All posts by faithlesspaladin

About faithlesspaladin

I am a writer from the Appalachian Foothills of East Tennessee.

Eye Of The Storm

Her picture. A girl from high school. I loved her at a distance.

Short brown hair, unkempt. Petulant face that ached to open.

Distant. Dark eyes, that did not reveal. But fire might consume them.

 

Navy blue. Her jacket was navy blue. She cherished it. It was her armor.

Her mother bought it for her. She loved her mother. I pushed my own away.

Navy blue. Locked in my mind as safe and strong. Latch onto that color forever.

 

That one day. Just her and I. The fat and wet snowflakes in her brown hair.

We talked. I saw that petulant face finally open, like the eye of a hurricane.

The eye of the hurricane is a moment’s peace, and then it passes back to storm.

 

The last time I saw her. November. She was moving out west with her new man.

She said it gets so cold in New Mexico. The snows are more bitter in all that nothing.

Navy blue jacket. She hugged me tight and close. I’ve never seen her again.

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Palaces and Streets

Mermaid in a bathtub, nowhere to swim to, just staying alive.

Only in the deep and dark and wild blue ocean can she thrive.

She is kept here, a trophy, a thing to be possessed and gawked.

She is in this city, in whose palaces and streets she’s never walked.

 

The world was hers in that dark and velvet ocean, her life before.

She swam from Maine, all the way to the point Tera Del Fuego shore.

Now she is kept as a prisoner by a greedy man, as she molts, withers.

She cannot swim in this tub, and in the tank she despondently slithers.

 

What is a miracle and a wonder to the humans, but something to steal?

What is a wild animal, a free being, but a proud child to bring to heel?

She’s lost her luster and she does not sing now, all of home taken away.

She speaks the blasphemers’ curses, to her captor’s God she will not pray.

 

 

Prairie Sky

A young country girl, with checker shirt, worn jeans, and scuffed boots.

She stands against the brick wall of the all night gas station, looking out

into the dark of the night outside the island of the station’s street lamps.

 

The wind blows her long, light brown hair, and she seems melancholy.

I stand at a pump, filling up my car, watching her, making up dreams.

I dream of home, a home that is actually home, and I am welcomed.

 

I dream of her as tough, and reliant, and brave, and so full of love.

I dream of her and I living out in the wilds, free and cooled by nature.

I dream of her and I walking with God there, and our hearts overflowing.

 

I long for her, in her melancholy and dislocation. Maybe she’s like me.

Maybe she’s waiting on the one who is true and righteous, maybe she’s

longing for home, a home that is truly hers, truly open like prairie sky.

 

I long for her, and longing for a woman is always a longing for a home.

Home has felt strange for so long, so full of sharp tongues, bitter crowns.

I hope we both find home, and that her heart over flows with love tonight.

Summer/Winter

Love came once in winter, and once in summer.

Out of nowhere, each girl chose me, for a moment.

Memories of those nights linger, only soft thing left.

Clove cigarettes and cheap beer are sense memories.

 

Mermaids come in summer. Bright, brave silicone tails.

Young woman weightless, and loved as wonders, as magic.

The young children are full of joy and awe in the blue light.

I remember, for a moment, baptismal waters washing over me.

 

Prayers come in winter. Cold air and lack of sleep, starry nights.

The cheer of the holidays, as I feel interloper and changeling.

In the cold and dark, all the world sleeping underground, stranded,

I try to make the words that praise grace, but only fixates on martyrs.

 

And now, it feels like all tenderness is gone from the earth, the sky,

those transient and pitiless stars, all my dreams frantic and bitter.

I try to remember the moment when it was perfect in a girl’s heart.

I try to remember when I knew for sure how an angel touched my face.

Everything Is Sky

The Devil lives in glass. In the transparency that makes us vulnerable.

The low end chain motel, in the rural wilds, lobby lit up glaringly white.

I stand at the desk. I look back over my shoulder. Something is watching.

I can’t see it. But I feel it everywhere. Everywhere is glass. Everything is sky.

 

Waiting for the credit card to clear. The demos are within and without,

and they watch through the glass walls of the lobby, eyes sharp, hungry.

The demons and their soldiers, all those people who mean me harm tonight.

All those people with shark eyes, and bitter souls, and prayers without love.

