LOVE POEM #75 – LAST RITES

I didn’t think one stanza would be enough

to tell you how much I loved you,

but now that you’ve scratched out my other lines

there isn’t any room on the page to say more.

——

 

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PICKING PLUMS

Five women were picking plums from the ground. Four were doing the actual work. They were carrying swollen bags of fruit, bent over to pile more on top. One, presumably the hardest worker, had already abandoned her bag and was continuing to catch the remaining morsels in her apron. Two others had wandered off in the distance as the plums became harder and harder to find. The fourth was grabbing the last few in the foreground, when she happened upon a sullen, black rock.

The fifth woman was standing with a platter in the center of it all. She was dressed differently than the rest. Her apron was white, and where the others wore a red over-coat, she bore no such garment. Her eyes darted between the women, but returned to the girl standing in the foreground. Her face was a mix of contempt and anguish, as if the girl had done something to wrong her that she couldn’t speak of in front of the rest of the women.

The platter she carried was a small, black platter, perhaps of well-polished, painted wood, or porcelain. It contained plums that looked similar to what the other women were picking, yet they appeared to be the deep color of overripe fruit and, perhaps, were for reference only.

I liked to think, as I passed by, that she was the headmaster’s wife. She was angry at this girl for having slept with the master, and had taken her anger out on her group of maids as a whole. In the heat of day, she had forced them to pick bags and bags of fruit—so many that they had run out of the massive bags, and yet still she made them relentlessly continue. It looked as though they had picked the orchard nearly clean, too. I think they would have kept picking too, had things not changed as I walked out of view.

A sharp cry echoed from behind me, followed by the soft thumps of a dozen or so fruit. I heard footsteps rushing through the woods, then a heavy thud of a rock against something. The footsteps stopped. Two, three, four more times the rock came down, and with each thud emerged a sickening crunch.

When I finally decided to turn back, the grove had been emptied. No bags were anywhere to be seen, nor any women, though there were two patches of plums. The first was far in the distance, where the two women had gone off in search of more. It appeared they had dropped a small handful from their bags as they left, which had rolled harmlessly for a few feet before stopping. The second patch was less fortunate. A dozen plums, much deeper purple, had smashed onto the ground; splattering across the floor. The pulp and juice seeped from beneath the little heads, creating a pool of matter that mixed in with the dirt as they rotted.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #74 – SO COLD

Outline for me the love in your blue lies.

Was life so cold between these crimson walls

that you would search for warmth in winter skies?

Are you so conned by the sweet siren’s calls

that you would cast away your canvased life?

My love has birthed for you the finer things,

and you forget so quick that lasting strife

which bound your comely hands in puppet strings.

Then sketch your will with Neptune by your side

await those waves to take you through the light.

You’ll see those shallow waters swell with pride

and drown you in that cerulean night.

Yet when I see you float beyond that door,

I know you’ll wish that you had stayed ashore.

——

 

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THE UNIVERSE

It all started with the Big Bang

careening beyond the blackness,

weaving blue electricity

through the barren void of cosmos.

 

Then came the endless pulse of light

like a cardiac monitor

calling to the cradle of life

for it to be reborn again

 

and from the womb of the stars sprung

the stories of sacred spirits

that stoked our imaginations

like stacks of wood on the fire.

 

Until, at last, the burnt day comes;

where billowing flames unravel

the broken strands of creation

back to the heart of its great beast

 

and out of the blackened ashes

will crawl the Small Song of silence

who will retie the strings of shame

with the ropes of humility.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #73 – HEADSTONE CHATTER

Did you hear they cut down our tree?

They dragged the kids out from the branches

then dismembered it limb by limb

until it stood empty like a hollow woman

then in a final swoop of mechanical justice

toppled her like a pair of heels on a night out.

I took a hike up the wilderness trail last week.

The white flowers were in full bloom;

I still can’t remember what you called them.

I saw a pair of cubs running through the trees.

They reminded me of Taylor and Tom

the way they roughhoused in the grass

like they didn’t even know we were watching.

They always came home with grass stains.

Do you see them anymore?

