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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kernel







Tiny wrinkled thing
A yellow ladybug

Dry and dead as stone
It rested in my palm

I buried it beneath
The black leaf loam

From the grave it rose;
Green phoenix stretching

Lifting striated wings
Worshipping the sun

In months, taller than I
It rustled against the sky

Golden hair flowing
Over full robust arms

Beneath rough sleeves
Cobs bulged with life

Children nestled close
Growing in the night

Standing tall like Kali
Glorying in her might

Rebirth from destruction
Born again from death

Multiplied like stars
Reformed and alive

Such is spirit reborn
Like a kernel of corn

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mantis









Along my dusty summer porch
A mysterious visitor climbed
And turned her head to look at me
With unblinking onyx eyes

Slender and graceful; this lady fair
Perfectly mimics the motion of prayer;
Recognizing her intent
She might belong in a convent

Her jaw is wide and perfect
In seemingly endless smile
She waits her breakfast of insects
With just a trace of guile

Transparent wings stretch along
The contours of her form
Death lay waiting just inside
The embrace of her arms

Little more than three inches long
She is the goddess of fate
Her hunger knows few boundaries
She probably consumed her mate

A cricket which was skipping past
Hopped onto the wall
And died within her lightning grasp
She ate him, chirp and all

Nature’s insect femme fatale
Wiped brutal mouth and hands
And disappeared into the air
Across the arid land

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Meaning in the Moon






Restless wandering specter stalking slow about the room
The ghost of Dylan Thomas round the old White Horse Saloon
Searching for a whisky glass, an ashtray or a broom
to sweep up broken bits of April scattered round in June

How the smoky blues fulfill the places where we yearn
The empty, sad and fractured spaces longing to return
Can we place a sweet embrace like ash into an urn?
Or trust youth’s fiery passion once the memory is burned?

Sweat on asphalt steaming, people screaming for more room
For souls to grow and fools to know the meaning in the moon
And not the words of two young lovers singing different tunes
When laughter born just yesterday fades away too soon

Are the craters simply Braille for angels who are blind
Wandering round the galaxy not knowing what they’ll find?
Or maybe they are roadmaps to a place we’re coming soon
while searching for a whisky glass, an ashtray or a broom

Pour the empty, dusty glass all full with shades of blue
Kick the broken, lonely pieces of April round the room
Sweep the floors and lock the doors and light a cigarette
Liquor, darkness and sad music mix well with regret

All the simple answers to hard questions I have learned
Are simply foolish notions foolish people have discerned
The truth is settled to the complex corners of this room
Searching for a whisky glass, an ashtray or a broom

A Country Romance










He crushes the violets in his hand and clover beneath his feet

Her eyes are blue like shining rivers

She saw him coming as she swept the porch

Dust sparkles in the sunshine and swirls with her persistent stroke

She wipes her hands on a gingham apron and leans her broom to rest

He removes his hat with some difficulty even though he has a free hand

Sweat stains the collar of his chambray shirt

A black ribbon hangs from his bullish neck

“I brought these flowers for you.”

She accepts them with a soft smile

“Come; let me find a vase and some water,
would you like some water as well?”

“That would be nice mam, thank you.”

“Granger, if you’re going to come courting
you might at least address me as Emily.”

His feeling of ignorance is confirmed in the tops of his feet
which he studies like the meaning of life was there

“I thank you very much for the lovely flowers,
it was thoughtful of you to pick them for me.”

His past sins are forgiven and the faux pas “mam”

“Emily, you have such a beautiful name, it’s almost as pretty as you.”

“Well, I must say Granger, what you lack in grace you more than make up for in content.”

He smiled at that and it felt like the world lifted from his shoulders.

Nursery Rhyme of the Sahib


















In times lost and beyond, dear prince
there was a ravenous tiger in the jungle
and it ate the souls of men.
Many confronted the beast with violence
but violence only made the tiger grow.

