GodGod is in her rocking chair,
wood creaking as she hums back and forth.
I want to climb onto her sun-warmed lap,
breathe in the smell of air dried dresses,
May breezes caught in her floral-print skirt.
Her hands are gentle as they stroke my hair,
her knitting going still when I rest my head
on her knees where her yarn was.
She holds me as I cry.
Strung OutConsider me hanging on the line,Strung Out in Free Verse More Like This
a dress without a body waiting for the sun,
vibrant when she's not heavy, waterlogged.
As a child, I enjoyed making orange smiles,
while wondering why we didn't have
a clothesline stretching from tree to tree
like I'd seen on the television.
I admired the way skirts became birds,
picked up by the wind they adored,
while sheets grabbed the wind like a sail,
and the clouds were always made of cotton,
and the denim sat like lead.
Now every time I put myself out to dry,
the sky gets heavy and breaks on me.
I am halfway towards being ready,
and then the rain rips me down again.
Maybe that's why we bought a machine
to wring the water from our clothes,
because there was no risk of bad weather inside.
EasyWas there ever a girl so strange?Easy in Free Verse More Like This
Smoky hearted, grabbed at the waist
by the next passing breeze.
She keeps one foot stuck in
the wrong side of her conscience,
the other grounded in nothing.
She replaces men like lipstick, she
wears her promiscuity like
last night's perfume.
SleeplessBack pressed against the wall,Sleepless in Free Verse More Like This
I stare into three o'clock nothings.
Left with watered-down thoughts,
exhausted, mumbled musings,
I have little more to do than
mutter myself down from
whatever fight I'm losing against myself
as the stars grow all the dimmer.
What about sleepless exhaustion
destroys the barrier between
stream of consciousness and the
All I Ask (Beseeching the Crows)I want to sing to the crowsAll I Ask (Beseeching the Crows) in Free Verse More Like This
that they might stop their
raucous shouting to
cock their heads and listen.
Up in the branches,
where the wind twists her hair,
my voice carries soft and
is lost in their black-feathered throats.
Were they silent,
perhaps God would hear
the heavy note hanging
in my soul-twisting calls.
A Cold RenewalMake me pure,A Cold Renewal in Free Verse More Like This
like today's unmarked snow.
Windows are glowing with warmth,
soft amber lighting that casts itself in
stained glass fragments across these
I want release to color me
in that same way,
relief washing me out and
re-painting me in golden tones
that only letting go could understand.
I unclench my tired hands and
trade bitter sighs for peace.
Names and ShapesI have broad shoulders,Names and Shapes in Free Verse More Like This
for a woman.
They call my body
"apple shaped" in that
my hips are narrow.
I don't keep time like an hourglass,
I am not sweet like a pear.
But I still hold the allure
of the forbidden fruit I am named for,
and my shoulders are wide
to bear the weight placed upon them.
HeavyWhen you let me goHeavy in Free Verse More Like This
by the side of the road,
please remember the string
that you tied to my soul.
I'm the balloon you inflated
just to let go;
the night is too cold
and I'm sinking so slowly down.
Why'd you have to cut this
the thin wire trailing
from my heartbeat to yours?
Remember the science of
the desolate sky,
because the night is too cold
and I'm sinking so slowly down.
AcheIt comes and goesAche in Free Verse More Like This
like an unwelcome houseguest,
leaving me with messes I don't need,
and it never shuts the door
to keep the cold out.
I tried shutting off the lights
and closing the blinds,
twisting the key in the padlock
and boarding the windows,
but as long as light can
seep through the cracks,
this shadow will follow
and dig its fingers into my shoulders.
I bruise easily, it knows,
and it revels in watching
me shift in discomfort
while it grips me.
Like a ghost,
it won't let go.
AdriftRun headlong into the wind with me.Adrift in Free Verse More Like This
We are only ships on this endless blue,
without anchor, north star, or compass spinning.
Find me as I lose myself with you.
I am Icarus RedeemedEven when every dream had drownedI am Icarus Redeemed in Free Verse More Like This
and love left me choking on dust
and I felt utterly abandoned by
every aspect of my envisioned life,
something in me set on fire.
Oh, I know heat rises
and I'm lifting off.
God knows where it's taking me,
heaven has yet to shut me out.
Oh, my wings are broken
but at least I'm falling free.
It's the impact,
not my plummeting spirit,
that will throttle the light in me.
Everything I Want To BeI want to write something poignant and moving.Everything I Want To Be in Free Verse More Like This
It will make you cry and make you laugh.
It will win awards and give me prestige.
It will change someone's life.
I want to write something hilarious and heart-wrenching.
It will make and break relationships because of realizations of truth.
It will make you think differently than before you cracked open the first page.
It will make you want to read it again and again and again.
I want to write something that means something.
It will be translated into language after language, copy after copy published.
