Infirmary…

here she finds me
here in this abandoned wing
of my soul
sanitarium tuberculosis ward
red black stains upon the floor
whisping sheets of gauze flutter
in an unfeelable breeze
I have retrieved it again
and clutch it against my chest
as if I could put it back
a tight ball
rolled and crushed
like aluminum foil
soaked in crimson
my hands run sticky with the juice of life
as my madman tongue
waggles to my reflection
against the dirty window

She finds me
like she always does
and I can feel the gravity of her
behind me
I can feel the weight of her
pressing down on these grey oaken floorboards
the foil ball in my hands
quivers with pain
as I turn to look at her
Achingly beautiful
not the sunshine and sky hues of mythic angels
no
she is ever dark haired
and sullen eyed
a common sparrow amid the thorny bushes of my life
yet at her approach my feet find purchase
and it is here that I make my shameful confession…
…sometimes I want to run from her

She holds out her hand
I place the ball into the stone altar of her palm
and brace myself for the pain
as she sets to work
gently pulling and straightening
there is pain
but I focus on her face
and I hear a voice inside me say

Oh kind maid
sweet Goddess of my soul
I deserve you not
for how oft have I returned to you
this very same ball
and how many times
have you smoothed and straightened
and though my spine twitches
with each and every ministration
the terror I fear never comes to pass
never have your fingers ripped or torn
no matter the ichor
which attempts to trap your beautiful fingers
within its grappling lock
You should do away with me
You should leave this place
and never let these soiled boards
touch your precious feet again
This place is not for you
You are the better part of us
Daughter of the Ebon Flame
You could carry so much more than that tangled mass
beyond the walls of this ruin

Yet I know she will not leave
though I have awakened countless days of my life
terror stricken that the bond between us is broken
that I will one day call for her
and she will not come to find me
it brings tears to my eyes to think of her gone
and how much more empty this place would be
without the soothing calm of her grace
without the relieving balm of her face
to not see her shadow from under my door
to know what it means to be truly poor
abandoned to the dark and find solace, none
in the whispered promise of the rising sun

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Humidity….

We were a furtive flourish…
Sundress printed swirls, blue jean short borders
Cotton Tee collects flecks of grass
Propped up on leaf-dimpled elbows, fingers tangled
Her seraphic face above me
Her eyes teach the sky what it means to be blue
The summer air shimmers between us
Warm and damp
Wisps of her golden tresses stick to my cheek
A sweet honeysuckle scent
A gentle smile that melts my heart like ice cream
I sigh, a silent prayer, a plea for her to lower her velvet lips
So that I may taste her again
She is a wonderful, billowing ball of fragmented chaos
I am powerless to apply a formula which can contain her essence
She is unknowable perfection
Together here, the soft earth shields us from the prying eyes of the world
Gossamer words and sighs of delight drift only to the verdant canopy of our refuge
Jasmine and magnolia our only witnesses
As the weight of her, presses down on me
I am seared with her brand
Eternally marked
as Hers

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Preen….

“Up?”
Even though she knows I can not see her
she asks anyway
casting her voice
over the smooth arc of her shoulder
where the satin of her bra strap bites gently into her skin

On the bed
I lay on my back
the comic book extended above my face
The truth is
I do not need to see her

I know she sits
facing that mirror
with her chocolate waves tangled in her fingers
and piled on her head
those few ringlets rebelliously escaping the masses
to dangle near the sides of her checks

She gives a soft laugh
no doubt feeling the twitch in our heart
as I think about the image I just described
“or down?” She teases
releasing both handfuls of her mane
to tumble to her shoulders
and catch my nose in the wake of gardenias and cinnamon

I sigh
content to play her game
but playing my part
of feigning the delayed lover
eternally waiting on her timing in the hour of preparation
“Down please.” I breathe, “Our heart can’t take it being up this evening, I think”

