poem02 Mar 2015 09:29 am

Walter_Crane07

 

Everyone must sleep at the end of the era
It is the only way that thoughts fly free
making patterns, a new weave
I had to be the template
the apex of the royal line
heir and loom of changes to come

But nothing is instantaneous
Not love, not change
nor the turning of the world’s wheel
So wheel and spindle it was that spun
into a realm of sleep, of make believe
of imagining my freedom

I dreamed a world where days unravel predictably
curses by mad half-women have no weight
and fear of a spindle prick is only for the pain
No uttered prophesy fringes a birthday with dread
nor magic from the craft of one’s hands
and the only spell is one of making

I dreamed a world where love’s blossom has few thorns
All choices made on waking are with full knowledge
of my desires and patterns for my future
are woven of my own designs
Arranged marriages are only made
when all the parties agree

I dreamed a world where princesses have voices
beyond singing from their gilded rooms
and beauty whether sleeping or awake
is not for sale or inheriting lands
Decisions to plant something new twine
respect for intellect and innovation

Worlds are imperfect things
and dreams are circumspect
their stories running counterpoint to logic
warp and weft difficult to disentangle as briar roses

I awoke to find my world consists of one day at a time
Half-mad I’ve grown with menial drudgery
for what else can a disinherited princess do
My dreams and wishes fall on disenchanted air
No craft of mine is better than that of machinations
and the only spell is how to succeed

I awoke to find love is distanced by an apparatus
making a one-night stand unfulfilling
as a prince’s demand for loyalty if not for love
My choices are limited to who might return my call
and arranged meetings are only made
for sex without a need for courting

I awoke to find every girl a princess
demanding the latest fashion as women
smear concocted potions, unguents, dire pastes
and try magics to hold time at bay
I have tried to nurture the shoot of new beginnings
but find it strangled out by greed

Everyone must sleep to escape the nightmares
of the day, to pretend we soar higher
away from a life that pricks us
I made a mistake using the last zephyrs
of magic to dream a simple desire
lacking complexity that living really means

Nothing is easy
not love, not change
nor the turning of our lives
So I dream of the welcoming narcotic jab
that will spin me into a realm of dreams of hope
of imagining freedom

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Uncategorized23 Feb 2015 09:19 am
Orpheus by Forest Rogers

Orpheus by Forest Rogers

Understand, I would not
have followed her through those cold gates,
the horn twisted with the gold,
would have clung to the chill of winter,
the hint of frost.
But her ghost cried to me, called to me,
wrapping herself around my chest.
Not there.

Yet I saw her, I saw her
everywhere:
the cry of a bird,
the snatch of song,
a colorful rag,
her favorite figs –
Her. Her.
No. Not there.

I saw her. I saw her everywhere,
heard her, heard her everywhere.
Lingered over her every word, her every move,
lingered, lingered over every thought,
squeezing my memories like grapes,
until only the driest, darkest ones remained.
Each shadow –

Her.
Not her.

Caught, my breath, caught.
I slipped singing through those cold cold gates,
past the slow slow river, the endless shades,
the slow boat to the cold grey halls.
I sang, I sang, and fetched her ghost,
watched it merge with the shadows I clutched,
slowly spinning from my mind.

You ask why I turned, why I did not wait
for another glimpse of the cold blue skies,
to hold her beneath the trees’ sharp shadows,
beneath the living wind. Why I turned
at the very gates, the far sun shining
on my hands. I turned.
I had to know.
Her ghost, or the shadow
of my weaving,
a shadow of
my memory and song?

Bound, she and I, to earth and dust,
I, a little longer, until I slip past those gates a second time,
and grasp her shadow, not our mingled own.

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Uncategorized15 Feb 2015 05:25 pm

I’ve got a batch of poems ready to go up over the next few weeks that I’m very happy about.

And more happy news — Mary Alexander Agner was nominated for a Rhysling for “Worlds Apart”, published here last Spring.

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Uncategorized10 Aug 2014 12:57 pm

I haven’t forgotten you, I am just having a hellaciously busy summer. I will be back as soon as I can.

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poem09 Jun 2014 08:47 am
202px-A.C.La_Primavera
Meet me on the edge
Of my frozen world where
Your green is tipped in
White
So I may speak my love
For you before Time’s tides
Drag me away

Even our toes may not cross
Into one another’s space
But if our lips brush
Feather-gentle on the line
We’ll share lightning in
The snow

 

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poem02 Jun 2014 08:19 am

William_Blake_-_Abraham_and_Isaac_object_1_Butlin_382

Before my mother died, a visit from Athena─
“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror”
─Rilke

There are moments: A veil is lifted and we see
through eyes of the immutable: Call it fate
or play it safe, imagine it was a waking dream;
then you evade believing in this terrible awe . . .
But inside that dream you wake, and change
is here; you saw Her face and knew Her power.

