A little something for Spooky Season

A little something for Spooky Season

Angel Fancies

Shy and peeking
through the cracks,
a spirit shivered white,
disturbed fleeting dust

fragile as new maple leaves,
the widow starts a-working
such warmth within the
vague spot of light which

fell from the open door,
bubbling ragged and
wispy wet poetry
from ribboned solitude

flight of frantic wings
around her shine
angel fancies,
blown up and away.

Continue reading “A little something for Spooky Season”

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Savoring the Sweetness

Savoring the Sweetness

 

They walked in that pagan dream
wherein violets grew
distant flutes were playing,
stood alone in a wonderland
as the deer of legend ran past,
plum light intense around him

she loosened her hair, rearranged it,
wished she was wearing her
wrapper with the torn ribbon bows
he dared not look–in reverence
turned his glance from the
worshipful agony they shared

a holiday of silence as they sipped
from silver cups, attraction of
opposites, solidified by peril
hastily she touched his hair,
embraced him with the tenderness
of a crow calling the spring to come.

 
Found poem, culled from pages: 74, 77, 78-79,451-452, and 737 of the novel Andersonville, by MacKinlay Kantor.
Previosuly published on Found Poetry Review’s “Pultizer Remix Project” website for National Poetry Month, April 2013.  
Photo “Blue Forest Path,” courtesy of Nicolas Raymond under a Creative Commons license, www.freestock.com.  
 

Mr. Water Gate

Mr. Water Gate

Mr. Water Gate333333

 

Sour faced Mr.

water gate

gone to vote, rigged

                the entire burden

                         lazybones slapped

forget fact

                fiends in human form

forget

          America

children worshipped guns

he adored

stars

        brass

              his mother

Christmas.

 

Blackout poem from Page 642, Andersonville, by MacKinlay Kantor, 1955
Previously published on the Found Poetry Review’s Pulitzer Remix Project website, April 2013.

For My Immigrant Ancestors

 

Road to Nowhere Ethan Crowley
Road to Nowhere, by Ethan Crowley

Ode to Cardamom

Daughter of Kerala
the Queen of spices
ran wild in the monsoon forest
set sail on the backs of intrepid wanderers
and roamed the world for thousands of years
before she stopped in the snow,
bedraggled at a Bavarian merchant’s door
and was invited in to sit by the fire
to stay a few hundred years more.

Her warm flavor conjures the palaces of India,
intoxicating scents of Egypt, Greece and Persia.
These healing seeds of Sumer and Asia
were preserved in the dough rolled through
my grandmother’s speckled hands,
the sole survivor of her abandoned history.

The jar waits behind the coriander and cumin
and on the longest night of the year,
I grind the green seeds on my metate
slowly savoring the motion.
When the baking is done, and the flame has cooled
I pop a moon-shaped cookie, and my mouth
is filled with the flavor of my inheritance–
this smoldering spice sleeping sweetly
in a blanket of sugared lace.

 

Running

Running

 

I carry a picture of the two of us
about to walk to our first day of school
I clutch the sleeve of your blood-clot paisley shirt
that’s untucked itself from your brown corduroys
long hair and longer collar, defiant,
the shadow of our mother falls behind us,
my braids tight, I wear a green checked dress
my thin arms cling, wrapped tightly around yours
head leaned on your shoulder, gaze serious
I am trying to keep you with me—

You taught me to run on the balls of my feet
panting air quickly through our mouths like deer
extra oxygen pumping makes us fast
we fly over the dusty cracked concrete
past thirsty palm trees, drinking in moonlight,
leaping off curbs, through the weedy mud lot
bare feet floating over broken glass and pop tops,
I keep pace with the wind, you outrun me
fearing I’ll never catch up, I find you,
a laughing silhouette on the stairs.

That was before the door slammed
before the glass was broken—
before a needle ever went in
before they told you that you were stupid,
before you believed them.
I knew one day, you would just keep running,
but I didn’t know it would come on such
an ordinary day, a nothing day,
when I knocked on your door
and you just weren’t there.

For five years I scattered whispered prayers on
the Santa Ana winds, to blow through every
city park, jail cell, trash-can lined alley,
street corner, freeway bridge, and smoky bar
hoping they would find you.
I hiked alone on the Carrizo Plain,
stole a rock from the heart of the
San Andreas fault, where spirits dance
without heed or consequence,
so I could bring it to you.

You dug yourself out, like Lazarus
came back a prodigal son
they gave you a crown of sweet redemption
bathed in praise and washed in hallelujahs,
you tried to shake off your past, ran
over the Rockies, across the Great Divide
blew past the prairie’s wild horses, but
I could see a bloodless crooked finger
was still pointing
at your altar boy heart.

You made a bargain down there,
you knew a clock was ticking—
and some slithering thing
would come seeping
through the melting asphalt
to take you back,
and now it sitting in the corner
of this stark white room, where I am holding
onto your arm for the last time, your body is
the color of wrong, eyes yellow, like a cheetah

At dawn, a nurse wheeled in a tray
with coffee, and a plate
overflowing with pastries
before he quietly said,
it’s time.
I wanted to tell your stories,
I wanted to sing, or pray
your soul smooth, but I just
watched as you ran,
fast as deer, not looking back.

 

Previously published in volume 1, issue 4 of The Grief Diaries.  

 

 

For his birthday and Pride

For his birthday and Pride

Alan Turing, 7 June 1954

With my eyes closed I can almost see you
playing a game of noughts and crosses
during French class at Sherbone
your china white schoolboy fingers
wrapped around a pencil
prying at the gates of mystery
with your vanadium steel mind.

Left alone against sulking cold bricks,
I pressed myself into your shadow
walked away with it and
puzzled my way through the war
in a whitewashed hut at Bletchley,
creating the bombe that proved
contradiction can deduce
everything.

Now I have bungled my way to infamy
The “burglary and buggery”
being turned into a woman
for not being a proper man,
one can only giggle at the irony.

Now, the war has gone cold
they fear one drunken stumbling kiss
on a cobbled Manchester street
might infect the world
with a rash of atomic weapons.

Under their microscope,
I have had nothing left to do
but search the whorls
of fircones and daisy carpels
mapped with all mathematical certainty,
combing through the numbers
for an echo that might be you.

It is time to give up
this young man’s game.
soon the scent of bitter almonds
will send me off to sleep,
the poison apple on the nightstand
a symbol of the forbidden, hope
that your crooked smile and lightning wit,
will wake me from this dream.

Previously published in Floating Bridge Review Number Five, 2012 

Deep in the Green

Deep in the Green

Das große Rasenstück 

deep green, ochre green,
mould green, amber green
earth untamed, unkempt
majestic perspective
rendered expertly
into perfect fertile chaos

a handful of turf
subject to trampling
by horse or by foot,
cart wheel or plow
anywhere, everywhere,
look down

dandelions unbloomed
bowed in long grass
holding petals tight,
will burst forth–
three brilliant suns
at morning’s light

leaves don’t care
if they are ovate,
or spatulate,
are unaware
that they are dactylis
and poa pretensis

darkening,
the golden sky
halos the blades
of grass and seed,
the tallest growing
beyond the frame

worms wander
through white roots
tethered to a common plot,
creeping things live,
feed and breathe
unseen

Previously Published in Between the Lines, 2012.