The cat went about destroying everyone.
He increased the misery of women.
He made children cry on lonely nights.
And the name of the tiger was Pain.

Krishna planted a forest of bamboo
The tiger found the blessed stalks
He lay down to sleep there and
the forest grew in the shape
of a heart around him.

When the wicked cat wakened
the bamboo was a thick prison all about.
And there was Pain; trapped inside the heart.
Then Krishna called on heaven for rain.

The forest of bamboo began to grow.
The heart stretched and spread
like a waking child from its bed
and at last the frightened tiger escaped,
never to return.

May the prince’s heart also grow
like the sacred forest planted as a prison
Once grown with the rain of mercy to give freedom
and release from suffering.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What Women Want








I rang the bells of freedom from the highest hills for all to hear
But they only tinkled like silver chimes inside the shell of her ear
I swung the hammer of justice pounding the gavel like thundering Thor
She tilted her head and said, “Did you hear that? Is someone at the door?”

I whetted my glittering sword; flashed yellow lightning across the sky
She yawned at me as if she were bored and closed her sapphire eyes
I brought the beauty of Eden, untouched, and killed the serpent there
“Do you think these shoes with this dress are too much?”
She asked as she curled her hair.

I poured out my heart like burgundy wine and begged her take the cup
She never touched the fruit of the vine, not even so much as a sup
I bought her gold and diamonds, enough to fill her jewelry box
She said, "I’ll never understand why men can’t match their socks."

And so I sat frustrated then, head in hands; staring at my feet
She said, “You should have made dinner plans, you used to be so sweet.”
And then I cursed her vanity till angels plugged their ears above.
What women want, a man can’t be and damn this thing called love!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Island Dawn














A white marble of a sun
Stretched its pink reflection
Down the blue-green waves
Across the sand
A fiddler crab stepped sideways
For pedestrian
Sandaled feet
Warning the approach of man
The clip clip of
Brine washed footsteps
Echo into
The rush of tide
Sea oats bend
In shell caked, wind swept
Hillocks
By the ocean side
A jellyfish lay shimmering
Dying in dawn’s first light
Somber terns march crying
On spindly
Matchstick legs
Away from the sight
Sandpipers gingerly
Stalk the surf
Retreating before the foam
Diving for burrowing clams
As waves wash
Down the empty shore
Seagulls soar pin wheeling
Cutting wind with cardboard wings
Tapered tips; stiff unwieldy
Unyielding troughs pitch
And dip
Squawking scavengers
Above the beach
Their disapproval send
I continue my trek
Until I reach
Open bay
And island’s end

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Words








The orange ball of the sun burned into the shadowy mountain mist.
The fog surrounding dark pinnacles shifted uneasily.
I have seen fires on distant waves wax and wane thus.
It is the glow of charcoal embers seeking breath to catch flame.
My mind wanders and remembers; a tiny infant’s grasp around my finger,
a little puppy snuggled against my cheek on the pillow,
the broken sadness in my father’s hazel eyes.
I see the face of my best friend. I feel his hand upon my shoulder.
But, now, how many years has it been?
He is gone and I am slowly growing older.
At noon, the day is clear and bright but I am full of dreams.
Far away beaches with swaying palms and snow white sands beckon me.
Shimmering trout are jumping in the swift current of cold clear streams.
I am carried far away on the wings of thoughts and memories.
The pain of lost love is like an arrow through my heart.
It is a shifting glacier of ice drifting cold to the pit of my stomach.
I feel the burden of sin on the back of the wretched creature I have been.
It is like the addict’s monkey, a slave to death and destruction.
There was something I wanted to say and pull the cork from the bottom
of my overflowing heart to let it spill out in ink on an empty page.
There was advice to my daughter; there were prayers to God,
There were things unsaid like the love between two men who were brothers.
There was healing and pain, hate and love, joy and suffering, patience and anger.
But it all lay behind a blanket of mist like the diffused disk of this morning.
I wanted to see things clearly as the rainbow fish living in his liquid dream.
But my eyes were blurred. My smile was grim. I wanted to laugh and cry.
I wanted to say things from my heart no mortal ear has ever heard.
I wanted to reach up from the well of my soul and pour the cup of music full.
The salty taste of my own tears tells me I am but a fool.
Only a fool or poet would dare to try when... all I have are words.

