Monday, July 22, 2013

Bare Trees


They sat there twisted
In their ankles and knees
As if the God of Thor
Had struck them down
For their seed of heart-sin.
A colossal sight in their
Arthritic motor ticks,
All snapping and swaying
Against four seasons
Full of wind.
No more leaves left
To fall across each other
And into the hands of,
Perhaps, children on a
Spring-day picnic,
Or onto sun-warmed bellies
Of teenage lovers who’d locked
Their own limbs beneath
The splintered decay of a century.
The eye-holes of their old oak
Still remembering
The pompous clergymen of 1910
And the silly, dancing girls of the 30’s
Rich in ribbons and saffron socks.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013



She plucks the shells gingerly
From a bed of sand they have laid upon,
Languishing in the sun
The way the young girls nearby do,
Un-scarred in their giggles and skin,
Cabana-fresh in their Banana Boat lotion
and rainbow-row of umbrellas.
One by one, she pulls out
The eyes of the ocean,
The shack of the crab,
The call of jelly fish to bare feet,
Noticing how each one
Resembles a vacant cave,
The empty space of a spent bullet,
The moon absent his one-man show.

Her lover has gone,
No ring of the hotel telephone,
No chipper voice to accommodate
The over-decoration
Of a green-tree tourists' room
She will not return to until
the birds withdraw their white feathers
and this solitaire world
of the roiling sea turns violet
beneath the gray-cloud sky.
For now she becomes the atmosphere,
Void of life, immobile of memory,
A character plucking sea shells
In a strangers photograph.

Cinder Ella

Cinderella was never innocent,
She lusted for her stepfather,
A sizzle of heat in an otherwise
Empty barn where the cows
Watched their trilogy of sin unfold
With their sagging-bell reflections
and blind-dimmed eyes.
She was as ancient on the inside
As a bottled Jeanie in an old mason jar,
The hem of her eyes shivering cold
Until she met the prophet of her good father.
The white corsages worn across
The wrists and breasts of her stepsisters
Always seemed like thick, creamed blemishes
She could burn off with the flame-lick
Of her sinner’s tongue.
And there was a mad delight in her stepmother’s
Pitch-fork sharp eyes that lied and threw her
Into the cold bite of the cellar,
A worm, an ant, a maggot left to eat
The temple of their prowling mansion
To the ground, blast it into cinders,
A mad prophet with hair the color of flame
Meant to burn across the country night,
She’d set the stairs on fire,
Drive the glass of her lone slipper
Into each of their hearts,
Burn down the church-sin
Of that lonesome palace
And ride the new prince out of town
Like a wild horse.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tiny Things: A Poem

She wanted to know what it was
To love a boy
So she busied her hands
Of tiny things,
Hair pins and skin conditioner,
Cold cream and eyelash glue,
Writing words like an old Magi
Across greeting cards full of hearts.
She melted herself into
The cauldron of his cupped hands,
And he was the red scar she pinned
Onto the chest of her Sunday best.
Like a white square of Solstice twilight
She became transparent amidst
Pretty faces and meaningless conversation,
The ‘in girl’ of a small town
Rich in her white tights at the social cookouts.
Then at night, alone, undressing before
The mirror like a young Madonna
Before the first birth, she’d fall
Back into her real self,
Somewhat like digging up a stone,
Submerged of dirt on the bottom,
Yet still shining,
Dripping like star-mercury into
The shrill crowd of a campfire,
Shivering beneath the crumble-leafed trees
Of a fall night, the moon winking like
A silent siren in an otherwise empty crowd.
Her hushed heart would numb itself,
unwarmed by the breath
Of silly girls in Summer’s last tan lines,
As she held onto the coals
Of some boys careless hands.

Written from a prompt at Magpie Tales.