Surrender to a Better Cause


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What we have in common
stretches beyond our mortal shell;
If I have a kidney, it is yours
I have two – take one, and live.
If I die, my eyes are yours – see for me.
My heart is yours for the beating -
My lungs breathe for you; they no longer sustain me.
All that I am is yours.
Let me be folded into your chest.

Let my sacrifice be worthy of your hope.

We Write What We Know


Image

I had lived one life with my face turned from the sun,
breathing icy winds and my father’s sin.
He is gone now but his fingerprints
remain a stain upon my broken bones.
My sister traded his midnight hugs for an opium exit;
her ashes instead of his lashes.

I took my refuge in dark shadows and withered.

I told…once.
Was rewarded with a year sabbatical in a red brick asylum,
bought and paid for with my mother’s silence.
She collected her ransom daily/offered up her womb’s fruit
to feed him like grapes to Caesar’s gaping maw.
She furnished her home with lost innocence
and found comfort in our cries.

She is buried now and I am robbed of my mourning.

Unearth me when tomorrow comes.
Set my broken feet upon polished stones;
let ascending steps carry me home.
My screams no longer echo from the mountaintops

My dreams no longer tether my pain.
I am not healed, but I feel, and my words
anoint my open wounds.

The Insidiousness of Life


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The insidiousness of life is that it constantly presses upon you;
it is unrelenting in its demands that you nurture and refine it.
It evolves, with or without your consent, so there is no rest,
to simply put it on cruise control and enjoy the passing of time.
For me, every breath is a nuisance; every step is a cursed journey
saddled with failed expectations and societal derision.

I never belonged to this world, nor has it offered itself to me,
and the contempt with which I hold its false promises
eats at my guts like ravens nibbling away at my meaning.
Where others are guided by the soft-bent wings of angels,
I am weighed down by the relentless nagging of demons;
wicked little imps who mock my waking hours and torment my sleep.

There is not a grave dug deep enough to bury my sorrows,
nor do I seek any forgiveness for my sorry state.
I will wash away the stench of my miserable existence
with endless cups of liquid absolution, and in my drunken state,
I will stumble through somehow.

Tomorrow’s sunrise may warmly embrace the multitudes;
each with their cheerful dispositions and infernal optimism.
I, on the other hand, will wither beneath the heat,
thirsting constantly for the darkness beneath a waning moon,
for it is in darkness that my soul finds its true voice.

Rebirth


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Stars descend on blackened veils
Guiding my steps to the ocean’s swell
Waves swallowed whole by gold sands porous
A symphony’s repeating chorus
As the moon reflects its softened light
The summer winds caress the night
My thoughts turn toward the heavenly spiral
Of shooting stars and earth’s denial

My eyes ascend to northern lights
While thoughts unformed take sudden flight
Carry me toward a heavenly vision
As my soul begins a new revision
Eyes once blind now clearly see
This single moment is lifting me
Beyond a life of imperfection
And giving me a new direction

Diagnosis


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moments of crazy
little peeks behind the sanity curtain
screaming like a banshee
binge drink-eat-screw
before being declared unsound
living under a microscope
then come the drugs
take the pills, follow the rules, and play nice
cue the side effects
a good doctor, a good therapist, and the right meds
the holy trinity of madness
find the knots that need untying and
the pathways that need re-wiring
navigate this world in different ways
or spiral into despair
a misshapen version of a human
a different way of seeing
easily wounded, and easily elated
weird, misaligned
lacking the candle needed
to get out of the dark

 

Secrets


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My shadow falls away -
no sun will touch this truth.
Wandering cold and revealed;
almost naked in my sin,
for I have squandered the best of me,
despair descends upon what’s left of me!

Secrets eat at my guts
and I am consumed completely.
Would that my lips could part
and exorcise that which I dare not speak.
I am taunted by courage beyond reach.

My body is cleaved in two:
one side dead
while the other exists in fear of living.
I am betrayed by my own hand
and I shall not sleep eternal.

The truth is an acid
eating away any hope of resurrection.
I am undone, yet left standing.
I am buried alive beneath my secrets.

