In a small window of tick-tocking moments,
the moon whispers farewell,
her dying light etches ancient stone and bark.
Frail light spills,
breaks as it hits weeping branches
to paint the ground in pale hue.
I sit silent, cloaked by evanescent starshine
and listen to the wind, that world-weary traveller.
reminiscing a long friendship
with the few ancient menhirs that stand still,
witness to Time’s reign,
as I am witness
to the fading of this sanctuary
Category Archives: contemporary
In a small window of tick-tocking moments,
Words are my faith,
Like a junkie jonesing for a high,
I crave their rush;
…oh, the euphoric plateau
when I have created,
been made diety
by the virtue of my mind
and precious, powerful words!
I am brought low often
by blankness of mind
and empty paper,
to bring life to its whiteness.
But the muse can be a tease,
and leads me with syllabic carrots.
I reach hungrily,
yet my fingers slip;
failing to hold onto that perfect phrase
that will fit right here, right now.
I fight harder to reclaim
the favor of language,
its soft susurrations call to me
and I cannot give into emptiness,
but must feed my need,
with pen instead of needle.
I scribble garbage,
that beauty may flow again.
Poetry forms slowly;
and bouts of vacuousness;
a fix all the more filling
for its challenge to my soul.
(C) jp 6-3-12
like a shooting star,
ceasing to be in a blaze of ancient light
Chronos catches me
with palms painted
in ancient runes that speak with no tongue.
“It’s magic,” Wind whispers.
And like a child, I believe.
I frolic along a precipice
as if I would-not could-not fall into depths
so deep, my voice would fade entirely before
the callous bottom met yielding flesh.
And yet, faith & love keep me
on high, sharp edges – edges made of rock and razor
& painted by all the sky-denizens.
- See Sun with her vibrant brush,
She sweeps broad strokes in warm hues
of gold & blue & flecks of amber.
And then there is Moon with her soft style.
With delicacy born of veiling secrets,
She tints the world
in shimmering silver, pearlescent gauze
& embraces the dark palette without fear.
Witness the Stars, vainglorious muse of many a poet
(& legions of the lovelorn), who sprinkle
sparkle & luster & glitter to add that
is met, is held to its promise.
Like magic, myth or miracle if it is believed,
there is power.
I have power.
I have power.
I have power
& belief in the gift of beautiful paintings
done by untouchable beings.
like the universe, always conspires
to shift, to cause worlds, lives, beliefs to tumble
& I must cling
& find strength in chaos
to rise again,
changed in irrevocable fashion
yet at my center, I remain red.
Like an image, a mirror of my creator, I reflect.
I seek answers behind closed doors,
& like Wind before me,
always weaving with wizened, lovely fingers.
She looks up, stitching never ceasing & answers before I ask.
“You already know the answer, child.”
& my heart shines, effervescent in its bliss.
(c) JP 5/29/12
…for she resembles the greatest Mother,
round & plump with verdant life
& fleshy fruits, near to bursting with heavenly elixir.
She mirrors the mysterious Moon,
every woman’s confidante & sacred sister,
such pale beauty,
tell me true, do you not sometimes weep for it?
She is a Goddess-made tapestry,
each thread a divine gift & blessed quality,
in her resides every face of woman,
your mother, sister, wife, lover, daughter, friend…
for she is beautiful and necessary,
beautiful and strong, beautiful and precious…
Curdle the sky with
the slobber of madness,
stars gone sour
with poisoned love,
welcome to the
dark side of the
southern witching hour.
Honeyed venom coats the mind;
spoken tar and feathers,
it cannot ever leave
yet it may weaken in time
(that snake oil salesman)
and cause only moments
of accented abrasion.
Blessings to the face,
and cursed in the bone garden,
smell the heady mix
of magnolias and moonlight,
in the gloaming of night.
I think I will meet
Death tonight, I hope
he likes sweet tea…
(C) jp 5/2012
Feet tired from my journey
and fingers tipped with dried ink,
spirit hidden in words,
and flesh captured in time.
I sought freedom along a path
dusted with old dreams,
alluring in their decay.
I saw broken prisms on the river,
bobbing on its surface
reflecting thousands of moons.
Heart beat steady
it borrowed love
from the stranger once known.
Skin made raw
and laughter fell dead,
tongue-tied by apathy.
I grasped for reality
and it slipped away,
like an octopus
squirting a vile quilt
of ink to escape;
out of range, out of reach.
Mind kicked feebly
trying to place the metallic
taste in my mouth; I realized the copper tang
of blood – my blood -
and that is
when I knew I lived.
Molten copper meanders
in the blue expanse;
hot, undulating, brassy…
Were I able
to touch such a sky,
skin would melt, sending snaking trails
of peach and vermilion
into the burning above;
palette of body, metal and heaven.
No time to crack
into color and beauty
feast for dreamers below.
Beldam Series: Daughter Wind
and Wind was born. Like a colt,
She stumbled while learning her own power;
Wind blew and gusted and caressed and puffed
trying to find stable footing, for even mere minutes old,
Wind knew of the World and longed to be a part of it.
She whispered, murmured, screamed and howled
trying to speak the language of man.
shaking her grey mane at such utterings,
“Child, worry not about the languages of men.
You speak the Mother Tongue. Men will
endeavor to hear your voice, never fear.”
Wind bubbled, blushing like a new dawn at the gentle
remonstration but Beldam simply smiled,
teeth gleaming like darkling stars.
Reassured, Wind roiled and enveloped the Crone,
a gentle embrace of love and fealty.
Her gnarled hands caressed Wind
once and then like the sparrow-mother
sent Her young from the nest.
Wind fluttered outside the now-hidden bower,
weeping gentle rain for a time before she realized
what a gift had been given by the Seamstress:
the very world,
this well-worn pearl,
And so…She flew.
