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Archive for the ‘Musing’ Category

Golden Corners

Crawling towards the golden corner

Gramma at the fireside

Whirring of the clock on the mantel

Whistling of the north wind outside

As frost paints silver flowers on the glass

Gramma’s big grin beckons

To her outstretched arms

And your head drops on her shoulder

Softest pillow, no other compares

Snowball the white pomeranian

Barks and sheds his hairs

As you fade off to sleep unawares

 

Mist on the hill

What’s over there?

So you climb the fence

Stumble through the fog

Into the land of nowhere

Sudden sound above

A faltering wounded dove

That flits from branch to branch

Cooing its last breath

Till it falls to the ground below

A tear rolls down your cheek

Melting the patches of snow

Still remaining beneath

And another teardrop glistens

As the lark sits and listens

To your whispered whimpers

Dampness on your clothes

You reached for the rose

Twining round the trellis

Up and down the catherine wheel

And you didn’t mean to steal

But it was so very glowing

Red in the midst of gray

When you went out that morning

Into Gramma’s backyard to play

Now the wounds in your hands

Trickling blood from your palms

Reminds you of other thorns

Crowning saints’ heads begging alms

In that picture book inside

No place left to hide

You want to disappear

Down the dusty road

Or the dusky corridor

That golden corner of the picture

Where you, the bird, can finally soar

 

Easter Sunday

You and she

Set out past the daffodils

Searching for eggs

No map in hand

It’s more fun without one

Darting behind hedges

Peering within tree trunks

Like the rabbits

And then

A-ha!

I found one!

Robins chirping on the dewy grass

As you, like them, hopped past

Feet kicking up the worms

Hands flinging clods of dirt

Rounding golden corners of morning sunshine

Hurtling fast, like a flower, out of the earth

 

They found you

In the neighbor’s garden

Staring at stones

Content to stay there

For hours

All alone

Turning it round in your hand

As if in turning

You too will become stone

And Mother shakes you from your reverie

Daisies and dandelions in her hand

And she gives you a new white sphere

Exhales

You inhale and do the same

Whoosh!

The circle has exploded

Tiny white stars

Floating away down the neighborhood lanes

And you leave the neighbor’s garden for today

Time to go collecting in the creek

Mother guides you to the bottom

Where the oldest rocks stay

Where the water left long ago

Dried up as an apple sitting in the sun

Why is every rock gray?

Until the crack breaks

And your little jaw drops

A chalky sphere within

Same color as your skin

Rolls around between your fingers

And the sandy powder lingers

On the whirls in your fingertips

And a crazy laugh slips

Out from your pursed lips

And the fists that always grip

Loosen up

As you slide away

The fair is out today

School’s out for the summer

And a soft spring shower visits

Blue raincoat, red boots

You stomp through the puddles

Close your eyes

Running towards the skies

But always tripping

Over the cracks in the pavement

No problem

Now you know the secret

Golden corners require payment

 

That bird outside your window

Greets the warm dawn

So it’s time for you, as well

With magician’s robe on

Open the closet

Treasures be here

King’s sword does appear

Gather together the circle

Boys and girls scamper

Out of doors

Into the street

Out of the heat

Into the den to meet

Let the quest commence!

Jump over every fence!

No school anymore, so hence!

We shall conquer this neighborhood today

Tsk-tsk, you didn’t watch the clock

Evening came too soon

Cuts and bruises from your walk

To some faraway, distant dune

No reward when you return home

“Where have you been?!”

Punishment

Golden corners only last so long

Before they turn back into gray gutters

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On the First Day of October

On the first day of October

You were born

Lucky as the clover

Raising brown dead leaves

To your forehead

In strawberry blonde benediction

Thrusting twigs

In woody diction

No words yet formed

On your lips

Tears raindrops gurgling

Laughter bright blossoms

Clearing out the gutters

Spoke more truly than their mutters

Our fidgety and fumbled glances

Turning over every rock

Finding only dirt

While you knelt within the pumpkin

Astride the pine cone’s burr

Oh!  How we yearned!

