Friday, April 29, 2016

Rainbow Wrapper

Rainbow Wrapper

I'm just the torn wrapping
from a pre-packaged rainbow,
a rider in the sky's pocket,
mischance given breath.

I'm the flare of a spark
struck between strangers
burning alone
in the slums of the storm--

a pinwheel, a Catherine wheel,
a somersault of fires
not safe to play with,
not warm and not yours.

~April 2016

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Challenge: Words Count

Image: Lichtkreise (Kosmischer Regenbogen) (Cosmic Rainbow), 1922, Otto Freundlich
Public domain via



Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Dark House

The Dark House

"Love is merely a madness; and, I tell you, 
deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do;..."

As you like it
so it will be.
So we said in cadence each to each,
dark and deep our eyes' forsaken night,
smoky our sighed, incited, worn insights,
and yet nothing was; indeed
nothing could be,
for we were whips alone, and well
deserving of the darkest home.

Now the sixth age flips
its skeletal slippery pantomime,
the mirror's jest, the frankly fumbled lines;
never jealous enough
in honor or enough bold,
sans heart, sans mind, 
sans everything but role.
(Do you not know 
I was a woman?)

So I speak to myself in this room of the voided cheek,
as false as the vows made in wine I used to seek.

 “Men have died from time to time, 
and worms have eaten them, but not for love.” 

 ~April 2016

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Both quotes from As You Like It, by William Shakespeare, as well as several other lines extrapolated here, including the ones concerning the sixth age, the woman remark, and of course, the last lines.

Image: So Long As You Like It,  ©  Liz Huston via internet. No copyright infringement intended

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thunder In Mourning

Thunder In Mourning

Thunder mumbled all night,
thunder subdued, a cello played
by a sobbing storm,
or the beat of a drum: an elephant's steps
on the following walk, trunk to tail through
the wrong end of the kaleidoscope
up the curved wall and
down down again toward the moving end.

As the stained-glass lights blind,
she shows me the way
to balance my bulk
up on a ball, on one oak-like foot,
small eyes sunk and kind
too old for my mind.

She's a thing born for trust
despite what we've seen
from killers and users,
pale abusers who'll never hold
the blowing rose that drops away
as they push close.
She knows
all our possum secrets,

our summer fades,
how we murder our minutes
to buy our day.
She sways, a grey
forest that grows wild and wide;
she blocks the dead light

that increases night.
She'll let my feet slide
down the dodger's paradigm
towards the planet that struggles
to be a star, to the music
womb-warm but
played from so far. She bends
down her great head

to let me ride, for going there
might take a fall, and all
that's left of our lives, drums in the rain,
footsteps patient--cello gone soft
thunder subdued,
thunder in mourning.

~April 2016

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Challenge: Elephants

Images: Top: Warrior Mounted on  an Elephant Overpowering a Cello, 1983, Salvador Dali
Fair use via
Bottom: author and source unknown No copyright infringement intended.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Turn At The Asylum

A Turn At The Asylum

I was looking for the
miracle office when I
walked through the unlocked door to see
no trace of a sign, just
Monica at the front desk offering a full
line of cosmetics, lipsticks in drawers
red pink and black,
each shade sheathed, chicly

From the walls gazed the founders
benevolent and plump, framed
in pince nez and patents,
spats and Van Dykes. No strait jackets here,
just the soft pavane smoothing
the sensitive system of Dr Tarr
and professional stars
and a ceiling of doctoral feathers.

And there I found you,
the last thing I expected,
thick and hot and immediately tangled
between my legs when the warder
walked in, unaware of course for his secret
success was a modest mind, 
and kind.

While the cashier was distracted, 
divvying up the day's
proceeds,(bales of hay and clockwork bears
and a chiaroscuro Tintoretto) we slipped like smoke
out to the veranda, covered safe 
in the polka dot patter of
St John Stockworth Sinclair, whose plans
were about to quite soon
reach surprisingly lush fruition.

You found us a dry corner
on the freshly hosed concrete
and blew up yellow as a daffodil
our rubber bed of air
and the love we made there
was enormous, a theatre of smiles
and soft screams, for the whole point
of the miracle office is that
everyone gets their own dreams.

 ~April 2016

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The Grounds Of The Asylum, 1889, Vincent Van Gogh
The Madhouse, (Detail) 1814, Francisco Goya
Public domain

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Time And The Reap

Time and The Reap

Time may dull away pain
that drives you mad
but time is slow

while madness will grow.
So long ago
in a nightingale's gown

I sang for you;
when I was a wren
I wove.

When I was a reed,
I bent for you
and all the while called it love.

When my breasts were the apples
on Yggdrasil
when my eyes were Lethe's mad run

when my arms and legs were
the loom of the Norns, you found a way
to use each one.

Time remakes me
a bird dying in snow,
a reed gone hollow

missed in the reap;
only my heart
is living yet.

Have you
a use for that 
before we sleep?

~April 2016

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Yggdrasil:Scandinavian Mythology: the world tree-- an evergreen ash which the Norns water and where they sit weaving the fates of men.

Images: Freya, Das Rheingold,
The Fates on Brunnhilde's Rock,  by Arthur Rackham 
public domain via wikimedia commons

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Seal Of The Second Millenium

"My wish is to see you, O lord of persea trees! 
May your throat take the north wind, that you may give fullness without eating and drunkenness without drinking...Pleasant is the utterance of your name: it is like the taste of life...
"Come back to us, O lord of continuity. You were here before anything had come into being, and you will be here when all is gone. 
As you caused me to see the darkness that is yours to give, make light for me so that I can see you ."
 ~Prayer of Neferneferuaten,
from the tomb of the lay priest Pahweh 

 Seal Of The Second Millennium

Ten windings round
and a blob of clay
with the shape of the soulbird
to hold it fast,
prayed over by white taper priests,
wicks of their arms slick with greased perfume
flickering in the chant heavy smoke

while behind the last door
the king waits in his shell
for journey's beginning
from below the rock hill

to the high back of Nut and the night's
soft descent, 
a chariot of gold to adorn
the road of her flesh, 
a team of ghost horses
to outrun the stars. Such
a journey once started
knows no end.

But for the seal breaker
the foul breath of Set,
the jackal eye before muzzle's gape,
diseased as the mummy's black bones.

Ten twists of the cord
and a last look through the dark
at the golden light
not meant to be owned. Life eternal;
the king that desired it, the priests
that implored it, the sun that
promised it,
someone else will yet have it.

The Nile kept back her gift
for ten dead years
one for each twist, and so
the new god was killed 

while the old gods laughed.
The doors of my second life
were sealed as a shrine
with the soulbird kissed upon my brow.
No more will my face 
be as the disc of the Aten;
the deep river of the necropolis
brings the last inundation.

~April 2016

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Process notes:

The top photo by Harry Burton (source) is of the funerary seal on the fifth shrine of  the tomb of Tutankhamen before it was broken by Howard Carter and his team in 1923, untouched since the pharoah was entombed, three thousand two hundred years previously.

Second photo: "A relief of a royal couple in the Amarna style; figures have variously been attributed as Akhenaten and Nefertiti, Smenkhkare and Meritaten(Neferneferuaten), or Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamun..“ via wikimedia commons

Third photo: The pharaoh Akhenaten and his family adoring the Aten, second from the left is Meritaten who was the daughter of Akhenaten. via wikimedia commons

Nut was the Egyptian goddess of the sky and the cosmos.She was often shown as a woman with her back arched above the earth. Aten was the sun god, especially as worshiped by the pharoah Akhenaten at Amarna.  For a short history of the Amarna period chronology and events loosely incorporated in this poem, see this wikipedia link.