Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Plunging

Misguided passion hangs perilously
   in the foreground of temptation,
begging action−words form, tease
                 the tongue.
                 The ears
imagine.  What can ward off
what has now begun?
       This dark magic? 
       This heart swells in anticipation,
            spreads for flight, belly full
                             of worms, of lies.
                                 
                                 Without heed,
deception jumps, believing
it can fashion
from desire, wings.
Storming through
on sheer will, this style
of flying,
for a while, works.
Bent
        toward fancy, mania elicits
superhuman power. 

Wind whips through the creature’s imagined glory.
The forest of reality
beneath hums her warning
as trees
          sway
by the force created.
The birds clear the air
and nest for safety.
            This supposed beauty continues
                  soaring, riding miles
                          in the lawless sky

on the tides
of lure; fangs grow as e
levated
self now seeks prey 
and landing; catching 
sight of innocence
unaware, the creature
swoops with malice
but nearing, finds his whim
warm
and thriving within a swarm of angels,
before unseen and now

fabricated feathers fail and only
by an act of mercy
does the predator not fall.
Hands of God
pluck
pride from fate and casts it
into hell.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Myth

The men have written the women into stories;
painted them into pictures; allotting
flesh and virtue,
vice but omitting blood.  Captive,

Andromache
stands at center, at backdrop, jagged hills
and clouded sky. 

She is cloaked in rags of mourning, surrounded,
yet alone.
Arms clasped to chest, head down
like bird at rest.
She protects herself from blades of gaze.

Leighton later frees his brooding image, posing
her deep in dream,
carefully
closing the violet eyes
of England’s most beautiful woman,
so that she might not see
the poison that would kill her.

Liberated from laborious mortality, positioned
now as nymph, her sanctuary lies in sea of sleep.
Here, Ada, aka Dorothy Dene
blooms beneath the brush
stroke of a master.

Finally, a reason to be.
Evergreen,
enflamed
in summer slumber,
uneditable,
engulfed in golden
hues like candlelight
that flicker in the distance.

Warmed in still life.
Imagine if you will, relations between
the artist
and his muse; the classicist and his colors;
the fear of lust,
of men; the mission, then,
to cloister
what is mystery, to vilify as sinful,
the simplicity of love.

Or perhaps, blinded
by the spotlight,
long-limbed
inspiration confuses
love with art, envisages romance
kindling in winter,
unaware she’s doomed to neverending May.

Only when finally, flighted
as Iphigenia’s ghost, does she find her voice.
Under authorship of woman, she states
that the lyricists have lied. 
She did not willingly
sacrifice her life, nor did a hind
arrive to take her place.

Weakness strives
then to possess her but myths
no longer
sway
and she reminds her audience
that “women are no good..
dead.”




Quote from The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper

Sunday, June 22, 2014

We Danced

“Dancing is…life itself.” –Havelock Ellis

In the age of plague, we found ourselves dancing for our lives inside the dark.
                                  We drowned our dread in the music of our making, inside the silky dark.

This way, we levitated, rose above morass and swore
to not surrender to seduction of the dark.

Instead, yielding to the blood flow, the outpour
of our desire, we turned together, following rhythm of the dark.

                      We danced
                           despite the raging, creature darkening our door,
                           round and around,
holding tight each other’s flesh within the dark.

Breathing labored, we drew life from Terpsichore,
                                                                     swaying in the shadows
fluttering dangerously in the dark.

We resisted death this way, moving to the melody of encore-
                                                                     a different ending,
our arms and hands parting the fragile promise of a future outside the dark.

The passing black stole minds as well as lives, the futures of all those birthed before
the Great Mortality descended, the drenching dark.

We defied the fall- death galore.
We stole back life in the midst of dark.

Now aged, our future wanes, footsore
lurking silent, sweet kiss of dark.

We meet again mortality, death that’s come before.
Once we sidestepped fate, creating time in pulse, but now
we slow, no longer fearing dark.


The Sunday Whirl

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wishes In

The pit has been ripped open, now.
It is gaping, dilating.
Could I reside inside its swell,
inside
its glowing burn?

The cliff I stand, trembling, on, looking down
is made of porcelain and unreal. 
I throw, at least,
my wishes in,
what lives inside me, splitting.

Flames lick at my feet, calling tongues, importuning- come inside,
come back,
              drink
             your fortune here.  Here,
where fire
           flows.  Taste goodness,
          experience the purity of falling,
                    of resolute release, taste freedom.
 

The rippling desire grows
from deep-seated seed; from the pit, and the call
reaches a fever-pitch, a swell, rising up, high-whistled, excited,
drowning out the dark.

Then,
the notes stand
              still.

Can I abandon earth?  Give up warmth
for heat?  Forsake ground? 
What cracks?  My habit of step?  Of self?
               My will?  My stance upon these loosening muds?

Descending, I rise
and leaping feels like landing
and the call envelops me in her wash.


