2016-View Issue vol. 7, no. 4
ISSN 2369-6516 (Print)
ISSN 2369-6524 (Online)
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“there is no greatness where there
is not simplicity” — Leo Tolstoy
walk with me
and try not to smile
the coming of June
every leaf straining desperately
to fulfill its destiny
so like adolescents not knowing
how brilliant they already are
stroll a while
and smell the fragrant air
dandelion and daffodil
trying to outshine the sun
loosen your jacket
and remember a warming’s come
close your eyes and hear the birds
feel the breeze
fresh and soothing in our hair
tell me with conviction
you’re not inspired
Long for light
Short for sharp
Large for light
Small for sharp
HDR for all
The Method of
Gustave Le Gray
He worked out the way
Unless it moves
Then choices to make
Long for light
Short for sharp
Large for light
Small for sharp
You are mother,
Different from the rest
Truly set apart
By the content of your heart.
Through trial and strife
You have given your life
To those who can never know
What love can set aglow
Till the time when it’s no longer errant
And you become the parent!
At a time before much was settled or known,
There was a maiden whose long, golden hair
Attracted the attention of a wandering stranger.
Caught up by him into a confusing, warm
Closeness, they both breathed hard then and
Went on — to search out separate ways. After
Gulping down some berries, she threw up.
Her body wanted more food in its changing.
From snowy peaks to grassy meadows,
Forests and mountain goat roughs,
Leto wandered along ocean shores. But
No land wanted her to feel safe and stay,
For in dallying with Zeus, she’d offended
Wifely Hera, Goddess of Hearth & Order.
Foraging and rounding, Leto needed to find
A where out of sight, or risk Goddess wrath.
Aboard a fishing boat, she glimpsed a place
That appeared seldom, in the mist of waves
Dashing upon it. She found an island, Delos,
Welcoming, if a temple for tribute was built.
Artemis was soon born. Even with her aid,
Her twin Apollo wouldn’t come. To relieve
Leto’s distress, Hera’s view was distracted
So that help could come. Laboring Leto
Clung to a palm tree nine nights and days
And another far-bow-shooter was born.
When spring came, he took his musical
Lyre and went off to Delphi possibilities.
I came from streets sowed,
but white privilege and rude boys,
even the lowest lows,
to cat string hung crows,
so let’s do this,
I bow down the boulevard
and walk your tree lined ghost.
Snow – not the frozen kind;
The kind on the TV screen
When programming ends –
Fills the screen of my dream.
A small black blob
Forms in the centre – gets bigger
Becomes the head of a monster
Teeth bared, grows bigger
Fills the screen
I wake screaming
My father carries me downstairs
Makes me toast – comfort food.
The next night
Snow – not the frozen kind –
I am wonderfully drunk
on the quiet whirl
of unfurling leaves,
on skies full of soft sea breezes,
and on the busy spring chatter
My heart is singing,
head is spinning –
like a bee,
from flower to flower,
I am sensible of nothing
JP Morgan had to chase
His story wasn’t funny
The biggest fraud was put in place
To stop him losing money
By doing so just hid Ismay
Whose white star wasn’t shining
A plan in place to save the day
With cloudy silver lining
A naval Hawke in Portsmouth bay
Olympic struck a chord
To seal its fate without a say
With Captain Smith on board
Bring the Wolff to change its clothing
And silence those that do
Ones that know will feel the loathing
And Smith will head the crew
Steaming from the Emerald Isle
Big apple plans so nice
Four days full speed it took a while
To find the fields of Ice
Compass wrong no flare to see
Californian missed the boat
How different history could be
When stock can stay afloat
One day the world shall know the truth
Identify the switch
Taking just a clever sleuth
Expose the scamming rich
Speckled, stretched, rough, ready
Out in the garden
Hoe, tweet and turn
Time into language
In liturgical dream logic
Where no one loves you less
Or fear the sorcery of ecstatic
Complexity mapped and pleated into words.