It will be read in schools, but the kids will actually enjoy it. Even after the thing is analyzed to death.
It will make them stop to think.
I want to write something real.
But don't we all, I suppose?
If You're the Bird Today while I was driving home, I looked out the window and saw two birds, a hawk and a smaller bird, of whose type I was unsure. The two of them were flying together, the smaller one above the hawk.If You're the Bird in Philosophical More Like This
It was interesting to see, the small bird flapped and flapped its wings frantically, but in that way it was able to go just as high, if not higher, than the hawk. It was also able to fly just as fast.
The hawk, on the other hand, flew in lazy circle, hardly flapping its wings and gliding for most of the way.
It was interesting. I wondered about it for a while.
Birds of a feather flock together.
Or do they?
Bored and LazyIf boredom is the mother of all invention,Bored and Lazy in Free Verse More Like This
then laziness is her under-appreciated
but particularly persistent
Please Define Normal For MeThe teacher standsPlease Define Normal For Me in Free Verse More Like This
before the class,
a ruler in one hand.
She taps the board
and pulls out a marker,
writing in black ink
define normal for me."
Not a sound.
Not a peep.
All the students do is stare,
glassy eyed and hardly there.
Once again she taps the board.
Class is still in session."
blink their eyes.
They look again at the board.
She writes her question down.
"Please define 'normal' for me."
No one dares to raise a hand,
but at least they are awake.
The timid girl, who sits in the back,
her hair dyed brightly purple and green,
barely dares to raise a hand.
"Ma'am, do you mean,
from the dictionary?"
The teachers smiles,
looks at the class.
"No, I don't,
I mean to ask,
what does normal
in terms of people's tastes.
What is a normal person,
It's plain to see,
in the faces of the "popular"
what they'd like to say.
But no one wants to offend
this amazing teacher,
We Live in HousesWe live in the houses of the pastWe Live in Houses in Free Verse More Like This
with the sentiments of now.
In trees of glass
with houses of metal.
We ride our clinking dragons
and steam-powered horses
and fight with whirring swords.
Play the times,
but where are we now?
It's too hard to remember when.
Sometimes it's better that way.
So we fight as we're told
and learn what they teach
and quest for the answer someday.
The castles are created from
iron and steel.
Clothing is created.
What is natural?
We learn how to tell our lives from ancient books
and long ago movies.
Who knows the meaning of self anymore?
Let it be.
Sometimes it's better not to know.
And we'll quest for the answers someday.
JulyJuly was a month of a capella nights,July in Free Verse More Like This
Red heliotrope scores and blanched
A singing of nerves hewn to a cry:
Fine-tuned and skinned
To carpal ascension,
The quivers of a quaver
Due to crescendo.
I hovered, wing-like, on the husk
Of schizocarp dreams,
But sprang forth undone
By chorus and synchrony.
AugustAugust passed by with drunken gait,August in Free Verse More Like This
Lurching forward, sprawling back,
In drunken haze.
Days span by,
Loomed long, snapped shut
A mousetrap traipse, and
All along, all alone:
Nights and haunting,
Dawn and wanting.
LandscapesI watch your spine twist into a tree,Landscapes in Free Verse More Like This
Gnarled and branching, the furled
Eyebrows of craggy sea;
Your feet valleyed, knees hunched
In ragged sirocco winds.
I watch the tundra whisper winter
Down your sternum, fjords unravelling
Each rib, curled like foetus coves
In terracota wombs.
The earth lisping
Across your folds, sifting
Your pangea mold.
SeptemberLong before winter,September in Free Verse More Like This
September took shelter
In white night cataracts
And sleepwalkers drifting
Through anti-gravity snow.
The sky dipped over blunted
Like cold-tipped fingers
I wafted through the hours,
The days, the weeks:
Airless, so airless,
UnfoldI stepped out of my skinUnfold in Free Verse More Like This
Today, and it snowed
Knee caps and shoulder
Blades. I spotted a few
Moons and oleandar too,
Jangled and jarred
Along my collarbone; I
Wondered at the finches,
The swallows and warblers
Moulting like fledgelings
Between my seams.
I stood there for a moment,
For you to unfold, dislodge
From my spine, but
Only a flicker-whisk
Of your fey smile
Slid round my ribs.
BaptismFollow you down to the red oak treeBaptism in Free Verse More Like This
As the air moves thick through the hollow reeds
I will wait for you there until someone comes
To carry me, carry me down
Third star to the right,
straight on 'til morning,
Follow not weeping violins
nor crooning of angels' voices
but the breeze's whisper
to the bay
to die and rise again
Payne's Grey IPayne's GreyPayne's Grey I in Free Verse More Like This
dolphins take refuge as the
ocean is whipped up into a frenzy beneath
Gulls' screams join in chorus
with the howling wind
as the waves collapse upon themselves.
The salt spray and
smoke from the sinking galleon
Fallen sailors find their clothes suddenly heavy
as icy torrents drag them beneath the roiling surface.
