Mood Clash





Final Moments


The grasses, flowing amber on the breeze that speaks

in verses intimate, caressing me,

then passing on, fall back to earth. My essence seeks

such witness once again, some certainty

that surging walls of blackness casting cursory

phantasmal stares through scheming throngs of leaves

are but inventions of the mind, a flippancy

afforded me, a blessed night's reprieves;

that lifeless stones forever pummeled by the waves

share not eternity with me; that scars

upon the weary earth are not the crumbling graves

of promise unfulfilled, like withered stars.

The grasses, elfin silhouettes around the edge

of earthen walls securing me against

an anxious sky, like countless sentinels who pledge

their fealty at Pharaoh's chambers, tensed

and waiting, celebrating life-sustaining winds

and warmth and succor from the morning mist

and brilliant bursts of life renewed as day begins,

are of a sudden never to exist.








I feel the silence building, bluish, bleak,

like dawn upon a field of frost, a face

contorting with derision as I seek

a stepping-stone and flail at empty space.


Sublime the days before, with pillowy

and pearly cloths and candelabra tiers

and gleaming chinaware and billowy

mahogany perfumes from chiffoniers.


But then the silence thickened to a hum,

a throbbing, ticking, lashing, like the crack

of leather, as synaptic fires went numb

with flesh and vigor raining down my back.


And now is dusk, in still-life gray, engraved

with keepsakes painted on a fabric thin

and yellowed, woodwork shriveled and depraved,

and moments fading to oblivion.







Of Sonnet and Solitude


Exult, my sememes, lithe and lyrical,

in cunning lingual metaphorical

displays of verbiage, satyrical

delights secreted from the Oracle.

Release yourselves from periphrastic bonds

with chiasmatic passion, prurient

as glossolalists in orgasmic ponds

of eloquence, until their tongues are spent.

Redeem yourselves in sapphic bonds immersed

in epithet and pith and euphony

until a bacchanalic bardic burst

regales the gods with peerless prosody.

Then celebrate your denoument, sublime

in anonymity for all of time.






Epitaph for the Living


Like the fossilized ribs of a python

the rows of gravestones

rise and fall in sinuous rhythms

to a summer dawn's dewy blur;

all the earth seems at rest,

lifeless as a mountain peak,

the breeze perking then pausing,

like a puppy's ear awaiting my next word;

chalky headstones conspire in the humid air

to hush little secrets long entrusted to them:

years of life are distorted into

the crumbling bas relief of a sculptured keepsake.


The name B- leaps out at me:

a faded photograph might be his legacy,

trapping dust in an airless room;

a clipping from a newspaper

burned to a listless brown

by a century of stillness;

a name last whispered

when the brittle pines surrounding us

first whimpered in the soil.

But he is part of a whirling array

of fleeting moments and tortuous paths

that shape the exactness that is now:

exquisite nuances of time

have scattered his seed

into helical whimsies,

nanosecond tapestries,

fabrics twisting impishly

from the endless hum of a spinning loom

into the pieces that leave survivors like me

to hear his story,

or to unknowingly pass him by.






At Last I Feel


At a thousand dawns

I breathed the dewy earth

beside these walking stones;

and brushed the fledgling plum tree,

burgundy or barren or brown

with the hymn of the season;

and winced to the battleground clamor

of an invisible army of sparrows

behind sun-dizzied poplar leaf shields;

and felt pixie pin-prick kisses

misting against my cheeks;

and tasted an airy splash of pine

erupting from the breeze

like ruptured lemon peels.

A thousand times I hurried past

to more important matters,

though none can I recall.






The moments gather with the urgency

of withered fields ablaze, then hurtle through

me, dancing, thrashing with an ecstasy

that heralds our impending rendezvous.

But you're enveloped by a nonchalance,

a simple elegance, a veil of white

beneath a guileful moon; and your response

is breathful and caressing, but contrite,

unlike a lover's. So a great abyss

is rushing to the heavens as I fall,

and drunken notions of our starry bliss

become the ashes of my folderol.

Alas, in worlds devoid of your mystique,

the favors of another do I seek.




I Submit To You


To you, the palace hallway of Versailles,

with icy storms of fiery fisted spears

suspended over velvet floors to dry

the blood of charlatans and profiteers:

Your practiced strings embrace the symphony

of leathers and exquisite ivory

that bare my passion with calligraphy

in leaf of gold, my fevered mastery

of words to grace the altars of your god.

But brittle, cold, your touch, a thinning cloak

of winter's end replacing my facade

with garments tattered by the scornful stroke

of braided lashes in your stern decree,

till faint the sounds of palace revelry.




Thy Kingdom Come


Can no one hear my voice from here?

Alone am I within the quivering, ethereal,

  arthritic clutches of a brooding atmosphere.

Somehow I must communicate.

I'm helpless as a browned and brittle,

  weightless wisp of oak wedged to

    a footnote by the wasted bulk of volumes one to eight.


Obscured for now, behind a cloud,

The clamor of imaginary armor in the air

  predicts my freedom won't be long allowed.

With pulse of prey I turn to flee,

But hissing serpent-tailed envenomed

  winds deter me as I flop

    and flail upon the dusty purgatorial debris.


Perhaps it's best I'm taken soon:

Inside celestial chambers, high above, the deities

  convene to judge, to welcome, to repugn;

Yet cruel is the irony

That justice could be waiting as a

  covenantal clattering

    of cubes of ivory to plot my final destiny.






A ripple imperceptible, like hints

of amber in the tiring balsams, swells

to waves of apprehension, then imprints

a vision on my mind, with carousels

of pirouetting bronze bouquets that plead

for my attention with a fiery spin,

a touch-me-not exploding into seed,

a symphony of reed and violin.

As crippled prey, I cringe before the beast:

its moist and fuming breath and flaxen skin

invite me to a Bacchanalian feast,

the blending of our spirits to begin.


The darkness has returned, reflections faint

and grinning like a spectral carnival

illusion twisting from its glass restraint

and in the next bewitching interval

transforming into sheets of wind on stones

across a riverbed; through clearing air

appears the putrid chalky white of bones

enclasped around the edges of my chair.


Awakened, I am cradled by the roar

of hissing silence, till it dissipates

in shards of vapor on a restless shore,

and the relentless flow anticipates

my coming once again, and then again,

and then again; and on a tapestry

of shame and surfeit, abstinence and yen,

I curse the parasites who mock the plea

arising from my soul, to make it end!

But all in vain. For only when the gale

reposes in my arms and skies descend

upon the seas will quietude prevail.





Return to Home Page