Celladora


Celladora,
whose softly curved lips
reveals a smile beneath
my soft-pressed kiss;

she takes me to the place,
exactly where I always meant to go;
outside of time and place,
past flesh to thought –

I dissolve in her radiant reflection.
Her love is an image of the world
made small enough to hold inside my mind;
an exploration of that inward beauty
where the borderlines  of “she” and “I” meet
between the real and the imagined,
the present and the past,
the lost and the found,
the lasting and eternal.

Time seems almost to dissolve.
With her, everything is an
infinite exploration and discovery
of the self and the universal,
and I, the jouncing and jostling
wilderness traveler,
constantly adjusting the gear
on my back, steeling my resolve,
finding my footing and heading off
upon unchartered paths.

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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…

Perserverance


perserverence7

 

Awoke today to nothingness, and no sense of direction
I looked upon the looking-glass which offered no reflection
Without much aim, I stumbled forth, devoid of my complexion
And set my way in this darkened day, begun in such rejection.

Aimlessly, I persevered, despite my lack of vision
Offered up my hopelessness as an object for derision
Stepped forth into my wandering, so filled with indecision
But felt somehow, that even now, this was the best decision.

Sightless and in full confusion, one foot before another
I wandered forth upon my course, each turn unlike the other
I cried out for a helping hand, I cried out for a brother
With breathless yelp, I screamed, “please help” but my words were quickly smothered.

I turned about and struggled home, afraid and full defeated
And not one time upon the path, ever was I greeted
Yet even so in time I’d come to find myself full seated
In my home, all alone, blind but undefeated.

Crucified Beneath Her Touch


nail

In my darkest hour,
rolled up into a ball upon the divan
reading Plath and Poe,
fantasizing about the silent sweetness of death;
writing angry, diminished verse raging against
all things holy and full of light…
then, only then was I full of purpose and certainty.

From the falling of the sun until the break of dawn,
pouring ice-less cups of bourbon to free my tongue,
burning with each gulp as I exorcised my demons
on the back of half-torn slips of
empty bank statements and creditor threat letters.

My loving Kate stood sentinel outside the door,
occasionally sneaking in a tepid bowl of broth
or a grilled cheese sandwich;
she both hated me beyond all measure
and attended to my waking needs with a love that
stung me to my bitter core.
She stayed because she could see in me
what I could not, as I lay crucified beneath
her touch. I stayed with her so that someone
would be around to answer the angry phone.

In the daylight, awash in the cool grey light of morning,
I tucked away in the roll-topped desk
all evidence of my madness.
Beneath a shower of scalding water,
I made vain attempts to wash away my sins
of the previous night.
I stuffed my walking corpse into
a starched white linen shirt,
draped with a burgundy tie,
and stepped into my fresh-pressed suit
(dear, Kate!) I kissed her dry lips goodbye.

Each day, I drive into the city,
interviewing for jobs I would never accept,
stopping by Tommy’s Irish Pub for a shot of Johnny,
and napping the afternoon away on a
faded green park bench outside the county courthouse.
At 5pm I headed home to flee the light once more.

Dinner would rest un-touched
as I passed straight through toward oblivion.
Kate would be at her spinning class
as I dropped the suit and all pretense,
pulled on a pair of faded jeans,
and slowly drifted into my melancholy.
Each day, I would rummage through her dresser,
lightly tracing my fingers over her satin underthings,
remembering when.
I’d pull another freshly bought
bottle of amber courage from the kitchen pantry
(dear, sweet Kate) and poured
myself another night.

A Midnight Violation


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, as the
morning’s breeze carries the cry of angels.

The Sacrificial Child



Let not secrets fall outside these walls;
Ignore this child’s anguished call –
Don’t trouble me none, with your tellin’ tongue,
May a silenced voice save us all.

Oh, sweet child of mine, now is not the time
to be breakin’ down in tears.
Your father’s touch didn’ hurt you much,
and he’s gettin’ on in years.

I’m your mother son, and it troubles me some,
this fear you’ve seem to got.
I may turn away when ya’ll come to say,
“oh, Momma, make him stop”

Yes it grieves me some, that you’ve come undone,
jus’ keep it in your chest!
I know how you feel, just give it time to heal
And we’ll put it all to rest.

Got a call, my boy, from your school, my joy,
sayin’ you broke down in tears.
Don’t you know, my love, that come push to shove,
I’ll deny your tender fears.

You took your life my sweet, now the secret sleeps,
Let death now set you free.
Find your peace, my love, in the stars above,
and say a prayer for me.

I’ve five more to raise, and a thousand ways,
to keep it’ all within.
Please don’t blame me, sweetness, for my incompleteness,
And my part in this sin.

My Turn From Heaven


My ashes are to dust betrothed,
My bones ‘neath lily and the rose;
My soul, which hath no penitence,
Shall ne’er see heaven’s countenance.

While God doth cry on bended knee,
“Who brought this vile wretch to Me?”
I have no prayer to speak for me,
Nor do I seek His sympathy.

I’ve cast my lot upon this heap
Come now an everlasting sleep;
As angels flee on bended wing
My unwinding was a simple thing;

Light heart though first was given me
Soon beat with endless misery:
Once hopeful dreamer fast awoken
Songs unsung and no words spoken

Continually seeking His advisement,
Receiving only harsh chastisement –
As a child I prayed for his bemusement,
Tho, my suffering lent to His amusement

He offered love, and then he took
My loved ones from his holy book.
He filled my life with misery
And hid Himself in the Trinity.

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Lashed me to their whipping post,
And each with certain celestial glee
Tore the very heart from me.

And so began my slow decline
That leaves me now in full recline;
I have no faith, nor do I now,
Profess in this my final hour

To seek His love and lifting grace
In this my final resting place.
In timeless repose, let me rest
A thorn insert into my breast –

For pain is something dear to me
Tho His lust for it unclear to me.
Why such angst and bitter spew?
You do not know the God I knew.