A Season's Echo of PassingRows of dried corn stalks bend
with the wind that
thirsts for rain
that will only come when it has died
and the ears of corn cease to rattle.
And the thunder's distant laugh
will chase after the snakes
heading for their mounds on higher ground,
their husks abandoned-
the flash floods may yet pass them by.
He Found Me Before I Knew1He Found Me Before I Knew2 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
suddenly rain -
our reflection in the windshield
becomes a deluge
texting each other a renga -
on rain-soaked streets
home from work
he finds me on the bed
in a pile of warm laundry
between desires -
the children we were
in another life
finishing the fence
he smells of wood chips
from my dad's workshop
I connect constellations
of freckles on his shoulders
gray morning -
I open a melon
its green perfume
at the dining table
writing this haiku
the fridge faintly hums
MissionaryWhen he first saw herMissionary2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she appeared unique to all things,
and the day they met, he already knew.
It was during their first time,
the way planets come and go
as time loses count of their orbit.
It never seems to end, then he
growls low in her ear as she swoons,
of how missionary will never
be the same for him again.
Blue LotusBlue Lotus2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Coming up from Aswan with his catch,
he tacks the course of his dhow
along the Nile of her dark eyes,
her long hair,
the narcotic of blue water lilies,
her lotus pose facing both
the rising, and the setting sun,
the young fisherman begs to know
as he sings upward with his might
and his desire, into the sail
that catches the crosswind--
What is your name, scented one,
in the smoke that rises
from the shores of the cataracts,
where I bring to you my bounty!
He peers into the azure above,
waiting for her answer to fill his sail,
calling out once more as his teeth gleam--
Ma huwa 'ismuki?
HereafterGreat uncle Henry's funeral was on a SundayHereafter2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of deep skies and up-drafting clouds, and
everyone stood around the mahogany coffin as it
glistened in the drifting patchwork of sunlight
while I kept my eyes on it, knowing that soon
I would lose sight of it forever.
His mother died in childbirth, and he always felt
responsible. What a terrible weight on one's self.
I reached out to place my hand on the coffin
and murmured, "Your mother will explain, Henry."
My mind was blank during the long trip, and when
I got home, I sat alone in the kitchen and kept
dialing his voice message speaking from the
hereafter as I wept, before the service shut off.
SiblingI can't quote a night's skySibling2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and do justice to its secrets
yet, sibling stars beckon.
They seem so close,
pulling veils of modesty
off each other
while I stand under the
echo of silence,
its light tethering my gaze
even though time had
snuffed them long before
I stood alone in its wake.
Living the Everyday Haiku1Living the Everyday Haiku2 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
climbing the first vertical
it comes to—
a snail on my shoe
leaves falling everywhere
I look, how easy it is
to let them go
I marvel at every
rose bush petal
holding fast in the wind
seed packets in a drawer...
dormant dreams of an herbal garden
cutting the moon in half
but not the piercing wind
still in bed—
winter scrubbing the remains
of autumn from the trees
7 (seen on local news today)
waves scattering cliff side
spectators with sea foam and awe
how cold the night—
no sound of cricket or bird
yet his breath in slumber
pulling taut the bed sheet,
outline of my tortoiseshell comb
lace curtain patterns
from a kitchen breeze
fill the empty fruit bowl
chopping winter vegetables
my thoughts of summer plums
reflection of my rouged lips
on the window sill
through a water glass
pomegranate halves, red
on half-read newspaper
Sensual Moon: Love Haiku1Sensual Moon: Love Haiku2 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
winter crescent moon
across my breasts-
he calls me wisteria
clouds under the moon-
yielding winter pears
selecting ripe persimmons -
warm scent of last night
green shoots forced
from the gardener's manure -
we linger, moon watching
on a moonlit garden path
too cold out to be tempted
6 our astrological elements
my air to his fire -
a position for
every phase of the moon
tangent moon -
the sounds he makes;
a night creature's song
after, my streaming hair
for his head to rest upon
the low-slung moon
also in repose
moon tides penetrate -
he's still with me
at dawn's first light
church dogs1church dogs5 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
fat and content
with its short life
a barn-sour horse
of hot air balloons
at the zoo-
sneaking a grope
by the python cage
on an inverted leaf-
car window down
leaves and voices drifting in
highway stretches far
but not far enough-
early morning walk
and church dogs
soccer ball out of bounds
for the ice cream truck
the ciggies Dad left
ten years ago
In Praise OfI cannot avert my eyes whileIn Praise Of2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in praise of yours, striving
towards the clearness of your being,
across who's face dances the
blood-red, wine-flames of life
on its skin of gold leaf,
my breath bellows it into
sunsets of a citrus palette,
brushing all forms free of stain,
against which the melodious riot of
existence peals its flute notes
without ever leaving our presence!
The Grave by The SycamoreOnce upon a Sunday mass, when the time for bread had passed.The Grave by The Sycamore2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
I took a stroll on hollow ground, past the ancient sycamore.
