This time will come again

yuri-shwedoff-wolf-pack-internetThe saw they used

had teeth like rabbits unaware

they were herbivores

her shell broke

like a blue egg

on turpentine floor

for the ants to summon

their legions and devour

she could smell her own fall

by the pinch of their envy

though why anyone should

be jealous she found absurd

as plates will chip

when placed on top of one another

we leave the best for last

scouring her hide with vinegar

all the holy and the ivy

thrown in pyre to await

her defeat

she tried to tell them

it’s not me you want

it’s yourselves

the competition is within

I am nothing

but a representation

the dreaming void

or lost moon

reflecting your own

do not bury me with nightshade

violet on my tongue

strangle my words

because you have none

this time will come again

as all circles are undone and reknotted

by fate and the scepter

in the wrists of those

cutting down

trees who only seek

that silence of being above

cacophony of rude arrows

felling our roots

though we strive

only

to master ourselves

 

 

Greater solace

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There you are

picture yourself

standing in a vacated room

the walls are nondescript

from the window comes a little wan sun

hardly enough for warmth

you pull yourself closer

recalling how as a child

sitting on old iron radiators in winter

they’d say you’d develop hemorrhoids

in those days

the sound of scuffed shoes running for class bell

figuring you had a few moments yet

to stare out at brick and cement

stretch out reverie

a voice inside your head

surely this isn’t all there is?

you made a pact with yourself

to get the hell out

whatever it took

gathering your books

mindful of their ticket

you forgot yourself in dream

walking past the classroom

after all

learning is better in the mind

than grind of chalk on board

some boy kicking you in the back

with sweaty socks

you knew even then

this was but a stepping stone

though if asked you couldn’t say

what of the grim facade urged you most

to escape

 

and now

all these years later

more alone than that day

when covered by childhoods vigor

and the smell of something better

just around the corner

hope has been sore in her visits

silence too often your friend

as we fall one by one out of the egg carton

we are without wings

without safety harnesses

all the others found places

in busy lives, babies, families, jobs

the weave and knot of life

whilst you stood watching out of the window

glimmering

expecting to fly

 

now in shallow rooms

artifice has left her scent

they tell you the last one has passed over

you feel it in the curve of your chest

no more hands to scoop you back

from your leaning motion to find

somewhere to breathe

where trees are ever green

sunlight full on face

obscuring all trace of bleak homes

terraced and hollow

where you can hear the flush of

neighbors loud toilet

piercing cry of another

born into fitful times

where you never understood

your own role

just the fallacy of drowning sorrows

sundays in the bar

knocking back glasses of regret

nothing could spur you faster

toward wide open space where

no trace of sorrowful city remained

 

and wherever you go

there you are

still back against the wall

still with the locked door

school girl tights bunched in your mouth

hearing muffled voices

discussing your inability to speak

how long can you hold your tongue girl?

before the need to scream

unfurled

and in one howl you swallow yourself

all the disappointment

all the lost chances

breaking through cloud

fast diminishing in oboe sky

open the storeroom of your mind

clear out those long stored hurts

preserved in obscura

 

you may feel you have nothing

but in the sundering fall of flight

we find again our urge

never to quite escape

perhaps more a reinterpretation

carrying on no more alone than before

for we are born crying in singular pitch

in each step grow further to our end

it is in the humility of knowing this

we find our greater

solace

Seven years


Seven years I let myself formulate excuses

not to return

and on the eighth

guilt had made her way into my closed heart

laying a light ribbon on the frayed part

 

going back was like being reborn

as yourself and not yourself at all

I walked familiar streets, spoke similar words

accent hardly altered

as if no time had passed

and so they said

you look exactly the same

though they were changed and I were changed

all altered irrevocably with time worn stain

as if glass no longer could be relied upon

to give accurately our real prescription

even friends were foreign handed

or I no longer of that land

left behind when things were too sad

I sealed the bottle and set adrift

seven years of absence builds

many barnacles to anyone’s vision

when the damned see the truth

the liars remove their seaweed masks

curtsy finely and pronounce

we did our part

exit stage left

standing on warm boards of the theater of pretend

where dance and energy has dissipated

into cloven wings

hear me now

shadows of my past

the girl with the big smile

her perfect fine figured mouth

and matching dragon tooth skirt

as if we dressed together in the darkness

of one another

except she is a mother and

I have a cut-out womb ebbing in formaldyade

don’t worry I feel no pain now

some of us are bearly hanging on

what good would a child of weakness

bring the sorrow further inland?

