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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

When the Rains Came



When the rains came they washed
Windows and asphalt
With pebbles on the beach

They exploded on lakes and rivers
Like fingers on piano keys
In a flurry and haste of abandon

Cascading down red brick chimneys
Onto black tar shingles
Swooshing through metal gutters

Spewing from drainage pipes
Roaring through culverts
And all the while, glistening

For days the incessant drip
Echoed through rooms
Muffled by music on the radio

Sounds of a thirsty dog
Lapping from a sloshing bowl
Waves and sheets breathed and shushed

At night droplets tap danced
Like water color blues
Tambourine puddles in the soul

It sang an endless lullaby
Soothing the world with whispers
Making the earth remember


Primordial floods and deluge
Leaving behind the clean-swept
Rock faces of canyons to drain

All the colors were brighter
Grass became green and moist
Trees stood more erect

While roots rushed downward
Retrieving what was lost
In subterranean pools

The monsoon returns again
In dry seasons we recall
Wet footprints on the floor

And now the cane grows tall
Rice grows in flooded fields
Because the rains came


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tokens



Looking back to a railroad track
I walked in late July
In the summer of nineteen seventy six
And how the time flew by

I worked a job and paid my way
Walked home all through September
Before a good friend took me in
And I was thankful in November

Rain would soak right through my coat
Or the days were hot and dust blew
With honeysuckle and creosote
A man does what he must do

We rode in a nineteen forty coupe
A candy apple Chevrolet
Winter evenings we'd have soup
At his mother's house along the way

Through the years, friends and miles
I've seen along with autumn gold
Summer days and warmer smiles
Turning gray... as I grow old

Lost many lovers and best of friends
But still I cling to this;
Every heart on trust depends
And not some fleeting goodbye kiss

To the friends that honored me
With friendship through the years
And to the ones that have passed away
And left my heart in tears

I wrote a bit of poetry
And this, for the world to see
I've cherished you as you cherish me
Though some, I cherish in memory

Through the years I've kept some things
From friendship that are tokens
Some bits and baubles, beads and strings
That remember love unspoken

Thank you for the good times;
The swimming in the creek
The long days filled with sunshine
The kisses on my cheek

Thank you for the memories
Like children being born
Thank you for being there for me
When I was feeling lost and torn

Thank you for sharing in my work
To make my burdens light
And allowing me to help with yours
And thank you for the nights

You put me up on a cot or bed
And wouldn't let me drive
Or you offered me your sofa
So I could make it home alive

Thank you for sharing my laughter
And thank you for sharing my tears
Thank you for being there after
All these years and years

It is said a man knows not
What will come or how life ends
But my life was made from your love
And I owe my life to friends

So if I've forgotten some trinket
Given to me in youth
Remember my years and don't think it
Ungrateful of me for in truth

It was those very same memories
Of which I have not spoken
That are the treasures kept in me
Like promises, never broken

When my years fulfill in me
The time that brings my death
Please remember in certainty
That until my dying breath

I treasure mementos of friendship
And I treasure our memories
For the best of love and life are made
From tokens such as these


Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Death Eater



I saw a vulture walking;
hopping a staggering dance,
along a length of railroad track
void of pretense or romance.

Wings protruding in caped shoulders
above his bald and pink-gray head.
And upon his long, sharp beak I noticed
a smile waiting for things dying
and dead.

His head was heavy on his long bent neck.
His claws gripped the gravel in earnest.
Singed pinions and grizzled hairs
formed a collar, black as a furnace.

He was one of a company that journeyed;
a ragged band of vagrant beasts
spreading wings in the breath of oblivion,
the foul stench of decaying things.

His dance was not that threatening;
not so much as purposeful, with intent.
Other birds made way for him
as along the railroad track he went.

Presently, he came upon some carnage
of unlucky carrion left by the train
and folding his wings as if in prayer
he dined upon the grim remains

He held the visage of an undertaker
who went about his work with calm;
dressed for mourning by his tailor
but to devour rather than embalm.

Most would find this business gruesome;
the brutal wrenching of decaying flesh
while he sees in death not something futile
but seeks his own life to refresh!

I saw a vulture standing
and he spread his great black wings
over the shadow of death demanding
his life from wretched, detestable things!