The air tingles with the electricity of
a lightning bolt waiting to strike.
Letter to a FriendTo a friend,Letter to a Friend in Emotional More Like This
I know I don't actually know you "in real life," but that doesn't matter. I've seen your creativity, insight, strength, and wit shine through both your written work and our conversations and have come to consider you a friend (I hope that isn't too forward).
I know you like bees, flowers, and pie for your birthday dessert; and that you don't like making a fool of yourself or people asking you what book you're reading while you're reading it. I know you love your family very much (at least, most of the time) but hate some of the things going on through no fault of anyone's.
From across the internet I've watched you chronicle ups and downs, good days and bad days, and for the first time since I've met you, a birthday- on which we've made the decision to run away to the Mediterranean and build a palace (or was it a mansion?) from all those pennies we wish we hadn't earned.
By the time you read this, it won't be your birthday anymore, but since you've been down lately I hoped
Prussian BluePrussian BluePrussian Blue in Free Verse More Like This
uniforms clothe men sleeping
under a brooding, moonless sky
beside a deep, dark forest.
It is swathed in almost silence;
only the hoot of an owl
and the creaking of the nearly frozen river break it.
The air tastes brisk and clean
with a hint of evergreen
and fresh fallen snow.
The watchman shivers as he looks into the sky
and feels as if he's drowning in a cold pool of water
or perhaps floating upwards into the nothingness above him
on the back of the North Wind.
The SnakeBoredom was universal.The Snake in Short Stories More Like This
Temptation was only felt by a selected few.
Eve, for example, was tempted by an apple and the voice of a handsome snake. So persuasive that snake: so sly and silky, picking the angel Eve from her sweet Eden as easy as plucking a blackberry off of a thorn-less bush. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Moriarty could relate to the snake. It was a wonderful creature; he'd taken notes, pretending to be on the side of the angels when really it still had a toe in the devil's parlour, keeping its place at the head of the table in time for tea. As he sat in his hideout, Moriarty smile to himself. How foolish people can be, he thought. How quaint. Aren't they funny?
The computer that perched at his fingertips glowed, the screen still active. It was uploading something. A series of zeroes and ones streamed like a waterfall: green on a black screen. They reflected in Moriarty's eyes. It was a key. A key that didn't even exist. He smirked to himself again, delighted with
FrenzyDrip.Frenzy in Short Stories More Like This
All of it. Give it to me. Every drop. Every drip.
Give it to me. Now.
I lied. I lied, it wasn't pig's blood, it was the thick, red juice of a man in the street: ash-burned, empty headed, veins pumped with drugs and wine and beer and fear. He cried and struggled under my grip and oh, how he satisfied me. I don't know why. I don't care why. I was trying it out. I was bored. I was having fun. Do you know what fun is?
It changed me. The fog. It changed me. My fall is coming soon and my heart how it thuds and leaps and spins and tries to fight the angel inside of me that begs and shrieks and I want to tear it out, shut it up by any means necessary.
I want it all. Iron and booze and ooze and fire.
I want the sensation of blood on my chin, my face, my hands. The meat in my mouth exploring my tongue and teeth and lips and throat and I want that crack. Pop. The snip and snap of bone and flesh and the silence that follows and makes me dizzy. There's nothing wr
LogicLike living without airLogic in Concrete Poetry More Like This
Or water, I'll be
Growing older by the second, becoming a corpse before your very eyes on this sofa as the
Indecipherable cells in my head will crumble and rot and decay without its sweet satisfaction. Please, I
Crave your logic, your puzzles, your ideas, and I'll drink them like the vampire's Sunday wine.
I Am EyesI am eyes, that unholy duality.I Am Eyes in Free Verse More Like This
Six deer browse in the dead field;
they have survived late fall
with its plague of men and guns.
I am eyes, turned to the pregnant sky.
Pockets for hands, thick wool for feet,
but eyes take the cold head-on.
There is clamor far away. There is cackle and bray.
There is grumble and wine, there is raw meet.
Handed over like suspicion, taken like greed,
like gold from the cocoa-skinned hide-hidden
lesser gods, there disappears my world.
But I know nothing of this. I am sleepy.
I am eyes.
Witches MarketMidnight fell like an old black bird;Witches Market in Free Verse More Like This
I meant to wait for you.
There were tables rich with
amethyst and pearls,
and fragrance by the fistful,
mint and petrichor.
I meant to wait for you.
You were gliding through the haze
with your knotted bag half full-
shadows flicked their tongues
above your knees;
you meant to look for me.
Moments ran like mice;
a silver pot, a cup of tea.
She stank of vinegar and thyme-
the hand was hers, the heart was mine.
Her iron eyes reflected flame;
she took my lungs, she took my name,
though you had meant to look for me,
and I had to meant to wait for you
amid the black salt and the brew.
