On the Street of Splendid Dreams
On the street of splendid dreams
pick the crumbs of perfect croissants.
Sidewalk vendors offer dull knives,
pomegranates and paper kites.
You may sit, drink red wine,
eat sausages and dark bread,
spending only time.
In pleasant waves
sunlight brightens the eyes of old men,
leaving trails of glisten
across the faces of strangers.
Children print noses
on candy-stored windows.
Mothers broom them along
like precious dust.
The only sound
Geoffrey and Margot, After the Breakup
On second thought,
he should have brought some wine and cheese.
But he showed up, instead,
with a loaf of fresh baked bread,
some cold cuts and a box of fading memories.
There wasn't anything to drink
just water from that rust-stained sink.
He would have liked some tea but
she ran out just yesterday.
So he squeezed a withered lemon slice
and wondered if the awful price
was something that he honestly
could ever hope to pay.
Ah, the years they were together...
(Talk about your, "Stormy Weather!")
There were ups and downs and
arguments...The kind most people have.
But the roads were getting much too steep
and the wounds were getting much too deep
to be healed by any ordinary, antiseptic salve.
He knew it wasn't meant to last.
She ran her life so goddamned fast.
He had trouble keeping up with her
just getting into bed.
She was like a lonely rose,
thorns disguised in perfumed prose.
Holding on just left him
with his fingers freshly bled.
So he finally broke it off,
announcing with a nervous cough,
that he'd rented an apartment on the other side of town.
There was sadness in her eyes
that somewhat softened her replies
though she stung his ears with one last taunt,
"You'll never live this down!"
But like a knitted sleeve's unraveling,
Love's tether seems an endless string,
so he'd look for vagrant reasons to make that crosstown ride.
He'd find her scarf among his things.
He'd hear a song they used to sing
and so he'd go, they'd share some bread
and all the truths they used to hide.
It Was the Cricket's Song That Saved Them
There was no wind and
he could feel her breath
at the back of his neck.
"Your poetry shines on my skin like sweat,"
she sang, almost like a psalm.
His soft sigh sank into the abyss.
Her kiss began at his cheek
then moved, full mouth and
wet with the taste of pears,
over the far reaches of his soul.
The tide rose and they were almost lost.
It took all of a cricket's song
to pull them from the depths,
to bring them back,
back to the surface of a sinful sea.
The Peaceful Pub Poetry Forum
Wordflair Community of Poets and Writers
Knee Deep in the Sea of Intransigence
- "and it's a hard rain's gonna fall" - Dylan
He brooks no introspection.
Standing alone amid the burgeoning bloodstains,
he offers the dark side of a soul.
One finger on history's feathery pulse,
the other on an apocalyptic trigger,
he takes aim at the setting sun.
Heedless of stale wind and sorrow,
he breathes the heat of several hells
into the ears of deaf moments.
All it will take is a wink and a nod
to turn the desert sands to glass.
Halfway Through A Wink.....
Halfway Through a Wink,
She Thought She Saw A Butterfly
One eye closed,
the other halfway through a wink,
you saw little of the colors and
less of the poetry.
Reaching for depths,
your hands encountered sand.
Unable to grasp the moment,
you let it sift into the past.
Why is it you weep in dark corners
while everyone else dances?
Why is it you cannot see the butterflies?
Someone spoke to you of broken bells.
Someone sang for you a simple song.
Listening to seashells,
you chose the faded gray of false dawns.
Look! The moon is missing!
Even a yellow flower
could not light the way back.
Man of Many Hats
Tension turned the corner, followed by your smile.
It was as if we hadn't been together for a while.
My eagerness outshone the shadows you attempted to disguise.
I held a dozen daisies, you brought a dozen lies.
Your eyes were somehow incomplete, not their normal shade of green.
Upon your face, a vacant look, something I'd never seen.
You greeted me quite casually with just a hint of warm
and a bit of hesitation when I tried to touch your arm.
"You sure look great," I offered, through a throat fast running dry.
"How 'bout lunch?" "No time," you said, with an exasperated sigh.
I guess I should have read the signs. They certainly were clear.
Bad news always followed that nervous tugging at your ear.
There was something vaguely missing in the way you spoke my name.
No soft anticipation, nothing sounded quite the same.
It seemed as though you left a bit of Sara on the shelf.
You were only somewhat Sara, not at all your former self.
A Life in a Day
When I was young
I dipped pig-tails in inkwells.
Dogs ate my homework.
I smoked unfiltered cigarettes.
All through college, I atoned,
got a job in a hair salon
and tried to erase
several years of inkstains.
I fell in love with Poetry
and women. Stayed true to one
while tasting the other
like candy samples on the boardwalk.
