The Haunting

The haunting

of these

hallowed halls

comes when the

Midnight bell

is ringing

 

And the maiden

climbs the stairs

to stand there in the choir loft

singing

 

Lovely, high and sweet

her voice

The notes ring long

in beam and rafter

 

Then sweet voice

begins to quake

And singing turns

to demon laughter

 

And the fight

for her fair soul

begins with

every night anew

 

And I relive

the sin I did

that killed her love

and turned it blue

 

I have no reason now

to stay

I only know

I cannot leave

 

For I did love her once

you see

and for her fair soul

I did grieve

 

but my eyes strayed

as did my heart

as did my flesh

and I unclothed

 

Drove in the knife

that pierced the heart

and damned the soul

of my betrothed

 

 

And now she walks

these ruined halls

Once stately, grand and

full of life

 

And looks at me with

sad,wet eyes

that say

I should have been

your wife.

 

So from the palace roof

I plunged

while Midnight bell

did twelve times toll

The last knell saw a broken

shell of bone and blood

and fleeing soul

 

Now two walk

moonlit halls together

when the Midnight bell

is ringing

Saying now their

wedding vows

 

in harmony

in the choir loft

 

singing

The Grave Worms

How quietly the grave worms tread

And tunnel through the fertile earth

For now I lie here cold and dead

Devoid of sorrow, done with mirth

 

But yet I hear them whispering

To centipede and fly and ant

That they can hear me breathing still

Did Death consider and recant?

 

“We’ve eaten them alive before,

So even if they haven’t died

We’ll feast on warm flesh bountiful

Before he claims a demon bride.”

 

The wood that forms my coffin creaks

And rodents too join in the fray

But dead blood never, ever leaks

Dead eyes don’t see the light of day

 

And yet I hear them

Scraping, scratching, clawing, whispering

Whispering still

 

I wonder will my hearing stop,

Or will I hear them eat their fill?

 

How quietly the grave worms tread

And tunnel through the fertile earth

For now I lie here, feeling dread

Devoid of sorrow, done with mirth.

A Moment of Weakness, A Lifetime of Pain

Your life upended,

just wanting to feel good

for a moment,

 

The serpent slithered down

and flicked your ear with

a silver tongue

 

Betrayed, you were

hung up

strung out

and dying slow

 

The jester bested

the king

 

And the pain of your need

dimmed the light of your soul

 

You’d say anything

Do anything

Kill anyone

 

And now

the programs sprout

like mushrooms

pretty with disease

nutritious with bacteria

 

And you live in

cold and wretched

shadows

 

in cold and wretched

places

 

with a cold and wretched

heart.

 

and cold and wretched

voices in your head.

 

I would reach out to you,

but you won’t put your hand out,

except to pull a weapon on me

and have me supply your

demon’s need

 

Sometimes I just gave it to you,

because I knew you once

and recognized your shell.

 

I can’t return home,

And you can’t leave.

 

Is this goodbye?

 

I wish we knew

I wish it wasn’t

I hope it isn’t

 

but as we idolize

the parasite

that infested you

as he drives his Escalade,

his rims spinning as he goes

nowhere, a reflection

of both of you,

 

I can only look in from

the outside,

and say

I’m sorry

our

friendship

our

brotherhood

could not make you

feel good enough about

you

 

I still hold out hope,

my brother, that one day

through your nightmares

a dream will come instead,

and

you too, will remember

the man you

used to be

 

I’m standing in the light

calling

waiting for your

crawling shadow

to pass the dirty window

 

I’ll still be here

when you answer,

if you answer,

but

it’s up to you now…

Humanity Redeemed

3/5 of a person?

Property?

 

Stripped of dignity

No sense of civility

To the brink of insanity

 

See, the white man wears no placard

to identify himself.

He marches, but he is

 

separated,

 

to prove the point that

his species

is not in question

 

He will never be called

‘boy’ ‘Charlie’

‘nigger’ ‘coon’

‘savage’ ‘monkey’

 

He will not need to be protected

by the anti-lynching law (there had to be

a law, because lynching was addicting…)

and

Jim Crow doesn’t peck away

at his humanity

 

We would have our humanity back;

Not that it went away, but the effort

to remove it was prolonged, intense,

and relentless

 

And even now, still flares

like solar arcs

 

So yes,

we would take our humanity back,

and whether you like it or not…

 

We don’t need

your permission.