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Heart and Soul


rose

The heart beats strong for what it will
Yet still I seek to master
My thoughts within or outward spilled
Inviting sure disaster
The love I seek, or hope to keep
Isn’t mine to choose
The sweet delights and dreamy nights
Are only mine to lose
Our soul is but an open door
Through which flows passion’s fire
Though oft’ ignored, it stands much more
The beacon of my desire
The heart bestows on those who know
That love is never what it seems
The arrows flung from Cupids bow
Pierce the few and far between
Be still the beating of your heart
And to this verse stay true
The heart and soul both play a part
In bringing love to you

 

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A Midnight Violation


fear

Bathed in an ethereal light
this child has no skin in the game
yet her trust holds demands
she cannot bear.

The creak of her bedroom door
snatches the sleep from her eyes
and in the darkness, horror descends;
her pillow, once soft and warm,
betrays her and once under, now over
muffles her surprise.

Beneath his weight, she dissipates
her cries muffled in the night.
Her fright smothers – she gasps for air
and he’s still there, grinding her
fragile hips into dust.

God looks on, and in His fashion
does nothing to intervene;
a celestial voyeur.

Stuffed animals bolt to the floor
one after the other, and with them
descends lost innocence; her
face laced in spittle, and she’s so little.

He rolls over, spent and condemned
as blackness descends to fill her.
Nothing is as it seems, but not a dream.
Tears wash away the vision of
this violation.

He rises as she plummets;
this child painted with the smell of
cigarettes and cheap liquor.
Morning filters through frosted panes
but she finds no warmth in the rising sun.

They’ll be no accounting for this sin
and no childhood left within this shattered
shell of a child. A darkness, deeper than sleep,
envelopes her lost innocence, and the
night’s breeze carries the cry of angels.

 

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A Godly Silence


silent-god

 

I speak to God in silent phrase
And offer up my heartfelt praise
Yet silence is His voice to me
He shows no earthly empathy

My prayers are but a silent wind
And I a storm that’s lost within
A body crushed beneath the weight
Of loss, regret, and certain fate

In slow descent, the spirit ebbs
Dead within this mortal dread
Yet silent still His saving grace
A void I feel within this place

No comfort shall I know this day
My God has simply slipped away
And in his place a dark despair
Hot ashes flowing everywhere

The pain increases even still
All that’s left is my free will
And so, I chose another path
Turning from His vengeful wrath

His Son was slowly crucified
So He might feel more sanctified
Though in the hour of my need
His sacrifice is lost on me.

 

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Death’s Warm Embrace


deaths-embrace

 

My dreams are fermented delusions
A kaleidoscope of meandering falls
Through time and space, while the
Screams of my infliction penetrate
And annihilate my grip on reality.

My waking hours, of which few remain,
Adds another layer of darkness to an
Already bleak existence, while the light
Of relentless self-reflection blinds me to
Any hope of reprieve or absolution.

I stand with one foot in the grave
And the other hobbled by uncertainty.
I do not fear this final step into the abyss
So much as I dread the act of departure;
The inglorious gasp of a final breath
Inhaling the petrichor of a wasted life.

A silent scream rattles from my gut
Cursing the sun of a new day rising.
I cannot bear another savage stroke
From a Sun that fails to warm me.
Let the final night descend and into
Death’s warm embrace enfold my soul.

 

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Omnipresent Love


Beautiful-Couple-After-Making-Love

If flowers bloom when winter ends, their fragrance rising, too,
These I, on bended knee would give, and even more to you.
Celestial stars and distant moons I’ve gathered up for thee -
And as the angels sweetly sing, profess your love to me.

The tides should rise and surely ebb with every breath you take;
Each heartbeat to mine own entwined a passion full awake!
Softly pressing palm to palm, our fingers tightly laced,
Pulling closer, closer still, a warm and tight embrace.

Each minute to the hour unwinds, and still the night unfolds
Timeless and eternal as we lay in sweet repose.
The morning comes on the rising sun, our love in warm reflection
Whispering low, we are even so lost in introspection.

Such is our love, so tightly stitched, the seams appear transparent -
And to the world our vows are writ in verse now made apparent.

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The Night She Called


alone-in-bed1

 

I was so drunk
the night she called
I thought the phone ringing
was a song in my brain -
I hummed along
and laughed that empty laugh
that is found at the bottom
of well drunk bottles.

