Here lies a lost poet's
heart which died for want of rhyme.
Though he fought its pull, the lines don’t show it.
Rhyme's addictions he swore off, Except for this last time.
If your heart is filled with an older spirit and bleeds lyrical laments,
with words of ancient archaic origin set to a romantic bent.
If your humor laughs with Donne in his flea-bitten puns,
and your heart wrecks with the Deutschland,
if you retch at Rossetti's fruit,
and hear Herbert’s lute,
Run! Fly for your life!
Or say goodbye
to silly rhyme,
just as I,
She sat alone accompanied by bound friends reading from one, and waited upon by a cup filled with caffeine’s intoxication. Her eyes found mine in a flick, and spoke a barred-up welcome, Then came the sideways huff as if to dismiss an aberration.
I was not real, my flesh turned transparent in that glance, Two crossbow bolts aimed at all who brave an advance; Like a wounded animal, or an abused pet bristles mistrust. To be fair my absent mind may have warranted disgust.
I might have misplaced her name in a poor substitute. I might have mistaken her identity in passing salute. I might have been oblivious to some personal foul. My existence might have been more than grace could allow.
My pitiable state inoculated me against Medusa’s gaze, for only men are frozen by her eye’s disinterested weight. A drizzling cloud preceded me, shrouding me in apathy, an armor suit, a dressing for my sense’s mortal casualty.
For years I walked by unphased, like a wraith of gloom, faceless. I would pass that table many times without appraising her virtue. My oblivious breastplate on, and with a visor smile, I felt impervious to the danger, then the clouds began lifting, the son broke through.
I could feel again!
Even now that I know her name, I never discovered the nature of her wound That table sits empty ever since her new friends entered service, Though she hasn’t lost the faithful books who occasionally surface, And as far as I could tell, her skies were turning to.
When I close my eyes, I can picture grandma’s living room. It was a room of shag carpets, trinkets, and clocks, A sagging sofa accented with a llama skin throw and guarded by a gramophone. That sanctuary of stability, anchoring memories, changeless by so many years.
Grandpa’s new chair and a flat panel TV at odds with that theme. He’s gone now, that booming voice still echoes in the air, punctuated by his crazy hair. Grandma would sit in his chair for years after, riding the recliner down memory winds. Flying through turbulent patches, times rapids, on to some slow sweet summer days adrift.
I know this by that flat smirk and a twinkle in her look. A regular visit paid to that place, Friday night’s after dinner traditional TV channel. Like chocolate cake for her reflection, fondly held in memory, religiously consumed. The rest of us held our noses, stale to our ears, but stayed to watch her happy thoughts.
I didn’t join in on that magic carpet ride Friday, but those moments remain with me. The sound of folky gospel, vocals braded in choir, boisterous bands, and singers. The sound of tap dance shoes hailing like so many high school drummers. Grandma’s favorite music cake, a sweet melody to her memory, the Gaither Band.
If I could go back to when I first met her, I wouldn’t stamp and stammer sifting through my thoughts, I wouldn’t discuss the weather like my mind couldn’t fathom something other, I wouldn’t stare that way with nothing else to say while my heart and blood fought.
Were I to meet her now, I’m sure it would go much better. My smile wouldn’t quiver but would be sincere, strong, and confidently smoother. My mind wouldn’t stall; it would enter gear without a chatter. My modesty wouldn’t fail me in my ecstasy either.
Then prepared with proper warning, all my faculties would fail me not, For I would slip the chains of fear never to be caught, For I would speak with elegance and wise forethought, For my heart would be prepared, ready for this moon-shot.
What I wouldn’t give haunts me now, with a desire to return and do it over! Oh that moment my mind took flight and left me blubbering like a head donor, Oh that day my eyes first found you in that precious spot. Oh to get a second chance to set that first impression slot!
Then you might have really looked at me beyond the frozen stare, Beyond the quadriplegic frightened animal so scared, Beyond the mindless dribble, and small talk impaired, Beyond all that, I’m here, — if you are curious enough to care, — me the man, dumbstruck though I be.
