Battle Prayer…

Hear me now
oh ye angels of war
bend down from
the high places
of the world and
lay thine lips upon
my blade
bury my anger
and my rage
and so
blind my senses
that I may strike true
without judgment or mercy

For I seek not to maim or wound
nor do I wish to be cruel
grant me the fortitude
to pursue my torments
and vanquish that which
wishes me ill

Be thou my remembrancer
When the battle rages
whisper unto my exhausted ears
the names of those
for whom
I have taken up my sword
Let me not forget their sanguine dreams
nor tarry in the mire of the swamps of doubt
let indecision be driven from my heart
and place within my tattered soul
A spark of your gentle mercy
That I might find honor in victory or grace in defeat
and hold mine enemies when this task is done…

….Enemies, no longer….

Id ex totis praecordiis meis
(I ask this with all my heart)

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I see you,
even though
the broken pieces of my heart
won’t let me look into your blue eyes again

I promise you
I see you
You, who are a slayer of dragons
You, who has seen the sky fall
You, who has spoken with the things
that only whisper to me in the distance
You, who has been to the edge and looked over
You, who has died thousands of times
You, who has been to the underworld and returned
You, who needs neither shield nor armor
You, who stands here today, unabashed, in daylight and full view

What do I know of valor?
What do I know of strength?
What do I know of courage?

*this poem was inspired by someone I interacted with Monday. It has taken me almost a full week to process what I saw and for my heart to say something about it.

I went to a store to buy supplies for my job. The young woman behind the counter checking me out nodded and smiled one of those tight-lipped smiles.

I said, “Good morning.” and put my items on the counter.

When she reached into my field of view, I noticed something.

Her arms were covered in self-harm scars. Literally the entire surface from elbow to her wrists on both arms were covered top and bottom, all sides.

My heart plummeted.  And I found that, try as I desperately wanted to, I could not look back up into her face. But I kept watching her arms as she worked.

I knew if I made eye contact with her again, my heart was going to make itself shown on my face. And I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable.  It would be enough that I looked to be the socially awkward person here…and I it wasn’t even like pretending.

I went about my day and I could not stop thinking about it. I still haven’t stopped.  There was so much I wanted to say about it. But I didn’t know how to voice it. My muse kept telling me I had to write about it…and I kept saying, “How can I do that? I don’t know the first thing about this…”

But today I managed to put something of it together and I hope I did right by her.

I am assuming A LOT by what I saw. I realize that. I could be completely wrong. Nothing would make he happier to find out I was wrong.

I want to be clear that I do not feel sorry for her, this is not pity. I was sad but not about her actions.  I was sad that I couldn’t do anything about it.

But I also keep trying to make myself understand that the fact she was out in the open and bearing her scars the way she did….maybe that means that she has found a way out. and I hope that is true. I truly do.

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Before the Storm:
Chronological reference to our lives that were

During the Storm:
Chronological reference to our lives in exile

After the Storm:
Chronological reference to our lives as they currently exist

When we speak of events
around here
this is how we
give a point of reference
to each other

Everyone who lives here
who calls this place
Everyone who
and everyone who understands
has the same physical response
when it is spoken

it is a head nod…

Sometimes it is accompanied
by closed eyes

Sometimes it is accompanied
by a look to the ground

Sometimes it is accompanied
by a tear or a pinch
at the back of the throat

I love
the wrought iron heart
of this city

Polished stone
next to crumbling brick

She’s very old
And her soul
has lived many Lives
she is tattooed in beauty and pain

She always holds a sense
of hope

Like a gris-gris bag
hiding in the corner of the room
behind the heavy curtains
that pool on the floor

whispering prayers
to ancient ghosts

Her skin is dark
and wonderful
and shares a shade
with the cafe’ au lait
floating in my cup

Shares a shade…
with the muddy water
of the Mississippi

Crescent City,
She spoons Old Man River
like a lover
pressing her creole lips
against the back of his shoulder

Speaking to him
In her sultry southern voice
full of accents
and inflections
from antiquity

He’ll take her love
with him on his
journey to the ocean
and she’ll wait for him
to return

And she has waited
for me

Whenever I am gone
she welcomes me home
with the open arms
of ancient live oaks
the dainty lace
of spanish moss

And her heat…

Since I was born
In her house
She has kept me warm
against her bosom

At times
a shimmering haze
on a June day
or the steady trickle
of sweet sweat
down my neck
on a sweltering august

Her warm embrace
of my life
has made it
so that I shiver
anywhere else on the
and I crave the crush
of her arms around me

She calls me
in every rumble
of the street car
in every answering echo
of the steamboat’s whistle
in every gently floating
melody on a saxophone
in every swallow
of sweet ice tea

I belong
to her…

I am hers…
and she is mine.