She
ever the thespian
gives a convincing pout
begins the mesmerizing ritual of brushing
her deft hands stroke out a rhythm in the brown of her hair
and my fingers turn a page I am never intending to read
because my eyes steal glimpses of her preening

As the brush
returns to the vanity
she turns her cheek
pursing her lips in the beauty of a mock kiss
“So, the reddish-brown you say?”
She says to my distracted mind

“Mmhmm” I mumble
obviously engrossed in my reading

She picks up the lipstick
and extends her neck towards the mirror
as she traces the shape
of her lips
I swear, I am reminded of a sculptor
and the rich red-brown clay of my southern homeland

She’s caught me watching again
because I see the corner of her mouth turn up
as the lipstick drifts away
and is twisted back into dormancy
she turns her face
this way and that
in order to look at her handy work, so it would seem
but to increase my pulse, by design

“dark on the eyes?”
She prompts
I do not answer, of course
I am busy with my story
on the same page now, for over the last 5 minutes
She sighs gently as she picks up the applicator
closing first one brown orb, then the other
applying a shadow of night to the lids
“…we spent much too long looking
at those magazines at the top of Dad’s closet
when we were younger”

I will bite my tongue
as she sees to her lashes
and smile in my heart
as her lips always slightly part
in concentration
and as she finishes, she will turn with a flourish
waiting for me to finish pretending I am much too busy to look
and fighting with my eyes to keep up the charade a moment longer

I know her patience well
she has been dealing with me for a long time
and she knows which buttons she can push
and which ones she can mash
and which ones belong to her, alone..

“You’re probably writing this down.
This little story about me?
fingers, elsewhere, typing away at some screen?
Answer me, Poet…you forget we are one.
and I know your story’s ending
before it is done.
I know each pitter-patter
of our strong poetic heart
and you’ve nothing within you
that would keep me in the dark
Now stop your coy playing and give it a rest
for I’ve need of your artistry
go and pick me a dress.”

 

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Banshee…

Don’t touch the girls
it’s the rule at the Golden T Saloon
but that rule
is as flimsy as the paper that holds the letters to the wall
Everyone knows
for the right amount of coin
that sign doesn’t exist
pay the standard fee
after the show
and the owner will let you touch
whatever you want
celestial girls
they’re extra
double the fee
for the exotic
so after the $20 was handed over
he took her
to the middle of nowhere
to have some fun
for a while
it was dead quiet out here
now the crickets are singing between the steps
of her high leather boots as they crunch in the dry prairie grass
the light of a full august moon plays on her face
the choker around her neck
against the black of the night
makes her head seem to float above her body
cut off from the pain
it shows
the beautiful curve of her lips and the trickle of crimson at the edge
where he’d gotten a lick on her
before she shot like a lightning bolt away from him
he had fumbled with the strings of her corset
a little too long
she snatched at his hand
and it flew fast and hard into her cheek
but as his drunken swing continued to arc
she launched away
the first thing he did when he got her out here
was take off his gun belt
that would prove to be his last mistake
the cool wind blew softly as
the fire of moonlight danced
on her butterscotch colored shoulders
highlighting with white outlines
the waterfall of ebony hair that hung down
her back and covered those corset strings
that had saved her
her arms hung at her sides
brushing back and forth
in the ruffles of her skirt
the tops of her thighs striped with garters
peaked out in the moonlight as she walked
and she was careful
not to let them touch
the hot iron horses
that hung from each hand
still smoking from their single nostrils
12 teeth those fillies had to bite
she put 7 in him
from his beak to his balls
the other 5 went into the ground
and even though there hadn’t been rain for weeks
the thunder she made that night
watered the dry Wyoming territory dirt
with his crimson deluge
as she made her way
across the wide open night
with the orange glow of the campfire behind her
sending a purple ribbon up into the night sky
any evil man
would cower where he stood
to see this she-demon approach
and any man
of good heart and hand
would thank the heavens
for such an achingly beautiful
angel of death
that may come to take his life

