Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Comes Home

Spring Comes Home

Spring comes home
in a dead dog's mask
old bones ask
for yesterday's rains
dust kneels to be made
tall wheat again;
clouds dry and pass
as the grackles grate,
too soon, too soon
and then, too late.

A dead-leaf kiss, 
a lover's knot
tied in a corner
the wind forgot.
You lit my face
for a fire in snow;
we glowed for a time
before the blow
too late to come,
too soon to go.

Now there is
a falling light,
no home on the moon,
stark flares in the night,
war news at noon
a flash of flight
that breaks the gate;
and the grackles grate
too soon, too soon,
and then, too late.

~March 2017

at real toads

Image: The Enigma, 1871, by Gustave Dore  Public domain.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Gardener

The Gardener

The landscape was empty; bleak
after so long abandoned.
The property needed work
from Cretaceous to herbaceous,
a great deal of work
for only one gardener;
but a job is a job
in these hard times.

So, I began the renovation
of the garden on the moon.

I planted frankincense and jade,
linen off the line, an impertinent patch
of plum-purple zinnias.
I turned the stoned moondust
with a diamond shovel,
raked the bed smooth with
Cernunnos' horns
to sow the bony seeds:
old fears, old loves, old enemies
pulled from their prickling casings,
sunned by litigant stars,
watered with Phryne's tears;

then I waited
for the display.

Summer was a ripple
and a roar of rioting color,
ivory skulls on fire and the smell
of burning roses. Smiling, I sat
on the edge of a crater
eyes dazzled shut,
palms turned up, each hand
an open vein to let
the fertile self bleed out,
pooling around the roots
in the rows of moongarden,
while each zinnia-head
was a purple balloon

in the utterly defeated

The garden is lovely now--
(if I say so myself, rebuilt by
a true gardener and poète maudit.)
We're in splendor this season--even into the Fall
all ready for the owner
who never comes. 

~March 2017

at real toads

Process notes: Cernunnos was the Celtic Horned God of life, fertility and the underworld, always depicted with the antlers of a stag. 
Phryne "was an ancient Greek courtesan (hetaira), from the fourth century BC...much praised for her beauty...Supposedly the sculptor Praxiteles, who was also her lover, used her as the model for the statue of the Aphrodite of Knidos, the first nude statue of a woman from ancient Greece...She is best known for her trial for impiety...[where she is described] as clasping the hand of each juror, pleading for her life with tears..." ~wikipedia
poète maudit "..( accursed poet) ..The phrase "poète maudit" was coined in the beginning of the 19th century by Alfred de Vigny in his 1832 novel Stello, in which he calls the poet "la race toujours maudite par les puissants de la terre" (The race that will always be cursed by the powerful..of the earth)..." ~wikipedia


Images: Portrait of The Gardener, Calvert Richard Jones.
Head on a Stem, by Odilon Redon
Public domain

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Flannel Perfume

Flannel Perfume

Some weeks after
you left me, panhandling
into the chile parched Mexican dust,

I unwrinkled your shirt
from the closet floor,
accused its clumsy plaid

white for weddings,
red for the factory moon,
black for lies.

It defended itself
with your incense--
old glue, old books, fresh blood.

Too much of you came to testify,
sandalwood hair hung long, flying
brows, the sawblade of

your crosscut smile
rusty but sharp enough.
I could smell the verdict

blowing off on the
highway's blistered back
windy-wild and away, 

feel the unsteady fall
of petal-pink walls, 
each day's rubbled brick 

lichened over in patchouli shadows,
hanging stale in the cell of
a convict's years to come. 

~March 2017

Note: this poem has been edited since originally posted.

for Susie's Perfume    at real toads

Images: Red flannel plaid, manipulated, via the internet
The Roses Of Heliogabalus, 1888, Detail,  by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Public domain via