One Wish

Twin pine needles float like a wishbone

joining a leafy grave

the glass stillness of the water

spiced with autumnal longing.

 

I dream of warm cider and

summer’s last insects dancing

at water’s edge, the still beat

of a cricket like  a drummer

to the warmth’s burgeoning death.

 

Some quixotic yellow flower droops

at lake’s edge, amongst rubble and

aluminum cans.  The ragged dock

is testament to man’s machinations,

our desire to make land of the lake,

to walk like Jesus across the silky wet.

 

Was Christ a water-strider?

Or did part of him secretly sink,

down into depths barring comprehension?

If I were to step from this dock,

would my feet meld with the

buttery clouds’ reflection?

 

The wishbone drifts away,

out of reach like the moon

unfractured, its magic keeps

would that I had its potential.

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Eve’s Awakening

The apple was bitter, pressed to my lip

a sweetness bruised by wyrms and time,

and in the sands of Death’s clear glass

I lost all sense of words and rhyme.

 

The ecstasy therein was pure

as seraph’s tongues or God’s last word

it howled like bones within my ears

my cries to Heaven spilled unheard.

 

My voice was deafened by desire

for this twisted fruit, on which I choked

the white flesh lodged within my sin

and settled like a blackened smoke.

 

The cyanide seeds of the apple green

formed a witch’s star by which I dreamed

for days, sickened by the forbidden deed

I lay in sleep riddled with unholy schemes.

 

His light, so blinding, reached me there

caressed my face like a lover dead

and in the afterbirth of truth

the apple burst, now crimson red.

Gabriel’s Guns

 

He came in the morning wind- Go lightly, he said

so I arabesqued onto a zephyr, twelve-winged

pinioned like the cherub, decked in beryls and gauze

I was a wounded angel, Vietnam terror, flamethrower.

 

He’s a wheel of fire, the one covered in eyes

twelve thousand ells tall, four-headed, peacock-winged-

I say cherubim lie out of love for their King

longswords blazing, Gabriel’s guns, the Leviathan’s boom-

falling corpses, mangled wings, freshly burnt, fallen snow.

 

Row upon row of poppies bloom in Gehenna,

a monoculture of loss, their potpourri pain

hard words scar the seraphs- they learn how to damn,

to slay brethren, immorality like a dandelion

spreading its seeds to dead winds-

pluck enough feathers, and the soul cannot fly.

 

He came at midday, Go gently, spoke he

but all I could see was the dust in his eyes

I wiped cobwebs and spider from his cold marble skin,

 

You’re a relic, my prince, I mourned, La Pieta,

tears tattooed on my skin in blue lace that he kissed.

So I played La Dolorosa, the Virgin clothed in the Sun

my star a secret one, of bitter herbs and long nights

in a bend of Gan Eden, I lay down and knew sin

a clamor of thunder, my angel wept in shame.

 

The red poppy blooms, midnight comes, he is dumb

tongue sliced by thorns, for my angel spoke truth.

Go in love, I whisper, as I lay him to rest.

God is Dead, God is Dead

my faith ground into dust…

Mourning Star

O haughty angel, draped in pride,

your wings the breadth of dying light.

Whose feathers, wrapped in ells of eyes,

span the ages of delight.

 

Apple’s taste, as sweet as Fall

enthralls the buds of human tongue,

and like a mountain, proud and tall,

you bend not to a man unsung.

 

From bending branch you pluck the stars,

dead embers for a sullied brow

a crown of fallen brothers made

of Knowledge’s heavy, broken boughs.

 

And so you blaze anon with love

for a Lord that cast you from on high

incinerating paths lead to His

throne- oh manna forgotten, ask you why?

Chrysalis

i looked up, baffled, into eyes like glaciers

my master pressed his heart to my lips

drink, he said, of the blood like wine

the liquid scalded my throat and I saw

the ancients bow before us.

 

why do their shoulders sag like Atlas burdens?

i asked him.   he smiled like winter, so cold.

because the dead gods grow weary of prayers,

he whispered, and my time is drawing near.

 

the ancients lilted like choirs of seraphim,

eldritch tongues painting the sky alizarin

blood spilled, flooding the gulf between us

i choked on the meat.  it stuck in my throat.

breathe, he urged me.  i struggled for understanding

clinging to ice that spanned the ages.

 

the pages vanished, and blank slates

bloomed with tomes of lives lost

he took me to the library of the forgotten

where wraiths cling to the shelves like linen-

 

master skinned me and hung me out to dry

took my wet insides and strung them

from the stars.

 

sleep, he urged me, as I wilted in his hands.

i woke anew in the gloaming, butterfly-winged

master had become one with the wine,

flowed through me- he is my daily bread,

the nectar of longing.  my proboscis

waltzes with reason and rhyme now,

sipping of lost dreams.

 

the ancients fade, time withers

we are ground into dust.

The Crane Wife

The crane arabesques over the gray glass water

and Medicine Man flies with him,

hair dark like ink as he dons his coat of feathers.

 

Powhatan’s secrets of maize and drums

spill like pearls from Chesapeake oysters

and all the world is in song, chanting

the funeral dirge of a dying summer-

the Corn Man rises in the fields midst beans and squash.

 

If I could write a song for my people

it would be one of blood and chains,

of reservations and cropped hair,

of the White Man’s God and our Thunder Beings

battling on high for this sacred land.

 

Iroquoi warriors, red like the poppy, blazed

in heaven as they warred against the angels,

fighting the onslaught of the colonists

who forced us away from our families and traditions

with guns that pealed like Hell’s church bells-

Hell, such a strange notion.  We have no Hell,

except the one White Man created.

Corn Man weeps and tends to our graves.

 

Did Pocahontas weep alone at night?

Abducted by the English and wed to John Rolfe,

like our sacred tobacco stolen and farmed for gold,

mass-produced by Rolfe in an insult to the Great Spirit.

They tamed her like the pipe plant, our Matoaka,

no longer a woman of the corn.

I sing of forgotten places, of the sacred that we lost.

Corn Man, you are ground into dust.