Sunshine Warrior






Teeth have torn the calloused skin
From blisters on his rugged hands
Wrinkles carved around his eyes
Make him look more old than wise

Grey hair peppered, temples streaked
Thinning as his dreams recede
Ragged holes in old blue jeans;
Shaggy mop yarn at the seams

Muddy work boots caked in clay
Bits of leaf with mulch and hay
The smell of power saw gasoline
Mixed with oil, grass and onion

Tee shirt stained with sweat and dirt
From the garden and his work
Sunbathed arms; bronzed and dark
Leather sunshine warrior

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Specters of the Flood















Night thick as tar; boiling black
Stars are merely a rumor
Ethiopian ghosts stretch
Shuffling restless from tombs

Magic dark rhinoceros horn
Swallowed moon on Serengeti
Billows in western sky form
Clouds; ripe and threatening

Lightning ripping edges jagged
On heavens skirt… blue eyes weeping rain
Bursts of furious wind
Reveal her hurt in flashes of pain

A tormented sky of agony
Weeping her injury through a cloud
Waters of death surround the huts
Specters of the flood cry out

Creole Soul














Island crayfish swim in hot sauce
Conch salad sandwiches served at noon
Palm trees sway while boats are tossed
On gentle waves in quiet lagoons

I was born with a Creole soul
Bubbling over like a lobster pot
Brine soaked sand where whitecaps roll
Spitting in fire like a Pelee god

The pirate in my bloody dreams
Longs for the blue of open sea
Below the port of New Orleans
Into the land of Caribbees

Every childhood dream I had
Dolphins swam round coral reefs
From Bahamas to Trinidad
Set to shore on black sand beach

Umbrella drinks and fat cigars
Sun browned men in Panama hats
Ceiling fans stir heavy air
Peacock chairs where tourists sat

Bogey and Bacall in Martinique
Hemmingway’s, To Have and Have Not
Echoes Calypso steel drum beats
Where air and blood both run hot

Cape jasmine and orange blossom
Rain forest jungles high in the hills
Natives worship the sacred mountain
The volcano’s voice is silent and still

I was born with a Creole soul;
My heart filled with island feelings
Reggae rolls from the radio
I go drifting in the Caribbean

To The Platypus






(Introduction)

From the isle of Australia
There’s a fellow I must tell ya’

Who’s so strange; he baffles scholars
A name common in those waters

Little webbed feet like an otter
Swim so neatly through the water

Holds his hind legs straight in line
Paddling front feet all the time

Set to side like boatman’s oars;
Paddles and swims his way to shore

He makes his home among the roots
Where grasses sprout in muddy shoots

(Address)

You have no ears that we can see
It’s clear you are a mystery

Your wife lays eggs just like a goose
You have brown fur much like a moose

You have a bill just like a duck
And swill for yabbies in the muck

Worms and shrimp and swift crayfish
Fill the brim of your dinner dish

That beaver tail I find quite clever
There’s no creature like you ever

Some say you are ridiculous
But I love you Mr. Platypus

Gardener's Penance






Morning came on butterfly wings
Flittering phosphorescent on the lawn
Trumpeting morning glories sang
Pink and purple colors to the dawn

Milk chocolate earth beneath the spade
Rich with heady musk of loam
Sculpted rows the hoe has made
Green plants in their garden home

Adam had Eden; gardens and orchards
Without the toil of his calloused hand;
Troves of apples and groves of oranges
For which he never worked the land

Fallen from grace, the gardener toils
For hours of sunshine, praying for rain
Working his soul back into the soil
Growing his heart and freeing his pain

Monday, April 12, 2010

Scattered






Burn my body and scatter my ashes at sea
So I might wash upon a thousand shores
Of distant islands eventually.