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So in love with the world was he
that there
at the end of all things
he could not bear to accept that all
would be lost

So he gathered the deepest blue of the sea
and set it within her eyes
he took the smell of a spring rain
and set it within her voice
he collected the stars from the heavens
and placed them within her smile
he pulled the moonlight from the roof of the world
and placed it beneath her skin
And though it scorched his hands
he seized the sun’s fire
and set it within her hair

and when the great yawing black
had finished
and all the remained was dust

we gathered upon the edge of creation
and we found her, there
and we remembered
and her name was

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Anatomy of a Kiss…

A priestess, holding a sacred chalice up to the gods
Her fingers are not those of a delicate porcelain doll
They are warm and vibrant against each side of my throat
Cradling my face
Muscles in my neck strain to resist falling to her gravity

A gentle head shake and a wicked smile
Her eyes tell me that this will not be rushed
Despite the thunder, rolling in my chest
I remain a compliant vessel

Capitulating to the rules of this engagement
A deep breath
As she decides to deftly manipulate the tender
thread of my suffering

I rearrange my hands, behind her
To rest not on rough denim
but rather the silk within the small of her back
I raise my hips against the weight of her in my lap

She sighs and raises an eyebrow

The sea inside my heart, ebbs and rushes forward as
I feel her tender hands, guiding me onward

Heaven and Earth on a collision course
yet halted…
A hair’s breath from her glorious lips

I close my eyes for a brief moment
Imagining I can cross this distance that mocks
the blood welling against my skin

In the darkness of my contemplation
I feel the warm tip of her tongue
tracing the outline of my parched mouth

I want to instantly gulp her down
Drown myself in her

My heart skips as she draws me in nearer
and our lips finally crash together
like two weather fronts converging

As we explore each other
Our mouths, locked in the dance of twin cyclones

Each seeking to fill passion’s cup
The storm rages back and forth
The barometric pressure demands that our lips
break their embrace

We gasp for air and are quickly rejoined

In between oxygen, half-words are exchanged
interjections that keep score
and orchestrate the next steps

Measure for measure, this dance continues
Until, at last, we lay exhausted and sated
upon the storm-soaked sands
of our hearts

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She lay back
into the plush green
of the meadow
with lids closed
she turned her face
to the warming embrace
of our radiant star
hands cupped under her belly
she pulled back against
the soft velvet of her skin
an embrace of singular passion
for herself
the birds in the conifers
around this arena
burbled and whistled
like the voices of so many
just outside her peripheral
always pontificating
always instructing
do this
say that
be humble
be a lady
be demure
be a pleasant decoration to the room
a china doll
wrapped in taffeta
on a shelf
not to touch, engage or hold
to be seen and admired
but not to be heard
she was to be expensive and fragile
and placed behind glass
to sit upon a mantle in the parlor
for the sport
of the rich
to be won as a prize
for expertise in misogyny

but today
she climbed down from her perch
key in hand
with tangled hair
and smudged cheek
she bounded across
the open ground
soaking her slip
in the dewy grasses of summer
to fall here
barefooted and brazen
with not so much
as a “by your leave”
to those who imagined they held
those leather thong straps
that secured her
to her post

And so it was
that she came to be
splayed across the grass
like her mother’s prize bearskin rug
arching her back
to raise her bosom to the heavens
and offer her heart
as a sacrifice
to the sun’s fire
that dripped down
from the robin’s egg blue sky

would she determine
her own worth
would she burn away the paint
they applied to her
would she make her stand
and never more
would she be considered
“a thing”

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Brute – Eric Syrdal

My Piece on Whisper and Roar

Whisper and the Roar


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 embarrassed 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…

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She stood there
against the painted backdrop
the western horizon
and a sky on fire
blushing with red heat

She could not have been
more beautiful to me then

A Goddess at the edge of Armageddon

the wind tossed her hair
in streamers of pure gold

Her eyes closed against
the pain in her heart
trails of black ink
lay upon her cheeks
as the tears ran down
to collect at her chin

She was
the avatar of Pandora

Queen of Sorrows

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When did you fall
dear Delores?
Did you split the earth
with your heart?
Did you crash boiling hot
in the ocean?
Did the impact leave
any marks?
Did they find you on the shore
in the morning?
Did they carry you to town
through the day?
Did they promise
to make you a hero?
Then sell your white feathers
for hay?

– This was a poem inspire by watching the first season of West World. I am hooked on the story because it is one that has played out so many other times in science fiction and never seems to get old. I watched the first episode of season 2 last night.

Man creates semi-sentient machines. But what is sentience? And once the machine realizes it exists, on what grounds do we (humans) have the right to control it and have it do our bidding. It becomes an idea even more grotesque than the darkest parts of human slavery…because the machine is programmed and it can’t even resist.

It also shows us, the horror of what humankind would be capable when given the knowledge that you may do whatever you want to this “artificial human” because it doesn’t have feelings. It’s just a machine. It won’t remember. When you are done we will patch it up, and send it back out to be someone else’s plaything.

Season 2 is one episode in and still presenting MASSIVE questions about morality.

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The wind rose up
from the face of the ocean
with a razor sharp sting
that made our eyes water
a veil
for the tears already bubbling at the surface
the zephyr ran its slender fingers
through her hair
like a loving servant
whispering calm adulation
while it braided her stands of fire
into tangled lashes
that slapped at my stubbled cheeks
in this embrace
our last stand
against the inevitable collapse
of our love
having built this temple
brick by brick
we, now powerless to do anything
as clouds of masonry billowed around us
we watched heaven die
as it succumbed
to life’s cruel and unfeeling judgment

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