Ash for the handle,
Birch for the brush,
Willow for the cord that binds the twigs.
Water For TeaHe was glossy with sweat,Water For Tea in Free Verse More Like This
he was streaked brown.
He was unexpected.
Something simmered on the stove-
I turned it down for he was there,
in the half-light by the door;
I think it was water for tea.
The air went thick and fathom blue.
There were fingers in dark curls,
there was wet and bubbling warm,
there was bread with butter for tea.
He grew like mystery, like turgid weather.
I drank him like hope, he left pearls on my lips.
There were fingers in dark curls,
there was water for tea.
Going BarefootGoing barefoot is notGoing Barefoot in Free Verse More Like This
food for the desperate;
air for the gasping;
touch for the trembling.
Going barefoot is
juniper moss and ostrich fern;
the voice of the raven;
the vision of an owl.
this is the important part.
Thistles don't want company;
and rocks will wait in ambush
for your toes.
Never leave the trail.
Going barefoot is
the sway of limbs,
the scent of man.
Sometimes, I pull on shoes.
Time, Spaceand nameless things-Time, Space in Free Verse More Like This
the cold, the unrepentant
are nearer to God than I to you.
Petty deaths spring forth
erupt like cannon fire
till I am down, I am on my knees.
and the shades of thought bleed thick
as wounds; take what is offered you-
ten miles from the trenches, myself,
into your arms.
There Hid the Sacred HollowThere hid the sacred hollow,There Hid the Sacred Hollow in Free Verse More Like This
gentle with fern and old pine
where my heart thrived when it was very young,
when life stretched endless like a yellow day.
I understood that whatever I lacked then,
I would yet learn, or I would find.
But it was false anticipation-
mark of the very young
who sleep too long through a dappled day,
who nestle in the succor of the sweet fern
and old pine, of the sweet yearn
water processspirit-sloth and overdone;water process in Free Verse More Like This
wonder-lost and undercome:
you are trenchant, sweet love.
you planted early mornings-
I lay coffee-drunk and thin;
the stir of your brown hands.
DecemberMy hands areDecember in Free Verse More Like This
black with soot
and shiny with grease;
the embers lie low.
The air grew teeth.
We sit alone
in our separate dreams
and entertain the shade
of what was lost.
Our fingers will twitch
with phantom pain-
our mouths will run dry.
Everything I am,
by a fistful of
words with teeth;
as heavy as gold,
as poison as lead,
and I can't write poetry
because I said I would
leave you alone
and you never leave the lines-
you are there between them,
StiraboutThe ghosts of a thousand CeltsStirabout in Free Verse More Like This
haunt where you lie, heavy as time,
dream-quiet in ochre and grey.
Warm as an October moon,
soft in a pink-cheeked dawn,
you wake to honey and cream
under my hand, butter melting
into a strawberry kiss,
The Cat MistookNo zebraThe Cat Mistook in Free Verse More Like This
but the old mare;
she bumps the stall door,
seeking sun with blind eyes.
only the neighbor's dogs
drunk with escape;
the ferment of wet woods on a grey day.
The cat mistook itself for a tiger,
not knowing that the caught vole
was one of a vast race--
that it had happened before.
Fields of Golden WheatMy fingers travel through your hair, fields of golden wheatFields of Golden Wheat in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Your lips have the taste of an ancient salty ocean
My childhood dreams of blue birds and their heartbeat
The delicate fragrance coming from eastern lands
The softness of a delighted soul and your sunlight
The black wings of a sad night and my heart in your hands
I listen to you, the language of birds, the mystery tone remains
I hide you, inside my eyelids, between the layers of my heart
Where you choose to live; mixed with every color in my veins
Heart Shape PetalsThe broken flower travelsHeart Shape Petals in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
From the green abyss to the corners of my eyes
Sits there, waits the heart shape petals
Your angel suffers, a dying bird on my cheek
On my palms he drew the map
Don't follow me , he said, my heart is your light
When the sun comes up again, throw the ashes
Where the broken flower lives, as it lives no more
Where words dance, each in a different dress
Take my heart from the book of prayers
And let the river of sadness pours into my eyes
Thank you for your love, my last miracles
Thank you for your love, where God's secret lies
The martyr of loveI am still a stranger in your battlefieldThe martyr of love in Free Verse More Like This
My rifle on my shoulder, I do not mean to fight
My tears cutting the ground under your feet
You stand over my bleeding body
Your cold blade dripping your way out
You stab me, once and twice, you grin at my wounds
My blood meets the thirsty salty soil
They greet, they hug, they mate under your feet
They give birth to the wild bloody roses
Where every wound blooms once more
I hear your walk away, leaving my barren land
I pray for death to push the arrow deeper in my back
To take the last hopeless breath, the last breeze of love
Bury me where the old moon was born
Let my head rest in a land of cinnamon and honey
When the white hands arrive with their remedy
Tell them all my birds left me and flew north
I do not wish to heal, I do not pray for cure
Battered and broken, my heart left the shore
Where the world makes senseI let my head on this pillow, everytime I sinkWhere the world makes sense in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Where all the heavy thoughts rest and the heart sings
