Category: Poetry

One more

I fixate on the heartbeats;
breaths swell like waves in caves.
I time the rise and shy retreat
to assure myself the ends will meet,
cos sometimes it seems to take them too long;
a moment stranded like forgotten songs
left to wonder if one day they’ll ever complete,
should the artist compose for my heart
one more beat.

Devoted

I stand devoted to the sea,
though she may never know the love,
there’s beauty in her fervency
that draws from deep to rise above.

I do what little a poet can
to cast a line into the swell;
with hopes for hooks, I haul with hands
to snag a lip or claw or shell.

I edge the tide in silent awe,
brace cold beside unwavering form,
bleed out and wash into the shore,
evaporate to join the storm.

Corks

I have a cupboard full of corks,
each one scarred red, with cored-out hearts,
each drilled by hand, then laid to rest –
or rather ‘tossed’,
in some feigned manner of casual
(after all, who cares?)
to the lower shelf, where nobody will find them.
And how I hope someone will.

Wait, they’d say.
What are these?

Steel

About the second whiskey in
my guards depart on midnight trains,
and fell the station of refrain,
wherein, wherein, wherein

I start to clamber back to tracks,
where sleepers step with railed regret,
and for a moment I forget
the lack, the lack, the lack

of fastened steel that’s tried and true;
it courses in pursuit of bends
that buckle at the force you send
into, into, into

my wheels-for-feet that grip the turn,
knock loose the rusted threads and heads,
chase down the straights for those who fled;
Return! Return! Return!

The gap in the trees

Some nights when the air was warm and calm
we’d set up chairs, angled to the gap in the trees,
peeking at the bay, the moon, the port, the city,
from the balcony of our Jack London Square apartment;
two transplant wanderers, far from friends, family, and home,
gambling on the good nature of strangers,
and too proud of our independence to consider
that we might actually need each other.
You, packing some exotic tobacco
into an ornate, wooden pipe.
Me, making a mess of the shoulder of a BevMo cigar.
We toasted with scotch, spoke slow, traded wisdoms,
subdued the moment like blowing smoke into bee hives,
and surmised who we would marry.

Whiplash

I miss the way it bites and slaps;
my lover now is far too smooth.
I miss all the colors and tastes of its traps,
where now their intentions are only to soothe.

I daydreamed its danger, bit my lip at the thought,
bared all the abuse for the bliss that it brought,
made my peace with the fire, howled wild at the moon,
always woke with a promise; always broke it too soon.

Now she’s calming, and caring, and charming, and kind,
puts a stopper in pain, moves my mind to unwind,
picks me up from the downs many lovers infused,
but leaves me wanting for whiplash,
for my skin to be bruised.

Endure

Dabble in the dark, and close
the door.

Fumbling at buttons, and fall
to floors.

Reaching out for faces;
finding more.

Breathing into spaces; bent, she braces
her core.

Clawing walls for switches, to see
the score.

Counting the stitches she must
endure.

It’s not often I write a disclaimer, but here it is. I did not know where this poem was going, and it is not based on any life event I’ve witnessed or been told. Sometimes the words just kinda happen. I was hesitant to post, but it made me more nervous to keep it hidden.