While I wondered, nearly falling, quietly there came a sighing.
As of someone gently crying, crying by a grave I've seen before.
"Tis some mourner" I uttered "sighing at this grave I've seen before."
Only this and nothing more.
Ah, I can plainly recall, it was in the barren fall
when they lowered her bones beneath the hollow floor.
Desperately I wished her healed; I wished for deaths kiss to yield
for my love to emerge-emerge from this grave I've seen before.
when the earth didn't sever, I knew she was lost forevermore.
This it is and nothing more.
As I stood there reminiscing, I was almost missing-
almost missing those cries from the grave by the sycamore.
My footsteps grew quicker, as the air grew thicker
racing fleetly towards the stone upon the graveyard floor.
There lies the maiden I lovingly adore, a memory from distant yore.
My lost lover, nevermore.
The WitchesThe witches speak a languageThe Witches1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
clearer than my mother's, the edge
of a blade, crack of broken glass,
silky slide of sin, come in, come in, in
my ear, a soft patting drum, the
spell bound lullaby
they croak and coo, all manner of
tone and it is sweet as the summer
tongue growing fat on hand cart ice cream
pops, brisk as the Boston cabbies,
neither here nor there, they are
ever here evermore. They are
inside me, flapper dancing
the pelvis bones, acutely out of
style and carefree, they have me,
the potion's daughter, their invitation
sheer formality. I am in, I am
in, I am deep
at the bottom of the cauldron.
Do you dare consume me? The woman
who gives cancer out freely and lives
to die yet never dies, the sick
anomaly. Can you hear them?
Press your ear
to the flat of my skin. I am
the cast-off shell of the sea,
hollow and rustling – that, there,
that is them – their greedy hands
are chanting, come in, come in,
duetThe earth is not perfectduet3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in its circumference,
it wobbles and shudders
as it sings-
the pitched layers of
and deep molten throbs.
Each person makes a noise
that drowns out the sound
against a tsunami's push
or the tumbling thunder.
Do they ever know the song
before it's too late, will they
mute themselves long enough
to know the words.
When you and I are together
we quietly hum in hopes of
hearing it in tune,
of being a duet in sync.
When we can't, we touch;
the friction of bodies
become tuning forks
vibrating with the tides,
of bird and beast migrating
by the silvery tines of stars
to the music of our only home.
My Poems are ScarsWhat is the point of poetry?My Poems are Scars2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It only creates a record
Of things I would rather forget.
So why do I even write it?
Why do I document despair
To dwell on it later
And relive those memories
That should be old scars?
Is it because I cant remember
Without some trigger
And some masochistic part of me
Cannot let go of my past?
My poems are what I have left
Of that place I once called home.
But why do I read them
When Im so much happier here?
Remembering TrainsI recall how as a childRemembering Trains7 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I'd walk the railroad tracks,
surveying the soot-covered ground
in search of Morocco and Spain.
I'd lie prone across the wood ties
to hear trains roll from miles away,
feeling them in my belly.
If I had pennies to spare,
I'd place them along the iron
and rush back the next day
to claim the flattened treasure.
I remember a late summer
when humidity was thick in the air,
lightning arcs lit the night,
riding the rails down the line.
So startling was the crackle
that flew in a shower of sparks
rivaling the 4th of July.
I loved the rumble of three engines
hauling a full load of boxcars.
The moan they'd make from the weight,
and the slow journey up the grade.
Sunlight flickered through the
wake of smoke passing overhead
as I walked behind the caboose
waving endlessly to the watchman.
So it is, when the night is still.
I hear a plaintive wail as a
train calls from afar.
I warm to the memories, and I answer.
Descent into MadnessDon't dare to cross the line, my dear,Descent into Madness2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Beware of morbid implications,
Of atrocities so sweet, of fear,
Of nightmares coming true, damnation.
Toe the line, just once, my love,
And like an acrobat hold tight,
For demons rule the sky above,
But hell is worse you know I'm right.
This world is madness, so beware:
No going back if you but stumble.
If insanity a friend declares,
Dare not surrender with no struggle.
Know: I've looked beyond it all,
And scarred for life I came back through.
Ignore the multi-voices call,
No longer 'tis the place you knew.
Dance, o dance, but never touch
The triumph of the dark divine.
What distance put is never much:
Don't ever dare to cross the line.
Naked in the Cafeteria1Naked in the Cafeteria1 year ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
in a coffee shop
with my test kit,
too anxious to wait
I pierce a fingertip–-
the bright bead
tossing a used syringe,
follow the dots
on the stomach
from my novice tremors
still new at it, yet
I don't bother with
while seeking a new site
for my insulin fix
I poke myself so often
being naked in a
Of Random Thoughts and ThingsLast night, I thought of my first catOf Random Thoughts and Things2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when I was a child,
a jet black kitten with six toes on each paw,
and the lemon tree that grew
in the rear of my parents' backyard-
I couldn't climb that tree,
full of wicked thorns that tore my flesh.