Between the world's pain and my agony, there is a place
I close the eyes, I breathe, I rise and I'm there again
I am the same child again,chasing the summer breeze
Carrying all the colorful dreams on my shoulders
With eyes as big as the waves, and a heart where birds nest
There, where every butterfly takes colors from my palms
And the thirsty deers come drink from my spring
There where the world made sense
I am there, and the restless mind is home for peace
When you told me joy had features and a face, my face
I touch the sandy beach , and one heart is never enough
I eat from every daisy in the white field, I drink the morning dew
I cover my cold skin with sunlight and sunflowers petals
Every now and then, I let my head sink, I let the world sink
I go back where I can hug the sky and walk on foamy clouds
Where I can be a little bird, that small daisy in a white field
Born to Love YouGod created trees, mountains and seasBorn to Love You in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
God blew life in the soft tulips
And God gave life to all human soul
But, before and all
God made the seven angels his witnesses
And God said: This woman is for this man
Every little creature, every rock,
Every leaf on evey tree heard God say:
'Her heart will beat to love him '
And every light breez, every sun light,
And every heart inside every life smiled
For they all knew God makes no mistakes
We met love, millions of years ago
We met before the book of destiny,
Before the heart knew how to live and die
Before you and İ
İn a time before this time,
The day immortality began
When God said : She belongs to this man
AttachedI grew roots for my heartAttached in Free Verse More Like This
in every twisted chamber
Hitting the ground, deep down layers of earth
There, sleeps every vein I have
Black and White world VS Rainbow bucketThe gentle touch of your lips on my cold foreheadBlack and White world VS Rainbow bucket in Free Verse More Like This
The soft kiss on my palms, and I wake up, I look at you
You say It's morning, you say you love me, then you leave
Do you know what you leave behind , It is not me
Now, the world is black and white, all is concrete and ugly
The walls are pure cement and sand, and open land
There are weeds growing on the bed, and I cannot leave
When the black and white world sits behind my back,
Watches, waits for me to move, I will not move
Keeps taking all the light, dims my hopes and breathes my air
I cannot look, I cannot pray, I cannot make a sound
I crawl in bed, my arms around my knees, I wait for you
The day is almost dead, and now you are home
You take me in, you dip me in a big bucket of rainbow
You soak my every cell with every color that is
And I am me again, I can see again, I can breathe again
And my black and white world crawls down my legs
With his tiny wrinkled hands, he runs in shame
Hides behind the door
I am a PoetYou ask me who I am , where did I come fromI am a Poet in Free Verse More Like This
I say: I am a poet, I was born out of the blazing silk of my words
My heart is an eternal rebel, since the dawn of creation
I'm the master of my own words, the keeper of God's secret
I'm the story of that rose shivering on the freezing hill
I live in that oasis of light, in a world beyond your world
The stars stare at my hopes, and hell trembles between my fingers
The night dreads my pain, the morning sleeps on my pillow
I create my words from the tissue of my veins
I weave the images from the feather of my eyelids
I wash my sins away, when I repent between the lines
My words move slowly between your palms, climb to your soul
To hug that poet, who sleeps between the chambers of your heart
When the world is mud, thorns and empty substance
I create my own, where the ground is basil and the walls are none
We Walk Through Heaven's DoorLet your hands walk through my dusty roads tonightWe Walk Through Heaven's Door in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Follow them, on my vast lands start your fight
Let me kiss your kiss and drink your salt and wine
In your kind darkness my drops of sweat shine
Those wonderlands are yours, and what is yours is mine
Don't make me wait, come and touch every spot
All those mountains and hills, I'm saving you a lot
Kill your thirst, swim in my stream and fill your pot
İ am no longer a body , and you are no longer a soul
We are one lonely beat, was found for once and all
So, cover me with your skin as we hear the ultimate call
Breathe In my ears, and let me ask you for more
As we roll under earth, we walk through heaven's door
On the edges of your lipsMy soul flickers back and forth in your presenceOn the edges of your lips in Free Verse More Like This
As I drag myself on the floor slowly, barely
I surrender to the voices promising your love
And the dream of tomorrow bringing me your scent
You do not see me nor my fading shadow
I am right here, down here, take one look at me
I lay my wings over your shoulders, I take the rain for you
I kiss the flock of birds that flew over you
I swallow every thorn in your way, I turn your path blue
I hug every glimpse of fear in your eyes
I live on the edges of your lips, I steal every word you speak
I sleep between your ribs, I sing along with your heartbeat
I built my shrine between your palms, there, I pray for your love
And yet, you do not see me nor my fading shadow
Your grip on my heart drying up every drop of life
