(an Ottava Rima)
The cliffs are towers here; one mere stone am I.
Boulders all around me. I am on my own.
Someone picks me up and raises me up high.
How blue appears the sky as I'm being thrown!
Skipping over water, I'm free; I can fly!
Dropping into sea. . . . Am I again alone?
It's mushy where I've landed. . . . but I can see
way down here are beautiful small stones like me!
For Brian Strand's Contest:
UP TO TEN LINES any form/theme Poetry Contest
You chose me.
Picked me up
this delicate shadow thin glass vessel
in some antique store by the Asian docks.
Paid for me with peacock feathers and a slice of the star I still see from my window.
Gift wrapped in a shoe box
filled with foreign headlines steaming newspaper ink.
You poked holes in the lid
with your old brass house key.
What a walk home we had that night-
you whistling that tune...
What was it?
That Spanish tune you always sang?
I knew your voice as the first fingerprints of love.
The ships set sail to lapping water on barnacles
and you took me home to candlelight
and the smell of fresh bread for your dinner.
The poor man's meal.
You unwrapped me and I smiled at you.
My first smile - so wide I almost broke my glass skin.
You filled me with violets and sank bubbled water in my throat.
An evening to remember as my first purpose in life.
Perhaps I mourn you still,
as I get passed from hand to hand
as your family heirloom.
They'll never know you as I did -
I hold your last fingerprint inside me, unwashed, untouched
excepting the last violet stem you graced me with.
You began my history, and I am the end of yours.
Turning and dipping in graceful, acrobatic flight,
my spirit soars against a sky brilliantly blue;
from these heights, I view life in its completeness,
its complex boundaries and limitations sharply defined.
I maintain my composure, calm and unruffled by the storms . . .
I sail above the strife where the sun spreads warmth upon my wings.
From this lofty perspective, I watch over my dearest ones.
This clear air provides treasures of wisdom, beauties like the facets of precious jewels,
sparkling with the vibrance that makes joy complete;
I glean and feed them to my little ones, giving them nutrients to enrich their minds.
Home is my central focus.
I learn and implement all that I can to make my nest comfortable and complete,
a rich environment for growth.
Do not intrude; I protect what is mine.
May 11, 2015
I am a swallow--protection, warmth, home, proper perspective.
Here I lay on cold concrete
No more grass beneath my feet
Want to leave but don't know how
Oh sweet family
Where are you now?
Here I am alone and scared
For this I was not prepared
A man came to take my new friend away
Where did he take her?
For a walk?
Out to play?
Here I am all alone
Miss my family
Miss my home
Oh, wait...that man has come for me
Oh that's good I have to pee
I try to never go inside
I did once and tried to hide
but my humans found me out
and began to stomp and shout
Is that why they brought me here?
Is that why I'm so alone?
Will they come for me?
Is it time to go home?
Sun from the window, shines on my grain
My faded patina, now gleaming with pride
Broken and shabby, after years all alone
Once stored in rafters, so lost and afraid
You have dusted my cobwebs, and glued my rails
There was love in your touch...since the day you unveiled
That hiding place in the damp attic gloom
Long days of neglect, days of disgrace
I've been rescued from loneliness of that dark silent space
A remnant of childhood, from your days long ago
You have restored me to life, to be worthy and new
Do you remember the songs, that she hummed to you?
When she rocked you at midnight, under a velvet moon?
While you dusted my bones, and shined my face
Did your memories fall back to that magical place?
Where the world was your oyster, with childhood charms
When you were held to her breast, in soft loving arms?
Sweet nights spent together when the world was kind?
Now the rhythmic thump of my rails on the floor
Will return all those moments, to reflect on once more
You will feel on your face, and I on my grain
Sun's warming shine through the window glass pane
Wherever you are, that old world, or new...
To be home again, is to belong here with you....
Written for Matt Calliri's contest "Speak, Chair, Speak"
Crippled by knowing
Freed by a barbed wire
Gashes in my skin
Flight is difficult
But I fly.
Sinking with the wind
Bound for the trees
But not a happy tune
A cracking sound
A gasping breath
Quickly I sink
I want to go back.
But I can’t.
Did I make a mistake?
They let me out
Maybe this time
I really am hurt
Change my course
I’ll sing louder this time.
But they won’t.
Hopping back home
I can’t see it.
Paused for an eternity.
Dirt under my toes.
Red water around me
I can’t fly home.
I’m sorry I left.
The melon yellow sun, burns through
the winter forest,
backlighting it in shades of gray and mauve,
causing retinal flashes;
impeding the forward progress of traffic.
Car headlights, string out across the vista
of days end, like reminders of Christmas past.
Red tails flare, as the iron horses baulk
at fallen limbs, left by the last winter storm.
The air is heavy with
the monsters mechanical breath.
And, within the belly of the beast,
behind their lensed lids, condensation forms.
Frost, smeared by the fingers
of its symbiotic masters,
make the lifeless quadrupeds appear myopic,
As they rush frantically forward into
the on coming night.