So why did I think of the cat and the tree
on this particular night?
They came to me in a fog which
should have made me sad. After all-
five years later, I found my cat by the side
of the house in a pile of dried leaves.
I carried her to the back and sat vigil
under the lemon tree until she died.
It made me wonder, is it always this way
with all things, to romanticize years later?
I started to plan in my head, a new place,
a retreat where my love and I could live:
I scoured through catalogs of furnishings
hand-picked by the hour,
in a virtual tour, setting up and
arranging, mulling over and re-doing,
from page to mind's eye,
the goblets and plates, the linens and drapes
'round tables and chairs,
a bed with down pillows, lamps on their stands-
SnowiesThe owlets were coming of ageSnowies2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
while grounded, testing their wings
as father soared overhead,
his children grouping for one more test.
Feathers puffed in awkward stance
one by one to Sunday school
beyond the tundra fields
of late summer skeeters,
to where fat lemmings flourish-
just fly over the last
grass-choked stream, said mother
(but they decide to wade across),
past wind-blown dunes of green, where
lies the sea beyond, with more lemmings
that hide and play near their burrows
than any snow owl on the wing could wish for.
Bad Mouth Habitsi.Bad Mouth Habits4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I carry God around in my lip like he's chew,
spitting his name out in poems like potholes,
I make everything a simile
for the hold he has on me.
When it comes to men,
I've the appetite of a Roman housewife,
I take, I taste, I tear,
swallow and then then toss up
for the next course.
I don't kiss anyone so dearly
as the glass pipe bridged between lips
Jameson, you're an Irish Lad,
a young ram of bucking proportions,
I let you rattle around my mouth
til I herd you in
Sometimes there's nothing so sweet
as the jack-hammer of angry words
or the steel trap clamp of silence.
I exercise my oral rights in
Strange FleshCarry me so my feet won'tStrange Flesh2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
touch the floor,
taste me when we arrive,
breathe your life into me
while entering the
wound of your obsession,
it consumes where I bleed;
deny me your veil
and salvage your religion--
sin upon sin wades in spume
each time you emerge,
to offer me its strange flesh.
Erotiku in 10 movements1.Erotiku in 10 movements7 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
full moon rising
of her time
scents awaken his body
two lovers nibble
the steam of
their mutual breath
they love in desperation
for the winter of
mesmerized by the
contrast on his fingers
the essence of her
he holds her teacup body
in symmetry to his own
their moves are graceful
the flesh of a female
and the sweet promise
orchids in the garden
dark moon setting
where she rests her head
to rise again
The World of My DreamsOut of the grass sprang gentle handsThe World of My Dreams2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that carried me over a field of clovers
And I drifted beneath the clouds,
gazing in the idle wonder
that creeps upon men like curling ivy
There was no bluer sky than that day,
and the trees-
there have never been more hearty trees
than the giant oaks towering above me
as the hands carried me further-
And when I awoke in this mysterious land,
I breathed in the scent of moist grass,
relieved to find that it was not just a dream,
and that the world in which I lived
was as beautiful as the world of my dreams
The Bride of AtlasShe met him when the world was new;The Bride of Atlas2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when wars were fought in the cosmos
and celestial beings deigned expose
and visit themselves upon the mortals.
In darkness he came to her;
somewhere between fantasy and the real,
disguised as a human, burly and firm
with want of a lover and yearning for release.
She knew him as a man
and he loved her as his wife.
A Titan he had always been
at battle with Olympians
who garnered all of humanity's love
and chose war over peace to keep it.
As lightning struck, thunder roared,
and waves destroyed the earth,
all grew quiet as Olympus rejoiced
and she knew that he had lost.
Zeus then rest upon his shoulders
the weight of the world eternal.
A punishment made more severe
by lack of warmth from her mortal heart.
He carried his punishment made unending
as Earth's coarsened face gouged his back.
The insects and beasts stung and mauled
and the humans warred and burned his flesh.
Still he held the world atop his shoulders
FaithOne late summer, I took a trip to where native grasses used to grow as high as the flanks of my paternal grandfather's bay, the one with the dark line of its equine heritage down the spine. He used him as a pleasure horse to ride when he had spare time, but he hardly ever did, especially once his brood started to multiply. That's when grandfather hooked the bay to a plow, turning the soil so he could plant crops to help feed them all.Faith4 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Grandfather had two broods, actually. The first were five children, and his wife, who all perished in the influenza pandemic of 1918. The second were five more children, and his final wife, who lived long lives as did he (almost a century), and so too the marriage. Having the benefit of longevity brings many life changes; uprooting and relocating numerous times. Nothing stays the same. Even when you think it does, it never stays young... except the memories.
After a journey by plane, and then by train, and then by rental car, I wound my way through w