4

Red

I.

Poppies in any other month
wouldn’t be so crucial
as dead weight,
floating air;
past participles, glistened
on paper, bled,
bleached white,
words so invisible,

II.

no one
can see the dark,
the cold of pupils void of light.
You paint me rosy,
deep red when you’re angry,
but I am nothing but blue
when stars gleam sapphire,
saffron imagination weeping
ripples wafting this love
to modest meadows for miles
of nothing but blushing sky.

III.

In January, when gray steals sun
and pansies lie in waiting
for delicate tumbling weeds
to dance in, dreamy eyed;

copper mornings- wishes
hanging on clothes lines
like strings of hearts
every Valentine’s day.

IV.

Hear those church bells
chime like there is no tomorrow
while dusty autobiographies
tell tender stories over coffee
to anyone who will listen
and here I am yearning
for just one more barefoot stroll
and four initials in wet sand.

V.

We will get to San Josef again-
take another unpaved road,
all uphill
and watch poppies flicker,
from a distance,
like Sylvia did, bleeding red,
and hot as July.

~

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1

Sleight of Hand

Should I take a moment to reflect,
beyond moons
and starry eyed conversations,
before fractured light paraded past
invading every dark place
you painted me into,

I may find torment, beckoning
from beneath wet soil,
aching from some lost lament
never heard in clandestine corners
of a dim lit state of mind.

I saw your shadow, lurking
and for a instant, forgot to breathe
when every shaking memory
filled pockets of open distress,
draining thoughts of love

into puddles of regret

fueled by anything
but good intentions.

~

2

Twelve Months of May

One foot out the door,
and oh, that sun!

It was 2:00 am,
and she could already feel it
burning hope through holes
of an ever glowing heart.

At 49, tiptoeing back to 15
practicing an Etta James song
from Mom’s record collection,
three hours, aching chords,
and she lost her voice again.

Flowers shake off dust and come alive
from doodles she drew by candlelight
when breeze was a luxury,
muse painting petals to follow

on this day;
this day of liberation,
syllables, spilled in lilac.

When you turn a bird loose,
oh, how she can sing;
this southern accent,
weeping words-

sappy syllables to drink to
on another new year’s eve

that feels like her first.

~

2

When Star Dust Settles

Weeping willows shelter weak hearts;
cardinals singing love songs
to unsuspecting flowers,

flowers dance to wind songs
softer than his whispers were
on my cheek that first summer.

Summer comes and goes like fireflies
when the moon hides
like tiny ballerinas tiptoeing

Tiptoeing over hearts that bleed
sorrows into syllables;
words understood only by poets.

Poets collect adjectives in shoeboxes
like treasures for tomorrow
when rocking chairs no longer collect dust.

Dust settles from stars, enamored
as perfect pictures never develop,
but, comfort does, settling like quiet

Quiet mornings with only eyes
fluttering conversation, filling with tears
like weeping willows do.

~
(lol I thought I had created a new form, but it turns out this is an ancient form called ” Chain Verse” http://www.webexhibits.org/poetry/explore_obscure_chain_atglance.html )

0

Strands of Redemption

They say the meek shall prosper-
rise from ashes and shame.
Broken people whisper louder;
shine, under clandestine stars,
shimmering, making peace
from pieces of yesterday,
bartered and branded as shiny
new flowered tomorrows.

Oh, the pain, the pain of reality,
stark, glaring rays, almost blinding.
There you are, doubtful, resistant,
trusting of a resentful resemblance
of someone we used to know.

You stand there, judging me,
turning over the hour glass,
foot tapping, waiting for a response
to this trial without a jury
you have imposed; this unjust,
unrequited obsession.

I never would have thought
I would be standing here,
those pointing fingers, mocking;
birds leading me home,
away from scrutiny, ridicule.

These pearls, these pearls
pure as driven snow,
soft, never tainted by ugliness;
strands of redemption ‘round my neck
like winged promise,
pronounced in calming syllables
until ache is quieted by clasped hands
and soothing reverberation.

~ (inspired by “the Hanging Tree”)Jennifer Lawrence

2

Quiet Lucidity

Pour me from petals
soft breath, still heart
commiserating with demons;

smoke rings swirling

over late night coffee
and conversation.

I can hear the jingles from here;
a scant recollection
of past pretense,

but tonight is full of stars;
your eyes reflecting so much more
than ribbons and bows.

There is something holy
about trust, kindness
and the quiet peace
of wrapped silhouettes
showering our sky

love, covered in moonbeams
with a different way of light,

moving,
shifting normalcy;
this luminous starlight
lending lucidity
to a half-beaten culture

that just needs a miracle
to believe in.

~

0

The Fabric of Life

Oh, those stars I dreamt on
peeking through the clothesline
searching for solace between sheets

pinned up with regret

stiff, like muscles that held me upright
when I wanted to fall down
with those autumn leaves,
when gold,
seemed dreary as rust
through misty eyes.

Who were you to drain light
leaving my slivers of faith
to fill the void;
wounded promise of love
seeping through the cracks.

I could only imagine the sound of leaves
predicting winter,
lashes aching for flakes of snow
to awaken senses

and, oh, those flowers
blooming in spring,
windswept wing song,

softness of petal
raging strength from timid clouds
rising like sea foam,
secrets, to the surface.

Afflictions,
you have yours and I have mine.
I rumble, volcanic ramblings
in ink, clamoring for attention
like lightening, thunder;

symmetry in an intimate setting.

Oh, why can’t I paint you away
now that I hold the brush,
and you, yes you, are the canvas;
cracked, faded, broken
like my heart was
every time you stung
with words, sharper than swords

shredding anything left
of me.

~