Category Archives: poetry

Only Bones

I fell asleep in the car, parked in The Fort, a weak winter morning.

There was snow in the night, and even this ugly neighborhood is shining.

My head still cold from the glass, I watch the sunrise.

 

I think of some long ago thing, some sacred place, and I put it away.

Winter is here, and there is no place to run to, as the world ends again.

I put away trinkets and snapshots of love that was only a high, a drug.

 

A young woman walks carefully down the sidewalk, in a bright red parka.

Long chestnut hair hangs loosely. She looks up, sees me and smiles, looks down.

We have stolen everything from her. Her children will be lords of only bones.

1969

June, it passes without a breath.

In this room, the day met it’s death.

I see sweet seduction in bare skin,

sucking on an ice cube from a glass of gin.

The sunlight gold becomes the moon’s white.

That smile, that warmth, this appetite.

If angels know passion, let this spell be.

If only demons work flesh, cast me into the sea.

I want to go to you, and know you, open those doors.

I want to go to you, but not spill blood from my wars.

In the moon’s white we illuminate the divine eyes.

A dream of solace in touch and in passionate sighs.

Lay close to me, your flaxen hair soft as heaven’s silk.

Let it bring us close to life, let us not choke on the devil’s milk.

Let the name I chose for you become a sacred rhyme.

Let us be humble and whole, this time.

The Messenger Angel

The Messenger Angel, is eating cold cereal in my kitchen.

They are watching the birds on the naked limbs of winter trees.

They are lost in thought, maybe composing a revelation for someone.

 

Awkward and abashed, I try to think of the words, or something,

the right invocation, or obscure formula that formulated at the

beginning of time for one such as this.

 

The Messenger Angel wipes away the milk from their lips

with the back of their forearm, then lips the bowl to their

lips, greedily drinks the sugary milk.

 

I make to sit in front of them, on the other side of the table,

but just stand in the entrance to the kitchen. I don’t look them

in the eye.

 

The bids sing, the house is cold, and The Messenger Angel

puts down the bowl. They look at me and sigh, standing up

to go.

 

“I’ve already told you what I came here to tell you.

I am not your judge, or enemy, and I am your friend.

It’s all up to you now.”

 

The Messenger angel walks past me, and my eyes are

still down and pull away from them as they pass,

and go out the door.

Warm Wind In January

God loves you, but not enough to get his hands dirty,

or whisper in your hear when The Devil roars,

or wait even in an hour in the endless nights.

 

Up in the sky, disinterested, listening to the praises

that are all he really wants, or to ogle all those girls

on Spring Break in sexy swimwear.

 

Maybe he’ll turn his eyes too, give a warm wind

in January, or make you think, for a moment, that

he really is interested in His world.

 

But The Devil has you by the throat, and the thoughts

draw blood and sleep and rest are impossible before dawn,

and you know you are always alone in the fight.

Exiled Fae

Cara rides her BMX bike through her subdivision, before sunrise.

Cold in her navy blue hoodie, tattered sneakers, and faded pink shorts.

The houses are dark and silent. The birds too angry to start their singing.

Cara feels like an exiled Fae, her long gold hair trailing behind her.

 

The trees come right up to the road. Vines and vegetation threaten

the manicured lawns and well tended gardens, as the world ends.

Their might yet be winged and tiny Faeries in those dark woods.

And that comforts her, after she lost her big brother to the war.

 

The quiet of the morning, when her head is clear, the static low.

The cold soothes her thoughts, makes them too sluggish to draw blood.

Cara rides and rides, before the world awakens, ands starts howling

and cursing itself, and God demands his tribute of blood, any and all.

 

Cara comes to the little park, with it’s playground, bright and friendly.

She stops, leans on one leg, and looks at the playground beneath the stars.

The air raids, the sounds of guns distant, same sounds through all of time.

They are not hear in the still before sunrise, when she can remember play.

 

 

 

 

Sigil of the Saint

The snow is welcome in a warm winter.

Big, fat and wet flakes, silencing the night.

Her and I stand beneath the streetlamp,

as the flakes shine bright in its glow.

 

She wears a teal and white beanie,

with a fleur-de-lis, sigil of the saint.

I watch, as she watches it all in wonder.

The flakes land in her black hair, and shine.

 

So many bad nights for a moment of wonder.

She is my friend. I’m starting to trust her.

She turns to me, and smiles, breath conspiring clouds.

I do not flinch or pull away when she reaches out to touch my face.

Temptation

The mermaids are still out past breaking waves, singing their songs.

Dark hair and aquamarine skin, sparkling, in the morning sunlight.

I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.

 

It’s a cool autumn morning, just before winter and snow comes.

I feel the chill in my bones, and in my heart, as life goes on.

I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.

 

I hear their song, and I remember, as a young man, I kissed one.

We sunned ourselves on the rocks in the hot August sun, long ago.

I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.

 

I feel more than winter coming. I feel more than life passing by.

I feel as if all I love is already lost, already taken by the cruel men.

I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.

 

I could swim out to them, and go to the kingdom under the waves.

In Infantile Lines

I was expecting something else.

A ride on an Amtrak train to New York.

A final acceptance that this is winter, again.

A hope that I would see angels in the sky,

not slump shouldered on icy sidewalks in Baltimore.

 

The radio is chatter, war drums and banal nonsense.

I draw an angel on cold glass with my finger, tracing

the loss of hope in infantile lines, badly drawn feathers.

I may have spoken her name, but it is emptied of magic, now.

 

I gave Satan my innocence, for a pure hit of being feared,

feeling powerful for a moment, when I was trampled under.

It matters not now, what was gained, as all was lost, unrepairable.

The angel does not fly off the glass, and I wipe a hole in the mist.

 

I may have spoken her name, but it is emptied of magic, now.

The First Garden

The lush gardens, kept nourished in the desert sands, near where the rivers met,

on the borders of that First Garden.

The old men tend the plants, with their colors and blooms, as tender as young men

with their first lovers.

The harsh sun can still grow this wonders, where the blue waters flow to feed the

roots in dark soil.

 

The lush gardens, the last remnant of the First Garden, that grew so long ago, when

people where new, the world young.

The Red Dragon is coming from the west, fiery and angry, his time so short, wanting to

burn it all away.

The old men tend the garden, as tender as young fathers with their newborn children,

tending to what’s left before death.

 

The lush gardens, under the harsh sun and in the desert sands, kept separate and special,

as the world goes on, and we throw it all away.

The Red Dragon, coming from the west, threatens it all with his wrath, as God’s Children

betray them for their golden porridge.

The old men tend the garden, as tender as old men, seeing their children bring children

into this world, keeping hope.

A Grey Church

A concrete, Brutalist church, up on a meadowed hill.

An early spring Monday, the church is open for prayers.

I sit alone in the pews, the bare grey walls lit by dim sunlight.

There is a big steel cross above the pulpit, dull and strong.

 

I feel out of time, I feel myself looking down on me, head bowed.

It is spring, with it’s Magnolia blossoms and Daffodils raising their

heads, and the grass growing tall, and cold winds losing bitterness.

I feel quiet in this plain and severe place, as if the world isn’t burning.

 

A church built without grandeur, plain for the plain people of the plains.

The sunlight is soft, and makes me warm, as I offer my prayers up.

Muffled sounds of an old woman’s footsteps shuffling in to light a candle.

A candle in the grey and muted shadows, I look up at that dull, metal cross.