Later, she came to the door
and knocked, knocked, knocked
while I stared
at the crack spreading
up the wall,
reminding me of her varicose veins.
I tapped my foot in time.

I will most certainly die
on this side of the door one night,
and all the ringing and knocking
won’t bring me back to life.

 

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We Shall Remember: Ode to a Dying Poet


moon words

Your night has fallen;
the brilliant light
of the new moon
filtering through the
broken mass of clouds,
a brilliant ray reflecting
upon your tongue-kissed works.
Your verse remains standing,
redeeming the world from darkness:
they seem to move and
we are filled with awe.

Your words were mountains;
iron-like masses thrown heavily
against the somber sky -
and as the dark blue deepens
into purple and purple-black
we reflect upon your poems,
which were gurgling streams
of naked visceral truth
cutting through our consciousness.

One never thinks of velvet
when the light is cold and thin;
when snow lies deep
and the intense light dazzles the eye.
But your lines were velvet in their
silver light and inky blackness
and we shall remember.

To Love Once More


kiss

She whispered softly in my ear
such tender words to ease my pain;
soothing verse to calm my fears.
Though, she was gone when morning came,

the essence of her love remains!
Here even in my darkest hour
soft echoes of her song sustains,
which fills me with a lasting power.

Where has she gone? my life unwinds!
If I must die, I’m so resigned,
for dying unites and gently binds
my heart to hers, two souls entwined.

She filled me with a lasting breath;
Once more within my arms I hold
the height of love, its width, its breadth,
spanning dreams that now unfold

So cast me down into death’s abyss,
But allow once more her lips to kiss.
I shall not pray for more than this -
Once more I love…eternal bliss.

 

We Are the Reason


reason

There is a reason birds don’t fly here anymore.
The skies are filled with fear and lamenting,
and their wings are covered in blood and ash
– bones falling from the sky.

The deer no longer nurses her fawn
in the de-forested wood, and the fish flounder
and die in dry riverbeds
.
The gardens are choked with a villainous vine,
while the petals of every flower fall
one by one to the rotting ground.

The mountains no longer echo with the songs of valley life,
and the oceans lie still, lifeless beneath the moon.
The dimming stars no longer ignite the imagination,
and the sunrise is muted behind a veil of smog and filth.

There is a reason our lifeless children
have abandoned hope in their futures
and restricted their “friends” to Facebook.

There is a reason our churches stand empty,
except to mourn our dead and send them on their way.

There is a reason we scream instead of sing; why
we sleep alone and lock ourselves behind bolted
doors; why we embrace our guns instead of our neighbor.

Our cities crumble beneath the weight of hatred and
indifference, while greed feeds upon the impoverished.

We have deigned to wear the robes of God and we have
failed. We turn from one another in vile contempt for we
cannot bear the reflection of ourselves in their wounded
eyes.

We have consumed it all, and in the process, we
have consumed ourselves.

We are the reason.

 

Defeated


defeated (1)

Like most people, I am caught in the web of learning  to navigate the constantly changing twists and turns of today’s fluctuating societal ups and downs.  It seems every day someone achieves their dreams while another is blown to bits by a terrorist’s bomb.  I celebrate a birthday with friends at the same time a mother buries her child.  This insidious balance of good and evil renders me near catatonic with a mixture of soaring joy and abysmal despair.  It just doesn’t make sense, and I am completely lost in a world I no longer understand.

The shooting at Sandy Hook and the resulting flood of grief as Death descended on this sleepy community left me in tears and shaking with sorrow.  No sooner had the bodies of these innocent children been pulled from their classrooms then I found myself out shopping for Christmas gifts in anticipation of a joyful family reunion. I watched the mix of loved ones waiting at the finish of the Boston Marathon, full of love and pride as their champions crossed the finish line, suddenly blended with the explosions of hate that laid low the lives of three people, one, a child who now joins the bitter fruit withering on the vine of life, not yet fully blossomed.  I have found that I am incapable of processing this confusing blend of despair and bliss.  My psyche is not wired to route the neurons of my emotions bouncing back and forth within my soul so randomly, and my mental landscape is muddled beyond words.