But I will not leave, if you tear me apart, I will love you
If you burn my dreams, cut my veins , I will love you
If you put out my candle, my golden sky, I will love you
If you rip your seed out o
Five AMPre-dawn darkness again, seething, quietFive AM in Free Verse More Like This
A monster hugging the city
How heavy, how suffocating it is
The clock has run down on time for dreaming
A void between night and morning
Ready to swallow everything up
A time for old men's reflections
On love, and loss, and sorrow
Oppressive black sky, you eat everything
But the all-night diner
Where lonely old men sit
Drinking coffee at five AM
StarsFat and fuzzy stars tonight, baby blue comfortStars in Free Verse More Like This
Singing lullabies, soothing through the cold clear night
Promises of spring;
Windowpane lookers, abandon your sorrow
Wide-eyed children, believe that tomorrow
Unseen, the stars
The stars still sing
Eventthe stars are sharp and the wind has teethEvent in Free Verse More Like This
night is black as a bodybag
clanking, buzzing sounds surround
as the wind has its way with the town
dimlights from the hospital over there
cheerios in milk over here
the night ripped in two by the surgeons saw
the dreamless, the hopeless, the flawed
(sometimes the world shifts on its axis
and never settles right again)
the wind is sharp and the stars have teeth
chewing through the darkness
eating dreams, vomiting dust to the ground
the surgeon pulls his mask down
nothing more that we could do
goodnight, i've other things to tend to
bonesaw and flatline sounds surround
as the wind has its way with the town
Before The Stars FadeThe world has grown smaller, more insignificantBefore The Stars Fade in Free Verse More Like This
Little men run about in the darkness, screaming their inanities
Quiet listening is abandoned in favor of shouting louder
over the top of one's neighbors
Dreams once soft and sweet have become meat for them
to tear apart and grind with their teeth, demanding recognition
But no one is ever fulfilled, untiringly grasping at shadows
The world shrinks a little more, and children grow up fast
I can hear the screaming and shouting from my bed, through
closed windows, all want to make their presence known
Seeing like a cat, hearing like a bat, I feel the need to go out and
shout with them, to howl my existence, to
eat fresh dreams
Dying is no way to live, but its all we seem capable of doing
Last one on earth, please turn off the lights
Maybe we can remember one dream that hasn't been mauled, one last time
One smile before the stars all fade and we're left with nothing
and become nothing
HeadacheMy problem is a headacheHeadache in Free Verse More Like This
No, not a headache; an explosion inside my brain
A wailing, a crying, a lost soul's screams of despair
A jackhammer serenade, a machine gun sonata
Black canvases painted in a frenzy by a madwoman
Darkness at noon, dreams flying by in fast-forward
Crippled children trying to run from a sharp-toothed monster
Confusion of languages, religions, philosophies, all idiot blather
Chainsaw grinding of bone, packs of mad dogs yowling and howling
You see, don't you?
My problem is a headache
DawnEase in, birdchirp morningDawn in Free Verse More Like This
Free the sun
Fade out, cold night
Let the stars rest
What a magic hour, this
Dreams still live
And the day yet holds promise
See, how it’s softened me?
A soothing balm for the soul
If there is a god
This is where he dwells
LionA lion paces beneath my window,Lion in Free Verse More Like This
occasionally looking up.
Should I let him in?
The day is bright and mellow,
he looks harmless enough in this light
What do you think?
Oh. He's eating the postman.
EastMy window faces east, I sit at my desk and stareEast in Free Verse More Like This
at the headlights crawling west past the backlit buildings
Sometimes I watch from the roof, looking west
just to get a different view, but it's all the same
Days come and go, nights come and go, but I stay
There's a place by the ocean I dream about, early morning mist
grey water, grey skies becoming blue, solitude, stillness
I keep a key in my pocket with "love" written on it, and wonder
what it might unlock; maybe trade the city dust for ocean spray
Someday, one day, but not today, it's never today
I close the blinds against the rising of the sun and go back to work
But the key in my pocket is warm against my thigh, it says "fly"
But I wait; fate will find me in the right place at the right time
It always does, somehow, and my brain whispers to my heart
to be patient, good things wait, but farther down the line
BirdtalkI know that the Starman will be waiting in the sky, butBirdtalk in Free Verse More Like This
I don't think about it under these fluorescent lights
I remember when Wal-Mart wasn't a hospital, the world
wasn't a graveyard, and my spine wasn't ripped out
Didn't the birds used to talk? I seem to remember that
Ghosts of ChristmasIt was a dog and butterfly summerGhosts of Christmas in Free Verse More Like This
But a cat and canary winter
Christmas is white, blank, cold
No joy in old bones
Somewhere there’s a lighthouse
Sparkling water, moonlit night
Waves crash shore and break
Like brittle old bones
Angelic chorus sounds
Blown away upon the wind
That could be distant screaming
Useless as old bones
Deep candy cane sleep provides
A mote of relief to the tired
The dead live again in my dreams
Re-animated old bones
In A Past LifeI was a Spanish woman,In A Past Life in Free Verse More Like This
thick hair & loose hips
browning under the Latin sun.
