Colors at dawn

What does one say to a sky
glowing in scarlet brilliance
at this early hour, blinking sleep
casting long shadows over dreams
half remembered, if all?

These vermilion pigments dance
among clouds, warming to the idea
of another day and whatever
unwraps the blues of normalcy,
mundane. Routine.

I’ll not let this complexion slip
to ordinary, even as trees
envelop us in shade, days creep
shorter, and shadows — those

dark false realities that smooth
us out to remove a dimension
on chilly, fallow ground — lurk
behind but never catch us.

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Just breathe

You look confused, eyes tangled
in bewilderment, unsure what comes
next. Flustered words slowly swim
upstream, tangled in the waterweeds
and obscuring the direction
of the current sweeping
your feet out from underneath.

Breath. Collect your thoughts — they are
but two-cent pieces taking
up space in a piggy bank you had
hoped fattened by now, or full enough
at least for the both of us.
I’ll be here when you’re ready.

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One perspective

The caged butterfly beats wings
against captivity, hostage to forces
beyond the walls imprisoning it.
Arresting (and attractive) orange
(dotted with black) elegance —
I am enchanted by such
spunky thrashing against its netted bondage,
beauty bound for something more.

What makes me move on past
the incongruous scene (set behind
an inhibiting screen) is the thought
(or is it hope?) that the lattice serves as shield,
protecting the gentle innocence within,
armor against the elements — a matter
of perspective authentically mine,
beset with doubts until I’m out of view.

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The in between

I revel in the in between, the moments
that cling to my swiftly failing memory
like a sock from the dryer that refuses to unhand
my shirt — something electric to embrace
the shocking windfall overtaking me.

I feel fortune’s stroke in this,
a lamp post spotlighting those moments —
unforgettable dots on a map
they blur past scurrying to the flashier dots,
leaving the in between her to us.

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If dreams

Can dreams be real? They exist
at night — in the dark
ineffable phantoms haunting us
like hazy ephemera disappearing
when we watch too long.

No — I think of other dreams,
the ivory hopes spring
for however long we have. We write
them on the clouds until
we dream up something higher.

Are dreams real before
they come true? Does it matter?
I prefer to spend energy
Finding time to nap.

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Spiders are fine. They’re fine.

I wouldn’t call it arachnophobia.
I’m not paralyzed at the sight of a spider
proudly squatting on a sticky throne
creepily waiting,
enormous bug eyes surveilling
the nightmares of smaller bugs soon to wander
through a web of foreboding.

But the thought of eight legs skittering
across my skin — pincers pelting me with jitters,
tremors rippling over me
in concentric circles of panic,
now unsure of my link
on the food chain.

Oh hell. Now I can’t sleep.

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The voice

I heard the voice — whirling in my ears
like a breeze whistling on leaves
with the bluster of November not expecting
December to overshadow it — though
in my delirium I could not find it.

The voice — alien and incoherent as it seized
my mind without a through to the impression
it left — told me to leave (bounded
in lunacy and invisible) to
the irrational rabble wrapped in regret.

Was it mania — a psychic knot tied
to some forgotten tram unspooling and
unwelcome — or merely benign?
I am not delusional enough
to think I know the difference.

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Stuck in a vase

What intimacy in a rose —
unafraid to draw blood it
entangles (or ensnares) all brave enough
to reach (stuck in that moment)
for a thrill.

Its perfume no longer pricks
my nose (in moments overcome
by desire I stick my nose in)
bred instead for its petals —
so red (or pink).

I’ll let this rose rest in a vase,
passion burning in tepid water
(I must remember to change
the water) — safe from plucky hands
(and fingerprints).

read more Stuck in a vase