I am left feeling that I have personally failed in my journey upon this earth, this blue-green marble that spins wildly on a shaky spindle.  I don’t know how to proceed. No sooner than I fall on my knees in prayer that word comes of another senseless act of violence.  Is this how God answers desperate prayers for comfort and understanding?  Am I a fool to think that a simple act of Divine intervention might be suggested amongst all this violent loss of life?  So I stop praying.  God must be a sadistic voyeur for the silence of His absence in all of this is deafening.

My life does not slow down, however, to properly mourn, for no sooner than my heart is laid low by the killing of a dozen Syrian children, then the phone rings and I’m invited to a party celebrating the engagement of my best friend.  What cruel and atrocious mocking of life this all turns out to be.  Where do I find understanding amidst the laughter and the tears?  How do I proceed with any semblance of balance?  I retreat into the only sanctuary where I find an ounce of control: my writing.  But as the words pour out upon the page, my sadness and confusion only becomes more evident.  I start to write of hope and love, and in moments my words become dark and sullen.  I am the world I live in. And like that world, I am confounded  in both mind and body.  My pen stops and weeps uncontrollably.  My writing is exhausted and no longer makes sense.

I am caught in a bubble devoid of clarity, floating mindlessly through each demanding day. I cry out,  “Please, someone, pop the bubble!”;  explain this senseless woven tapestry of life so that I can chart my course, so that I can find meaning in this tower of babel.  To God and His perfect plan I say “Fuck You” – this pain is no longer bearable.  I cannot trust the joys I know when lurking behind the next corner is just another tragedy waiting to crush my spirit once more.  I need to get off this see-saw and find shelter.

I can no longer play His celestial game of ping-pong.  I will not!

The Green Viper


green-viper-snake

I walked into the dark forest,
my stomach gurgling fear.
Pushing it down into my gut
I entered a grove of mangoes
devoid of fruit and intensely tangled,
like the ribbons of my life.

I saw there a green tree snake
coiled upon a gnarled branch,
watching me as carefully as I did it,
a flickering tongue eerily matching
the flickering of my heart.

Startled then by a strange desire
to feel his venomous bite,
I stepped closer
and reached an unsteady hand
toward the inevitable.

The strike was sudden
and true to its mark,
though I saw it all in slow motion;
the beady black eyes locked as the head pulled back,
and with the mouth, full of cotton and death,
opened to two curved fangs.
The lightning extension of his slender body
racing toward the fattest curve of my extended arm.

Just before the bite,
I saw all the stale moments of my life
stretched before me;
the childhood full of loneliness and broken toys;
the awkward attempts to befriend others,
met with laughter and derision;
a teen locked within the pain and uncertainty
of forced loneliness;
the young man twisting in the wind,
fearful and drunk after lost hours
searching for love that would never be there.

It stung for a moment,
then slowly a fire spread upward
from my elbow to my shoulder.
The painful memories replaced by a certain knowledge
That peace would soon cocoon me
in the darkness that I yearned for.

I felt sleepy and content in knowing
that this green viper was the closest thing
I would ever know of true love.
He bit to release me.

I sat upon a mossy log,
my breathing, moments before racing,
now became labored and shallow.
The pain brought with it a strange sensation of giddiness,
and as I watched the darkness
creep up through my surrendered body,
I smiled one last time.

And just bef….jus…as…I…

There’s An Answer To Your Dreams


Sweet_dreams_are_made_of_these_by_Dream__Window

There’s an answer to your dreams
Though it’s never what it seems
If you reach into your soul
You’ll find the path to all your goals

Let the pain and sorrow fade
The path to happiness is laid
And the joy and love you seek
Will be placed before your feet

When you feel you can’t survive
Let your heart then be your guide
For it beats with endless truth
All your fears then gently soothed

Know I’ll lift you if you fall
Hold you close and give you all
The gentle love you need to rise
To overcome and learn to fly

Trust that love will come along
Give you strength to carry on
A precious gift that makes you whole
And heals the sorrow in your soul

You have the power to survive
All the emptiness inside
If you simply trust your heart
You’ve had the power from the start

There’s an answer to your dreams
Though it’s never what it seems
If you reach into your soul
You’ll find the path to all your goals

Opposite Sides of the Same Pain


grief

A Sunni mother silently watches:
overhead, a gathering of scavenging ravens
paints the dusky sky above
the broken bodies of her three children.
Bewilderment mixed with horror and beauty,
accented by the pebbles beneath her feet,
polished smooth by a flood of tears.
An acrid wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
confetti raining on freshly scorched earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the loss of its precious fruit.

grief 2

In that very moment, across the sea,
a Haitian waif reflects:
A flock of seagulls angrily position
above the ghetto garbage heap
next to a crumbling shanty
where her newborn triplets scream with hunger.
Bewilderment mixed
with horror and beauty,
the waste beneath her feet glistens
with the flood of her tears.
The stench of rotting wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
flies rising up from quaked earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the bounty of its damnable fruit.