I tied his eyes in knots,
his belly in nooses
from which his every
I laughed like water falls
& excited his fingertips
And my sigh -
on his lips
left him undone.
Birth of PoetryI tangled my fingers in the curls of the universe,Birth of Poetry in Free Verse More Like This
pulled. The earth fell out: round, warm, spinning.
Awkward and shy, she wondered how she got here; how
a rock that got wet and grew moss could be significant.
So I scooped her up in my fingers, breathed her scent:
(lilies and oceans and ozone and forests and fish and birds
and whales and rain and the empty elegance in wolf howls)
death and life. I found chaos
and knew beauty.
Intimacyhere, a quake, so I nameIntimacy in Free Verse More Like This
your fourth abdominal after
Venezuela - that land
of tectonic plates
that slide so subtle below
the ocean floor, and just now,
with my fingers feathering
your hip bone and your mouth
adjusting the tempo of red rivers
under the surface, I feel
like a new mountain birthed
by the shattering of old growth:
bold, eager, desperate to possess
that soft blue sky.
I Am Not UglyWeek 1I Am Not Ugly in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
"Why don't you like your body?" Kim asked. Noticing my eyes focused on her pen, she laid it and the yellow legal pad on the table between us. I didn't bother to look at the scribbles there. I knew what they would say.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Low self-esteem. Victim of sexual abuse. Negative self-image. Possibly related to attacker's verbal abuse.
"Because I'm ugly." My fingers found a strand of lanky blond hair and started to twist. Around and around, tighter and tighter. Eventually, strands were pulled from my scalp, but I didn't notice. Pain had stopped existing.
"Why do you think that?" Kim shifted in her chair, recrossing her legs and angling her head to get a better look at my down-turned face. I don't know what she thought she'd find there.
"Because it is true."
"Who told you that?
b. 1954He was born to Elvis' first dreamy hitb. 1954 in Free Verse More Like This
& a mother who preferred it to the soft
thumpthump heartbeat of her infant.
He was born to a world suffering
the high-pitched paranoia of racism,
the tight lows of war ad nauseam,
the slow slaps of McCarthyism.
He was born to a family familiar
with the thrilling thwack of ringed
fingers on flesh, to a father
who fled the frenzy in favor
of that mellow bass at death.
He was born the first son
and assumed the lead, progressed
from child to man at percussive speed;
Papa was a father long before me.
But seventeen brought new birth:
old guitar instilled young hands with worth.
Those first strings were steel teachers;
they taught him that blood forces to life
Born to the timbre of darkness meeting light,
to the cadence of right versus might --
my father survived jittery discord,
and unwound the melodies only a heart
like his could have found.
HyperawareI know the thumping of blood in my fingers,Hyperaware in Free Verse More Like This
the twinge in my back,
the tension behind my calves far too well.
The bristle of cold is too much
but the silence without the fan is suffocating.
My blankets are too heavy,
settled over my torso like the rock in my chest
but I can’t sleep without the weight.
This awareness is a manifestation of my longing;
for your hands in my hair,
your warmth at my spine,
your shoes on my floor.
This is what I feel when I can’t feel you –
fixations that drive me to insomnia.
Only the trains are any comfort,
plowing away into the night
screaming here I am; there I go
like world-weary tramps moving just to be moving.
Like you, working just to be working,
burning midnight oil and paper
when you could be breathing fire down my neck.
Intergenerationali.Intergenerational in Free Verse More Like This
I scribbled unicorns for my mother
and colored in mandala patterns
for my father,
but rarely got an extra glance
for my artistic endeavors.
I put them on my bedroom walls
instead of our blank white refrigerator,
where I could be proud of myself
(since no one would be so for me).
He’s late on the first day
of class, and I’m not sure
what I’m getting into. It’s the only class
that takes the full hour and a half
and doesn’t even touch the syllabus.
The room is too large for us;
he swings an arm and invites us all closer
before diving right into the first book
of the semester.
I still don’t know what I’m getting into,
but I know I’m going to have fun.
is my middle name.
But he always says hello
when I’m in the department,
and I wonder when I started
becoming so noticeable.
Sometimes he calls me “kiddo,”
and I’m always startled.
I’m not used to being nicknamed
though I suppose I am a kid
CornerstoneGod became a pastorCornerstone in Free Verse More Like This
for a little church in the backwoods
of the South, nestled
somewhere in the Ozarks where
there were more squirrels
in the steeple than seats in the pews.
He rebuilt it from the ground up,
starting with the foundation He
poured with help from a member
in the construction business.
