love you, Dad.

It’s been twelve years now since you took your final journey.

“I’ll see you when I get there.”

 

 

Hymn of the Exiled

The rusty, russet soil of the shoreline

shrinks more quickly than I’d like.

The sandbar and the harbor release their hold

all too eagerly.

The current snatches at the hull

like an orphan seizing the last scrap.

And I find my heart adrift.

 

My thoughts try to swim back with all their strength.

My memories fade, weeping as they stand on the banks.

The luteous sun strikes me with a smalt melancholy,

so much deeper than the waves that skip us like a hollow stone

across the meandering ocean’s surface.

 

My love unties the knots of the bonding kerchiefs

of our Handfast Day, and I no longer care how high

the restless waves fling themselves at us to pluck us

from the deck and wash our bones to brine.

 

The kingdom crown, once so desired, so soon set aside,

besieges my brow with a phantom weight,

and the royal scepter

is now but a common oar.

 

There are no words to balm this sadness,

to bind this slow and leaking death.

And so I drown it in tears and rage,

never to be home again.

 

Never to be,

at all.

No Words in the Well

The rainy darkness brings

no comfort,

and the late hour

no sleep.

 

The mind shambles

past the murky thoughts

submerged

in the stagnant water.

 

Its robe, sodden and heavy,

clings as it lifts the

dimming lantern

of moonlight’s end.

 

The squeaking creak of a crank

breaks the silence

as the worn bucket descends.

 

A small splash speaks to

the shallowness of the water.

The mind shuts its eyes,

somewhere between frustration and relief.

 

Nothing fills the bucket.

 

There are no words left

in the well.

 

The day’s writing is done.

The mind shuffles back

to its darkness,

closing the door

on the rainy night,

 

and sleeps at last.

 

 

Vows

 

You open my veins,

Your heart sheathes my knife.

The blood now unites us

as husband and wife

 

Love songs we’ll sing

in the depths of the dark,

sailing to hell

on the ferryman’s ark

 

Honeymoon fires

rage out of control.

Sweet is the wedding cake taste

of your soul

 

Long blades for butchery,

silver and gold,

Rip through the sacrifice

Warm life grows cold

 

Hear how they cheer us

with screaming and cries.

Heartbeats are stopping as

everyone dies.

 

Come, let us love now,

my devilish bride.

Let’s take each other

on one hellish ride.

 

And when the morning’s

illusion of light

lulls them to thinking

it still isn’t night

 

That’s when we strike

to take back what was lost.

Extinction the price

of mortality’s cost.

 

Come take my hand

and together descend.

In for eternity,

love has no end.

Springsong

The hum of spring

bursts into

joyous song.

 

Gazing upon renewal,

all the old cliches

of eternal hope

march through my mind

like ghostly soldiers.

 

The echoes of the past,

of lost battles, of wars lost,

fade with their footsteps.

 

But the hope

I feel is real.

 

And inner peace

comes forth

as an

opening bud.