Frothy waves stretch to kiss toes
Hikers plodding sandy coasts
Leaving imprints on the shore
Who journeyed here, perhaps this morn
As the orange orb created dawn
Summoning sun worshipers
Footprints far too large to fill
Descended down the shell-strewn hill
Then hugged the waves’ low tide
The retirement community
Sends scouts here daily just to see
If the sands of time still wait
Alas, they do, imprints remain
Sacrificed to sea when evening tide returns again
Their legacies erased each day
Another scout, another age
Will surely cast its prints anew
Passing through framed windows like ours,
I recall your tales of reckless war and lost friends
that burned your innocence at 21... and though
you claimed flashes of courage, moist eyes
poured vulnerability looking calm, undaunted.
We both searched deeply into our souls
as a father is to his young daughter, that I wanted
to let you know, it was alright;
but that mound of shoulders turned away.
Down the years as officer and gentleman,
Time stole long weeks, absent from your dining chair,
leaving me resentful and bitter on hardened sills
until you arrive under crawling dock of stars.
But in free moments, how you cherished
me so; waking my cheeks at 3 am to race the winds,
to fly with a shooting neon, laughing with a blue moon.
You spoke of faith and honor if life dared a shame, oh
mild scent of your arms cuddling my girlish dreams...
until off you rode suddenly on heaven’s wheel.
I see you through all framed windows like ours,
that even if my iced breaths needed you more
as small flowers thirsted for rain, my anger was a cry
for love’s company... “ I have adored you
in moments of distance and nearness, if not
always, then for all eternity.”
Have I forgotten to open this, my soft, broken sigh?
Dad, everything is all right.
The Confessional Contest
Who I might become
If I wore another man's clothes
If I thought his thoughts
Dreamed his dreams
Lived his heartache
Felt his insanity
Walked along his razor's edge
Digest his pain
Rise above his circumstances
Would I realize how easy my own life has been
I could search through his pockets
Look for answers
Remove the tie from his neck that strangles
Rip off the clothes that make the man
Return his sanity
Free him from the labels sewn on yesterday's promises
Or I could walk
A bit longer
Search a bit deeper
Discard my own misconceptions
Feel his peace
Think different thoughts
For he is more and less than me
He has danced and loved in exceptional ways
And as I walk and wear his shoes
I hear the tapping of his soul
It is not him
That can save us
Yet we are changed
In inexplicable ways
Another man's clothes
I chose this one for your contest because I feel as
a poet I put myself in other people's clothes all the time.
I like the premise of this contest and I hope this gives you
a glimpse of who I am.
Submited December 20 2013
written in early December.
As my thoughts shrink my mind expands
Growing into the spaces between my words
The words of others
Refreshed within the pauses
Dancing inside possibilities
Filling in the blanks
Within time and space
Connecting the random with the infinite
Flowing through in whispers
Reflecting eternal promises
Stepping stones along elastic highways
Breaths yet to be exhaled
Here I grasp for inked pleasure
My resting place
along inspiration's highway
My moments of calibration
Hallways leading to ancient corridors
The place where all artist meet
Each space, appears the same
To those unable to see
They can't feel the symphony
Yet, we who live, within the spaces
A world expanded from the small
An opening within word walls
Rising to float, upon the breeze
They lift our mind with subtle ease
Come and join me please
I have space
I have room
Within my spaces
majestic he seems, staring down at me
with provocative, charcoal cavern eyes
challenging me to forge upward
massive boulders, slippery streams and fallen trees
arduous obstacles he puts before me
shall I take his dare
perhaps ascending a few steps closer
to cerulean heaven
reach out to touch the kaleidoscope rainbow
an arc above this complex journey’s struggle
or is communing with the universal consciousness
will I step, slip, stumble and fall
if I climb, seeking to prove myself
finding visions of self awareness
as he urges me on
only to wonder why I see nothing but myself
in a shroud of misty grey loneliness at the peak
far easier it would be
to lay my head upon the verdant meadow’s grassy pillow
content to admire him from afar
rather than challenge myself to win his approval
gratify my ambitious nature
what satisfaction will come
if I remain complacent in my life’s lackluster station
never growing, never knowing
what might have been
if I’d listened to his provocative voice
*Written July 30, 2014
Fluted hands angle on knees as glimpses
sort the knitted threads of a late afternoon
where gathering of blooms abide.
Almost friendless, a man inhabits his space
ready to inhale the waft of new dusk,
of how a world in his inner terrain mirrors
the ceremonials of a mindful passage
upon grasses and half-lit windows
outside the self.
And through a prayerful instance,
he connects with a god hushing the tempo
of sighs mixed with incense blowing, as if
to twirl in an air of breaths cleansing
the scabs of trespasses. Miles of babel words
turn into a different language: quite unknown
and understood only by him who finds
contentment in being unbound ,of gliding
above a haloed sky that reflects the movement
inside his awakened essence.
For the atonement of all misgivings,
he releases his pride in layers
of deep confession to pay for his karmic debt;
that in a warm communion with humility
he makes amends for life's consequences
as stillness becomes his friend.
Anthony Slausen's Karma
Of being arrested
By the thought police
Their rules are many
Don't diverge from the normal
Stop playing on the street corner of tomorrow
Let sleeping dogs rest
Do not question
Do not burn on passionate bonfires
I watch as they ready their weapons
They display arresting warrants through clouded glass
Fifty shades of bland
Cuffs dangling from bulging belts
Bound in self rightous blunder
They wait outside my door
Screaming bull horns command me to exit my paper freedom
I am blinded by search lights, forced to use my third eye
Fearful of their uniformed presence
How long will they be held at bay?
I hold their preconceptions hostage
They cannot see beyond their script
Trained in the warfare of ignorance
They say "who are you, to question our authority?"
"I am the poet
The one who dreams beyond here and now
My words push through yesterday like a plow!
Yet I am gentle like the rain
Equal parts of pleasure and pain
A powerful detergent
I remove ancient stains
With my words I shake the ground
I will not be stopped by another's sound
Arrest me, yet you can't stop what I think
Within my mind I determine what I drink."
The thought police
Turn to another
The writings of our sisters and brothers
They wait, with cuffs in hand
Unable to understand
Who have joined hands
We take a stand
Inspired by Eileen Ghali's poem "The Hidden Woman"
Catie Lindsay's Heart of the matter contest.
Questions hang suspended like stalactites
Time, circumstance and elements contributing to its formation
(—then something else seeps in, pushing me to call it fate)
Questions that know not whether they should be voiced out and see light
...or remain hidden in caves, destined to be only heard
by the labyrinthine chambers of the heart
But yes, it is inevitable that these questions d
They drip, bit by bit, oozing with curiosity,
forming more queries, that turn into stalagmites—
Grounded questions to the suspended ones,
open-ended to the closed.
Sometimes meeting, creating columns,
melded complements of each other.
And then this makes me wonder—
When these questions meet,
do they ever find answers within themselves?
Will the truth ever be brave enough to come out of hiding?
This then makes me think of the words within souls,
how these souls are the questions, in search of answers.
...And of how your words, your thoughts, your feelings,
can drip into mine, feeding that inner glow
It then collects, forming this deluge,
flooring me as it creates a bond so powerful,
it seems to defy time and even reason.
A fascinating influx,
that makes me smile despite myself
Where sometimes I don’t know the beginning from the end—
where bliss swims freely there,
immersed in waves of laughter and ripples of tears.
This for me is the beauty of it all,
the search, the mystery...the discovery
That constant ebb and flow,
the give and take,
that push and pull
the flooding and trickling,
that hiding and seeking
Where one listens as the other speaks,
but ah, both feeding off each other—
hungry, thirsty, full, satiated yet craving for more.
It’s something akin to, but not quite to
how sunlight makes way for moon’s glow,
how thunder rolls after the lightning strikes,
coming hand in hand...yet both so defined.
Yes, the questions may still hang like stalactites,
and sometimes I do wonder if they will fall—
And if they do,
will they shatter,
piercing hearts as they do?
Or will their fates let them stay there,
melding with stalagmites,
standing the test of time,
June 17, 2012
If we could peel back the blanket of earth
To expose the bones buried there
Mix them all up in a great big pile
To say they'd all look the same would be fair
The rich man, the poor, the blind and the weak
Each gender, religion and race
The short, the tall, the large and the small
And include every shape of the face
If we had to choose one bone at a time
Not knowing who's bones belonged to whom
To make ourselves over new again
I wonder how well we'd do
Not judging by color, size or shape
Or status of high IQ
The bones might fit together just fine
And stay together till the end of time
Things that seemed poetic were always sad,
though I yearned for sparkle
and my dad's guffaw, which never came.
Familiar things were always drear --
repeated motions in the same old game.
There were only distant glimpses
of budding spring, fleeting views
of daffodils. The strongest
poems dealt me death and dying.
Yet I always hoped, never went under
to gray despair, always dreaming
of a garden of love that we could share.
But those forbidden delights faded
quickly away; the only reality
I understand is the ever-looming
and final one. Nothing's changed.
The strongest poems deal death and dying.
Somebody keeps pulling on the rope to swing the bells
Don't touch it. Don't say it. Don't do it. Don't doubt it. Don't think.
Somebody handcuffs my steps. Somebody determines my boundaries.
Before I fully understand free will, there is a slap on my head
and phosphenes like stars that command my orbit.
Before I can recognize differences, there is a slap on my hand
right hand, not left hand...never ambidextrous;
and time out is isolation without a trial...and I learn
the fear of wrongdoing
remote-controlling my existence,
conditional on demand, predesigned
An aborted freedom escaping into the sewer
trying not to get it on the seat
I'm the observer of other lives, not mine
tied up and chained, in captivity
attempting to prove an alibi
for being alive.
No one cares
not even myself
Somebody pulls on the rope to swing the bells
It's dirty. It's ugly. It's bad. It's poo. It's sin.
commitments, commandments... Commandments, Commitments
Sometimes deception makes them ring in a low tone. Sometimes
I do what they say, and not what they do, and not what I want, and not what I think.
Through fragments of this duplicity,
and this duplicity,
I would be able to rebuild myself,
and Myself, into another hypocritical being;
and the intentional perversion of the self proclaimed truth,
or the liar paradox,
will be sovereign
leading to the use of tricks and cotton swabs.
When the remorseless hours run counterclockwise,
I would be happy through imaginary experiences,
consistently believed to be true.
Would I dare to examine the society in which I've been educated and raised?
Would I dare rip my skin...my flesh off of my bones?
How could I blame them? How could I possibly judge them?
Order and obedience in confabulation...in conspiracy...in complicity
If somebody keeps pulling on the rope to swing the bells
If I'm the only one guarding my own cell
If I'm the jailer, and the convict, and the crime.
What powers held me in this tortured love
Shame and excitement danced around me
Grasped by the cunning illusions, deceiving
My void self image, coercing my
Vanities until I believed the insideous lies
You robbed my soul, knowing
Your presence was sealed with death's kiss
Tossing and turning in the night
I let you back in no matter the cost
Oh, and this is good -
I pretended not to be hostage to your
Cunning facade of empty promises
Even letting you linger in the presence
Of my most cherished posessions
As they also became sick in your stench
Finally, enough denial and nearly destroyed
Still strong enough to rid myself of you
I see you for what you really are, a drag
Killer of desire, coaxing many
Also blinded by your evil
In the last hours of whatever life I have left
And the coffin is near, I'll wonder
Why I let you hold me for so long
You, who are so perfect in my eyes, so beautiful- adorable, and I, so flawed, ugly, damaged and crawling with defects; why do you enjoy my company?
You, who are so sleek and slender, humming with a quiet intellect and a serenity about you, and I, so grossly overweight and pretentiously boastful and nervous; how can you abide my company?
You, who are a paragon of patience, so understanding and self-assured, and I, so insanely impulsive, so myopic and brimming with self-doubt; how do you stand my company?
You, who are so sweet, so considerably kind, so thoughtful and generous, and I, so bitter, so selfish, so self-absorbed; why do you choose my company?
You, who are so self-composed, full of self-control, so sound and stable, and I, so very neurotic, so completely compulsive and verily volatile; how can you tolerate my company?
You, who are so diligent, so driven and ambitious, so achieving, and I, so lackadaisically lazy, so uninspired, so complacent; why do you settle for my company?
You, who are ethical, so moral, so very virtuous, and I, so corrupt, so unprincipled, so wholly wicked; how can you endure my company?
You, who are so normal, so well-adjusted, so conventional, and I, so maniacal, so unbalanced and irrational; why do you condone my company?
You, who are bubbling with charm, who loves unconditionally and is absolutely accepting, and I, boiling with rage, fueled by misanthropy and incredibly intolerant; how can you welcome my company?
That you love and accept me for who and what I am, is a treasure beyond measure. I cherish your company, but why you cherish mine is something I cannot fathom. All I know is that I love you, my dear, beloved friend.
**This was written for two very dear friends: Karen and Tommy :)
***I also love palindromes ;)
*****FREE VERSE OLD AND NEW ENTRY
I count my walks through herbs and shells
never knowing how old bones can be fleshed
from a heart bound on scrolls of endings,
and here I am among rows of an orchard…
feet like dust sanded by twelve months
of famine and feast ; somehow the maple boughs
wither from the laundry of evenings’ regret.
Often times, like the gypsy rose,
I climb into the lattice of my family tree
smelling its tar and citrus that knit arms
glossed by twilight’s love,
then raked by froths of autumn’s debris.
Closing a fence as another year shuts off,
I am between silence and scream…
eyes groaning with the music
of an anonymous breeze sheltering
a collected beauty of tragedy and the comedy
of drama: trials pinned by veiled nights
when kinship endures the flood of weather's hands.
It is so, I mean, the certainty of taming
the last ride before new seeds from a new year
twirl upon unborn fruits…
I disrobe the old bones to greet the unknown.
"“In times of test, family is best.” – Burmese Proverb
Charlotte Puddifoot's Open Free Verse Contest
The scurry and flurry of thoughts
so I seek comfort
in the ebb and flow...
I do not rush and dive in.
I let myself
easing myself carefully into
the saline calm
fingerlings of froth
licking my skin
Only my face,
save for my ears,
greet frigid air
All the rest of me
just wants to
It's not enough
to mute everything
I take that deep breath
and sink myself
The weight of the waves
bearing down on me
to the unruffled depths
I crave for breath
I welcome the cool liquid.
drinking me in
I wallow in it
as it swallows me in
I find out
That all along,
I was inside
March 18, 2012
I stand on the edge of your ocean
Ready to dive in
Wanting to discover the depths of you
I have looked at the surface of you
Beautiful beyond my puny words
Sometimes your calmness relaxes me
I become lost in your serenity
My eyes are stretched to your horizon
I can not see all of you
I play innocently along your shores
I dip my toes into your cool waters
Slowly I am drawn into you
I feel you encompass my body
Then there is an undertow
I am helpless to resist
Drawn further from the shore
To the centre of you
I do not wish to escape
I trust you with my very soul
Sinking beneath the surface
I am wrapped in your embrace
Color surrounds me
My being is infused with your joy
The feeling of weightlessness
We are now joined
You are the beginning and completion of me
I was not meant to just stand on your shores
Dedicated to the Love of my life. I continue to explore the depths of her.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtpPcmLKRFU Dancing Bird
Yesterday, I saw a shadow dart across my keyboard.
When I turned to look outside the window,
I spied upon a sparrow playing in the sun.
He was dancing in dramatic fashion
Across the shrubbery that was his home.
I could tell it was a male by his markings.
He was busy with his boasting, and proud.
No longer a fledge, he fluffed his feathers
To parade his prowess to all that might adore him.
Then, he pivoted into a pirouette, and pranced
Most skillfully across the length of a branch
And launched himself into flight.
Today, the sounds of birds cackling and chirping
Inside the shrubbery drew me to the window.
I could see three sparrows engaging in some fun and frolic.
Perhaps it was some flirtatious mating ceremony.
While most sparrows do look alike,
I’m sure that one of them was the dancing bird
I’d seen the day before. I watched briefly and smiled,
Remembering my own courtship and rivals
Who would fancy my choice as their own.
I returned to the monitor and before I could begin
My work, there was a loud thud upon the glass.
I gazed outside and there upon the ground was a small hawk
Clutching the dancer in his talons.
Tomorrow, this bird will not dance.
He will not sing or court another.
And as sparrows are many,
I will no doubt find another to enjoy from this vantage.
I chide myself for failing to warn him of the danger.
I was too busy with my own enjoyment to notice.
Now, I close my eyes and reconstruct those moments
As I attempt to resurrect the dancing bird,
And preserve him....forever.
I cried the first time I listened to the words
whispered shouted snapping about
like flags in a brisk wind Words being shot
from open pink mouths in a staccato hail of bullets
slamming into my barriers Hairline cracks appearing
in my armor like spider webs meandering across
a bug splattered windshield
I cried even though I was not sure why
Who would have thought there was so much ammunition
being ratcheted from dry throats to be chambered
in mouths spewing forth in a fusillade of fire
So much raw emotion housed inside ordinary people
I found life
emotion feelings running rampant
bouncing off brick walls
echoing in my sluggish soul
wakening banked embers of a life
I remember this thing called poetry
it danced through the dreams of my youth
brought hesitantly to its feet when I read
Resume by Dorothy Parker
I dreamed that I could put words onto paper
and evoke emotion in another person
I dreamed and I played with the words
my new best friends and drank Orange Crush
spilling it on my early attempts
giving them the appearance of measles erupting
from the white parchment of youthful skin
But the words proved to be too much for me
too much me
Emotions I did not know I had locked inside me
Fear flowing unchecked in dark splotches
Sorrow ripping the page with blunt forceful strokes
of the pen I tried to use a pencil but the feelings
inside me were too strong to be erased so easily
Now the silence of my soul has been illuminated
by the sun the poets hold in their hands
I could have ignored soft moonlight ripples
across my mind but this sun snakes its way
into every crevice finding my imps and demons
standing mutely shadowed in gray
The homeless beggars on my street of lost memories
are rising up with pen in hand refusing
to be slapped into silent submission any longer
dripping with Arsenic
and aimed at my heart
spitting out darts and swords
that expertly find their mark
and draw blood
when aimed at others
are carried by Pixies
with honey and sugar coatings
that melt in their ears
and taste of confection
cloak me in pain and guilt
for undone atrocities
and imagined factors
as your blame
riddles my soul
causing it to
prune, wither, and crust
accusing, spiteful, degrading, malicious
paintings of what I once thought
was an indestructible bond of Love
that no one
should be able to destroy
you do so
with your words.
I've no soul left
no appetite for your touch
no desire to want for anything
to become deaf
so I will no longer
have to listen to
Not as dainty as
swaying in the breeze
Or quite as rough
that slashes somber skies
Maybe not as tender
as a precious child
of my essence....
It has many sides....
(Yin and yang)
A little tough
(it had to be)
A little tangled
Softer than some
the core of me
Much more loving
Than people see
Always striving for honesty
Worshipping the trees....
A lover of his hands
That shaped my heart....
His wisdom felt in me
Inside his oceans
see my soul
Within the sand
feel my psyche
Racing with his wind....
See and feel my soul
Reflections of me
Inside my daughter
with her tender smile
Pieces of my life force
Her eyes, her heart
More of me
Songs of my soul
a painting from God above
With pink and red
and hurt and love
Tattered and bruised
Amazing in the strength
that he gave to me
With crystal light
he sets me free
Colors and shades
of silver and blue
He washes me clean
and my soul is new
Hear my song...souls aria...
The wind serenaded me today,
telling me of her tales
but I refused to listen,
intent on dreaming was I...
The sun visited me today,
basking me in his warmth
but I gave him the cold shoulder,
intent on dreaming was I...
The trees danced for me today,
twirling their leaves in unison
but I swept them away,
intent on dreaming was I...
twilight welcomed the night
and yet I still dreamed...
of a world
where children played freely,
under the sun and skies,
how I longed for that world,
but I was too stubborn to live in it...
intent on dreaming was I...
**words and actions must go hand in hand**
December 31, 2009--hmm one of my last poems of the year! Written for Constance's contest
:) happy 2010 everyone!
