Quench…

we had sated ourselves
and plummeted through a ceiling of stars
upended each other’s cup
holding them above our trembling lips
with tongues extended
to catch every last drop
dragging fingers around the rim
to gather what remnants we could
greedily sucking the moisture from our digits
what a power elixir we had brewed
we imbibed like wanton sailors
trapped on a desert island
and suddenly our prayers had been answered
with a bone-shattering thunderstorm
having spent the last of our kindling on this fire
we laid there
like we were part of the night
like we were separate from the turning of the world
two souls
untethered
from the mortalness of our lives
the only sound was our breathing
like the ebbing and surging waves
after the storm
I could feel the pounding of her heart
as mine lay underneath it
as if I were the earth itself
prostrate under her
supporting her with my flesh
her hair hung down like a curtain
around her face
like glass filaments of midnight
our last kiss
still effervescent upon my tongue
the taste of her
pooled in my thoughts
like fine wine

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Far Away from Here…

I wasn’t imagining it.

Despite what I kept trying to tell myself….

I could definitely make out the clouds on the horizon now.
The faintest color of soft pink around the edges.
I hoped she hadn’t seen it yet…

Our conversation had trailed off.

There we sat, shoulder to shoulder
on the stone of this rampart
The night had been a little on the cold side

The nights, Here, always were.

I wasn’t sure if she made them that way..
or was it me?

Maybe something in my subconscious wanted it
to be cold…so she would need me

I’d surrendered my jacket to her as soon as we got up here
She gratefully, and with a smile I’d not seen since we were dancing earlier,
took it and draped it about her shoulders.

A shiver ran down my arm and I set my glass down with a “tink”

It was still full of champagne
I hated champagne…it was for her

I unrolled my sleeves, so that they hung loose at my wrists

No idea what happened to my cuff links.
They’d be back tomorrow night, I was sure.

My shuffling feet broke the near silence..

Crickets, off in the fields surrounding us, began packing away their violins

I stood up and moved to the edge of the wall to look out over the world

I could make out a conifer forest and ancient oaks off in the distance
The tips of their leaves starting to glow a gentle soft green

“I’m sure we’ve been missed downstairs, they’ll be looking for us soon.”
Her voice, soft and sweet as it always was, just over my shoulder

I turned to face her and put my back to the approaching dawn

“Yes,” I whispered, “I know”

“You always look like you are trying to figure out a way to stop it” She said.

“I know”, I repeated, nodding.

My eyes finally had the courage to look at her face

The face she wore, this time.
Always someone who my heart was bursting for…

She smiled. The tight-lipped smile of resolution.

A lock of hair had liberated itself from the rest of her hairdo
It was the most beautiful part of her in this moment
wild and curled it hung by the side of her determined face
gently swaying and brushing her cheek as she moved her head to look up at me
a dangling definition of her spirit…

My eyes held hers in an embrace for what seemed like hours…

The stones around us were beginning to gain a rosy hue from what was happening over my shoulder.

I knew it was only seconds before the sun spilled over and bathed everything in the bright light of morning.

I sucked in a deep breath and exhaled a soft cloud into the air.

She grabbed the lapels of my Jacket and pulled it tighter against her.

I extended a hand..offering to help her up.
She took it,
her skin…so soft and warm against mine

Mine, rough and sacrilegious in her presence.

She stood up and stepped closer to me
a gentle “shooshing” of her satin dress against her body

I slid one of my arms into the small of her back and pulled her close

I could feel her heartbeat, it was pounding against my ribs
…a distress call that I knew I couldn’t answer

That wasn’t how it worked, Here, anyway
she always came to my rescue
Never the other way around

She was as tall as I was.
With her heels on, She was taller
laying her head against my shoulder,
I felt her forehead
against the side of my cheek

I worried about the stubble scraping her
as if she could be damaged in such a way

My eyes drifted to the hillside behind us
The Creeping morning light making its way to a darkened patch there
The ground scorched and broken
Seemed like ages ago
When fire fell from the Sky

“But we put the fires out and you’re ok.” Her answer to my unspoken concern
“One of a thousand other places like that, Here. And the green has overtaken them all”

Her voice floated visible in the air
small wisps of steam
I forgot from time to time there was no real need for us to speak

Somewhere in the deep forest, a mockingbird began to sing
True to its nature…mocking my inability to stop time.