And here I am,
sheafs of poems in ink-stained fingers,
sugar sated yet still standing ,
waiting for the last line.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band - New Orleans
Finger popping, C-jam syncopated
almost out of control clarinet
noodling along, around and in-between
banjo, brass and two-step beats
chasing down a triple-tongued cornet clarion
smoothing with a slurred phrase
from a slip-sliding tailgate trombone,
playing pizzicato across fiddle strings
tapping down snare drum riffs, bass footfalls,
rumbling low ivory chords from blue piano fingers
laying a track that jumped like a runaway train.
soaring, juking, jiving, jangling
and that’s jazz!!
Still, Life in the City
It was a sun and shadow day,
Some parts brilliant
some shaded by Elms and other sadness.
You couldn’t breathe the air.
It had to be spooned down your throat
like milky lumps of overcooked oatmeal.
There was noise.
Various levels of unpleasant sounds
Overwritten and underscored
Crowds moved through yesterday’s news
National, local, personal
Shouted sung or whispered
All depending on how close the next tear
Take a breath of today’s obstacles
Blaring taxis, rumbling subways
The inexorable crush of words and whistles
cascading over sights and spaces
tripping over lips, leaping into empty ears
Four steps forward, three steps back
midday time out
sidewalk sandwiches, stirred martinis,
one inevitable french-fry.
The back half strides to a sofa
or a bar stool at a beauty contest
All of it a slip-slide toward one bedroom
No one really heard the evening announce itself.
The silence of sundown lost
in tumbling nouns and verbs, subjects and objects
escaping down the dark alleys of interrupted minds
So it passed, that day, like a breeze,
wafting by on padded pauses,
leaving little save a wink from the setting sun
as it dropped beneath the jagged horizon
It Rains Across the Morning
Through the waking hours of the sun,
Gunga Din tends the grass
If it were December
We would be interred
Still it rains,
Inside and out
And no one makes promises
Except the weatherman
Who, among seers,
Is known to be the most devious
Saturation levels are reached
Until paths attain the consistency
Of half-set gelatin
One has to experience
Walking on jello
before commenting, with any authority,
On sinking feelings
Still it rains
The only thing learned
Is that prophets,
An ambiguous lot,
Are not to be trusted.
At least the lawn is satisfied
Its cup runneth over
We approach rapport
With the imprisoned
Sooner or later all of us,
Begin consulting volumes
With the vague hope of finding
Valid arguments for an appeal
Still it rains,
Testing the elasticity of endurance
Even the green, unsure of aquatic survival,
Weeps for another chance
It seems that no one is a fortune teller
Beginning with the next raindrop
I'll believe only the anonymous poet
who has always said
We may never reach tomorrow
The Haunting of McSorley's Pier
Michael Mosquito took a long walk down a pier that was shorter than most.
Of course, he fell off,
gasped a gasp, coughed a cough,
then proceeded to give up the ghost.
His body was taken by a large rainbow trout. In a flash and a gulp it was gone.
His spirit then stood
on the wet, slippery wood
as he wondered what he did wrong.
It was just a distraction, said a voice from above, please let me allay all your fears
It's a fault many share
when, with heads in the air,
They thoughtlessly stroll down short piers
Well, what do I do and where do I go? Michael did tremblingly question.
Is there paradise for me
Or is it my destiny
To be part of a fish's digestion?
Heaven awaits, said the voice from above but, like all, you must earn your admission.
There will be a charge
For your sins, small and large
(a bit more for those of omission!)
I'll gladly pay any price you demand, said Mike in a voice somewhat meek
I'll stop biting babies
And delicate ladies
And I won't start a war for a week
Small value you put on a heavenly home, said the voice (sounding quite irked).
Do you think it so simple
That a smile and a dimple
Can make up for all you have shirked?
Here's the price you must pay for eternal bliss, whispered the voice in Mike's ear.
Your duty will be
For the next century
To prevent any falls from the pier
How can I stop those who thoughtlessly stroll? I have naught but a buzz and a sting.
Michael felt quite inept
To prevent that last step
His eternity hung by a string
Do what you can, do what you must but let none go beyond that last board.
Or else it's adieu
To a heaven for you
And the thought of eternal reward
Now Michael flies 'round McSorley's short pier as he ghostly patrols and prevents
through his buzzing and winging
And annoyingly stinging,
An assortment of odd accidents
So, if you should stroll down McSorley's short pier and forget how much you could lose.
You've nothing to fear
'cause that buzz in your ear
will be Michael paying his dues
The Feathered Mask
He taunts us
from behind stone pillars
that flank marbled aisles.
He's here, he's there,
grinning like a cryptic harlequin.
Its not the feathers in his mask
that makes him laugh.
His joy brims
at each of our failed footsteps,
at each atrophied attempt
to touch hands,
to kiss cheeks.
It is as though he is aware
of all our deceptive destinies.
Should you see his face,
Should his opaline eyes capture yours,
your soul will surely wither.
If he is smiling,
you have reached the abyss.
Pray he doesn't speak.