The smell of burning leaves

Every autumn returned

Photographs fished out

Tracing the course of your smiles

No map, no such adult wiles

Inside the infant search

Clean and white as the birch

Newly leafing midst the rock

Aye, where are the roots?

 

On the first day of October

Or maybe it was the tenth

Day of the tenth month

Once the eighth

No, it was the seventh of November

Grandmother crumbled away

You clutched at your guts

Dragging fingernails

Down the window frame

Phone dropping to the floor

Shame

Imagining the day

In golden autumn haze

Beside grandfather’s grave

Unknown, only heard of his rage

Ushering grandma out of her cage

Shadows cast past the hedge

Potted plants upon the window ledge

The blood bubbling in her veins

No longer danced, now it raged

And she died alone in that cage

How could we have forgotten her?

How could we have forgotten them?

Shame

 

On the first day of October

You almost lost yourself

You almost lost these words

Collecting dust on the shelf

You decided today was the day

To visit your oldest relative

The one you had never met

Whose ancestors, your ancestors, built this city

This city you have tried to forget

Were you ever meant to leave?

Will you still one day go?

Hush

Hear the creaking door

In this autumnal breeze

Close this computer

Turn off that television

Leave those bars

Those restless, raging cars

Walk to that old house

At the end of the street

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Lost Harvest

Dry skin hangs from hollow bones

 

Eyes vacant

 

Gray September rain

Gives no harvest

This time ’round

 

Remove my voice

So that I can truly speak

Take away my words

So that I may truly listen

 

Wash out these rusted thoughts

Make them clean as spring onions

 

No growth 

Without decay

 

Yet still no moss

Has gathered

Upon this bleached stone

 

Still no golden barley

Sprouts in this parched clearing

 

And still the hunger gnaws

 

The belly’s whimpers

Do not cease

The heart’s murmurs

Cry ever onward

The soul’s sickness

Remains in the roots

 

Purify these apples rotten

 

So we will offer up

A new cup

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Rootless Seed

“Wait for me,” the small, dark-haired boy entreated, his head aglow as a burning nimbus in the copper colored sunlight.  He felt the dry summer grass itchy on his bare feet and heard the buzzing of the cicadas in the gnarled bark of the tree trunks.  They ran, leaping, under hedges and over fences and past the fallen shapes of mangled branches.  They flitted like wounded larks.  He couldn’t catch up with her.  She was hopping upwards toward the house looming on the nearby hill.  He separated from the crowd.  “Whoever loves me will kiss me,” she said, giggling, as the boys clambered onto the porch.  He continued around the side of the house and gingerly tapped at the window.  Her curly locks were flaming in the hot summer evening.  They crowned a face ablaze with joy and warmth.  She slowly raised the window and gazed down at him.  He stood on his tiptoes and lifted his head to kiss her shyly on the cheek.  There was a pause. Memories of laughter midst the seeds scattered on the breeze where they once lived.  Their lips met and he heard a different kind of laughter.  The boys were gawking at him and he could hear arguing in the background.  The two men were talking.  The man took him by the hand and led him down the gravel path away from the house.  He was sad.  The car pulled away.  Her lips were pursed and her eyes gleaming, now softly fading away in the last golden embers of the day.

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Siren

He trembled.

What lay beyond the hill?

The trees swayed in unison as green as the moss in the bottom of the rippling stream.  It was her tresses undulating in the breeze as candlelight flickered and billowed out in gossamer wisps into the shadows cast upon the wall above.  Her eyes were cloaked in tears and the dress she wore was gleaming white.

The sounds murmuring inside were hushed by the distant call of a nightingale.

The branches shook together, crystal drops cascading upon her golden hair as she ran away, farther into the nearby ravine.

A slender thread of her hair caught on his sweaty finger.

He ran.

He ran so fast he could feel fire in his veins and water in his lungs.  He dove off the rock outcropping.  Clambering like a dazed gibbon, he rolled into the crevice.

The thud of drums and whine of mandolins rose in the damp, cool air.  The moss clung to his perspirating hands, and he had to stop to catch his breath.

Was he a puppet in a tomb?  The music pulled him aloft as a blind dummy.

