Restless Nightmares

"The morning after the battle of Waterloo", by John Heaviside Clarke, 1816. Image care of Wikimedia Commons.

For the final One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, and the grand opening of the dVerse Poets Pub, I would like to bring back a classic – the poem with which I introduced myself at the first One Shot Wednesday, in July last year, when One Stop was still just a glitter and a gleam in the eyes of a few good poets.

It is dark, and due to its age not the style of mine to which you may have become accustomed, but I hope you enjoy it all the same – and if you’d like to see the piece with which I more officially gave my ending salute to that wonderful art community, check out last week’s contribution: One Winter Morning.

– – –

Restless nightmares break,

From wretched slumber do I wake

To a world of endless night—

Thunderous choirs make me crouch in fright.

High above us wraiths now soar,

Men clasp their ears to deafen their roar.

Over hills and shattered streets,

The bands come marching to woeful beats.

A hundred thousand voices cry,

Then all the singers die.

Bloom and Wilt

Enfold in me

your light, your life–

sweet summer child

turn not your color from my heart,

the scent of pine trees,

sculpted in the dawning,

where all of nature is the swell at your sweet breast,

the gathered breaths cultivating

convalesced coercion of my soul.

Breath to breath, I seek your notes,

the tantalized texture of your smile

writhes still in me, in places

only faith should know.

You drink me, though you do not know

the taste of my desire–

the character in the caricature–

myself, I, wilting in that shade,

in those dark places where your lips and light

shall never know, nor ever sing.

Sundress Summers

Barefoot,

Sundress summers

Bloomed in yellow visions

With the milky drink of your lips—

Child love.

My latest submission for the gathering that is One Shot Wednesday. Returning this week to a style that’s been an old favorite of mine – the cinquain – for the purposes of capturing that summer swell. Lord knows we’ve had the weather for it here.

Cover Up

Image by and copyright Walter Parada.

Red rivers ride

fluttering flags.

A smile and a hand, freely offered

belie the tip—

it’s not a stick you know

that I’ll stick you with,

not a dream doused with dreamers.

God or Man

the mortar drips

beneath the marble—

just a dab of purity to hide

stained hands,

strawberry walls—

Humanity

drifting.

* A piece for this week’s edition of One Shoot Sunday. This week features an interview I had with the talented Californian photographer Walter Parada. I was very grateful for the images he chose to share with us, as I find them all to be absolutely striking, from his landscapes to his portraits, and on to the image featured above.

Death of a Muse

Tender touches

twilight now

when you would walk through moon beams

silver youth, in my mind,

your long-tossed hair that fleeting glimpse

unworthy hands would never know.

A dream-wrought kiss

for all sensation’s cheer—

a note to set the pen to dance

beneath your light.

What is your name?

Reality, but a longing and a life

no bearing on the yearning—

the dreamer’s supple realm.

A thousand ships would sail for you,

in mind, while your eyes turned—

it wasn’t till the flesh took my hand,

crowned in cruel identity

cast me out to sea

that all those ships were set to burning.

* My latest contribution to One Shot Poetry Wednesday. This piece was essentially the second part to the post I made yesterday, on muses and their very real, physical departure, in the form of people. Yesterday I gave other people’s thoughts on muses, but today I put forth my own thoughts on the muse’s withdrawal. For those with a physical embodiment to their own creative drive…

For the World’s Mothers

My own mother and I, featured here at my graduation.

Raise me up

From breathless sound,

The song you sing—life’s song—

The motions and the rhyme

Ring in lessons, tender

Borne on emerald winds

The flowering will always be remembered,

The bloom you brought

With hands held and patient eyes,

Even in depths of mathematical madness

Where children were not meant to play,

Even balancing worlds upon slim shoulders,

Step softly so little eyes won’t see and—

Ever, always watching you

Stir what might otherwise dwell

Hidden in the reeds.

* A special dedication for mother’s day – I know some other corners of the world have already had theirs, but the sentiments remain. For all those amazing women out there that put up with so much (I know we can be a handful)…here’s to you.