St. Charles and Robert

She defies any definition
of beauty
one hundred plus years old
this gorgeous redhead
stands tall
every hour
every day
every year
in this same place
reclining against the green earth
every voluptuous angle and curve
of her form draws my eyes to admire
the way her creamy skin shimmers
in the midday sun
here, in this sweet southern spring
before the heat and the evening rains
leave her fresh from the shower
her hair twisted up
in a towel of steam
upon her head
while she sips sazerac
and thumbs through the pages
of a beauty magazine
as a victrola plays in the background
her sultry voice of oak and cypress
humming a bluesy melody
backed up by the rumble of streetcars
and the calling of blue jays
even now…
her dark shutters are closed
but I know
the coy smirk on her tawny lips
means she understands
she has my attention
the arch of her porch
displays the lower parts of her form
sheathed in sheer
white and pink lace
of azaleas
I was lucky enough to touch her once
there was a piece of her that was broken
but I
lovingly mended her
as though she were my own
she offered her hand in thanks
and my lips almost touched the back
before she was whisked away from me
in a flurry of servants and attendants
she probably doesn’t remember me
but I haven’t been able to forget about her
and as I look upon her now
there is a great swelling of pity
in my heart
that I may not step back in time
to the days of her youth
and see her under the moonlight
with glittering crystal and stained glass
bubbling laughter
as the bright light within her heart
shown out upon her lawn
where two lovers may sit
and marvel at the stars
under the New Orleans sky
at the corner
of St. Charles and Robert

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He travels down
to the river shore
the same time every eve’

when he returns
he’ll scrape and peel
the mud from both his greaves

kneeling here
in the shallow tide
his sword drawn from its sheath

he impales the tip
in the silt and mud
rests his forehead on the pummel and breathes

a whispered prayer
summoned from his heart
to the goddess of the river, deep

doesn’t ask Her for gold
doesn’t ask Her for power
all he asks is a moment to speak

with his long lost love
gone these twenty years
no more for his eyes to see

and he hopes that his tears
are tithe enough
for her to answer his plea

but no answer has come
in these long ragged years
that might bring an end to his plight

and the river water drips
like the tears from his eyes
as it ends the same, every night

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What fervent fire
her gaze could spark
as though the very moonlight
upon her raven tresses
suddenly became sentient
and walked its way across
the space between us
setting the ground aflame
with her passing
leaving nought but the smell
of jasmine and scorched earth
and an echo of her name
deep within
the halls of my soul

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Complacently we sit here
on this sorrow-soaked sand
and exchange stories of our youth

together, like second-hand soldiers
we watch the tide come in
our arms, laid gently aside
rusting in the brine

while we bicker over
sea dragon sightings and mermaid fins
no white sails appear
beyond that jagged reef

the signal fire
has long since turned to ash
we’ve eaten the flint and steel
and drank the oil

while neither remembers now
who was king and who was pauper

I’ll wear this crown
and you thrown your stones

and we’ll let gravity sort it out

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We laid him down
on a field of flames
in the ruddy glow
of sunset’s blood

Upon his breast
lay his shattered shield
in clenched fingers
was his notched blade

Upon his cheeks
was Woden’s sign
upon his lips
the pale name of death

Within his hair
bramble and holly
broken charcoal
and earth

Upon his skin
the wither-rot stood
sculpting each bone
with time’s harsh tongue

We carried the dragon
to the water’s edge
and cold the fjord
around our feet

Set sail to wind
and gathered voices
rouse the gods
call for safe passage

We drank his name
under the fires of dawn
and wait to see him
at the end of all things

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33ft x 15 PSI

The first thing you notice
is how blue it is here
like the endless reaches
of the wide open sky

But there is no whistling wind
in your ears
just the gentle roaring
of the far off surf
crashing against a shore
you will never see
no opportunity to find
a bobbing green glass bottle
tumbling end over end in the foam
struggling fingers pry open
the rotten cork
jamming wet wrinkled fingers
into the ancient air inside
to drag brittle parchment
into the blazing island sunlight
to find
no word of rescue
no faded picture of better times
no yellowed advertisement
from far off memory

The next thing you notice
is how dark it is here
as the water rushes into you
salt and lack of sympathy
as the pressing becomes too much
and the shell around your heart
is crushed

hull breach

all hands lost

they’ll find the pieces on the bottom

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My latest on Whisper and Roar

Whisper and the Roar

shildmaiden Sigrun by RinRin Daishi

Her eyes are painted
with porcelain bravery
bravado and battlefield-hardened
she wields her weapons
sarcastic razor-edged wit
impenetrable oaken confidence
guarding her breast
all the ambition forged
within iron and steel
dark amber flame, her hair
across her shoulders
a regal mane
unstirred by the winds of war
like so many before her
behind this buttressed bulwark
lies a warrior heart
broken and battle-weary
enough of scars and sacrifice
enough of wounds and wanting
rain-soaked and shell-shocked
she wanders
seeking the broken path home

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In a massive arc
that seemed to encompass…

all that she was
all that she had lost
all the universe had ever known of her
since the first time her soul was born

her blade carved a deadly path through the air

its edge trailed light like the tail of a comet
leaving an after-image
in my field of vision

heaving a war cry
into the din of battle
her weapon cleaved the crown
from a demon’s head

showering bright orange sparks
into the night air
to rain down like falling stars

with watering eyes
and a weeping heart
she summoned
and ember of hope
from the blood soaked ground
at her feet

and for once in her life…


…was afraid

…of her

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We Cannot Look Away: Not another 17, not another One

Proud to be a part of this powerful message.

Brave and Reckless

Just another day
just another town
bullet perforated backpacks
spilling loose-leaf lined paper, textbooks
onto blood stained sidewalks
helicopters hovering
to give us the birds eye view
I tried to avert my eyes
out of respect for the dead
the injured
but I could not look away
Christine Ray

Even though I should
Because I am ashamed
At the bullets that rain
At the bullet point pain
Etched in their faces, rivulets in their eyes
They were just children, stolen from their time
Not forgotten in these lines
But to their parents and loved ones
It’s a void they’ll never fill, and it shouldn’t
Lives shredded and ruined
17 times we’ve gotten the chance to do better
and for the 18th, we blew it
Just like those children who looked at their killer

Their killer is not Nikolas

The Killer is you
Devereaux Frazier

Seventeen blossoms
seventeen blinks of an…

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when the dark
of the world
blunts my edge

her soul
is a wet stone
upon my heart

for a mind
shrouded in fear
learns to take a life

and a blade
starved of blood
soon forgets

I don’t know
how I learned
to ever love again

like sand
borne on wind
placating platitudes

to worm
into ear, eyes
and throat

to swallow
it down
with indifferenced regret

and listen
to the dragons
grow in your gut

creep safe
to that shadowy
hiding place

and watch
them feasting
upon ash

bold cry!
challenged charging!
to scare them off!

fear not
fetid flames
from their maw

a mind
dressed in cowardice
learns to steal a life

but a blade
starved of blood
soon forgets



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