Anyway, sorry I haven’t been by in a while.

Doc told me there’s only a few months to go

and I took a trip to see your mom in Peru.

——

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HEADLIGHTS

The road had become so routine that my half-closed eyes hardly noticed the flickering of my headlights. So too did they miss the tankard smashing through the center divider; straight into the car behind me. Nor did they attend to the bloody arm reaching for help as I drove away.

——

 

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THE EARTH IS STILL

Oh hey! Happy New Year–and happy birthday to me 🙂 A little apocalypse to usher in the new year is always a good sign, right? I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I’ll be enjoying today 😉

 

The Earth is Still

 

The Earth is still.

No more do the tremors

that racked the mountainside

rage through the bones of this wasted land.
Once flowered rivers, who flowed with the heat of spring

—that same heat which pulsed through the heart,

igniting the veins like sparks to a fire,

now lies pierced; cracked and dead as the unending desert.

 

The last lake, dwindled down to a blackened puddle,

sits undisturbed in the silence;

a mirror to these starless nights

painted with brushstrokes of infinite darkness

 

and yet, a trembling lingers.

It sits, in the back of the cavern;

twisting the thumbs of a half-buried corpse

while it whispers into the great beyond.

——

 

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BAT SONGS

The shade of bats fluttering in the distance engulfed the lights of the stars, like lines of black paint against the night. The chill metal of the bench was sharpened as they passed overhead; their shrill chatter echoing in my ears. Their beckoning song seemed to call out, “Sleep, Ulysses.”

——

 

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CHRISTMAS EVE

This isn’t a happy Christmas poem. This poem is something I wrote in the very early hours today, after we received some very difficult family news yesterday, and had to suffer the bitter reminder that Christmas is just another day of the year, plagued with the same pains as so many other days. So, if you aren’t in the mood for a downer, I recommend you don’t continue reading. If you are ok with that, check it out. I’ve copy-pasted my usual “after poem” stuff, so if reading more of my work interests you it is easily accessible, but the real me is not as chipper today as those closings sound. Thank you for your time, and for your support.

Christmas Eve

The stockings were hung, and the tinsel strung out

in hopes that Saint Christmas would soon be about;

the fires were low—so low that a whisper

could snuff out the flames like winds in the winter.

I shut off the lamp, and shuffled along;

away to my bed to dream my dream song.

But this year the sound of the clatter that rose

was only the phone ringing in the shadows.

I dashed to the doorknob and flew down the hall;

I rounded the kitchen to answer the call.

Hello” I announced in a voice oh-so-tight.

I’m sorry, good sir,” came the voice in the night,

“the news that I bring isn’t fit for this eve,

yet Christmas joy is what I’m tasked to thieve.”

“Thieve?” I asked, “Well don’t beat around the bush.”

“I’m sorry, good sir,” he said in a hush,

“at half past three, we found young Mary was dead;

hung by the rafters with a noose ‘round her head.”

He continued and yet the words were all lost;

deeply buried under hallowed winter frost.

I trudged out the door and up through the snow;

“Lustrous” Clement called it, hours ago.

Her favorite lines had been “Now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!”

And now, as leaves at a hurdle take to the sky

so too, I imagine, that her spirit will fly;

Out! Beyond those bustling lights;

Out! Away from suffering nights;

Out! Over oceans sick with sorrow;

Out! Flying past lonely tomorrow;

“OUT!” I cry, with a fire so alive!

“OUT!” It echoes down the steep mountainside!

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

Perched over the chasm I sing: “It’s Christmas tonight!

Merry Christmas to all! and to all a good night!”

——

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A WALK IN A STORM

Soooo I realized I really like these 50 word stories. They’re short, simple, and yet really difficult to do well. So I think I’m going to continue doing them sometimes to improve more. 🙂 here’s this week’s:

A Walk in a Storm

Being pelted with rain made for a weary walk. The flashes of lightning in the distance patterned the sky like dancers moving in sharp, jagged motions. I felt water beginning to soak through my gloves, yet when I squeezed my fists there was nothing but rhythmic determination to continue farther.

——

 

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