 

Of Soldiers Brave and True

Respect and honor

to our

Black soldiers

brave and true

 

Highly decorated

but also

 

segregated

 

You went

and fought

 

one war

 

they told you

they needed you for,

wishing they didn’t

 

But we all know

you went

and fought

 

two wars

 

and won

them both

 

Thank you.

 

Welcome back

to your people

 

and

 

Welcome Home

to your country

too.

For Real (or Ode to a Conspiracy)

Author’s Note: I remember standing on the stoop of my grandmother’s brownstone in Harlem, and we watched a line of people form because the drug supply had come in. There were young men in business suits, mothers with baby carriages, and wide mix of ages. My grandmother turned to me and said, “This sure is a weak society out here.” Given the time she grew up in, and the circumstances she had to endure, I had no answer. Did our ancestors really fight so hard, so long to survive, so we could kill ourselves, and say it was someone else’s fault?

 

“The CIA put drugs in our neighborhoods.”

And we used them.

 

“The government put guns in our neighborhood.”

We used those too.

 

So let me ask you: If I put a bomb on your doorstep,

and you take it inside, and it blows up on you,

who’s responsible for the damage it caused?

 

The key to countering conspiracies is sabotage,

not compliance.

 

Break the strings

 

Become a real man

instead of a ‘real nigga’

 

And free yourself.

For real.

 

No, My Love

No, my love

you will

not

speak of things

done in darkness,

of

things that strip you

of your clothing,

then your innocence,

and maybe,

if you’re really, really good…

 

your life

 

No, my love

you will

not

speak of the pain

in your heart

and long showers that

never

purify

your tainted soul

 

 

No, my love

you will

not

speak of my cruelty,

my cursing,

my fists,

my feet.

 

No, my love

you will

smile,

and the mask of

our dead love

will harden

like a cocoon.

 

And then,

 

let only

fantasy butterflies

alight from your tongue.

 

Where Prayers Go to Die

Unheard, or unanswered?

Does it matter now?

Their prayers lifted high in tender faith,

were shattered by the godfist in derisive mockery.

 

The eyes close,

the grip weakens,

the sight fades,

and the breath grows shallow,

 

and they are free.

 

But the gods are not where they’re going

And the river is black and cold

 

They can have no vessel of silver

They’ll receive no provision of gold

 

And stone by stone,

the ghosts tear the walls

apart,

For they are a part

of nothing,

having become

everything.

 

Standing among the ruins,

 

they mourn their dreams,

and in the gathering light of dawn,

they dissipate once more

 

And the whispered susurration

of fervid entreaty once more

forms the misty morning veil

around the broken walls

where prayers go to

die.

 

The Ice-Blue King

I see him on the throne

in this cavernous hall,

alone, utterly alone,

as all around him slowly chips away,

and crumbles,

and dies.

 

He waits, but not for me.

A longing puts an aura round him

and fills the hollow alcove

with a shimmering

sky-blue burst.

 

Breath becomes ice crystals,

and flesh becomes blue,

but he is waiting

for something, or someone,

somehow still living

in the crippling, crumbling

cold now draped about him

like a royal robe

 

There will be no spring thaw

of his ice blue gaze,

no warming of his iron blue heart,

no budding blossom of love.

 

His wrath will fall,

hard and cold

as his kingdom,

when his people return…

 

if  they return…

 

if they ever  return…

 

before the castle

crumbles, and collapses

on the crown of

the ice-blue king.

Flowers in Her Hair

She always loved to wear them

around her raven curls.

I said “That’s too flamboyant;

you’re not like other girls.”

She smiled and said “I like them,

and know you like them too.”

I said “I do. And flowers

look beautiful on you.”

And on the ship she traveled,

that sank into the sea,

the flowers that adorned her

came floating back to me.

She always loved to wear them

around her raven curls.

And now I’ve no desire

for any other girls,

for love had crossed an ocean,

perilous, dark and deep.

And now I see her flowers

bloom only in my sleep.

I see them multicolored

around her raven curls.

She calls on me to save her

as the deep water swirls.

And no, I cannot save her.

But even so I try

before the deep blue claims her.

Before she sinks to die.

She takes the wreath of flowers,

entangled in a curl.

She hands them to me, smiling,

As ocean winds a-twirl.

She always loved to wear them.

I still remember when.

And when I live no longer,

I’ll crown her once again.

She always loved to wear them.

I’ll keep them here until

we walk the sky together.

And she will wear them still.

 

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: