"Soft defense driven through my thoughts,
I vanish away into yesterday’s scenic road,
Set the mood among the dark clouds,
Wish I could go back to the night, of fourteen and cold.
Tell myself not to look up and cover myself with the world.
Sorry I could not stay,
One too many excuses & lies,
To where they never fixed themselves;
I could not handle the air,
I had to breathe right the cold nights that followed.
I stood as one in love, under the starry sky…
Young and alone, I left the never-ending vindictive feeling.
The dust slept every reason inside my soul.
I travel the world, snoozing with the magic of the sand.
Stars that echo and drop twinkles to my walking toes.
The horizon was my blanket and shield…
Where the light and night I wore,
Accelerating, escaping… no more justification!
"Oceans of excuses sailed through my soul,
Heartbroken, but in love with defiance toward the stardust novelty.
With a sigh!
I hesitate not to look back,
Somewhere the ages turn to rust:
Old and grey, all alone,
The leaves I stepped on then are trample and gone.
One day I shall return for the proper goodbye.
For now, I must travel down this lonely road silently.
Slowly my heart will heal itself, nurturing the frozen sleet away.
Releasing the 14-year old girl at last,
In body and in mind and soul,
Confronting her with an, I BELONG HELLO!”
I remember you, from when there was a spring
When the seasons were ripe, with verdant green
Our nimble feet danced in the wind
and on the brink of everything
Not a furrow in the brow of youth
We borrowed life for just awhile
We tapped our shoes, on a promised stage
Where carefree laughter was the rage
that filled our age with endless miles
We danced and twirled a twin ballet
just you and me on summer's waves
Two pirouettes, in mode of curls
of blossoms, frilled, and tender leaves
unfurled in winds, we found a way
to soar our wings, above the world
We knew not yet
of death or dying
or of regret, or cause for crying
But, something frowned upon the season
You caught the wind, and without reason
A colder wind
that kept you flying
far beyond my eyes could see
And to the other side
beyond my words
beyond my tears
Now here alone
I touch the day
and taste the night
I will walk alone, in autumn sun
And lay myself on dying leaves
I think of you and think of then
I feel the wind against my face
that sweeps me to a distant place
where I recall what is not erased
I'm closer now... to hear the sound
The whisper of the seasons calling
Above the trees, the sky is blue
I think of you, and feel the breeze
And all the while, the leaves are falling
For Catie's Contest: Inspired by a poem by Elaine George: "Autumn - A Ballade"
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.
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.
Gary's Yard Sale, the story
Authored by Chuck Keys
Among the rustbelt cities of yesterday,
Along the edges of the Detroit River,
A short distance to the side,
Resides a slice of Victorian times,
Excesses exceeded needed,
Where age confronts time,
The day before meets the day of,
And greets tomorrow.
Those in the hood
Meet and greet among
The scraps of forgotten memories.
Lawns filled with bygones of size,
Tables filled with important somethings,
For important that evolved into history.
Where memories become linked,
Each to a stored thought,
Treasured, pleasured or disdained,
To a person,
Of late or present,
To a future of who knows what.
During the day,
The history-of and the future-of talk,
Of where they were,
And where they hope to be,
The dust is blown off with the wind,
From the east, west, north and south.
The yard sale, the graveyard of the past,
The arena of the present,
Life and death of the sale,
Dance together, coupled,
Where Mine, becomes Yours' while
Gary the Conductor, orchestrates to perfection,
The operatic enjoyment of history,
Buyer meets seller, exchanges
Are made. As is today.
*This poem is dedicated to Gary and Ann Harris of Northville MI USA – May they and
their Yard Sales age forever!
© Charles H Keys, 2010. All Rights Reserved. V1.4.09252010
Strewn by knitted spines and a tail
with ribbons on its hair, bright flowing
visions float along an azure sky. Gracefully,
the flight takes a diamond shape as if to roam
away in some twirling glide. And as it slowly faded
from sight, the little boy on the beach giggled
and tugged the braided loop calling his paper wing,
“ Come back; I’ll have to pull you in.” But it waved on
like an entranced sail kissing the clouds; till near dusk
marked the rising moon…quietly, he rested on the sand
to gaze at the breezy sky again; this time a bit aware
the kite he handmade and loved won’t come back…
for it is up above where its home belongs.