I dreamt of death,
of the light beyond my grasp
in day,
the healing
                              depths finally held
but my hands were sweating and I woke.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happiness, Intelligence and Love

I, who long ago denounced the notion
of a soul mate, can no longer deny
                     the obvious
and after numerous attempts to swear off
                    sentimentality,
I find myself right back here, writing
                                                 what I know.
What I know is you.
All morning, I have drafted notes and
                                                 verse
and lines and form
around unfamiliar subjects to escape
                                                all lingering
                                                           emotion
and technique and research increases in multiplicity
and then I’m stuck in mire of too much
information
and not enough.
Simply put, I miss you. 
And the longing both to have you and to say this
becomes stronger than my will
                  to hide.
And suddenly I find it necessary to enounce admission
that you’re my inspiration
and… shit, did I just say that?
Here’s the thing: 
I never was oblivious to the slow erosion
of my resistance, though, perhaps I never dreamt I’d let go of quite so much.
Now, shackled
to this new reality,
I’m content to be a prisoner of…
rapture.
See, love creates a monster of the lingua, vomiting
             thoughts
             that can only be defined as nuts.
So, like I said, all day, I’ve tried to wrap my brain around
the greats, twist words to do with Hemingway
and happiness
(or Hemingway and lack thereof)
with Dostoevsky’s thoughts
on intelligence and pain.
And here’s the thing-
intelligence aside, my happiness derives
from you and even with the children just arriving
and even though soon I have to leave,
my senses crave not just you but silence.
So, my escape is to a parking lot- my solace,
the cramped confines
of a car-
just to attest
to the awareness of our connection.  Really,
                                                   this only appears new. 
And the truth is that whatever part of me
said yes, held this understanding
and somehow, even you, I fear, can’t fully grasp
how strong the pull. 
So, here- just these few images expressed belatedly
                                                   to sum things up:
I am writing outside – away.  The sun can’t decide her purpose this day and it is warmish
then it is not and just as I think
to remember to request of you next time you come to check on me a sweater,
I look up and you are walking toward me, sweater in hand.  That’s one. 
Two is every other
single time you complete my thought or grant
unstated desire and three: today, I pick up phone to say
                    I miss you
and your words are waiting, mirroring my own.
So whatever woods
of my own making
I might find myself lost within,
whatever
grappling I frustratingly engage in regarding fear of love,
undying and pain’s inevitability,

I now release in order to embrace
what’s happening right in front of me.  I have endured Earth’s
great sadness and earned my depth of heart
and if sorrow is the cost of brilliance, I’ll just find bliss
in ignorance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Imploration

We pray to a God who won’t respond…or so it seems.

We pray to a father God, a mother God, a man God, a child God,
a Buddha god, a yoga god, a nature god, a million other gods.

We pray for wants, for needs, confusing these. 

We pray desperately in disaster or alternately denounce existence, disseat,
disrate, spit in the face of what appears to be a placid god,
maddeningly calm in midst of chaos,
refusing to intervene.

Inept or cruel?  Easier to efface:  God is dead.

We worship at makeshift shrines of momentary sacrifice.
Congregate in cathedrals of ecclesiastical d├ęcor with alabaster
windows with stained hands clasped and our perfume hoarded.

We are a searching people, blind to what we find.

We look for you in burning bushes, in consecrated bread and wine. 
Parched, we need to taste you. We look to the clouds for signs.
We mine the scriptures, memorizing passages to suit our purposes but not to live by.

We confess to priests, we hail Mary, we pay our tithes, we swear off church, disassociate
with those who claim your name, return in hopes. We are gold-diggers. 

We praise ourselves when all is well and blame you when it is not.
In measurement of altitude, we place your elevation low, humbling you and not ourselves.

We,
who are open and bared before you
                              beg for you to bare yourself.
Herald the works of your hand, we say,
                          so we might believe,
                          then we turn away
from words that say,  I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity. 

We hunger for milk.  We try and force your hand with pleas,
with demands, with the works of our own hands.
We drift away and feel you've left us.
We, who are so depraved with such gall, feel deprived.

We fear you and we do not fear you.

We emplaster you in icons-we want you plastic and adaptable.

We want vivid, graphic, blatant.

Our prayers lay out Irenicons- God, sign here, on dotted line. 

We are a loud people, bold in our absurd appeals,
errant in our exaction.
You are a quiet God, slow to anger.

Your gifts are bared before us, everywhere-

Embossed in vein of leaves we step upon, traced in space of sky with argent stars,
sketched in shadows after every storm.

Yet, I am deafened by your seeming silence.
Open the eyes of my heart. 
Take my mustard seed of faith
and multiply it. Perforate my conscience
that I might observe the wondrous
works of your own pierced hands. 
Create in me a clean heart.



Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Sky

Listen to the sky.  The clouds are slipping
                                                 down
coming
closer,
sliding nearer. 
Do you hear
the pull? 
The rain forming, thick?  Ready to release,
pour down her healing…

I hear
her voice in my dreams sometimes-
                                         soft
and whispering
of a coming storm but comforting,
revealing secrets. 
She tells me where there’s shelter.

Can you taste the air tonight? 
It’s sharp and sweet. 
It smells like sleep.
It’s winding
closer. 
There-
it’s settling
in our bed.

The stars position
                                        outside
                                        our window-
flickering night lights
It’s all for us.

Now,
      we wake
to a shroud of mist.
The land
is damp.  The day is glass.  We tiptoe
out
and our footsteps vanish in the grass. 
Our breath appears. 

Listen, do you hear the sky
call out your name?   
There- under feet,
do you feel the rub
of the ground-
          the mud moving
between your toes,
beneath your heels,
responding?

Fashion your feet with the not yet bloom,
the not yet green.
     Soften your skin
with the glisten of the dew.

There – now do you hear
the sky chattering
now shattering
the barely yet
blue?

The sky is shifting, reshaping
but I know where to hide,
where we can watch
the downpour roar.

Listen- it’s christening the earth.
  It’s christening you.   
It’s falling fast, beating out your name. 
It’s all for you.  It’s all for you.

Now, the sun shines.
The sky sighs. 
Now, she’s humming low. 
Close your eyes and listen. 
She’ll talk all day
and tuck you in tonight.