A world of mango trees, where parrots fly and scream. Markets filled with ripe bananas, giant jicamas, savory papayas, or baskets of guavas, with a mix of art and all forms of necessity. A world of child hood friends, Andrew, Joel, Junior, Ben. A life bubble in the midst of the jungle, where all are aunts or uncles. This world my mind has made, sets even the sky ablaze, with wee-hour lakefront hymns, and evening walks under amber haze. Those tear filled days dissolve and fade, the longer my mind tastes this favorite treat. Bitter trials ooze away like that mud from my bare feet. like chocolate memories, like raging flood waters eroding banks, above which a cement bench sits to watch and ponder, the affects of time on life’s mind for me, it’s a world left behind.
We met in that enchanting way
in palace corridors spying the other.
Our eyes locked and then the world faded
as all thoughts of others dimmed to sputters.
Awestruck, we danced a careful ballet,
hesitant, neither sure the steps of summer.
Resigning hope of finding worthy words to say,
we just smiled, listening to time's beating drummer.
Her name, for shame I couldn't fathom or remember,
and as I dared to finally speak , I felt her shutter,
the spell broke like some truth betrayed
to flee in autumn’s bounty sleigh.
I still have that magic shoe
but there may be other feet more true.
I trust Him, the one who’s laces I shan’t undo,
to find me feet to fit my shoe, in time that may be you!
What is the point of chocolate? In madness do we question what for, Or study it and say: why does this exist? No, we surrender to savory bliss; Oh, we delight in its earthy flavor! Once consumed and in our bellies lay, caffeine, sugars, creams brighten day, Then we smile, and on lingering taste soar.
From sun, water, and soil comes cocoa, And again, with much toil, sweet canes, Add milky cream, then behold: chocolate! No one can refuse it but the loco, Who do not belong among the sane. Chocolate, glorious, none can balk at it!
One palate flight, leaves addict wanting more. Yet, with reason and sound mind on display, Delusive sense can, an audit, outweigh. Likewise, sublime verse engulfs the lore, And meaning of the lyrics with beauty’s kiss. Heed soliloquy imparted by McGinnis; Regard poetic pictures and adore, Passions so heavenly, so chocolate!
On a crisp fall evening I heard the most peculiar thing, when the trees swayed and the wind curled by. There in picture frame reverberating as if to sing, blues and greens, yellows and whites of night’s sky.
Stepping closer, gazing, straining silently to listen. Then above the chorus, from the center of the swirl, a voice cries sharply, disgusted, fading in the din. “I suck” came a dejected lament from the star lit girl.
Looking about confuse, “who was that, who are you?”
Weeping followed sobbing, and that by a huffing sigh.
Again the voice cracked, “look here a smudge so blue..”
“Oh smudge, what is it, what causes tears this night?”
“Can you not see the shape and boldness of my figure?
These pigments stand out from all the other finer colors.”
My heart ached, my mind raced for words to give her,
but no words formed to sooth the wound so suffered.
My own conscious stands to form those sounds in my ear, accused of lacking value. Words my constant companions, beating drums, like marching songs throughout the years, and only here today, saved by a love which never abandons.
“Smudge!” I cry, “There’s more to you than meets the eye!” Backing up, embarrassed by my forwardness so confused, and yet my eyes are blessed to see this sight, I cannot lie. The signs are true, a master painter’s touch clearly used.
Swaying in the slightest breeze, beckons me to see
Twins dance in the star light under crescent moons A single noble peak overshadows sculpted furrows Gusty gales rise from mirth’s fount eagerly amused Bright birds, timidly dart and flutter in the willows
Beauty locked within, veiled by this espresso tree
Don’t hide or shy from these observations Fired darts explain helplessness Mirrored archers Parenthesis
Look and see; a tree stands alone atop a hill One soldier nationless, wandering absent moto Nowhere bound goose, silhouetted by the moon Examine a sock with other lost, no longer fit to use Left in a drawer untouched, like a lock missing keys Inert is the book with ideas lacking, empty but folio Even right needs left, and darkness light to hide from Reckless is the man fording life’s tides without a mate