Anger flushed my cheeks for a brief moment

Why did things like that manifest Here anyway?

I wanted to jump down from this wall.
Grab a shard of stone from it
Hunt it down and smash its tiny little feathered head in.

Her voice, breaking me out of my fury, “because it’s part of your world..and you are waking up.”

I’d been Here in the daytime once.
Went into her room and found a drawing in the top drawer of her roll top desk

A man, tall and handsome.
Like a fairy tale.
I asked her about it
She shook her head with tears brimming in her eyes
Ashamed of causing her grief, I let it go

Her strong arms had encircled my waist
So deep in the throes of my internal rebellion against my forced ejection from Here
I hadn’t noticed
until she squeezed me tightly
and placed a gentle kiss upon my cheek, “You need to go”

I could already feel the warmth of the sun on my back
The air around us was beginning to shimmer with light
This is the worst part….

She let go and slipped out from my embrace
to stand in front of me.

She removed my jacket from around her shoulders and handed it back
I took it,
folding it over my forearm.

“I’ll be here when you get back”

I couldn’t speak…again, I didn’t have to
But I could never muster the courage to make my lips form “Goodbye”

So I let it happen

It was always so strange to me

When I was younger, I always imagined she faded away
But now that I am much much older, I understand the reality is

Much less, romantic and kind
…far more cruel

I understand now….
that I fade away from her

While my eyes flutter open and I have no memory of this place
She must stand and watch as I
cease to exist, Here…
with Her

I say I have no memory
that is a lie
because
in these later years of my life, I am sure
that I remember the sounds
of someone crying

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Bully…

I have to reblog this. In view of bullying in the news. I wrote this last year and it still needs to be said.

My Sword and Shield....

boy

Sunny Day
Sky of purest blue
75 degrees
Window down
35mph
Busy street
old part of the city

Pass a school yard
about 100yrds
of Blacktop
Private School
uniforms
black and red
kids running
shouts and laughter

Corner of the eye
ring of boys
far away from
the others
Corner of the school yard
traffic slows a little
not much
enough
for me to see

Older boy
maybe just bigger
grabs the smaller one
by the head
his fingers are
tangled in brown
curly locks
His face
a maniacal sneer
eyes wide
face flushed

Smaller boy
bent
doubled over
at waist
eyes squeezed shut
Face, blood-red
tears down cheeks
mouth open
hands trying to free
His hair from
tangled fingers

Heart stops
The eight-year-old
that still lives
in my
hind brain
dashes for
the truck window
panic-hearted
leaning out
arm stretched
finger-pointing

But what can I do?
Go back and…

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Charmeuse and Chiffon…

 

Maybe I was here
some time
before my time
maybe I can go back
to when she was an avatar
of all my passion and joy
when, in these worlds
together entwined, we
spiraled around this dance floor
she, a living, breathing moonbeam
wrapped in charmeuse and chiffon
with lips like rose petals
and eyes of darkest night
white opera gloves against black tuxedo sleeves
pearls on alabaster and diamond cuff links
art deco framework and stained glass
crystal chandeliers and vibrant tones
escaping into the night air
as twilight stars kiss
her bare shouldered beauty
and even now
as I lean on the centuries old balcony
I close my eyes and imagine
a time
when the french doors behind me
threw light upon the manicured garden below
when the sounds of a waltz drifted
down across azaleas and juniper hedge and the light tinkling of crystal flutes overflowing with effervescent laughter
as if Gatsby himself might come up behind me, at any moment, to talk
about love….and life

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Sweet Tea…

Like ancient Circe
against her loom
she leans on the weathered door frame

Her hand hold
her golden hair
in a heap atop her head
hoping that the warm breeze
will bring some relief to the nape of her neck