As I walked along the shore
With thoughts that brought an emptiness to a heart
That once beat within the soul of a young sailor
At one with the elements
As though seeking vengeance for an unnamed wrong
And again I felt the chill of another battle looming
In the distance
But a smile lashed out gripping a face
That knew that the taste of victory was mine
Seeing only the beauty
Of the ocean and
Feeling her strength
As my legs carried me toward
The eye of the pending storm.
Thank you Larisa for the inspiration.
for your arm wrapped around
my clavicle. I thought
I would loose my breath.
for the cusp of our hip bones
struggling to pull the drunken color
from our orange cheeks.
and our sweat, our sweat, our sweat
in the drenched summer air.
Our pants futile afterthoughts
Left crumpled on the floor
It is here I asked for your respect
And you filled me with it.
for the musk smell of our blanket den. I would watch the way dawn light
speckled your shoulders, pale, white-blue
I would trace the ink
of your skin, fingertip hovering a half inch
from your bone.
for how my name would hesitate
on your breath in brief puffs
like dandelion seeds blown from
My wistful lips when I was
waiting for them to bring back my wish.
for my sleeveless dress, as we strolled from
your father’s funeral.
It was the only time I watched you cry.
There were little holes in the cement sidewalk.
They filled with rain, oil
And your tears.
I watched your face change through
their watery colored reflections.
for the way your skin repels from my
Touch, quivers as though my finger-
print were a red hot poker.
You haven’t allowed me to touch you
In a year.
for the color of her font, as she responds to you. It is an eager
Color. She responds with all the passion of an Eskimo kiss.
You left her waitng..always.
I have been special to you,
she replies to your
like a maid
Who’s felt the hot moist
whisper of something naughty
tickle against her ear lobe.
for the way your eyes punch accusations
sharper then your razor tongue.
blue crackled lightening,
like an angry alley cat.
My words cannot reach you here.
You will leave.
We will divide our booty
Words that once held my name like a piece
Of carefully folded origami
now hiss cold
devoid like the plaster of our empty room.
for the morning
now knocking on my window.
I am livid in my withdrawal, tossing and turning
I can find no comfort
the tangle of these vacant sheets.
It seems like everybody around me has forgotten,
they're stuck on a thought again,
saying alot and whining more.
Preying on their own self-doubts,
they have so much,
yet see so little.
Can't they see that 64 inch TV,
or feel the beating of the jets in their hot tub ?
They measure their lives too much,
they have fallen into the "Great American Dream Sham"
as my friend "Chad Williams Lowther" would say !
Its a ruse,
so they can make changes in their lives which they normally wouldn't do,
because they lack the strength and insight,
so they get stuck in their minds.
and the damn kids are really suffering,
cause they don't have the latest video gizmo box.
Thoughtless over-reactions of self- abuse,
much like an addict who is never satisfied.
"The Great American Dream Sham" sucked them in,
macroni and cheese,
saturday morning cartoons and matinees.
All replaced by todays goals and desires,
which are masquerading as tired souls trying to find solice,
stuck in "the Great American Dream Sham"
and now saying all there is to say,
Hail, Hail to me
and all who are free,
all who go their own way
and all who see though it !
Sometimes between the lines,
trembles the hallows of unspoken goodbyes,
expectant and charged, like a theater scene,
in the moments before the curtain rises.
In the dream that I've had,
I am southward bound, so it must be early autumn.
Someone has turned a giant dimmer switch,
and the sky is grayer.....
Wild thorn-berries have been picked, all the branches are bare,
the gutters are filling, and evenings are long.
Through the limbs of knotted trees,
a sun flitters between light and shadow.
Leaves are adrift, disturbed,
littering the twilight sky
with unfettered words,
clamoring against the leadlight of a window,
pleading to be heard.
Somehow, the leaves are swept away,
by a bridled hesitation.
No summer aria has been sung,
and the words go unsaid.
Leaves fall to the ground,
and the light leaves the world.
The red velvet drape descends,
leaving unfettered leaves, and unsaid words, adrift, in the dark.
For The Contest "Vibrant Verse" Sponsored By Charlotte Puddifoot