(C) jp 4-29-12
Not outer, well I suppose you could – but a poem that touches on space, openings, distance, size. Mine is about the small space/span of time of daybreak.
arising in the first blush of dawn.
I see a chalice made of petals
and brimming with nectar that shimmers
like radiant diamonds melted.
My throat clenches in sudden dryness
and like a serpent’s, my tongue flickers out to taste the air.
Lips the color of coral part in a moist, breathtaking smile
and even with such space between us,
I am rocked to my core.
- and twirl,
as a ribbon
falling through the air,
and as my avid gaze travels the valleys and hills of my Goddess,
I feel both graced
and diabolically rapacious.
How I long to pluck those petals,
savoring each one as if it were my last meal.
I will devour the Lady,
consume the flesh in a torrent of nips and bites,
drain the elixir in leisurely, tender sips.
Decadence such as this sets my blood to thunder,
my body to fever
and I move forward,
- reaching hungrily,
ravening for the beauty before me.
It is a futile chase, as always.
Every step forward pushes Aurora back,
my Star simply scintillates in silence,
smiling when I collapse in defeat,
kneeling in stardust strewn by my Beloved’s passage.
My hands scoop up the cool, crystal leavings
and rub them into fiery flesh,
seeking to quench the thirsty bonfire at my center.
– like every day,
I fail utterly.
Aurora has conquered me again and knowing this,
brightens until tears stream from my beauty-blinded eyes
and my Flame is all I can see then fades.
locked in slave-like adoration
and begin my daily penance…
I wrote this 2 years ago, it’s not a true elegy – more like a mix. The original was quite long, I edited it a bit.
My Grandmother’s Passing
We land, gather our belongings and walk to the rental car,
laughing and taking comfort in merriment.
Roads I have not seen in years, as familiar as my own face,
I think they are forever bound to my soul. It strikes me funny,
since I left years before I could drive…
…yet I remember
corners and stores and childhood as if it were last week
and these perfect, slightly dilapidated houses that dot the road.
Some with electric candles in the windows,
a light in the darkness welcoming any who need shelter.
We check-in at the hotel, murmur at its niceness, how close it is to the church…
or would be, if the bridge was not torn down.
We will have to drive a longer route, but I don’t mind –
it brings me glimpses of my parent’s youth and I file these peeks away
for the day I must walk the same path my father is in the next two days.
ii. (Viewing Day)
I wake early, having forgot to close my curtains.
The morning sun illuminates my room in a golden dust. I grasp the window,
pull it open for a kiss of morning air and hear the carillon ring the hour out,
as it will do each hour of every day;
such consistency with Time boggles my mind.
I lose an hour,
staring at greenery and the river mere feet from my room,
until I am brought back to self by the simplest of things; hunger.
So we gather for breakfast,
and I can see my father’s anxiety over the coming day.
We spend time easily, softly, and in a way to distract him as best we can.
The three of us work a crossword,
being silly over making up words, slyly peeking at the clock
until suddenly it is time to go to the funeral home and prepare to be hosts,
a process I find distasteful.
We have instructions to arrive an hour before “showing”
so we may be guided through the layout
and approve picture and flower placement.
We enter and out of the corner of my eye, I see the casket,
bedecked in sprays and open, supposedly displaying my grandmother.
To my eye it is a mannequin, and not for anyone’s lack of skill
but simply because my heart knows she is not there.
I never go closer.
People begin to arrive, mostly my uncle’s friends and family I barely know,
having met them once at ages younger than 10.
Then a woman races through and nearly tackles my mother;
they laugh, cry and drink each other in.
It is the mother of a girl I’ve known since I was 2,
although from age 10 till now (38), I had not seen her.
I reconignize her instantly regardless.
A half hour after the mother leaves,
my childhood friend enters and I am transported back in time,
with pigtails and buck teeth at the moment
she smiles and laughs as she runs to hug me.
She still looks exactly the same to me,
though I know she is not.
I see her curly blonde hair and us giggling
as we play dress shop at my grandmother’s house.
I see her carrying a pink and blue blanket she went nowhere without,
I see so many memories all at once it’s like I am drowning without water.
I hug her fiercely and wish for….I don’t know, I just wish. A lot.
iii. (Funeral Day)
We wake early, for a breakfast full of silence from my father.
My mother, an emotional beast most of the time,
is as steel for this day, for my father.
We dress in somber colors, except my mother has red shoes,
which I love.
She says she is celebrating a life well-lived;
my grandmother passed in her sleep, with loved ones at her side,
two hours after she turned 98.
She spent time in hospitals only twice in her life;
to birth my father and uncle.
That is something I aspire to;
who would not wish such a peaceful passing?
My mother’s red shoes are a focus for me throughout the day.
At Holy Angels,
it is stand, sit, sing, pray, kneel,
over and over again.
There are several readings, songs, incense and wafers.
It is long and over-dramatic and I stare at the angels
done in stained glass. They are beautiful.
We head to the cemetery,
where more pretty words are said before all is done.
At the end, several people take a rose from the spray.
I do not.
I am asked if I want one and refuse gently.
I choose to remember my grandmother through memories
that won’t wilt and two items she gave me years ago.
A rememberance party follows,
at my grandmother’s favorite beer and pizza joint (Marion’s again)
and this is more to my taste; it is lighter and more celebratory
Eventually even this ends
and I feel no shame in admitting relief.
It is an exhausting few days.
We once again fall apart,
each family heading back to “real life”
and I am glad to be home, in my space, with my friends.
I am also glad I went, though I did not go to say good-bye.
She will be with me always, so there is no reason for farewell.
(C) jp 4-26-12