The void calls through gossamer veils and widow's peak.
Shifty-eyed now of necessity I lie, bone-wrapped
in rosaries black as my rheumy eyes, death speaks.
Uncomforted by down or velvet, role trapped
corseted, board stiff with age like calf skin vellum
peeled and bloodied by the dual edged knife of man.
The scene is set and I shall not whimper, as do some,
or call to God, or blame the fates of those whose clans
remain earth-bound, when I have left this mortal glade.
Pigment on canvass, linseed loosed, stretchers taut, displayed,
all of this, I've had a plenty, and been royally paid.
My life was art, and it was art that fanned my life's flame.
So, stretch me on the pine boards and lay my edges down;
monochrome me in umber, drench me in shades of brown.
Self Portrait See About the Poem
For you, my love, I’ll be a single rose
of crimson hue, and velvet to the touch.
So warm in contrast to your fallen snows,
yet yearning for the thrill of winter's clutch.
Soft petals form a heart so firm and true,
unyielding to the tempest of your reign,
and though a cold wind nurtures doubt in you,
such purity of love I could not feign.
Dilemmas of the soul so keenly felt.
Bestow my love? or must it stay a dream?
for if I warmed your heart 'twould surely melt
and I would lose you to the flowing stream.
And so, my love, this single rose I’ll hide
and keep the love I feel for you inside.
Just as days long ago, when decorum resolved,
before composure, and poise,.. was a corsage made of weeds
where propriety mattered, and was favored as gold,
High society, has gathered to flavor their tea
There's a trellis, embraced by a rose climbing vine,
while places are set, ready for dining in jade
shadows of arthritic old trees. Slivers of sunshine
and silver leafed branches, sift magnolia bloom shade
Tea will be served, by large knuckled hands
at several round tables dressed with Swiss lace designs
Wearing lavender silk is our proper Grand Dame'
who fits her surroundings, as vintage as wine
Voices are lilting like the birds in the trees
Laughter and chatter, mingle with soft, summer breezes
A bouquet of old friends, around a few scattered tables.
Silver coifed hairdos, to make celebration
Crepe myrtle and wrinkles, beneath ashes and maples
Water cress munchies, and triangle creations
Sweet honey-suckle, tucked over the porches.…
Rose petal blossoms, are painted on china
Bridge cards, tumble by Blue Willow dishes
Biscuits from England, crumble sublimely
Large bosoms bouncing, and big floppy hats
Gossip dished up with lemon-sliced frowns
Up in the tree is the neighbor's calico cat
who catches a glance, and a chance to crawl down
Are they ladies of leisure, from a time that is lost?
Or a painting I've seen on the wall from the past?
Inspired By the Garden Party Contest
Sponsored By Cyndi McMillan 6/6/14
Of love there is no antidote nor cure,
A brazen heart knows nothing of the hand,
That guides this Cupid arrow fair and pure,
And pierces through with art that soul can stand.
Of choice the soul knows nothing to begin,
As seeds that scatter aimlessly on clay,
Some grow and flourish unbeknown to him,
That stalks the Earth oblivious and grey.
Confounded he, who is awakened so,
From anaesthetic binding dark as night,
When true love strikes and soul begins to glow,
He see’s a Universe that’s blazing bright.
And brazen heart is smelted down to flesh,
And nourished through with all of loves relish.
Oh! Farewell sweet sadness, forever farewell.
We must part now that all my tears have dried.
All the pain of my past, no more to hide.
It is joy that causes my heart to swell.
Go, I set you free from this prison cell
To see you leave and not feel you’re cold
arms around my chest; I release my hold
I speak of you no more, no more I tell
Oh! My sadness, you’re free; run from this hell
For I must stay and we must part, so go
For love has filled my heart to overflow
Around loves joy I know you can not dwell.
My odium lies with you memory
For love was come and brought her joy for me.
In my soul, I shall never find
another who completes me like you.
Our endless love, for strength 'tis true,
I rely to face those days of resign.
But always does my heart remind
of blessings from heavenly blue.
The ties of eternity like glue
shall always endure, bridge and bind.
My heart renewed was once threadbare
worn and ragged under bitter tears.
Oh, the first dance of love as a pair!
Tears of joy displace the trembling fears.
A love entwines two hearts aware
as endless bands of gold appear.
Small pleasures are kind, so very giving
for when toil erodes and drudgery wears,
I may pause and find the joy of living
in the warmth of hearth, an obliging chair.
A short respite satisfies, brings me cheer
as embers tend to each crumpled toe,
and I stretch a thought as the cat draws near,
No demands it makes and its purr is low.
Soon, I will remove each trace of cinder
from the grate , then into ash I will wade,
but folly delays and daydreams hinder
the obligations of a proper maid.
Still, best this free life, however sooty,
then the gilded bondage of my lady.
I’ve learned lips can blossom under a sigh,
A hand will lift for a kiss to its palm,
Hours pass slowly; some walls are so high,
Sweet sin, come again! Replace this chaste calm.
Eyes, remain shut, there is no passion here,
Choose to daydream, recall each of those charms,
Cold sun, leave now, let the first star appear
So I may return to his bed and arms.
Yearn, how I yearn, though fulfillment was mine,
Pierced and provoked, I’m beholden to thorn,
Succumbing, hearts waking as limbs entwined,
Rapture mouthed my name and I was reborn.
Farewell, innocence. Love does transpose.
Tame, no more. I have become the wild rose.
This poem was inspired by the JW Waterhouse’s painting, The Soul of the Rose. Please click on the about this poem link for a picture of the painting.
*** a Link to the painting: http://www.artble.com/artists/john_william_waterhouse/paintings/the_soul_of_the_rose
I dreamed a black; an onyx lake
before the sun’s first dawning rays
its surface marble smooth and makes
no sound without the warmth of day
I saw myself; a ghost it seemed
stripped naked on the grassy floor
beneath the waning moon’s cold beams
just staring at the other shore
From far away a whip-poor-will
called lonely, just a sleepy song
it tickled in the morning chill
and broke the water’s pull – so strong
to slip into that silent space
where never lived a false love’s face
What loathesome burden wears your weary heart
a trinket on a cold and hoary hand?
And in its dark tide drowns the cheery part
to keep you bound, a pet, upon its strand?
Without a keel, alone and sad, unmanned
to sail the main and brave the tempest storm;
it claims the fairer part with stark demand,
and wails its horrid knell upon reform.
Stand now and rend the pall that kept you warm
and stagnant to the early morning light.
Cast out the deaf'ning rage of crushing swarm
and air the sweetness of your bitter plight.
Release your deathly grip on this disease,
And from your fingers let it fly the breeze.