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Beauty Mark…

Upon the dark flames
of thine eyes
drawn down the shades of lids
and give to me thine silken hand
for within mine own, it will
a tether be, that shall draw our souls together
and I shall speak to thee
in the language of my heart
of all the things contained within
the embattled borders of our time together
trusting not our eyes to tell
but our spirit will remember
upon the shattered stone of an altar
where you smashed to earth
amid the fog of incense and prayers
to gods long dead
my heart can not forget
when they crowned thee, Queen
and the thunderous rolling
as many knees struck the earth
in genuflection that day
and as we stood at the front
of the battle line
with ash in our mouths
as all fell before thy beauty
a mark upon thy snowy cheek
a spot of deep crimson
turned to black
in remembrance of a bursting heart
a feature which, upon the view of mortal eyes
marks thee as divine
so I will tell thee not who thou are
but rather who thou were
when our hearts shared this common space
now placed upon a page
this scar upon the fabric of me
a wound of olde times
would match the form and feature
of that blade thou dost carry upon thy hip
thou hast marked me
as thine own
and it is as immutable
as that mark upon thy sweet face
which even now
rises with the tightening of thy lips
in smile or against the tide of tears
I cannot know
unless thou would permit me
to press mine own mouth to thine
and taste within
the heady wine of endearment
or the salt of regret

Audio

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Beltane…

festival of flame
paint the woad
upon face and limb
douse the fire in every hearth
bare feet upon the brambled path
weave between the ash and oak
holly and hawthorn
cap and crown
skin alive
in the orange light
bonfire rages
making day of night
and in this circle
be born anew
under the watchful gaze
of the Cerridwyn’s Moon
sacred ribbons tied in thorny boughs
warrior hearts offer petitions, proud
’round the raging inferno
dances thunderous feet
the forest reverent in vigil
to this raucous feast
and when the blessed dew falls
upon the following morn
I will meet the sun’s fire
with my own flame reborn

Audio

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Pilgrimage…

the soft crunch
trod upon dead wood
an autumn wind
pins flaming waves of leaves
against ancient marble and stone

there is a reverence to this place
under steel grey clouds
the horizon speaks
of the hazy phantoms
of distant snow-covered peaks

A carrion bird barks
amid the tangled oaks
beyond this hallowed circle
where my pilgrim feet
have come to rest in exhaustion

My gnarled walking stick
slips within my grip
as I collapse to my knees
and my burden sloughs from
shoulders constructed in pain and duty

I carry no sword
or shield to this place
I have lain aside my armor
for it does me no good here
I have made this journey so many times

I know what is to come
I know when I bend my forehead
to the rich loamy soil and breathe
the first words of prayer that flow
past my lips will never reach their ears

It will not be the first words
It will not be the second
nor the fifth, nor the twenty thousandth
It will be the ones that come
when I have no air left to form them

When I have prayed my throat raw

Only then
when I am gasping for life
when I am clutching at my sides
when I am blinking back tears
will my words finally reach their realm

When my head is drenched in sweat
and my hands tremble
as I push myself back
to sit upon my folded feet
and my chest is a heaving engine

Then they will speak to me once more

These Goddesses of my Soul

I look upon them arrayed in their semicircle
their frozen effigies do not translate the creatures I know them to be
their hollow eyes do not convey
the warm-blooded emotions they have shown me
nor their hands the touch of compassion that heals me

Courage, with her armor, sword raised to the heavens
Fate, with her furrowed brow and fiery spirit, hammer against her thigh
Karma, with her hand on her heart and the other in her hair
Grace, with her arms extended to her sides, her leg forward to execute a pirouette
Hope, with laurels in her hair and her right hand raised bearing a torch
Mercy, on bended knee, both hands reaching out in welcoming embrace, her eyes closed

and in the center of them all

The Queen of Hearts

She stands looking forward
always into the East
so that the rising sun sets her crown aflame
Right foot forward, both hands at rest upon her shield
planted firmly into the ground at her feet