I miss her

like I write letters in wax to myself

those over easy days we knew who we were

or felt … some approximation of reality

good enough for then

when she looked at me

unequal teeth smiling and needing

how did the splinter drive that deeply?

wedge like sword between this time and before?

we know nothing of the other

as a blue bottle

cast on green and yellow water

will wait

seven years

to reach shore

when I climbed out and dusted myself off

she was gone

her footprints erased from the sand

nobody recognized me

only the echoes of an angry sea

calling me back to exile

whispering

you do not belong here 

and the white cliffs looked relieved

when I flew overhead

my heart aching with loss

the cheer of relief

like a season

changing from golden red to

brown

Echoing back

 

40ce96627e2a59381507324cc14e8c38She has gone down with the light

into deepest water

where frozen the eyes denied

see murkily through specter

she has gone down because you deemed her

unforgiven

and all your entreaties and kindnesses

were sunken lies

all the time you waited

like the brown recluse

sits watchful

beneath porch steps

for the unwise

she has gone down because you needed her capsize

to stick the thorn deep and watch her bleed

for those who dare to live inspite of you must pay the price

we are nothing if not accurate

in our thread and release

the arrow

a light airy sound

blistering cloud

cutting through

pierces its mark

and she must sink beneath the waves of your wrath

to ensure justice in an unjust world

that is your closure

as you put away

the disturbance of her

and feel relief

to rid yourself of your reflection

echoing back through the trees

Be weary of how you are understood

da5ec0f73a1d0a745155da12928afbfbDo not fall in love with a writer

unless you are willing to open yourself

to the inevitability of their description

for at first with the best harvest

the vintage will be sweet and lingering

with notes of honey and wild

as sure seasons turn

their fingers pressed on your pulse

will catch the days of sorrow

blurred behind storm

and reading yourself

translated

isn’t for the faint hearted

or those without touchstone

it is like a ship wrecked out to sea

blown far off course

losing compass

be weary of how you are understood

when the painter dips their brush

seeking inspiration

 

