Thursday, June 23, 2011
French Champagne at 3 A.M. with the ghost of Jean Lafitte
He hangs his sword upon my chair and cordially takes a seat
Poe and Dickens grace my step at quarter past the hour
Timid Emily; Belle of Amherst arrives in white with flowers
The Bronte sisters come to call and sit with Miss Dickinson
A knock brings transcendental poets Thoreau and Emerson
Jack London follows with a bottle of John Barleycorn
Then C.S. Lewis; pipe in hand; a gentleman to manor born
Not far behind; Mr. Tolkien; the mystic fantasy prophet
Telling tales of Middle Earth and creatures he calls Hobbits
Rudyard Kipling now arrives via my invitation
He hated to leave his India but joins the conversation
Caravaggio brings some paintings that were lost at sea
The former Knight of Malta drapes his sword across his knee
Knowing the temperament of the two; as host, I collect the blades
But in gentlemanly gesture; from both, a bow is made
Lafitte makes some remark of Italy’s taste for war
Caravaggio returns, “The French know not what canvas is for”
Bemused, Lafitte replies, “I’ve used all mine for sails.”
“And mine for masterpieces” the painter quips and spreads his tails
And so till dawn the guests arrive like Mary and Percy Shelley
Mary reads from Frankenstein and then we fill our bellies
“A goose that would have made Scrooge quite proud!”
“The nose of the Boz knows”, then Charles asserts aloud
Poe, in deep and morbid thought exclaims, “We all are dead!”
No such rubbish and fantasy, not here; as you share my bread.
“But it seems I’ve lived before”, London says, “I’d make a bet.”
“Quoth the raven, “nevermore” but you live on as yet!
You spirits are my muses who gather here tonight
All chivalrous and talented, inspiring by the lamplight
“Well spoken intellectual, recall the sun rose clear.”
Thoreau thus spoke and Emerson joked, “It seems we too my dears.”
At this; the ladies giggled, and Emily said to me.
“I know how a wave must look; yet, I’ve never been to sea.”
Lafitte here offered to take her, upon his ghostly ship
But when again I looked around, her presence from our group had slipped
And so they faded; one by one; each with apparition smiles.
London was the last to leave, saying, I hear The Call of the Wild.
And as the sunlight filtered into my bedroom this morn
I was surprised to find two swords and a bottle of John Barleycorn
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I must write of love today though I feel no romance.
I must write of bravery and hope there is a chance.
I must kindle friendships remembering what they’re for.
I must count my blessings although I’m ragged poor.
I must write of peace today and sweet serenity.
Even as the dogs of war come snarling after me.
I must call you brother regardless of your skin.
I can’t let petty prejudice defeat my soul and win.
I must believe there is a God who listens to my prayer.
I must have faith on bended knees that He will hear me there.
Oh, Lord of heavens and the earth, my humble spirit calls.
You knew my soul before my birth, tear down these fortress walls!
Circumstance can hedge a man till he sees no escape.
And rob a woman’s morality as real as any rape.
And even though the wrong’s not theirs; lower them to the dirt.
Then, in throes of agony, they cry out in their hurt.
So I must speak of right today through tears began by wrong.
And though my soul is suffering, I must search for song.
I must swallow fear today along with tears and sorrows.
I must forget my past regrets with plans of new tomorrows.
I must conquer pride today and reach out for your hand.
I have stumbled along the way and need your help to stand.
I will write of hope today in the midst of my despair.
And to the cynics I will say, I bravely dare to care.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I have no friend or family
And I was born alone
Trials and trouble I have seen
While searching for a home
I found no place that I belonged
No one has understood
A single bit of verse or song
My life has done no good
When I reached out to others
They smiled and turned away
My sisters and my brothers
Presumed myself the same as they
I know there have been other
Discarded bits of stardust
Suffering and starving
Portraits of tortured artists
Hemingway’s favorite shotgun
Van Gogh’s Pistol glistening
Plath with her head in the oven
Still they are not listening
We have no friend or family
No place to call our own
Only burdens we have carried
To our graves and borne alone
Friday, June 3, 2011
How brief the moments of our lives; our petty jealousies and fears
How frail the ties that bind our love; steeped in joy and lost in tears
The heart does not age but remains the same as our frail form retires
It was only yesterday; and now the passing years have made us liars
The man in the mirror; I know him not; where there should be a lad
With dirty cheeks and mischievous eyes looking somewhat like his dad
The moth still flitters round the lamp; the warmth of imitation light
But when the switch is turned and black; then, he retreats into the night
Into the lonely hours then; where once a baby’s cry was heard
Among the laughter and shaking hands; there, passed life without a word
Before he learned to whistle tunes; so many were the songs he knew
That he could not keep track of them and then, the dances were too few
Now the crippled steps he takes in memory mock him as a fool
He should have danced; he could have danced, but now the songs are fading too
The meaning of life was whispered clear on moonless nights between the stars
Deaf in wine; he refused to hear, and now the lights have traveled far
You sisters of the Pleiades; safe from the grasping of Orion
Like savannah grasses where, in wait; there lays the hungry lion
Immortal daughters, shine your lights, as my light fades in me
I do not know by mystic rights, if I, a slave or prince should be
Soft; the song is muffled now, the drum beats steadily desperate
The flow of blood is colder. How… I wish…but it is too late
Life is a dream within a dream of some mad and sleeping god
And we relive his life for him through histories both far and odd
How long the suffering of our souls; where empty hearts are met
How great the tragedy of our roles which we play in sad regret
The ageless heart is lost in dreams where happy children laughed and played
Now; ghostly shadows run to corners of minds where muted pain is stayed
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Before her alter the poet brings
Written verse and singing strings
To woo the wells of paradise
Painting scenes which so entice
The oracles which prophesy
To separate the truth from lie
Taking thus the muse as wife
He dedicates his love and life
To fair Euterpe sings his song
Cleansing all the world from wrong
With music and the poets pen
Her honor thus he must defend
She has granted audience
To troubadours and others since
Yet he basks within her light
And knows he is her favorite
Inside his spirit soars and lifts
Till heavens voice her precious gifts
And raining down upon his heart
Swells again till words impart
Both to master and to sage
Bright visions of the coming age
When the weak have swooned and fainted
There will lie the canvas painted
Everything within his heart is
Offered by the humble artist
Whither tales of love or truth be
lies the beauty of Euterpe
Undisguised or masked by ruse
All is prized to please the muse
Through his wisdom or his wit
In every word that he has writ
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Fathomless gentle mother rolls sighing to the shore
Whispering the histories of things that are no more
Coral and shell are mixed in glittering snowy sand
Terns on matchstick legs retreat the foaming land
Black bulk of horseshoe crab lay; lifeless alien form
Airy driftwood twists its way from far electric storm
Delicate periwinkle pink; the shade of mouse’s ear
Lies beneath grey seaweed combed from mermaid’s hair
Rumbling roar that moves the mass; imitates the heart
Embryonic pulse reminding endings where they start
Beneath the waves, all is bright; eyes rise above to see
Azure above the rolling green stretching to eternity
Far, the pencil line of land; dots move along the beach
Where burning tourists march the sand; lotions and oils in reach
Their blankets spread beneath umbrellas; imitation shade
The sun is scorching on the waves, shining on my head
I laugh and dance and leap with joy before the ocean god
Joined by friends and family; all members of my pod
I hear the earthly creature’s children screaming out in glee
As I chatter back to them, I know that they have seen me
We come here every morning and fish till it grows dark
Protecting human friends that swim from eager hungry sharks
This is our entertainment too; the electric connecting spark
We watch from pools of pristine blue the human amusement park