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Yellow Cotton Dress



Dancing motes of dust
Rise and fall in shafts of sunlight
The secret music of souls plays through the window
It is the pulse of blood and beauty
That angels stir with silent wings

It is not for mortals to know such things

Life and death are imposters of truth
They limit the song of space to time
We knew the lie when we were young
But grew to fools as years passed by
Now we hear in rain the rolling of the hearse

While the symmetry of snow freezes still the universe

Ah, you do not know; you claim amnesia of innocence
But you once believed and once it held you in a trance
You were hypnotized by the power of wonder
And later you heard the thunder from the lightning of romance
And you hid because you were scared

I know…I remember because I was there

The wind chimes were tinkling on the porch
And a breeze came and whispered soft your name
You hummed a song from a dream; you had forgotten the words
You felt a shiver in the sun and all your nerves
Were alert on end

You knew someone was there…somewhere, watching

One night you tried to count the stars and wondered
If someone was out there counting you
You felt so small under the open sky
The vast velvet ocean in day was a canopy of blue
At night you were a mote of dust caught up in the dance

And you rose and fell like sun and stars with every chance

You became so predictable but inexplicable
Dependable and expendable to yourself
Like an antique bottle that sought its worth
You poured out the wine of your precious soul
Like blood that was mingled with the dust of earth

But long ago the breath of God gave Adam birth

We cannot climb again the thread to the womb
The umbilical is cut and we are left alone
We can only hasten our retreat to the tomb
Saved by the grave; shall the meek inherit the earth?
Shall love bear us out even to the edge of doom?

City streets and buildings are screaming for more room

Visions are useless pictures to the blind
Pearls are of no value to swine
Poets are slaves to reason and rhyme
The reader may not comprehend a single word or line
They may not care another soul dares to open
A forgotten past that they have closed

But deep in your heart, your spirit knows

You feel me in your heartbeat; rising, falling
You hear me in your dreams; whispering, calling
Your name in chimes rings on the wind
And you stand on the front porch listening
You might remember a song you can’t express

While in my world you are a little girl…in a yellow cotton dress





Sunday, December 10, 2017

Death in the Afternoon




Murmurs of the crowd
Wash in waves of distant thunder
Late afternoon in the month of June
The arena; damp with rain and wonder

Bodies in boxes with glasses
Binocular visions of Spanish lasses
Dressed in vermillion and gold
Waiting the tragedy to unfold

Below, there stands the matador
Surveying a slight expanse of sand
Upon their horses, picadors
Lances ready in their hands

Into the barrera comes the bull
Released from inside his iron cage
His appearance; terrible and dreadful
Snorting drool in fearsome rage

Fandas passing magenta and gold
Capote flourishing to tempt and tease
As picadors drive home the lances
Blood on the dusty Spanish breeze

Horns and shoulders, lower now;
Toro focused upon the cloth
The matador with each passing suerte
Brandishing his sword aloft

The flash of red, the glitter of steel
Dash and dance at his command
His steps, a close ballet of sorts;
The waltz of assassins and noblemen

Beneath the burning Spanish sun
The gasping crowd awaits the doom
The final thrust of the sword bears witness
To death in the afternoon





Thursday, November 30, 2017

Seasons in Rhyme



Autumn and spring are my favorite seasons
Oddly enough, for opposite reasons

When the lime green buds are being born
And the sun shines bright in the April morn

Invigorated I feel so alive
As first honey bees that fly from the hive

In search of sweet nectar in the early hour
When the morning glory begins to flower

For by that time Spring is well on her way
And the grasses are covered in colors of May

White clouds drifting through amethyst skies
To the flutter and flitting of gold butterflies

By the time new hatchlings are learning to sing
Summer will shade them in delicate green

With all Summer's passions of sweltering spent
And young children asking where they all went

The earth will still warm her feet by the embers
Till raisins from grapes remain of September

Then come the pumpkins from fields of October
The last days of summer are finally over

The maple is bursting; consumed, all aflame
Thirsting for something that hasn't a name

In bright red and gold, trees color their glory
What these leaves have said, told in their story

We once were young and we clung to the trees
We were green and alive and sang in the breeze

Now we let go with what's left on the vine
But even in death we will gloriously shine

We will burn in our splendor; majestic and bright
Joyful, our ending, for soon comes the night

I feel my own spirit accused here of treason;
That I have refused my autumn in season

Yet before winter comes my leaves seem to know
And in all of my limbs I feel my heart glow

There is a time to be born and a time to go;
An early spring morn and frost in the meadow

Yes, Autumn and Spring are my favorite times
When seasons in passing find reasons in rhyme




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Dementia




Walking home one summer night
The sky was filled with sudden light
A shooting star that left a trail
Behind a multi-colored tail

Too swift to be a comet's light
A meteoroid or meteorite
Broken off as a piercing spear
Traversing through the atmosphere

And I alone witnessed the sight
As I stood below the burning light
Wondering how I might explain
A sight that others had not seen

Like spotting a fairy or an elf
Some things are best kept to oneself;
Certainly heavenly trails of fire
Lest one be branded as a liar

And so I spoke not a word for fear
As summers passed me year by year
Until at last I had grown old
And the thing was never told

At last I found I was not afraid
Of what others thought or others said
I became free to suffer a whim
It mattered not if they thought me dim

There was such a shining light in me
Burning bright with liberty
And I had become that shooting star
Of a memory that had traveled far




About Me

My photo
Poet and musician Fabian G. Franklin invites you to join him on a poetic journey through the soul and nature.