And on tropical beaches of black sand;
Soul, imprinted by the feet of children
I will come to understand.

What it is to swell with every tide then
I will settle when the moon pulls me ashore
And I will be alive again!

Dreams In Winter














A warm yellow moon
Melted a hole in frozen sky
It hung between shifting rivers
Of darkness; suspended

Striated ripples of snow cloud
Blanket the lampshade light;
Pray the bulb doesn’t slip
To shatter the icicle night

Trees crouch low;
Old age on their backs
Crystal white hair
And heavy hearts
Full of cold sorrow

Tonight they hold dreams
Of youth; compromising truth
But In the sun
Their arms will be become
Empty tomorrow

On My Lover's Island Shore














A lighthouse beacon sweeps the sky
Beneath a vault of fiery stars; the tide
Rising in the night, creeping inland
Jellyfish die against midnight sand

The sea smells like sex, life and death
Her time began before there was man
In her presence; our history, only breath
Atlantis is there; swallowed in her sands

I gather gritty driftwood for a fire
Flickering flames tossed on brine
Cool breezes drift morning hours
Fiddler crabs dance in conga lines

How small are we against the sea
So tiny that it strips the soul of pride
Sweethearts and sailors love mystery
Hearts pulled by the moon and tide

Ships and souls are launched and lost
Children of kings bounced on her hips
Poets waste words in soggy sonnets
Mother’s kiss is whispered on the mist

I’ll look for shells at sunrise then
Barefoot in shallows; trousers rolled
How wonderful the night has been
Sharing secret love like pirate’s gold

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Resurrection of Morning


















From the valleys and the hills
Where the goldfinch sings and trills
Where the ivy winds and climbs
Midst the honeysuckle vines
Through the meadows bright and gay
Bleeds the sun and course of day

Yellow shafts pierce pointed pines
Casting shadows long as time
Upon the dew of emerald grass
There are sparkling diamonds cast
In the spider’s glistening lair
A hundred eyes lay sleeping there

Mournful notes of morning owls
Echo through serrated boughs
As earth’s star climbs ever high
Warming wings of butterflies
Flowers yawn and greet the dawn
Dandy is the lion and lawn

Scent of grass and onions wild
Squinted eyes of morning’s child
Rubbed with fingers still in dreams
Soft the gurgle of the stream
Trickling cold cross waterfalls
Near the pond where wild geese call

Bless the blue world quickly turning
Bless the golden sun bright burning
Bless the creatures great and small
Flowers, fields and waterfalls
Thank you Lord for giving me
Ears to hear and eyes to see

Lyrical heaven spherical;
Every day a miracle
Breath and heartbeat be ashamed
Not to praise creation’s name
To call an accident the light
Which resurrected us from night

Jack








It’s frustrating trying to put Jack
Back in the box
Music plays and no matter what,
Out he pops, dangles and flops

I used to craft things as a child
With Lego building blocks
Bigger kids tore them apart
Injustice never stops

I built castles out of sand;
Houses made of cards
Watched the tide wash some away
Saw houses tumble hard

I tried to learn the nature of things;
My own nature as well
I learned early to keep secrets
Some things one should not tell

I joined the jigsaw picture puzzled
From so many parts
Too many looked the same
Shapes, colors and hearts

Secrets kept as tides swell
Injustice never stops
Life is frustrating hell
Keeping Jack inside the box

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Endgame







No knight in shining armor
Waltzing a sidestep
Three squares at a time

All your paths are not direct,
Even dancing with the king
No lofty castle; cold as stone

You may change your colors
On a whim, unrestricted by
Angles that bishops prescribe

No man’s pawn
To be pushed aside
Settling for a step or two

Traversing length and breadth
Every hope and dream
In casual ubiquity

You hold all tongues in check
With regal awe
As you capture hearts

No move left to be made
Except into your arms
Love, you are a queen!

About Me

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