Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sunflower Summer


Sunflower Summer

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time, Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime Where the travellers journey is done. 
~ William Blake


It was a sunflower summer
counting steps to the sun
as the heat ran away
after a bad opening night.
Monarchs and hummingbirds
trimmed the yellow-gold plates,
bright beads of Christmas glass.
Rabbits came to the back door
with tea and grass hats
asking the way to Wonderland
til everything went south
blind as salmon in time's reckless river.

I spoke crackling long distance
to the place where you'd been.
It was noncommittal, polite, quite
willing to take a message, yet
I never heard back,
though every sunflower
turned its gathering face to you
in that unmaking summer
of black rolling thunder
in the East, lightning crawling
in the navy blue clouds

a red greed of fire, tree-torches smoking
 a banshee wind in the West.
The scorch of mankind
opened its heart to the storm
and the storm came inside
 like Jesus in a circus tent.
against autumn's flood
the sunflowers pack light
into rucksacks of seeds
for the traveler's journey
 to come.

 August 2020

posted for 
and earthweal's Open Link,
(for Mondays theme of Storms and Rainbows)

Images: Sunflowers, artist unknown   Fair Use
The March Hare, © John Tenniel circa 1865  Fair Use

Friday, August 28, 2020

Friday Flash 55 for August 2020

Welcome all once again to the Friday 55. Another month of this ghastly year proceeds down the tubes, howling and gibbering, leaving us to endure and express it in our writing. I feel a twinge of embarrassment whenever I refer to having a kickass weekend this year, but I can't help feeling Galen Hayes, the originator of this meme, would not have hesitated, and indeed, would have done his best to see we all had one. 

So, the rules are unchanged. Write a poem, a prose-poem or a piece of flash fiction, using exactly 55 words, no more, no less. Link your URL in the comments, and I will be by to read what you have cooked up out of this month's witches brew. 

The prompt will be active from Thursday at midnight to Sunday at 4:00 PM CST.


Here is my 55:

Song For Summer's End

Catkins, willowskins,
grey geese in the morning
sky light,  V-flight,
feather-spin in the gloaming,
bee-fumble, leaves tumble
in Fall's honey-wind sighing
her kiss-clover slip over,
pollen days flying.

Pepper-dust, finger-rust;
summer's crone's crying
too late at the broken gate
where autumn's fast riding.

Even so nothing goes
that has a song to
hold it close.

August 2020 


Images: Bees circa 1900, © Ban Jiaoshi       Fair Use
The Autumn, 1896, © Alphonse Mucha    Fair Use

Sunday, August 23, 2020


"...I have let time pass, which..helps more than reasoning.”
~Queen Elizabeth I

I wake in the night
thinking of ruins;
not the makers
but their leavings: fort,
church, graveyard,
house, each
with no tomorrow of its own, yet
a casket full
of glass for magpies,
scroungers' stones,
writers' plots,
lovers' verses, shadow beds
for weary ghosts
and so must be content
to watch the walls fall down.

These rainy ruins
where ravens ride wrinkled sky
where nightfall black-backs silver-mirror moons
however weak you are,
you can stroll forever, 
muscular past for a walking-stick,
hearing a hundred private jokes
the ghosts still tell/will tell
to you or the next one
for nothing's
as constant as a ghost
or more hopeful
than a ruin.

~December 2017
Two old 55's, reposted for 
 earthweal's Open Link
 Image: Carpathian castle ruins, author unknown, via internet. Fair use.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Wandering Eye

The Wandering Eye

I made you
from a map, a hawk and a flower.
I thought you
clockwork-canny, full of power,
a road-veined eye for
spying the highway hours;

a bird, a map,
a flower meant to be
a fragrance and a passage 
 seeking sea.
But so far away
you flew there could never be

a coming back
despite the lies, despite the slick pretense,
so to see you now
as a morph'd and piddling glance
on a burning
globe of constant transience

is only another
blink of blight and fear.
You tell me this
is the you who's real and clear;
fine words from one
who's broken every mirror. 

August 2020, 
(with fragments from March 2014)

posted for

Images:Still Life with Spherical Mirror, 1934 © M.C. Escher   Fair Use
footer, artist and title unknown,  Fair Use

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Haunt's Road

Haunt's Road

You resurrect
on the long road rolling,
with your homeless soul a
prairie schooner full of dull copper
 blood and moonshine, nightmares wild in 
the harness, their snaffled tongues slipping
into dreams with a slow-steeped poison, 
changing sun to eclipse, good to bad, 
alive to dead in a bone-shaking shock,
down along the wheel ruts
 where the wagons 
used to pass.

By 4:00 a.m. 
you're in the house.
The sound of your last rasping
 breaths liquid with suffering still
floating your medicine show, barking
on the mattress-midway the subtle
vibration of your restless shifts,
 a moan and a gasp on the empty
 crater of our bed, hawking
a snake-oil brewed 
for love, or

I put 
your ashes 
out on the hill by
 the dog who loved us
so you may leave
 this haunt's road,
this dead-end.
 Run with 

painless, free,
 green in cloudy  forest,
prairie wind to wrap
you in a place of
 naked stars.

If you 
knew who I am
you'd never
have come.

 August 2020

posted for

*This poem has been edited since publishing

Images via internet, artists unknown     Fair Use