 

Love in a Coffee Shop


woman-drinking-coffee-in-restaurant-outdoors

She’s not the kind of girl
men see across a smoky bar
and write songs about.
There is an uninviting sadness
in her dull blue eyes,
downward cast,
washing out the sparkle of
her tender youth.
Yet, I’ve sat here all morning
casting furtive glances above the
flipped lid of my computer,
drinking in the realness of her,
sipping the lukewarm resignation
that hangs upon her like a
torn burial shroud.
I am intoxicated by the way
she breathes slowly and with
lost purpose; how she twirls
a lock of her dishwater blond
hair with her forefinger,
the nail of which is bitten
to the quick.
Every few minutes she looks
off into the distance
with a blank and distant stare,
perhaps daring to dream, broken,
of a life that might have been.
I know, in that way of knowing
the permeates you to the core,
that she has lived, and felt, and
loved, and lost, and somehow
found the strength within herself
to carry on.
I also know that I love her,
she who I do not know
and she who no longer loves
in return.
She’s not the kind of girl
men see across a smoky bar
and write songs about,
but she is the reason
poets anguish into the night
to capture the authenticity
of true love and broken dreams.

Dreams


dreams

Dreams infused with wild abandon
Dancing naked in the midnight rain
‘Neath Cupid’s bow I drift below
Pierced with joy and free from pain
I’d rather feel what isn’t real
Than the waking loneliness I bear
When I’m awake all but dead
Alone and frigid in my bed

Each night I seek within my sleep
A bright and burning sexual flame
To find perfection in sleep’s deception
Stark-naked passion…so sweet insane!
These lovely dreams may be so fleeting
Behind clenched eyes two lovers meeting
But morning thrusts a waking sorrow
So from these dreams my pleasure’s borrowed

Perhaps one day, when daylight rises
I’ll share a real and lasting love
She’ll lay and rest upon my breast
While songs of angels I’ll sing thereof
But ‘till that day, like roses bloom
I’ll toss and turn from night to noon
For fools like me, or so it seems
Can only love within our dreams.

Solitude


alone_in_the_dark

Back then, before
The moon sunk low and lower still
Pushed down by the foggy fingers
Of morning’s misty gray light
The city slept its restless sleep
Caressed by the icy winds of winter,
Wrapped in the shadowed shroud
Of indifference and indignation

Existing here in my cobwebbed corner
Alone among the distant many,
Isolated and detached from life
The door to my heart soundly latched
Behind the four walls of my existence
Love, Hope, Joy, and Promise
Cracked and crumbling into dust
Beneath my naked and bruised feet.

Laying there listless but listening still
To the hustle and bustle outside
Buzzing like bees, swarming in my head
I cried out, but none heard or came
I lifted my eyes toward the rising sun
But they were burned and blinded
By the intense vision of my failure
My tears salting my solitude
Nothingness replacing the light
Resignation, this cowards flight

I swore and cursed the fates
but in the end, I had to let go

I Live Here All Alone


alone

 

I will not die for lack of love,
though greater seems the fate,
Nor shall I pray for tenderness,
or seek my soul to mate.

No kiss for me do lips desire,
nor arms round me entwine;
A soft caress or heart possessed,
I am not so inclined.

This rhapsody that others seek
I will look for in tomorrow.
With so much pain, I’m now within
A great and binding sorrow.

The emptiness I live within
has always been my home -
So do not seek my company,
I live here all alone.

 

The Winter Bites My Bones


winter

 

The winter bites my bones

Standing all alone amongst the howling winds,
I count my sins and shiver, shiver, shiver
Icy cold reflections freeze me to the spot
No longer will I find warmth in my denials
Numb and quaking, I huddle amongst the fallen leaves
And like them, slowly decay and fade away.