I, Odysseus-ly defenseless
against the sway of her hips
in time with the music that oozes
onto the porch from inside the house
smooth jazz from a southern phonograph

I am

desirous to be the glass of sweet tea she presses against her lips

desirous to be the golden pendant that rests between her breasts

desirous to be the sliver of ice that she traps between her teeth, to be melted by her tongue

desirous to be that drop of sweat that explores its way down her neck

With a sigh
she releases an avalanche of sun-kissed waves
down from her head
spilling over her shoulder

a razor-sharp grin
she pivots on her bare feet
and moves back inside the house
screen door banging wildly behind her

and I follow her inside
to refill my cup

and leave my glass of tea
on the porch

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Understudy….

Nature stood
when she entered the room….

Not even the grayness
and wind rippled puddles
could diminish her majesty

The cold shiver
that had harried me through the morning
tucked tail and fled
the moment my eyes found her

The storm seemed as fascinated by her
as I

The rain danced and played in her hair
swept its watery arms
around her waist
enraptured by its chance to
woo her through this minuet

A raindrop hung from the tresses
in front of her eyes
and kissed her nose
as it fell to her face
on its way to her soft lips

But the kiss was not returned

A slight blush and a turn of the cheek
came a playful sigh of frustration
to meet the frigid breeze
that flushed her pale features
and watered her eyes
as well as mine

To see such grace
from my humble box seat
my privilege
to watch her exit
from this stage

Where nature is an understudy
to her beauty

audio recording

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Apparition…

I’ve met her before….

she came down from the mountain
stood in the road and offered a smile
as I passed her on my way to the crusade

she cheered my name
dust swirling, bronze handled
blood and fire in the arena

I have caught her eye fire gaze
in the fog
across the rails of my ship
as we set sail

In lightning storms and thunder
under my 8-year-old covers
I have felt her hand in mine
and she whispered solace

I hear her voice
in my soul
and it holds me
when I am broken
and alone

When I am lost
I follow the sound of her heartbeat
And it leads me
home

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Suffusion…

like the ink of midnight
her black lipstick stains the glass
not more than 5 minutes ago
she flashed her smile
from behind those lips
that left this taunting echo of her magic

announcing that it rests
on my glass of scotch
instead of my collar

a cliche’ amusing itself at not being more cliche’

lift the glass!
I’ll show the room the proof of her!

I inhale deeply
as her perfume glances over its shoulder at me
while it fades from the room
the scent following the flower

closing my eyes
I give birth to my last image of her
in my mind….

The soft sway of her hips
The staccato click of her heels
Raven hair bouncing on her shoulders

The agony that her eyes face away from me

and she is leaving.

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Arrhythmia…

My heart stopped
mid beat
as she reached up
and loosed her hair
from the top of her head
it spilled in oceans of fire
down her neck and shoulders
and in that moment
I could do nothing except
feel the rising heat on my face
as if I were standing
near the eastern horizon
when the banner of dawn
unfolds over the mountains
its soft light
moving gently upon every shadow
and like a sleep-worn lover
kisses them
good morning

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Requiem of a Red Hood…

this swatch I hold
this bit of fabric
the color of love and sacrifice
and the testament to the struggle of two souls
in time’s bitter unraveling
she and I were bound
like the threads here
in the construction of this cloth
I, the warp
She, the weft
neither could exist without the other
neither filament could lend its strength
to this tapestry
without the presence of its kindred fiber
yet when I stand here
in the silent reverence of this wood
and listen to the far off songs
of warbler and wood thrush
this singular moment does not exist just for me
though she no longer walks the wooded trail
beside me
I can feel her spirit here
close my eyes
and my ears can hear her breathing
her scent penetrates my canid nose
her heartbeat still pulses on my tongue
as her life runs
hot and wet down my throat
but no amount of baying
at that bright circle in the night sky
can express the pain in my soul
at her loss
the touch of her hand
upon my neck
stolen by the course of my actions
brought to a lonely ending
by my savage nature
and I will live
forever a prisoner of these woods
a verdant penitentiary
a scrap of cloth
my warden

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