Sailing in the Misty Air

 

When drifting down these darkened banks

I see a million stars that draw

My wondering stare.

I find my thoughts

shine like the moon

on you,

your shadow walking

through the misty air.

 

I don’t know if you wait

or if you’re gone.

I only hope your smile

will greet me there.

But if you’re not,

I’ll grieve as life goes on,

and find my thoughts

turn into misty air.

 

I hear the gurgling crackle

of the waves.

The current’s hand

both pulls and pushes there.

The gentle wind does

stir the current so.

The fog starts waltzing

with the misty air.

 

I wonder if I’ll ever make it back

to kiss your lips,

and touch the raven hair

that tickles at my neck and chest

as care dissolves to love

upon the misty air.

 

The Treasure of Us

I found it quite by accident,

long after

you were gone.

A sunbeam

through the dirty window

was resting on it,

a celestial beacon

like

a navigator’s star,

or a savior’s herald.

Emotions stirred,

slow and sluggish,

a snail waking from sleep.

I hesitated, standing in

the acrid, arid attic dust,

my heart warring

with my mind,

Do I open

the treasure of us?

Long buried memories

of times past,

of youth and strength,

of love and passion,

of you smiling,

of us, in love.

I could open

the creaky wooden lid,

softened, like me,

by age.

I could grasp

the rich fabric to my cheek,

and twirl the bright coins in my fingers,

admiring their sparkle and flash

in the fading light.

I could let slip

through my fingers

the bloody cloth and the fool’s gold.

But  it’s all of a piece, isn’t it?

And I would have

peace now.

I wiped my tears,

and left

the treasure of us

unopened.

I will hold it

in my heart,

in these last days.

For that is enough,

and somehow

more than riches.

Night Roads

This is a WIP currently being written in serial form at the link below.

Please check it out, and feel free to comment.

Be honest, but kind.

If you troll me, I will send zombie vampires to hunt you. In a novel, of course….

We all know there’s no such thing as zombie vam– (OW! Get back down there, you stinking–!)

 

http://channillo.com/series/night-roads/

The Days Were Few and Happy

The struggle to breathe

grows harder and laborious,

and soon, not worth the effort.

 

The heartbeat softens to a

padded thudding

of arrhythmic improvisation

 

The light, both sun and lamp alike,

grows dim

 

And the features

of your faces

so familiar

are now only

sketches in sepia

drawn by rheum,

inked in cataract,

and blindness creeps with

a serpent’s crafty slowness

to seize small sight

in its unrelenting

coils of darkness

 

But the memories

of grand carnivals,

of dire hurricanes,

laughter, tears

prizes, penalties

trials, victories

unity, dysfunction

safety , strife

 

holiday dinners

and birthday songs

 

pride and humility

for good or ill

all said and done

except the last

goodbye

and  giving the last remnants

of my love

 

The days were few and happy,

and the honor of growing

beside you

made it all

worthwhile.

 

 

Do the Bones of Men Remember?

Do the

bones of men

remember days

of brave and

daring deeds?

Do they long for

love and battle

when they rode their

noble steeds?

Do they mourn

the silent rhythm

of a strong and

beating heart?

Do they miss the

lilt of melody

and master works

of art?

Do they once recall

the clamor and the clanging

of their toil?

And the scent of

perfumed women

and the seasons

and the soil?

Do the

bones of men

remember night

and moon and sea

and star?

Do they contemplate

the faulted flesh that made them

what they are?

Do the bones remember

holding onto children, home

and wife?

Do the bones remember

anything at all of

loving life?

When we return to dust

I pray our bones will only sleep,

instead of dreaming

of the things of life

we couldn’t keep.

 

Why You Leaving Now, Daddy?

Back then

the shovels,

picks, hoes,

rakes, pitchforks,

axes and scythes

were held high

on tired shoulders

that had to make it

through

one more day

to eke out

a hardscrabble

living

under people

with hardscrabble hearts

 

They sang and joked

and laughed between

the grunts of effort

that went into

breaking ground

 

Their sweat brought

the flies and mosquitoes

 

Their existence brought

bullies carrying violence

 

But their thoughts were

on their wives and children,

who knew that when their men

left them

it was to make the

best life

they could until

they could do better

 

There was hope in their toil,

and love in their hearts

and it hurt them to see their women

standing with the children waving, sad smiles on their

little faces, and his wife with

worry in her eyes even though

she smiled too

 

He might run into the wrong man today…

 

Coming home tired,

to a cooked meal,

and children on his lap,

and a warm bed with

the love of his life

holding him close.

 

So

 

Now that the chains are off,

Now that you’re free

Now that you can dream your own dreams

and lift up the next generation

 

Why you leaving now, daddy?

Why you in jail now, daddy?

Why did you shoot that other Black man?

Was he a daddy too?

Why you don’t come by to see us?

Why is mama crying?

Did you hit her again, daddy?

 

Don’t you love us anymore?

 

Daddy? Daddy?

 

Don’t go…

 

Why you leaving now, daddy?

 

 

Aren’t You Tired?

Hatred

takes

time and energy

 

Hatred

wears away

the good in us

by gradual degrees

of erosion until

you no longer

realize

you’re empty

inside

 

Hatred is

tiring to

perpetuate

 

Hatred is

tiresome to

its victims

and targets

 

Hatred

is based

on

private preferences

in a

public world.

 

 

Let us be done with

Hatred

and be about

the business

of rebuilding

the land

we now share

and each other

 

We will never

purge evil

as long as we

practice it

look the other way

when it occurs

take pictures of it

say “Glad it’s not me.

and

convince ourselves

‘it will never change

because we can’t change.”

 

Why not?

 

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.