Thursday, November 26, 2015

To Go

To Go

There were no candles
at our table, angel child,
for we were in a place where
no fire would burn, no light shine
except the sickly phosphorescence
of the unquiet mind.

The love I talked
came out in tears.
The anger in your eyes
spit out my pointless words.

After you walked out
and left me burning there
the waiter brought the check
and took my plastic coin
in the profound silence of
the servant's protective tact;

I stumbled in a mist
of dread upheld, too slow
from sour cream and salt
on the still-full glass,

but remembering to
fumble up at the last
the greasy bag of
leftover hate to go.

~March 2015, 
revised November for


Images: Greasy Takeout Bag, author unknown, via google.Manipulated.
The Pink Candle, 1910, by Henri Rousseau, public domain via

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Greenhouse

Greenhouse @ Noordwijk

The Greenhouse

"…only a wall of bad dreams separates me from the dead."
~Federico Garcia Lorca

Part 1

Shape without form
bones hollow tubes
delicious conduits for melons of yesterday's light
emptied, love that drips
from fingertips hung over the side
of a dolphin's drifting bed
silver drops of mercury 
up my face
hung dangling to the sky,
a root that reaches eyeless
toward a cavity drowned in moons.

My heart still
louder than the crocodile in the ivy
clicking castanet teeth in sambas to
a deaf rose
in the greenhouse of dust and wine.
Shape without form,
a dream so badly made
it's no different than waking.

Part 2.

Many of these nights
I dream the greenhouse
bench-full of musky geraniums,
doubled lilies, spreadfinger poinsettia stars,
clay pots of green bay, mimosa, impossible olive
arrayed in some sequence that
confounds Fibonacci
with its lack of gold arab tumbleweeds,
its rote root and utterly unpredictable
prime free knowing,
counting up to its number
of green secret selves.

I pass through the sleepless emerald-lidded city
a tumultuous order
going bench to bench in the humid jade drip,
pressed to compound the hours left to me,
make cuttings of minutes, 
grow them on, to let myself become
the décor I tend and sell
and finally know
the earth's sweet mouth
tumbling unpollinated silk flowers
to bright oblivion
in her kiss.

~New Years Eve, 2012

(reposted for The Tuesday Platform)

Images: Header: Greenhouse @ Noordwijk, by wot nxt on flick'r
Shared under a Creative Commons license 
Footer: Geranium, by Odilon Redon
Public Domain via

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Walking Summer

Walking Summer

I've been here before
too long ago, too short a time--
encircled by this walking summer, 
where song is never done, where walls
are built from air and touch, where invisible
love strolls in, the unexpected fragrance
of mimosa thrown like gauze across her face,
pollened with invincible yesterdays,
intricate and insubstantial as
the manual labor of a rose.

I know this place
so clean, so far, so obvious--
this moving room where nothing
was ever allowed to stay, yet a
wayward welcome whistles in the
nag of wind that blows my steps this way
to thin path's end, where sun is made
and broken in a day,
a dropped brick like me, once high,
ruined in a cobble of clouds.

These skewered eyes
so still, so heart's-desired when
I stole them from the chimera,
open starry wide at last
to blink up the mist, the mazed
particulate of missing pieces that
mortar so well with tears the
pressed-together whole, and I 
wonder if there soon could be 
a granting of what's needful;

for I only hope to find the lost--
the tilted corners of a child's smile
the absence of regret, the cost
of walking summer that clings
like mimosa gauze to
the shifting faces of my ghosts.

~November 2015

posted for     real toads

Photos:  Mimosa, © joyannjones 2014 
Rosa 'Nearly Wild,' © joyannjones 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Time, Far Ringing

Time, Far Ringing

Time has taken my sex 
and snapped the tongue
from its stringent bell;
my heart no longer beats a wind
that blows to own the night,
but trips and


as if my breast
were made of falling feathers
drifting in autumn light
white among the scarlet leaves
like the airy swirls of mist
that pass for thought,

a stutter

as I deadhead my rosary
of each exhausted memory. 
The astringent nyx of 
Novembers remembered
slides her turquoise lips
into a smile,


a naiad singing still
beneath the thin blue ice
of forsaken winter,
and over the wet south wind
I hear the name she calls
her fingers fitful tapping;


feathers of snow
above and dropping
notes of softened cold that
tumble down
tickling an invisible ear
with distant music:

Time far ringing
the tiny

~November 2015

posted for        real toads

Nyx: the sister of Erebus, associated with night in Greek mythology, also: nix, nyx or nixie,(Germanic) a shape-shifting water sprite.

Apologia: Karin was kind enough to share some of her thoughts for this challenge with me early, as she knows I do not write well spontaneously. Therefore, this poem (and the writing exercise on 'I remember'  that birthed it)was started well before the misery and horror that took place yesterday in Paris --I apologize for being so out of sync with that here, and feel that I should write something on that subject instead, but I just am not as yet up to it. 

Images: Observatory Time: The Lovers, 1936, by Man Ray. Fair use via
St Cuileain Bell*, 7th-8th, 12th Century, via, by Jononmac46, Shared under a Creative Commons License. Manipulated.

*For those interested: "The Bell Shrine of St. Cuileáin or Glankeen Bell is a mediaeval Irish bell shrine found near Borrisoleigh in County Tipperary, Ireland. [It] was made in a number of phases. The inner iron bell was made in the 7th or 8th centuries AD. The more elaborate outer case was produced in the early 12th centuries AD...The enamelled and niello inlaid crest of the outer case is decorated in the Ringerike style, which reflects the influence of the Vikings on contemporary fashion."~wikipedia

Friday, November 13, 2015

Another Country

Another Country

'Thou hast committed
Fornication: but that was in another country
And besides, the wench is dead...'
~Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta

The sickness came that night
the fever, the youth-slayer.
I can't remember much
except he spoke to me
in the sighing language of skins;
the one that I speak best. Then
contagion came to make its harvest home
as he hollowed out my shell

and I knew nothing more.
He is in another country now.
No use to call his name
yet so I fight to do
where this midnight binds me
with its corded silence.
I see his marten's hair
gone grey, his imp's eyes

smoked  by cataracts
though his face I'll never
see, nor feel in my cold grasp
his sunbrown hand again
that played all night and day
with fire--his means
to such a different end
than my desire.

~November 2015 

posted for    real toads

Image: Ophelia, 1852, by John Everett Millais  public domain via