The Song of my Heart

A blanket, wrapped, did fall
from over wicker cage—
a basket or a golden carry-all—
and with it flew an ebon rage
upon the doves of heaven.
They pirouetted, by and by
yet though we cried for thoughts to leaven
they flew on until the sun between them sighed,
us standing pinioned beneath
daggers flown beyond their sheath.

Crass Costumes Dreams Wore

Deep down in the marrow of costumed bone

lies the lonely bastion where hope might roam

 

she cloaks herself in mercy’s skin,

constructing strength, as warmth, from within

 

scores the walls to scale the rain

before the river dries within the drain

 

hips akimbo, straddling the lands

once stoked and carved by swaying hands—

 

it’s more than stubborn brow,

it’s something less than the weight of a farmer’s plough;

 

yet prisoners don it day by day

with gloved flesh, lest humanity wash away.

A Fairy Tale from Celtic Hearts

Burrowed into the emerald hills

I have found the ghosts of waves resonant

in every whistle of the reflection—

it lay beneath a stream dark as indigo.

 

I found the horse that would carry me back

across grey scale and falling sand

hoary as the one that held its hours

as a cloud its gift of rain.

 

There we rode across the moon

under baths of silver light youth made

sparkle in that distant sky, eternal

save for the need to breathe, and live, and love—

 

It touched my palms, this dream of mine

without cause or grace or end to mystery;

yet it fell, as perfection always does

until the next promise of a nightly love.

Bare Foot Education

(Miss the good news? Be sure to check out my previous post for details on an upcoming poetry reading, award, and radio interview – it’s a busy couple months ahead!)

Exploited feet

diminished spirit

ashen world detritus

clogging pores and pouring

 

out live within

sanctuary of knowledge

fortress by education, maze-like

without the cheese, just history and

ink dripping from the binding—

 

not a prayer

nor a thought,

it’s the brick and mortar keeps me

it’s the paper worlds that defend me

it’s the flesh and bone that births me

 

beyond, the living

not made, clandestine

nights of exhaustion for figments

and apparitions—yet

no imagination save “away”.

 

Familiar is the chirp

of the restoration aria

gentle minds contemplate

as they dream bare foot dreams.

From the Dreamscape

Veiled dancer. Terracotta figurine from Myrina...

Veiled dancer. Terracotta figurine from Myrina, ca. 150 BC–100 BC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The final chapter, as continued from part 1 and part 2:

Disconnect. Static ambience…a one, two, three stumble into disarray. Everything cuts out as the dark one crosses the threshold, and the world spins around him.

The floor is on his back–or is his back on the floor?

To the sharp, drawn-out shrill of a woodwind, the portal closes behind him and vanishes entirely–shutting out all shreds of light beyond. Hands stretch along the stone, but there is nothing. He rolls and presses, scrambling for the escape, but nothing remains.

Only the overwhelming presence of absolute silence. Like a tomb, but without even the flies to keep him company.

One foot after the other, he steps toward the wide plaza at the building’s center, visions of a duel and of roses bloomed beneath bursting galaxies moshing through his head.

Candlelit flickers make dancers of the shadows. They take an altar for their stage, and at first there is nothing but the shrine. It is vacant, its only markers the plain red cloth draped across its barren surface, and the mountainous mass of beaded necklaces, their shattered loops forming the colorful peaks of devastation.

Nevertheless, the light strikes it remarkably, pouring down in vibrant beams of sapphire and emerald as cast by the stain glass sky hovering just above it. Depicted therein, a blasted and burning ship sinks into a storm-tossed sea, a sanctuary island of vibrant life settled just out of reach.

All hands will go down with the ship.

He steps forward into the room and his boots clap loudly against the stone, echoing between the pillars and the rocks that hold the building aloft. An equally brisk “shh” reverberates in response.

Spinning on his heels, an explosion of reality greets: the light enraptures him, smothering the expanse of the room and blinding him in liquid absence. Blobs of color dancing through burned eyes take the shape of familiar faces, and the room is populated at last–the die cast to the gentle swell of the drums. There is thunder in the tuba of the earth’s fair roar–and he cannot but consider that he has been here before, and this world, and this room, and all before him is nothing but the end of time.

Purgatory, perhaps? Or the dream of living?

Dozens of identities bow to the rhythm and the roar, and as their hands fold across the seams of shadow-licked robes, the rumbles of the earth settle into dust beside. Only one of them looks up, watching with eyes long-struck. They are the ocean, and the sky–the ripple of all, clouds and waves and passion long contained. He is bared to her. He is speared before her.

The dancer.

A smile crooks her head into the bow, and with the fading of her eyes, so too fades the light of the flames.

He finds his feet. There is only forward, or there is nothing–he is weighed, faltering beneath the heavy hand of shadows lurking, but he throws himself against their walls, bloodies himself on the strain of his own momentum. His hand is in the air. His hand is air. His hand is in her hair and he throws back the cowl that would hide the light itself.

Heads move to the motion, all masks and eyes. There is no retreat. Her skin, porcelain beneath the light. Sad light. Mournful light. Her slender neck is bared, and the breath of music itself holds to the touch upon her skin.

He cannot feel.

And the masks smile.

From the Dreamscape

Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest citie...

Urban decay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A continuation from part 1:

There is a girl, dancing. Alone in the pitiless darkness of the moonlit night, the wind catches her hair and sways her swirling body to and fo as the leaves of the endless rows of circling trees begin to whistle and hiss. She rides the storm. She slows with every crack of the thunder’s whip. Back arches, lips part; her arms rise as if in composition, as her legs angle, her body silhouetted against the inky backdrop for an instant as she pitches her body into the sky.

Trailing through the brimming storm, strong legs touch down, feet slipping into the muck. Her body folds, crouching, eyes shut as she clutches to herself. A flash of lightning gives to total darkness.

There is nothing left of the body or the woman.

The dark one finds himself standing alone amidst a wide, desolate city. A tomb of grey–the sky is as dead and soulless as the walls that bar him in. Nothing bares itself to him save the forward path.

From realms unseen, the song enters into a furious upturn. He stumbles and the drums thrum and boom to a ferocious beat; the tubas swell beneath them, all breath sucking inward as the cacophonous strikes come deeper and swifter, supported by the soft, though hastening gathering of delicate high-pitched caresses–a legion of flutes, building to some unknown climax.

A note holds as he scrambles into the light. The city itself holds no sounds beyond the confines of his own shallowed breathing. A man could lose himself here, for detail is lost. Everything looks the same. Only height seemingly denotes any difference in the buildings arrayed before him, the high towers stretching into the nothingness of the sky until they, too, are lost.

The climaxing brass dies away as he begins to shamble inward. The percussion drops into a low, gathering repitition as the woodwinds press forward their own assault, consuming the city in a crescendo of caressing breaths.

In the emptiness of his paths, there remains nothing for him. His eyes shift, searching. A door beckons.