Breath and Bones

Rejigged this a bit. Hope you are all well and coping.

unknown source

We are more than breath and bones,
or the dust of a soul’s divide that gilds
our pale faces with heavenly alchemy;
we are combined essences
swirling underneath complex skin
with all of love’s triumphant splendour
placed on our brows.

We are more than breath and bones
with no more taught sinew to soothe
since all mapped outreaches tethered
by distance and timid pasts have been conquered,
and before intruders, unseen, steal west
with their disgrace. We stay low and soft
within this warm, diaphanous wrap;
it is no fair costume this skin
of faux silk.

We are more than breath and bones,
as within each of us lies such vast continents
yet to be stroked, to align
with us under our blue skies.
Synapses crawl to make us,
messaged and volatile, their eager grip
might conquer us still…
we are more than breath and bones,
and we will not be torn asunder.

We are more than breath and bones,
or the thousands of strange shadows
that tend us; each have all but one shade,
and poor imitations lend counterfeit images,
all of you. But, the truth lies in a kiss
of your cheek, and there I see us
in every shape and shadow we know.

Cedar Summer: late summer silhouette & whimsy

I was inspired yet again by the fabulous, sock monkey.

for the Waxwing,
summer withers
sending the bare bones
of blooms to exit; their shift over

high up on defoliated twigs,
these sturdy spires become crows nests –
for one last look at sparse reminders
and stark remainders

and perched reverently
with subdued crest, rakish black mask
and brilliant-red wax
droplets fallen on tail feathers –
splashes of hot springs
long before flames burned out,
they are temporary beacons
for the Indian summer
as birds gradually disappear
like iron filings
falling from silky paper

soon they will fly south
for winter before shivers ruffle
silver grey feathers, autumnal
splendour from its box of tricks
is spilt and trickery dazzles us
with cooler combinations
of life clothed in warmer
costume

like petrified stone,
stygian contours champion the night sky;
dulled for now, but grey streaks charm
expectations sat on the horizon

where silhouettes shudder,
and disrupted delineation means time for bugs
as they share the yawning night
with grey squirrels
tiptoeing on slender spindles
so as not to disturb me

they are companion to my thoughts
silent and reflective – undisturbed
morsels like tiny trails of sunflower seeds;
spent tears,
trophies of summer,
wishes that traced the blue,
blue sky,

the grey squirrel is a small
reminder hoarding the remainders
of sunflowers and their holiday romances
with summer’s bronzed face
when they meekly
brushed the air with smiling optimism

held spellbound, a perfect mime, until
summer comes again and the birds return.

 

Winter’s not gone yet, if the wild geese chatter.

05300

The hollow cheeks of winter scantily cover
the skeletal lantern jaw of spring; bones
bleached white by receding frost are free
to begin their stiff rattle for warmth
and to generate the spirits who come armed
with bare bodkins. Spindled fingers, barer
than the twigs, mesmerise waves of air;
cajoling it, shaping it –
sieving from it whiter ghosts whose jangling,
laden necklaces jump up and down
to distract nature while they attempt to mix
together taboos with pestle and mortar
made from the wood of hardy grapevines –
its pounding fists crush green snakes with albino
to sedate her lust for colourful concoctions.

Meanwhile, the elixir created for the belly
of spring is fed intravenously – nature’s essential
essence and innate disposition doesn’t allow
for winter’s voodoo to dance past its time to rest
and it calls sap to rise, but not before
veins of ochre pump the hesitant glimmers
of warm sun to feed feathers on new growth –
the fair down worn by earthy women – dancing
to death storms under foot – mulching in croaking
remnants of damp and decomposing cloth.

The gaseous canary sings louder, happily shifting
its weight until coldness is gone
and its old clothes are discarded for new
they are tossed into the fire; smells
from warmed bones meet a sky heavy
with murmuring, and amber sparks
hanging from its underbelly cling like
new born kittens from snagged cotton
waiting for a cushion – as time waits for new flesh
to stick to spring’s ribs. And, like the certainty
of kisses, sweet and plenty, winter’s stuff
will not endure the warm rains of its graven image
burning in effigy –
springtime’s triumphant rebirth
is the flame of winter falling as golden daffodils.

*Title partially nicked from King Lear.

Aristotle Mourns

The Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle once said that elephants were “the animal which surpasses all others in wit and mind.”

elephants

                          Wandering on migration’s
           paths in mud caked days and cooler night winds of the dusted parks,
  in search of food and shallow pockets to bathe,
three generations of elephants; a herd in tow, they walk – wafting on rumbling
storm clouds underfoot – in the ruddy, powder trails of the lazy, thirsty,
arid soils – they are drawn, respectful.
Delicate strokes for each long lost family, each historical bone is touched –
bleached white stoicism’s stark seeds in the ghosted graveyard terrain –
relics of familiar ancestors. Even the smallest mourner is tender;
curious reverence is succour while tranquil, emptied carcasses
await closure – life hollowed and stilled –
not abandoned but grieved for, not forgotten but reunited –
by touching caresses of long reaching
history and emotions, intimate gestures
reach these lost souls – wandering ghosts
of the plains. A family line stretching back
through generations sharply
pierces a family line’s
queued up approbation in
remembrance of a shared
past and haunting visions – blurred
by sickness, or bloodshed. Small
calves punctuate columnar
legs – unifying, intertwining,
brought closer together,
and closer still until bonds
can bear no more. The elder
turns one last time; long
lashed pauses nod to long
lost relics of ancestral
rains – slow motion
drips down tears
through times
and atrocity
and its victims.
His eyes have
glimpsed
it in farewells
and dark pools –
   still, they are all of them
       winners in the game of life

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