Where was she?  Would he ever see her again?

There was now only the sound of the mandolin, melancholy and sere.

She gazed at him, staring past him into the still forest.

He ran towards her.  Voices echoed in his ears.  He reached out to embrace her.  Her pale hand vanished.  Her chalk face merged with the hollow sky.

Had he seen her before?

He sat resignedly on the shore, his head in his hands.  He sank lower down the embankment.  He sighed slowly.  He closed his eyes.

“Please forgive me.”

Where did that phrase arise?  Why did he say it?

He heard the ghosts of his ancestors whispering in his blood.  He needed to go back.  The gate had been left open.  It was time to close it.

Last in the line, his burden to bear.  Each generation keeps the previous on the shelf.  In reality, they fought, laughed, cried, longed in his own smiles and shouts, fears and doubts.

Was it wrong to love her?

He loved her the way he loved the first rains of spring or the last leaves of October.  He could watch her from a distance.  He could wish her well and move on.

He shivered.  He had left the window ajar again.

His sadness made him smile.  Her eyes pierced the slowly drifting clouds sliding away to the east.

Childhood, adulthood, life, death, it all seemed so simple, a baby’s laugh, when he felt her presence.  And he could feel it even though she was far away, a mirage in the ether.

He couldn’t climb a tower and coax her.  That was his mistake.  He wasn’t going to meet her in a bejeweled fortress.  She was waiting in the hedge maze.

Exhaling his inhibitions.

Which of his selves would he become?

Would he leave something behind or be like the March bud which opens too soon and then withers away on the branch?  Never floating to the butterflies below?

The dust and pollen scattered hither and thither over the cracked stones.

Could she eat the apple with him?

Not to possess the bite but to share the core.  The black seeds were always there.  The bitter truth behind every sweet lie.

His heart beat faster and faster–it could explode.  He sat up quickly.  No, Death, I’ve eaten the apple before but never to the core.  It’s not my time yet.  Death backed off with a condescending grin.

“What happened to the music, boy?”

“It got distorted.”

“I see…” he stroked his beard and shook his head as if to say ‘What A Shame.’

He was tired.  He was hungry.  He needed to leave this room.

Thanking the wind, he closed the door.

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When It Ends

The deer’s final

dash

The frog’s final

splash

Into the pond below

Under mossy stones

Where the moonlight softly shimmers

‘Midst the comet’s spindly glimmers

Tumblin’

Into the abyss

A drooping farewell kiss

To the sulking gray clouds

Retreating from the distant day

The TV signal’s final fade

Snowy static all that remains

The last steam breath of the train

The struggle of one drop of rain

Hurtling

Fast

Towards the earth

Wondering

‘Bout its lasting worth

Where did it come from?

Where will it go?

Burned

By the heat

Frozen

In the cold

Between

The lightning’s                      forked                     flashes

And the thunder’s

Clanging crashes

 

 

 

Howling north wind

Turns to

whisper

Whirling planet

With a

whimper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her gazing eyes

The heart will rend

Her dimming voice

The last lament

 

 

 

The gate is closed

The coins are spent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet creeps the snail……………………..

starry bent

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Distant Echo

Yet creeps the snail

Starry bent

Yet sinks the sun

Noontide pent

Circuitous sap

Twirls in the bark

It’s the light most true

Neither day nor dark

Steely gray in hue

Flecked white, wings of lark

The tunnel in the spring

Leads to prison in the summer

Scent of honeysuckle on the breeze

Going in circles

Chased by the bees

And the silver trumpet’s glare

Glinting razors on the eye

Severing flesh from bone

Digging in the dirt and soil

Rhythmic blood replaced by oil

Chugging monotony

Mill-grist hypocrisy

Blind in plutocracy

Fists clenched

Against the void

Pearls chucked in gorges

Swine braized in forges

The wheel turns forward

Until a grind

The rotten rind

Left behind

Hollow husk in the wind

Twitchy nerves beneath skin

Hunger never abated

Future never created

Grasping at the clock

Gazing out to other lands

Never seeing in broad daylight

That the watch is missing its hands

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