Friday, February 28

Frog


FROG
Froggy face
Takes a while to like—
Too many freckles, not enough smile.
Half a dimple, awkward style.
Odd little heart
Slow to trust—
Jumps out windows, crumples quick,
Hides away when feeling sick.

Somehow strong now, somehow loved.
It’s you someone is thinking of.

Thursday, February 27

Traffic Jam

TRAFFIC JAM
Merging, surging on analysis,
Body in a belt, constrictive paralysis.
Speed up, slow down, slide right in,
Situational awareness—now let’s begin.

One-way means one thing;
U-turn means another.
The first is for the brave;
The second for the others.
Flash red lights; 
Stop on the tracks.
Green's too perilous;
Yellow’s the rack.

Running every stop sign,
Begging to get caught,
I'm swerving into lanes,
Traversing lines that I should not.
Pressing brakes but giving gas;
Coming at you—gotta pass
Cause my foot won’t quit the pedal;
Take my license, still I bet I’ll
Cut you off at every turn.
Screeching tires, rubber burns.
Quaking, braking, no risk-taking,
Won’t see me accelerating.
Blinkers fading, signal crosses,
Pull me over, cut my losses.
Gonna crash into disaster.
Glass will fly and metal scatter.
Skip the questions—I know answers.
Still I’m going fast, and faster.

Wednesday, February 26

Monarch

MONARCH
Patient primping queen
regal citrine
black-veined soft thing
flicker on a milkweed gate.

Lost on its journey miles
deep forest cries
no home to fly
sun fingers suffocate.

What do you know lovely
banter with honeybees
signals in trees
gilded small weight.

Leaves live no more
caressed in arms sore
subsistence a chore
leave it be--it's too late.

Tuesday, February 25

The Ballad of Charlie Byrne

THE BALLAD OF CHARLIE BYRNE
Near the shores of Lough Neagh, near Drumullan,
‘Top a lofty sheaf of hay,
A peasant girl with a neighboring boy
Conceived a child one day,
And that child he grew to become a man
By the name of Charlie Byrne—
A seven-foot-seven behemoth he were,
Which no eye peeped wi’out concern.
This giant of Eire saw his fortune afar
And stole off to London town.
The Living Colossus! claimed Cox Museum,
And so Charlie fast gained renown.
Fortune and fame with celerity came;
Like an Irishman, Charlie, he drank.
Many a penny he squandered as fast
As could anyone put in the bank.
But cursed Giant Byrne lived his days in fear
Of the doctors that dogged his steps.
Like a pack of wolves at the scent of blood,
They stalked him with open forceps.
Dissecting this physical wonderment
Would for any condone their cabal,
And foremost of all John Hunter he was,
Hell bent to learn why Byrne was tall.
Calamity ne’er lies far from the rich,
When the world affords chance opportune,
So one fateful night, Charlie’s pocket was freed
Of his se’en-hundred-pound fortune.
In abject state, Byrne self-prescribed drink
As cure for his sure destitution.
“Burial at sea!” he pleaded to all
‘Fore he swigged himself into dissolution.
They did him a wrong, then, poor Charles Byrne,
Who’d dreaded dismemberment,
Cause they sold his corpse to the highest bid:
John Hunter, he got what he’d meant.
In the Royal College of Surgeons now
On show as privilege unearned,
In a great glass box amidst oddities
Tower the bones of Charlie Byrne.

Sunday, February 23

The Lovers

THE LOVERS
unite on secret hill
in the park
lungs beat eager thrill
in the dark
no place they should be
after all
bandages for knees
after falls
trees covet accordance
of their limbs
blush attests importance
of each whim
every password thunderous
to uncover
every action blunderous
to a lover


Saturday, February 22

The Chandelier



THE CHANDELIER
Dainty gauze-embracéd girl—
A hummingbird, flitting from here to there,
Her apparition a mist-cloaked pearl,
Reflection in eternal squares.

With grace, she pauses, eyes agate,
And fingers pale as bone outreach.
Phantasms round her congregate;
Worlds sublime their forms have breached.

Ethereal movement in onyx walls
Define each turn of her porcelain neck,
While cynosure of the vast void hall
Shows a thousand stars in prismatic deck.

Five hundred crystals line each tier,
Opulent bonfire of colored glass.
Vanity’s shame, this chandelier—
Most beautiful baubles it has amassed.

Her jewéled wrists sanguine bedewed,
And countless mirrors  her face emulate.
Lost in nothing, no hope to brood,
The menagerie she must satiate.

Around her brittle body now
The ghosts, they hover, jealous wraiths.
New soul glints in the ceiling’s boughs,
Locked evermore in lucent case.

Thursday, February 20

Beetle



BEETLE
Into the earth you go,
Among the lipless larva,
And blind white fish--
Petrifying conglomerate orbs.
Pores permeated with slugs and smoke,
Winking caves in martian lands,
Jointed legs clattering through rocky cores.
The vortex draws you in.

This beetled biography draws a no-show.
Too much tunneled for, to carve a
Home, mandibles whirring with each wish—
Jaws regurgitating plant unabsorbed.
Antennae poised, you choke;
Can’t do much without hands.
Sense seals apertures and bores  
A bug hole deep within.

Saturday, February 15

Lemondrop Days



LEMONDROP DAYS
Lemondrop days burn as
Gold nuggets beneath
Verdant trees.
Sweet in memory yet
Tart in retrospect.
Cool glasses. Sculpted ice cubes.
Relative laughter.
Blossomed world.
 


Wednesday, February 12

Apothecary

APOTHECARY
Mirrored walls, endless halls,
Menageries of candid cravens
Speaking, seeking sparks in the darkness.
Too entombed to be exposed.
Apothecary, why harness hope to the hopeless?
We arrive for the poison; you prescribe pain,
Corrosive nostrums peddled for a
Sigh and a sham.
Shame, isn’t it?
Trite, albeit.
Over jars of queer things, soaking in saline,
Terrariums pickling premonitions,
Tubes of fomenting fluids,
Worlds within nestled niches,
Engaging with the wee things
We sell what we don’t yet possess,
Barter with your charlatanism,
Play doctor with our disorders,
Knock knees, improvise injections, count bones.
Checkered diagnoses.
Your prognosis, asperous one?
A potent subtraction for your
Concocted collection,
The addition of an
Archaic conviction,
Pride cast into an
Oubliette.
Check in, check up, check out.
Check.