Gwendolyn Rix's Let's Fly a Kite
and PD's Poem Under 15 Lines
by nette onclaud
I remember you
cartoon smile and egg-shaped head.
Do you remember
how the rainbow formed on the water,
how the neon lights flickered,
or the scent of nectarines on your forehead?
They were happy to see for the first time
behind glass window,
between speaker box voices --
untouched collector’s item,
you shiny new contraption,
star of the play,
hero of the hour,
flavor of the season.
Seed of your father,
soil of your mother.
Fruit of love,
fruit of conflict.
Are you accident,
Bough in the river,
wrenched in the current.
Hand reaching for hand,
hand holding your own.
Bedlam baby with the guilty smile
do you remember
how you would not fracture the mullioned frame,
how you could not shatter porcelain,
or how you hid in changing alleys?
I will save you
you will save me.
My hand in yours.
I am the boat
you are the journey.
If only...I could start over again.
Took that job in Memphis and stayed away from so-called-friends.
If only...I could right the wrongs.
Find the perfect songs and make you giggle all night long.
If only...My wager would have been on the winning team.
But life is mean and I lost everything.
If only...I would have turned the other cheek.
You can't walk down a street without a coward preying on the weak.
If only...I would have turned left instead of right.
An automobile accident plus the loss of my eyesight.
If only...I could travel back in time.
Do things differently and have peace of mind.
If only...she were alive today.
My mother would shake her finger and say...
"If only, If only, If only!"
Decades yawn and stretch across the years,
traveling up the stairs, around the chairs
coiling around the door of one small room
that was groomed by the sun of a Saturday afternoon...
Floating on a sea of a hardwood floor
I'm prone, on my back, on a lavender rug
Examining the nail of my left hand thumb
hearing you express, that you aced your class
I had confessed, to missing you more each day
linked only to you, by that ivory phone
and a ring on my finger, that bound our love
and blinded our eyes to the doubt of youth...
Invitations in the mail, and a church on hold
There was a cake on order, and a cold hard world
You were glued to my ear, I was entrapped by a cord
that tugged on the wall, with every word
Light from the yard is scored by the blinds
but, there on the floor, prone on my back,
I'm bound by the cord that tethered our lives
Linked to your voice, where love was wound
Hovering over the sea of cold hardwood,
I had a pillow of shag of a lavender rug
The days stretching short and our vows yet untold
A cord getting stronger, that time would unfold
It is quiet, save for the sound of the wind and the
lullaby thoughts turning like the mobile she’d had,
Something that hovered, as I did.
Piles of her things surround me,
Freshly washed and smelling somewhat like
babypowder, cuddles, first smiles.
Little sleepers, one plucky giraffe,
Dozy pink bears and ducks and lilac butterflies
tell me bedtime stories, suck thumbs.
I cluck over receiving blankets,
Carefully fold a toothless grin and my hand
lingers, smoothing the soft flannel.
A white sweater I’d rescued from a thrift store,
Hand knit and beribboned, feels content.
The yarn is a kitten, but it has curls
and eyes that I’m told look just like mine.
It asks in such a beguiling way that I
pick it up, place it tenderly in my lap,
Then snuggle its delicate pattern,
Recalling chills and prudent struggles.
Then I lift a green, velveteen dress,
Mommy caresses a Christmas babble, a milky
mouth on a wet cheek, giggles spilling.
I buckle the jean overalls,
Pluck at one long, silky strand of embroidered
tantrum, threads that held like a toddler's fist,
Refusing to leave its toy until tomorrow, a denim so wilful.
A rubber boot is cool against my palm as though it
retains that rainy day when she pranced through asphalt ponds.
I am gifting all that has become outgrown,
Knowing that down the road, another, unmet, will also
hear the window quiver and hesitate.
Yes, there will be a jacket for the first day of school and bashful
skirts, far too short, that will hide from me in the back of her closet,
Sleeveless frocks that will slide through my proud fingers.
There will be torn tees and holes in the knees,
late night Oh-Dear-God-let-her-be-okay pleas and
perhaps a wedding veil, beaded with things I’ve told her,
And all these treasures will be held and then I’ll need to let go.
Looking at the bags half filled, I move, empty their contents,
Wrap my arms around motherhood, smile into babyhood creases
that touch my face until lace releases childish tears.
All this seems too large for one who
suddenly feels so very small.