Blame the Weather

The tree that refused to believe it was winter

I can give you a reason
for all kinds of treason,
I can fake with a smile and blame
all of the seasons –
you’d always believe me
time after time –
’cause you’re always the
reason, you see.

I can cry like a spoilt child,
use excuses not reason,
smother you with happiness
depending on season,
I could shoot you a line or two
just ’cause I can –
you’re always the
reason, you see.

let’s kill
such a horrible truce,
let’s have no more abuse
we’re
just two of a kind

our love
would take care of itself,
it wouldn’t wonder what else
it could
possibly lose

It’s a cold smell, an empty smell,
like something uneven,
It will strangle then free you
till you heave then you grieve,
I could save you or watch you choke,
maybe I will,
you’re always
the reason, you see.

in death,
time would probably still
all that’s left of my will,
and there’d
be no reason for us.

 

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Orchids

Poetry_Gathering_at_the_Orchid_Pavilion_(Hobara_Museum_of_History_and_Culture)

I was inspired by The Orchid Pavilion gathering of 353 CE which was a cultural and poetic event during the Six dynasties era, in China. The gentlemen (42 literati) had engaged in a drinking contest: rice-wine cups were floated down a small winding creek as the men sat along its banks; whenever a cup stopped, the man closest to the cup was required to empty it and write a poem. This was known as “floating goblets” (流觴, liúshāng). In the end, twenty-six of the participants composed thirty-seven poems.

Wife, as my life fades with the closing
sun, weeds now overtake linen paths driven
into the wilderness,

I have no strength to fight them,
and soon you must walk this way alone
though my heart is warm still –

but later, I will watch for you
and know the crinkled nose on your dirty face
as your dainty fingers dig delicately

because you are such a gentle flower,
I know you would not want to hurt them.
I am sorry how high the weeds will grow

since there is no one to take my place or to walk
you across the orchid bridge, but it has such
a fine elbow, a kind arm hanging over the stream –

when you walk do not look for the rice cups
and scoundrel ghosts drinking Huangjiu –
they who always beat me – but there is no disgrace,

I wrote a poem – and since the current was
lazy, I wrote another and another and another –
especially for you.

 

 

Jazz (Quadrille)

11007491-Saxophone-on-a-wooden-bench-in-autumn-Stock-Photo-saxophone-musicPicture: Benjamin Haas

44 words. Quadrille #15 Leaves.  Other entries here.

spine tingling tunes
work me up and down like
shivers – my hands dance;
each one like trembling jazz’s
autumnal leaves vibrating from my core –
connected nerves trace the crisp, white leaves
of a music book’s inky black saxophones
giving clarity to my
strumming fingertips.

2nd draft – more autumnal

Seasonal tingling tunes
work me up and down like
shivers – my hands dance;
each one trembling like autumn’s
jazzed leaves vibrating from shed trees –
connected nerves trace the crisp leaves
of a music book’s inky black saxophones
giving clarity to summer’s numbing,
strumming, fingertips.

 

Not a Green and Pleasant Land

aleppo.jpg

And on that green hill far away,
a city cries its loose, parched, grey stone;
it drizzles beside wizened honeysuckle
and yellowing foliage – unkempt and sprawling –
an analogous mass too decimated to be held
or remembered – it is in shock, in brutal denial,
in the middle of it all.
There was once a sight most beautiful,
a sight to please us all.
What was that stuff, that sense, that will
that lead us once to glory? Where is the light
that died in us – or so says an ancient story?

Atavistic shadows seek turmoil and unrest;
we dare not speak the words that once
were given. Smothered from head to toe;
blood cursed eyes are set aglow – victims
inside the garb of spirituality, are hiding in cities
without walls –  neither in or out – nothing to see
especially mustard gas and myriad chemical
weapons afloat on unsuspecting air and its people;
there are no alarm bells and it escapes bloody knuckles
when it comes knocking, penetrating ghostly,
invisible arms which have no means to protect
or barricade against evil and war’s hunger.

Screams run freely when children run from the crumbs
that are side streets, but there is nowhere to hide;
shells have no ceilings, inside there are no walls –
dead bodies lie neither in or out – death doesn’t know about
cement, or boundaries, nor does it know about peace
or a suffocating child’s burning eyes, innocence,
a parent praying for death, or politics or religion,
or…whatever it is we are allowing inside of these
non existent walls and… outside of them.

 

Downside Up

artlimited_img313248.jpg

Picture Source: Egon Kronch

Let me swim in your moonlight
take the plunge in shallow breathing
drifting
one, two, three, four
and float back to you
to exhale

Let me paint you a flower
you can hold for your own
colours
of lilac, yellow, orange
bleeding a river
to merge

Let me be your oxygen
like your heart’s fluttering wings
feathers
rising, spiralling, soaring
to live

Let me worship you
be not false nor made of stone
humanity
selfless, compassionate, empathetic
to be

 

Adagio

Gravure_door_Reinier_van_Persijn

Beats of time reverberate wholeheartedly,
Echoes reply and carry on the game.

Ages pass without compassion and acquiesce,
Suffering the ravages of man and beast.

Beats in time; rhythmically, belligerently,
Death is a drum roll in this excuse me of a dance.

Doubts in our minds torment us constantly,
Voices ill perceived cause havoc to sustain.

Wars do pass but go on relentlessly,
Continual and incessant; the suffering of all beasts.

Beating in time, rhythmically but belligerently,
We all waltz to the same tune in this excuse me of a dance.