Upon the face of this shield
all the names my soul has been called
over the ages of time
are written
in all the languages it has spoken

I will read them one by one
and I will remember who I am
who I was
and who I am yet to be

 

 

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Queen of Thorns

There were times
When I would sit quietly in a pool of crimson
and contemplate the visions
she shows me
other times I would run to her
With the zealous fervor of baptism
into her faith
and bearing the smooth underside
of my arms
I would show her the wounds there
gleefully adoring each and every one
When I felt
the warm trickle
and gentle drip
the taste of salt and copper in my mouth
as I held her words within
savoring the sting
resisting the rising waves
against the threshold of my tolerance
I danced a minuet with pain
a swirling masquerade of red
she owns a particular shade of sullen
and its beauty is made manifest
in the blooms which blossom
amid the bramble thicket
though I have never been afraid
to reach inside
and feel the soft touch of their petals
against my finger tips
I willingly rend my own flesh by visiting her
I do not shy away from the bite
no, I crave to deeper press
my flesh against these barbs
and sigh in satisfaction that
like so many sovereigns of this realm
I am knighted in her service
and she may have
my sword
my shield
my heart
at her call
if I can but sit with her at banquet
and dine upon the specters of her past
talk of daemons to be slain
and know the exquisite warmth
of her dark fire
and perhaps when our meal is done
She will anoint my brow
with a gentle kiss
from her sacred lips
and I will wear the mark
of her favor

This poem was written for someone special to me.

Her name is Candice

She is an amazing poet and writer. Since I met her she has been an inspiration for me to dig deeper into my soul when I write. To put down even the most difficult of feelings into text and to stand unflinchingly and face pain and sorrow.
We all possess a certain amount of pain in our lives, Life is pain as far as I understand it. So when joy happens it is all that much sweeter. When the sun shines through the clouds it is more brighter than we remember last time.

That’s what the joy I have found in knowing Candice means to me. She writes about pain a lot of times…and reading what she has written often makes my heart bleed…but I am overjoyed to bleed with her. I consider it an honor to stand at her side and to be counted among her friends. Her trust and her opinion of me, are invaluable.

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Emily

This poem is written for a special someone who many of you are probably already familiar. If not, her name (as the title suggests) is Emily and you can find her at Poet Girl Em.

From the moment I read Emily’s poetry I knew she was a kindred spirit. I could see things in her writing that reflected my own ideas about love and emotion. Also about nature and the universe and our role within this great play of which we are all a part.

recently she had been dabbling with an image of herself and an apply that applied vibrant colors to those pictures. As I watched her post them one by one and hit the “like” button, I found some words swirling in my heart that I thought I should put down on paper. I approached Emily about writing a poem about her and she said she would be honored to be my muse for this one (not everyone likes having their portrait painted in words) So I humbly thank her for her patience with my presumptuous pen! But as often happens when I think of Emily, when I reread these words I feel a great pulling of gravity on my heart.

 

When I look at her
I understand she was never the blue sky
She was never the clouds
like angel plumes adrift in the heavens
She was never the blazing brilliance of Sol
Or the verdant arms of the oaks that stretched beyond my reach
She was never the moon
Or the stars
Never the Pleiades
Or the belt of Orion
Never the shimmer of the shadow of our galaxy
Spilled like a river of diamonds across the night
She was the earth
She was the heartbeat of the planet
against my back
As I lay there and marveled at all the universe had placed above my head
Her strength floated beneath me
She cradled my head in a flock of clovers
And ran her fingers through my hair
As I dreamed of a world beyond her
She was always there with me
Whispering for me to fly.

 

Thanks, Emily.
Love you always, Dear Friend.