Now all the names used to describe this power
are tamed. It is a Lamb of God we see,
not the God of Abraham whose sword of change
spared Isaac, who sent the Ram of Fate
to die in Isaac’s stead. Abraham shook with awe
and Isaac lived. The iron sky was no dream.

The Ram bowed in obedience to the dream
in Abraham, that from his seed a nation’s power
would grow. And when that faith made way for awe
another question grew. Was Isaac the first to see
God’s mercy stay a father’s hand, or had fate
denied lay in wait for the Lamb? Beyond change

and bargaining prayers, nothing could change
death that was sealed in that sacrificial dream;
no deed or love availed to bend that Son’s fate . . .
They watched Him dragged and nailed to power
as Isaac might have died; that Son would see
the face hidden from Isaac and enter into awe.

The one I called She was a herald to awe.
I saw the wings of her helmet and the change
in her eyes from blue to imperious gray and did see
what she revealed. I saw the future in my dream;
a mercy then. Death came with indifferent power
and took one I loved. Events moved on with fate

seen as murals for the passing of a queen, her fate
prepared by those who rule the realm of awe
where fear and love share transcendent power . . .
And we wait as children for days that will change
our daily lives by the prescience of a dream . . .
Where rams with golden horns die so we may see

a change in those who turn blind suffering to fate . . .
The gods who dream our lives give the gift of awe
that we may see with hope, and dare to live with power.

 

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poem26 May 2014 08:04 am

30_Doradus,_Tarantula_Nebula

Properly, it should be
seductive
- repay all the
trouble
of perception.

It should have no
beginning, must
at the very start
be already in
motion;
and no end.

Its theme should be accessible.

Whether it should have Time
is a question;
the pathos
and Death, its companion,
so often betray
poor taste.

Properly, it should
resonate
- clear; like all the
bells ever cast,
intertwined,
purified.

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poem19 May 2014 08:57 am

“Aliens exist,” that’s what you told me;
By the gnarled oak tree where we used to meet,
Careful and discreet, for our nightly tryst.

“Don’t believe the lies they tell us,” you said,
Enraged, as you spread your arms in the air,
Fingers aimed up there, pointing to the skies.

Gently I soothed you, wiped away your tears,
Held you, calmed your fears, swore you would be fine;

If you would be mine, I would see you through.

Joyful by your side, I reached for your hand,
Knelt down as I’d planned, fumbled with the ring;

Love was everything, I thought in my pride.

Morning, noon, and night we were together.
No lovers ever held their love as dear,
Or held it so near, for we held it tight.

Perhaps too much so, for you were afraid;
Queer talk of a raid, ships set to deploy,
Ready to “destroy everything we know.”

So you insisted right up to your death;
Till with dying breath, you made your wish known:
“Upon the headstone, write ‘She Resisted.’”

Very soon, all lips bore a single strain;
Whispers of “Insane,” “Nut job,” “Dementia,
“Xenophobia.” Then we saw the ships.

You were right, you see. An army from space.
Zappers leave no trace of those who resist.
Aliens exist. That’s what you told me.

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poem31 Mar 2014 09:08 am
Whale Tile Mural by Makena Tile Murals

Whale Tile Mural by Makena Tile Murals

The world ends like the whale falls
to the ocean floor: slowly, unencumbered
by life, supported by water, sinking
into the strata of scavengers
until hunger and fear turns everyone
to hagfish and sharks, teeth and odors,
opportunity and opportuned.

In the fin-frenzy, there is no future.
The stomach rules all.
But once the blubber is gone
the bones are so white
they dazzle even the sunlight
silting the eggs of mackerel.

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poem24 Mar 2014 08:57 am

Cetus_Hevelius

Man never did learn to fly, but
for one or two cases that
were quickly relegated to
the medical curios box.

Whales, though—whales we modded
’til they were giant zeppelins,
bones thinner than the birds
that now bore our weight as couriers.

The whales merged with cities
made of platinum and tungsten,
neuro-wired for power and control.

Great herds of whale cities flew
like dreams of children, man
dreaming of his days
as children
beneath the great blue sky.

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