You

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If I never saw you again

i’d recall eternal how your eyes turn from one color to another

depending upon emotion held behind your back so right no-one would ever think

not even a blink of crumpled hand

nails digging in hot palm

quiet latitude

only the shift of spectrum

I wouldn’t give you away

dressing your wounds with metal girders

you took a boat to another land

escaping the predictability of indifference

where as a stranger you could be

anything

a reinvention

not all shipwrecked is affectation

your truth is vast

others may not understand

I see the threaded pulse

quicken at your neck

like a thin hill side river

repenting direction

can no more alter

than hide its dousing transformation

once green then hazel

mysteries only you are capable

of owning

Emptied of darkness

amani-alshaali_hope-dwells-in-the-darkness_2015

Among the weary mangle

such love resides

here where refuge once

took up space without solace

for so long anger held her brand

high and unceasing like a hundred fires

burning to the ground those memories

hateful to recover

as land grew flat with stomp and grind

as earth renascent ways forward blind

as people covered over their crippled hearts

bearing children in the dunking pond with

no soothe to weary start

here you go, running away again

thirsting to escape the penalty of your heritage

loathing in fearsome stride the color of your brand

without yourself you have no-one

you lose yourself the further away you stand

staring at the debris of rage

smoldering over former cages

now husks on the hill

statues of ill thought

black birds pecking wet eyes from

anything that dare speak truth

better you claim yourself

the saline sorrow of your history

and with it, the marrow and

the yield

as gasping you reach fulcrum

turning to plough much used earth

fertile again

sew hope

transform wayward regret

bring it out in another form

lend it wings to evaporate

bending with your pain you lose the ache

buried within you for so long like

a long chain dragged from the depths

is colder than the hottest fire burns

we are free when we let go

gather the wool of our people

clasping against savage times

defending those you love takes all

in that shadow play lies the surprise

you were stronger than you thought

forgiveness a reflecting moon

translating on still water

life too brief for fury

bring me the ripples of my divination

murders in hesitant re-creation

whom we once named enemy

now grey and fragile

becomes our salvation

as feelings warm through coldness

once enveloping our soul

ushering light

like a mother

watchful over sleeping child

bends to extinguish selfishness

in the arms of her wealth

she who knew nothing but self

stands like thirsting falcon

savage may the land become

soothed surely by our seeking arms

wrapped around the ones

we call home to stand

shining by the hearth of us

turning this way and that

by our regard we protect

from poison with

full hearts emptied of

darkness

Figure eight

Acrobat dancer attached to a hot air balloon dancing through the sky at Festival Number 6 in Portmeirion WalesIt is true

the feel of grit

kissing skin

skinning shins

learning mistakes

through trial

those forbidden sins

made real behind school wall

where youthful fumble with

strange hooks and buttons to release

their wail against the world

they know not yet

the best comes when

all foible and tinsel is left

to keep night awake

whilst we slip into our coats

leaving tracks across the lake

and skating like dreamers too soluble to wake

turn and cut messages out of powdered ice

in our heady retreat from compromise

growing toward our years in eager release

no more push-up bras needed nor

pinching heels except of course when

drowsy with midnight madness we

reenact those anxious days

now unruffled by the sweaty fears of

first vintage

you are able to carry your own

I shall undress in turn

finding your desire wicked ever more

potent in the slowness of our motion

two figures cutting out figure eights

lit by yellow glaze of moon

wringing its hands in humor

for too soon we will be thawed

returning with pinked cheeks

holding hands close the door

on another year of love

made burgundy under covers

where firelight moves us near

to each others gentle warmth

Recognized

realwomen1

I could always recognize her

by the turn of her knee and ankle

inverted feet wishing dearly

to point at one another in reverse

clown with no humor

that little imperfection

marked her out in crowd

woman who would be a girl

forever knock-kneed

wearing her childhood like a badge of honor

I survived to give you life

gratefully I carried her bags

as a child learning the weight of things

is secondary to the measure

of devotion

my mother once taller said

I wish you did not stain your clothes

looking up then down I could see

the streak of popsicle on white linen

thankful for her wisdom

pitying my own boyish ways

rather I hang upside from a tree

mouth stained by plums

gazing at the day than

fit into couture

sorry for my disarray I said

sucking on melting ice

my teeth turned red and briefly

I imagined myself a vampire

hunting night for life

she smiled and stood slightly askew

just as once she must in school uniform

age evaporated around us both

I, the adult carrying the bags

heavy in my heart the knowledge

one day she would not be there to

open doors for

teaching my chivalry and the pursuit

of manners and beautiful women who

also had slightly turned ankles

as if they knew not

how to be perfect

it is in that crease we find

the tenor reminding us

this girl who wakes up ironed

is not the one we shall recall

on a rainy day looking out

but the one who stood in the snow

knees nearly meeting

making snow angels with

smudged lipstick and scuffed

shoes

Shine

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Before you left we made a covenant

a pact among children

and time like sand tends to smooth such ardor

few keep their word when blood is young

still you returned

holding your promise like a shield

enveloping my scars

here you said

stand beneath this shelter

I will hold it up against

all that rains down

for some are built of permanence

whilst others shake bags of truth as

confetti, spurious on wedding day

who knows the divorce of passion

better than those who drive their words

through water until absolved

you stayed like ink on my tongue

the taste of squid and salt

and in counting

I found

one suffices

to even out the hurt

turn it smooth against your hand

like mending tapestries reignite lineage

you gave me strength

when I faltered, when I caved in

you were the temple upon which I held tight

as sea swallowed us whole and bursting through

air dried us into stalagmites

hold on

you reminded me, reaching through time

I have always been beside you

it is the weight of truth

turning like gold spun from flax

shines