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Elemental swing

I marvel at my son, this winded child,
boasting about hitting the baseball.
“Did you see that?” he shouts,
breath escaping in gasps, jubilant fireworks
celebrating a victory for the ages.

I see it. The pride in his face — a lion
reveling over a gazelle that will feed
her entire family — sustains us,
nourishment neither of us knew we needed
but is now elemental to our survival.

We watch the pomp, sharing in
the ostentatious delight only a child
revels in. He’ll stumble — superheroes
sometimes step on their capes — but
swing again, confident in any winds.

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One man’s art

The match lights.

The newspaper sparks immediately —
the flame matching the intensity
of the ink passionately spread through
a dozen stories — and dissolves into ash.

The infant flame crawls onto twigs.

I stand mesmerized by this transmutation:
words once poured over by anxious writers
now spilled into a fire as kindling, sweat
burning into memories I’ve already forgotten.

The winds shift.

I rearrange the sticks to assist their demise,
wondering how many revisions — how many 
editors’ notes — were born before the news 
fanned out to a half awake audience.

The flames leap from twigs to logs.

I stare transfixed at the graceful movement
of the blaze (so gorgeous as it spasms
on this log, then another) effortlessly 
transforming timber into trifling confetti.

I find it poetic.

My stomach screams an idea, an ephemeral epiphany
I must immediately share for art’s sake,
enthusiastically published on pulp
and eventually catalyst for another fire.

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The window glass

The snow breathed heavy that day,
a jolt of icy white confetti celebrating
winter’s return. Paralyzed by the cold,
we watched, transfixed by the beauty
and ferocity, as winter played out
its first act. Dazzled by the scene, I reached
without thinking for the cold,
the glass chilly and inhospitable
on my fingers as I tapped myself
into the performance.

A stag, startled, heard my intrusion
and stared at us, a spark of terror
in his eyes, hoofs frozen in fluffy earth.
Nothing moved as he stood
staring in a stupor as snow and tree limbs
cascaded around those antlers, majestic
and stock-still. What bravery to survive
the savagery spitting numbing flakes
on a naked face.

Just as suddenly he stirred from his bluff
and disappeared behind the stormy curtain,
forever relieving me of his second act.
And I, roused and staring only at
my own reflection in the poorly insulated
window, resolved to buy some weather strips
and better protect myself from
nature’s cruelty.

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Light in the cave

Even now clouds dare to obscure
the light, hoping to extinguish the glow
that naturally bounces from your cheeks
like effervescent flecks of confidence
congealing around those lips
refusing, though shaded, to frown.

Don’t ever let me lose your light
or dissolve into absence, obfuscated
in shadows mimicking reality on
lightless caves where I’m left with
memories of brilliant visions
glistening with hope of another sun.

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To Not Desire Dreams

Originally posted on Stine Writing:
Play in your dreams tonight  or so you suggest  to those who are willing to   try the impossible  of sleep with a dream.    What of the nightmares that   so possess my mind  that fight with my world  to show that I am not   fighting for a job  or trying to wait on that last table.    What about the memories  that only come in sleep  to make the days  even worse than those before,  to darken the morning hours before dawn.    The dreams for all are not   majestic nor to desire.  They are for the darker side  of your mind  always coming out  even when not invited.    

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Play in dreams

Let’s play in dreams tonight among
fanciful half-drawn adventures that
reflect reality while sharing
a majestic illusion that feels slept in.

I think I’ll fly through a world
of my own making, one great
with clocks that don’t tick but
houses often dance like jumping beans
on a record player I can’t turn off.

You’ll be there – or at least
my mental image
of you – to share an expansive world
of fantasy and sweeping lands
of rolling reveries.

Let’s get lost in dreams tonight, 
entranced by enchanted visions
extending before us while we share
this queen bed barely slept in.

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Last dying kiss

We must remember as we bravely parachute
to our final landing place to make the most
of all the lasts – a last meal to energize
our breaking body, last words to inspire
those not jumping though clouds, last visits
with passing specters sharing last goodbyes.

A death bed is just one last stage, one final
curtain call before an audience left wanting
more, grasping at minutes as they dissolve
between clapping fingers. Where does
the time go? Where does anything?

Winds blow in without warning
and dissipate just as quickly. Change
can revitalize whatever breezes
haven’t swept farther down the road.

Our end is an end, one of millions every
day that taste salty on pursed lips
aching under the weight of uncertainty.

I will not waste mine. With my last
dying kiss, I’ll noiselessly thank you

for a life well played.

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Nightmare flower

There’s not enough coffee in the pantry
to poison the nightmare flower
growing inside my mind this Monday morning –
a menacing thought blooming in shadows.

What phantoms creep in darkness,
wakeful vigils watching
through keyholes while moonless skies sway
then give way
to the quiet sun cheering for someone to hear?

The sun is too loud.

She dropped the seeds in my ear while I was sleeping
then evaporated, leaving me
a farmer diluted, hosing my brain with
caffeine while my wetter winks paint sorrow
in neat rows not yet tilled.

What blossom sprouts in dejection,
rotten and unwanted
I sit wishing the sun would retreat or retract
or simply retrace its steps in reverse?

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