 

I get my room. I walk up the stairs to the second floor. The air is hot, angry,

it digs into the skin of my hands and face like the aggressive attacks of red ants.

Gooseflesh and bite marks itch and shiver. My breathing comes fast and harsh.

I get into my room, and close the curtain on the big window. Cast away Satan’s eyes.

 

I close the door to the bathroom, bringing in the thin, stiff comforter and flat pillow.

I make a bed in the cold plastic of the bathtub. There are no windows in the bathroom.

Complete dark. Complete dark is safe. Even Satan is blind in the dark. Angels sigh, now.

The whirring ot the AC fan is soothing. The quasar at the end of the universe.

She Is Silent, Like Touch

I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.

She says don’t be afraid. Don’t you cry.

It will all be over. She loves me so much.

It will all be over.  She is silent, like touch.

 

The garage is hot. I cannot breathe.

Hot exhaust, is hell what I believe?

She says be brave. Don’t fall back.

It will be done. All will be still, black.

 

Last texts. I am sleepy. I am so still.

Losing the game. The end is her will.

She says she loves me so very much.

I think of her, silent, like all touch.

Dinosaur Park

I stand at the fence, seeing dinosaur heads and bodies in the early morning fog.

Paint flaking, and all of it falling in disrepair, but still proud, strong and majestic.

Something of wonder once. All the children love dinosaurs. All before the fall.

 

The fog is damp, and the air is chilled and clingy, to my clothes and my face.

Wild birds roost in a brontosaur’s broken eyes. A fox hides at it’s grey feet.

The trees and vines run wild, climbing on thick legs and bodies.

 

A kind of Eden, for lost kings who once ruled the world.

Now wild and unkempt, finding it’s own order.

I remember loving dinosaurs.

Me and Kathleen

We argue a lot, go back and forth, me and Kathleen.

We have different dreams from the pain we’ve seen.

Open hand or closed fist, whom is savior or prophet.

Whom is to draw blood or give grace as they saw fit.

 

We also share dreams, of finding grace as life burns.

Of waking a death cult nation that never, ever learns.

Of something more than the distractions on our screens.

Addicted to the noise, to madness begun in our tender teens.

 

And at night, we pass a bottle of red wine, watching the sky.

She says when the stars fall that will be the judgment so nigh.

I say it’s just more demons coming, giving power to soulless men.

We both know, down in our souls, that lowly people never win.

 

For KAH

Blossoms and Thorns

She wears a flower crown of blossoms and thorns.

Her man has an angel’s light, and not Satan’s horns.

Thorns prick little points of blood upon her fair brow.

Sorrow and beauty, loss in grace, in her sacred bough.

 

She wears a simple and splendid dress, takes his hand.

They dance, Children of God, of this bright, golden land.

Hymns they have song, of summer eternal, endless blue.

Where all are reunited and comforted if they lived true.

 

He touches her face, kisses her cheek, she closes her eyes.

The warmth of another, tenderness, a wished for surprise.

When they wed, crown gone, but blossoms, thorns remain.

Love stays, but angels and demons still watch in the cold rain.

 

She kisses his lips, they will wed tomorrow, they will be one.

Her crown floated in the water, candle bright, taken by that son.

The thorns in her brow, the color in the blossoms, the blood shed.

The vows of two souls, and the sharp swords, when two become wed.

Hunger And Delight

The painting on the wall,

in that cold and dark hall,

of her and her man before,

back in another bloody war.

 

She and him are so solemn,

as angels, demons, call ’em,

her thin fingers on his shoulder.

He looks away, he will not hold her.

 

She’s here now, haughty and proud,

and my heart beats so very loud.

So many wars after, him underground.

Her ice grey eyes, hungry, like a hellhound.

 

That man before, would not follow the dark,

the shadows that swallow every lie’s spark.

Her hand touches mine, her ruby lips kiss mine.

I follow her and I follow the dark, all of it just fine.

 

All these years, and still she hungers, still she yearns.

As heaven and hell and ever sacred grove now burns.

On her toes, she bites my neck, and cold now is sweet.

Young woman’s face, hides the reaper of the wheat.

 

We walk, down that dark and cold hall, to the starlight.

I am hers, I will follow, underground, hunger and delight.

Young woman’s face, the ancient of nights in a soft smile.

Soft and whispering faces are Satan’s truest, kindest guile.