He bought nails and lumber
from the nearest hardware store;
the shopkeeper’s son painted
smoothed baseboards a pleasant
off-white while He worked
on the roof. The oldest lady
in the community brought aloe
for His chapped hands; her daughters
made sandwiches for the hungry
workers while their children planted
posies and peas in the garden.
When He was finished building,
He removed the weathered sign hanging
at the end of the road. The little ones
painted a new sign with stars and hearts
and tiny handprints pointing the way
to the Dogwood Homeless Shelter.
Nicknamesi. Brevity GirlNicknames in Free Verse More Like This
and her hero, Postcard Man,
write radio spots that channel dead lives
to distracted ears.
These are their superpowers:
Brevity Girl finds power in paradox,
and says most with least.
Postcard Man is a writing machine,
a work horse with tireless enthusiasm
and infinite patience for the sidekick who can’t keep up.
ii. The Queen of Snark
Queen Snark graces few with her presence.
Like any proper queen,
she doesn’t mingle with the riffraff
proffering too big smiles and weak handshakes.
Queen Snark is a meteorologist sensitive to rain,
who keeps an umbrella handy
when the mood is too dark for sarcasm.
iii. Logic Girl
Logic Girl knows her way around a story,
picks her way over plot holes and inconsistencies,
takes directions from characters,
charts maps over foreign words and strange topographies.
Logic Girl likes clarity, but not transparency;
puzzles with answers, not answers lacking puzzles.
CopenhagenLet’s meet again in an alternate universeCopenhagen in Free Verse More Like This
where your eyes are brown and I dyed my hair black
because I hated being a natural blue.
I’ll teach you to play guitar
and you’ll show me how to fly,
scholars caught in an intellectual love affair,
a tandem bike going nowhere.
I’ll know you by the gentleness
of your fingertips and you’ll need
no identifier but the slant of my handwriting,
because, world to world, some things don’t change.
An hourglass between his knucklesHe quit smoking because heAn hourglass between his knuckles in Free Verse More Like This
didn’t like the taste of his own
mortality; bitter, brackish, black
as his lungs. Didn’t like the pull
of nicotine, ashy fingers,
the way a cigarette looked like
an hourglass pinched between his knuckles.
The ashtray began
to fill up again after his wife
died. Every day at first; an entire
pack after her funeral; a box
every three days; one flicker
of light in the evenings spent leaning
on the balcony railing,
watching the city go by through
a veil of smoke and memories.
I bought a pack for him once, just
to use my ID for something.
It’s still sitting on his coffee
table, one cigarette short.
Will-o'-the-wispShe wears a necklace madeWill-o'-the-wisp in Free Verse More Like This
ossified phalanges gripping
like a rasping phantom.
Her heart is hard
full of dust and debts
Her corset is laced
her ribs are being crushed
and internal pressures crawling
up her throat,
where the necklace chokes them all
They never found her
guillotined under train wheels when
over rails hidden from the pool
cast by the cast-iron lantern.
men said it was a tragedy.
he was pushed.
her by the arm, back to her porch swing
The hushed glow of distant
beckons; her petticoats rustle
as she rises
from the patio chair
her fingers along the windchimes
like strung femurs.
They saw the floating light
incline where he fell and one
made the same mistake twice, but
shone just so when he stumbled
righted himself and nearly waved
but the light was alr
BenedictionsGod joined a monasteryBenedictions in Free Verse More Like This
somewhere in Europe, where
the churches are old
but the people are older
still, overlaid hands sodden
with faith and speckled with dust.
He rose before the sun and prayed
to Himself nine times a day
among his brothers of the cloth,
who mumbled psalms into their palms
and knew they were heard.
Loving a WriterWhen you read their work –Loving a Writer in Free Verse More Like This
and it is work,
and you will often come second to the job –
it’s best to know which pieces are fictions,
which ones are wishes,
and which parts are for you.
The Dying Season IIHazel cider eyesThe Dying Season II in Free Verse More Like This
like a pumpkin light
glance out the empty window.
No crunching footsteps chart the driveway;
no cast away candy wrappers decorate the weeds.
The table is set with ginger snaps
and cinnamon rolls sticky with glaze.
is two caramel apples,
a mug of spiced tea,
and no one to share with.
The candy apple red stains on her wrists
fade and return, dependent on the ratio
of bitter to sweet. She nearly
trips over the cat in her distraction.
Her lips are frosted with dark chocolate.
She re-lights the candle on her porch,
snuffed out by the wind.
Distant laughter from bedsheet ghosts
and cardboard wing angels pass
by the wrought iron gates creaky with disuse.
She tastes ash and too-ripe
pumpkin in her dry mouth.
Waxy scarecrow fingers pinch
the candles out one by one
nobody is ringing her doorbell tonight.
Even the cat takes his leave,
slinking by before the door closes
and bounding into the night, slipping
through the iron bars chained together
with a heavy padl