Horizons were too close on Eutaw Street.
Sun rose full bore above high brick façades
to drill down deep in houses, roads and flesh.
No trees dropped shade on pavement, step or sill.
Cars driving by were going somewhere else.
Hot sidewalks lay deserted; our clutch of kids
all fretted, sweated, limp before TV.
The ice for iced tea had no time to freeze
and dark shirts silted up with body salt.
The sunset too was hidden from our view;
its after glow, no promise of relief.
Hours to wait before the offshore breeze
brought moving air to windows on the west.
The children all played late outside on Eutaw.
Parents fanning watched from marble stoops.
I strolled among them down the street to visit
the convent garden where a bathtub pool
held golden fish and where as Sister ‘d promised
a vine’s pale petals of vesper buds unwound,
unfurled their moonlight to expand the night.
We saw all near horizons open wide.
I have not stopped suffering
at my own hands,
not since the dawn of time
or even the time I tried to depose my mind
from its sickly throne.
The focus of my shame
has shifted, no longer do I criticize
my powers but instead
my failure to forgive myself –
is this some kind of joke – for thus
I am still doomed to fail.
Row of saltbox sweetness catching the sun.
I am a home.
People live in and love me.
Come visit or just admire me and my sibs
as you skirt by.
Aren’t our dresses pretty?
We line up with our neighbours
and paint the town red,
and blue, yellow too.
Have you seen our secondary cousins–
purple, green and orange
who live over the way?
We’re a family called a neighbourhood.
We brighten up your day, eh?
Don’t let them take us away.
We want to stay.
I envy the lungs that house your breath,
And the air caressed upon its departure
From your sacred lips; heard once, but
Felt eternally in the annals of memory,
Like a rapturous trauma that inspires
And agonizes with unbounded severity.
Time only facilitates and broadens the
Torment that churns through my cells.
My transgressions upon you merit the
Grimmest of penalties; but never will I
Be worthy of death wreaked by your will,
And for the duration of my existence,
I shall praise you in empty rooms, rife
With regret and unrealized ambition,
Perpetually eager to sacrifice everything
For a sole day in your precious company;
To revel in the splendor of your presence,
To be draped in the shadows you cast;
Kiss your divine hand and step ardently
Into the nebulous arms of sheer oblivion,
Where your specter will beset me, despite
What realm my wearied soul may inhabit.
You, may lose your focus;
When our lips meet.
‘I take your breath away…’
But, when your lips touch mine
for the faintest,
Of a moment…
I feel as if there is…
No ground beneath our feet.
As my head is spinning around…
My body feels no gravity in that!
In our kiss…
I feel solid and together…
It all starts with starry eyes
and the caressing purposeful
walking dressed in tapered cloth
layered above snappy shoes
well shined to clean soles
that squeak to the delight of gargoyles.
For some it stays.
Others become varietal pudding pops
and moms on canes of sticks
rapping the melt to a wont and a lick
as the tap tap of wooden legs
dissipates a reaching echo
like a moan that follows its own curse
down the hatching halls of the Hill House
on Wellington Street.
There’s symmetry in poetry.
England’s the land you want to see
especially this year
on Shakespeare’s anniversary.
Four hundred years a mystery
who that prolific man may be,
who so very eloquently
rewrote recorded history
in both prose and poetry.
Will another such as he
step forward in this modern day
to say in just as clear a way
we are the same as yesterday?
like long spindly arms
twisting about a rib cage
but that spot on my
back hard knobs
of hips sharp
triangle when your
thighs don’t touch
And as for men of strength
I know few
unkingly-kings in search of kingdom
nomadic and confused,
sifting the ash for nerve or incentive
dream weary desolate
our tired tangled hearts
inventing our fury
uncorking our courage
only our ruin tangible
only pain in our efforts to love
what comfort may be wrenched
from the hearts of such men?
At last, we are desperate.
At least, we are trembling.