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Brute…

This is something I need to write
while the fire of anger is in my heart
In these later years of my life
I have learned to let go of anger
more quickly
so what is left of my heart doesn’t become
blackened and bitter

But I must say this

You disgust me
You have my complete contempt
and that is not an easy thing to do
I have a forgiving heart
I strive to understand
to accept
to empathize

I cannot do this with you

You confound me to no end
I am continuously embarassed and confused
by your actions

You can not comprehend how much
rage fills my heart when I think of you
what you do
what you consider amusement
is a sick and twisted malady
which is incurable in the likes of you

what gives you the right
to approach her?
what broken logic
do you mutter to yourself
in the throes of your indecent behavior

you can’t be content
with all the warnings we are given as children
you can’t be satisfied
that a butterfly perched upon your finger

You can not marvel at her beauty
with eye-watering wonder
You can not sit in peace
as she shows you her gorgeous colors
close your eyes and feel
the tingle in your soul at her delicate touch
upon your skin
sigh out loud
at the pride swelling in your heart
that she chose you
as a place to rest from her weary flight

You had to touch her wings

Your alpha-bullshit
convinced you that you could do such a thing
and she would be fine
and so with slobbering tongue and whining like a beast in heat
intent on humping the furniture
you repeatedly let your primitive hind-brain
type out a string of tripe to her
always on a private channel
because your coward nature doesn’t let you make advances in the light
where men such as I
could see
and oh how I wish you would give me the chance to see

You inspire me to violence
because you make me physically ill
Your alpha-animal-fuckery makes me want to
give in to my primal side too
and thrash you within and inch of your life

So of that you can be proud…you drag me kicking and screaming to your level

I hate you for it

You can’t walk past a beautiful flower
without putting your filthy hands around the stem
and yanking her from the earth?

On this massive battlefield that we all share
you can’t celebrate her strength and power
without hooking a finger behind her breastplate to see
what’s underneath?

How dare you, you wretched filthy piece of trash…..

In this war we all fight
how good does it feel to protect her flank?
take one more worry off her mind
that she can feel confident you are an ally
You will never know
what it feels like to put your back against hers
and devote all of your willpower to the forces in front of you
never worrying that something may attack from behind

I enjoy
so much
lying on the ground
next to their fire and watching the beautiful shapes
amid their crackling flames

They warm what is left of my soul and you have no idea the battle that I fight to keep it every day

and you are putting them out
these wonderful bonfires of strength and beauty
sensual and romantic
hard edged and joyful
you are snuffing them out one by one

and I hate you for it

with every shame-laiden-panick-attack-inducing
unwanted advance
you remove more and more of them from my universe
and I am tired of it

So very tired

They owe you nothing
and that is all you will ever be

*My apologies for his rant. I’m not sorry I wrote it…I’m sorry if it brings up any feelings you don’t want to deal with…..I am so very tired of the world of online assholes who think they are divinely chosen to electronically “feel up” every woman who dares to show her face in this realm. So sick and tired of “men” who can not control themselves and who believe that every woman is fair game to attempt a pick-up.

Maybe I’m being sexist, maybe it’s not only men…but I swear I cannot come up with a single example to the contrary. I really cannot.

I live for the day when I notice someone has been gone for a while and they send a message saying, “Sorry, I was just really busy with real life. Instead of  “Sorry, I’m laying low for a while because I’m having trouble with the guy who keeps sending me messages.”
and also for the day that women don’t have to put “NO PRIVATE MESSAGES” in their bio’s on social media.

Ladies, please, block these poor excuses for human beings. Do not punish yourself or others for their transgressions.

A dear friend of mine told me last night she was having trouble with someone who keeps sending her messages on twitter. Her exact quote was, “He’s brazen and very brash”

My follow up message was, “And therefore not fit to be in your company. Please, block him and be done with it. Don’t torture yourself over someone’s inability to be a gentleman and a decent human being.”

I can’t say it enough or any plainer than this:

YOU DESERVE RESPECT. DEMAND IT. and when it is not given DISMISS them from your presence.

and if you are a “man” and follows me here or elsewhere and fit any of these descriptions…please….just remove yourself from my online presence please….quietly slink back to the rock you crawled out from…I won’t ask any questions about why you are gone. I promise.

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