The winter bites my bones

Chewing my frozen flesh with teeth of sharp icicles
Darkness descends and I am numbingly consumed.
The frozen ground will not receive me
Shallow breathes hang before me, vaporized and still
Muscles aching from too much holding on

As the winter bites my bones.

 

One Foot in the Grave


one-foot-in-the-grave

pressed beneath the broken bones of solitude
stumbling drunk within intoxicated wavy parallels
of self-derision and unbridled rage against lost time
a shattered vessel of my mother’s dreams
absent when the arch of forgiveness bends mercifully
over purpose-broken and diminished men
my unwinding days a gentle push toward the grave
with nothing left to secure my grasp
pulled asunder by the wrath of fallen angels
when the shadows of my sins, like a burial shroud
wraps me tightly, a corpse descending
into the darkened void of eternal sleep.
this, then is my slow descent; tossed upon a funeral pyre
engulfed within damnation’s perpetual flame
condemned for lack of conviction as the cold winds
of judgment kick up and scatter my weightless ashes

Three Seasons of Life


images (1)

In the youngest years, there is fear and pain

images (2)

In the middle years, there is ecstasy, laughter,
hope, promise. happiness, delight, pleasure, bliss,
confidence, optimism, courage, faith, joy, desire,
hopefulness, buoyancy, brightness, anticipation,
choice, sex, cheerfulness, and contentment.

Old woman

In the final years, there is fear and pain.

In the Dying Petals of the Poet’s Flower


poet sleeping

Past the tick-tick-tocking of the midnight hour,
Wrapped in sweat-stained cotton sheets,
Robbed of sleep and feeling sour
Like a muffled drum sounding nothing beats -
In the dying petals of the poet’s flower.

This syrup sleep removes the pain,
While dreams remain beyond my reach.
A whiskey slumber subdues the brain
While my toss-n-turn reveals a breach,
As time grinds on just the same.

I rise to write the poet’s dribble
And gorge upon liters of stale red wine.
Behold, my words, a bastard’s scribble!
Writ upon the passage of borrowed time.
Each tick, each tock, from my life is nibbled

I cannot rest while my muse is clanging
Inside my head a poor man’s verse,
Nor can I stop the incessant banging
As my thirst for libations meets an empty purse!
These words are ripe for a morning hanging.

Upon the tick-tick-tocking of the morning hour,
Sweet sleep descends upon my brow.
Within my bed I hide and cower;
An ink-less pen is a horseless plough -
In the dying petals of the poet’s flower.

One Foot in the Grave


one-foot-in-the-grave

pressed beneath the broken bones of solitude
stumbling drunk within intoxicated wavy parallels
of self-derision and unbridled rage against lost time
a shattered vessel of my mother’s dreams
absent when the arch of forgiveness bends mercifully
over purpose-broken and diminished men
my unwinding days a gentle push toward the grave
with nothing left to secure my grasp
pulled asunder by the wrath of fallen angels
when the shadows of my sins, like a burial shroud
wraps me tightly, a corpse descending
into the darkened void of eternal sleep.
this, then is my slow descent; tossed upon a funeral pyre
engulfed within the damnation’s perpetual flame
condemned for lack of conviction as the cold winds
of judgment kick up and scatter my weightless ashes

A Failed Seduction


seduction_of_innocence_700w

in the cool black-velvety jacket of midnight
she threads her hair with purple lilacs
her lips licked lightly, eyes half-closed
arching breasts filled with urgent breath
dancing under the moon with wild abandon
no care for which way the wind blows
or where the water flows
each step held lightly
pressed upon dew-soaked blades
of summer’s green grass
she sings a broken verse
whispers each refrain, to bury her meaning
while cool rivulets of passion’s sweat
run like melted snow down
from her brow to her rapturous breasts
rivulets dropping like rain on the
broken down-beat wings of angels
dripping to the parched palm of earth
gathering into puddles of sweet supplication
echoes of forbidden memories
perfume the nighttime air
places and spaces filled
with the frivolities of youth
she comes to me on bended knees
reaching for my turned up face
in the ticking of this hour
no time in my disgrace
I push away her yearning