The Choice

The best of dancers ruined by a host

of other loves that to the heart may call.

Some choices must be made or not at all.

The dance too brief ; the song may end for most

and fly away from splendor of romance.

Crescendo reached and still the dance she owns.

Life is too short to settle, oh, for less.

Eshoo the heart; don’t make the dreadful choice!

Her soul now hovers.  Grief is like a plow

that pushes every goal to here and now.

 

(Was watching the Movie, “The Red Shoes” when I wrote this.  The agony of being forced to make a choice between two over-whelming loves can drive one mad.)

Settled in Alabama

 Halloween 1942-1(the author, Jackie, far right, at age depicted in poem)

Settled in Alabama

We plant ourselves in hard, red clay out back.
A dusty game of Jacks we champion
but near mid-morning, turn, as hungry birds
and stand outside our granny’s country store.
We shuffle dirty, bare feet; outstretched hands:
Six howling worshipers at open door
and hanker for an Orange Crush, Moon Pie.

Her checkered oil cloth table later swells:
the smell of steaming, hand-tilled butter-beans.
Her cornfield grows up to the railroad track.
Fried chicken was a staple from her hens
who cluck and peck, roam ’bout without a pen.

I marvel how they simply fed us all.
So many children, grand, with gaping mouth.
No Social nor Security is known;
your option is to work or else you starve.

Late afternoon, we run the mile of road
to meet the city bus brings Granddad home.
And we, his soldiers marching happily
we settle in behind him, spirit free.

 

“There May Be Dragons”

Photo by Jacqueline Casey

There may be dragons in that soul-less flight

where harpies;  hovering aloft her bed,

born of a spell that chills the wicked night

and winters in her heart some unknown dread.

There may be dragons in the hate-filled gloom:

a whistling as the icy wind now drones.

As thundering is heard; impending doom

may crack the branches of the empire’s thrones.

Oh, seek to know the reason they are here.

The slow roll and the glaring eyes proclaim

love’s mated with a devil’s crushing leer.

There’s mystery; their birth is foreordained.

There may be dragons in the frozen night

as all those kingdoms hold their breath in fright.

 

(this poem influenced by “Game of Thrones”…)

 

 

“Mother Eclipse”

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017.

Mother Eclipse

The morning doves now pause their cooing, grand!
The infant’s little lids close heavily.
All nature yawns at fading of their land
while green has turned to black too instantly!

How must our father’s fore us felt when torn:
their brightest sun is sprinkled on black leaves.
Like little half-moons dance about the morn
convince him of a dark eternity.

Forever gone, man’s mother-light has left:
she hides in darkness, cold, their world up-ends!
And falling to their knees, their heart’s bereft
as blackness shakes their bones and leaves no friend.

“Oh, light of all our life, please with us stay
as from your breast our universal sway.”

The Hankering

field-of-dreams

“The Hankering”

Then suddenly September rain comes down.
The green peas whisper to the thirsty corn:
“New seasons yearn before your silk turns brown.
Some nameless hand will bend you one dark morn!”

From Miller’s Pub, our hero drains his beer.
His dream: to leave this red-clay country life.
But not before the dinner bell will steer
a thirst and hunger back to waiting wife.

“Oh, Maudie, do ya hear the crushing claim
of wind that rushes through our restless stalks?”
Old Maud is deaf; can only feel the train
that shakes and rattles dishes as he talks.

The railroad curves avoiding corn and peas.
The train sweeps, weeping past old Walt’s disease.

 

“All The Beautiful Young Men”

300px-Into_the_Jaws_of_Death_23-0455M_edit
June 6, 1944 Landing craft at Omaha Beach.

“All the Beautiful, Young Men”

I see the beauty in their brave-lit eyes.

At Omaha, it is their shining hour.

The camera’s caught the gray of early dawn.

Men stand; committed to a greater power.

The ramp now opens; there’s the glint of morn.

No turning back ; this is no time for pause.

Momentum made and like the muscle torn

from out its place , it is for raging cause.

“Oh, captain! I have done my duty now.

I’ve given you my soul and this bold heart.

I’ve nothing more to offer or endow.

As water takes my body, I depart.”

War, then, would strip bravado from their smile;

our young men gone in such a little while.

(copyright, Jacqueline Casey 2013)

“Adrift, Upon the Lee”

free-wiki-Max_Jensen_Großes_Marinestück-seascape-640-pxAdrift, Upon the Lee”

My soul’s adrift; her spirit lost to wind.

I’m tossed and vainly seek a safer lee.

I pull the anchor chain and with it send

my heart a-flutter, full-blown, out to sea.

My boat has ample weight yet she is trim.

She dreams of color and a high romance

with sun and wind and frothy water’s brim

across a deck that cherishes the dance.

But I am ghostly silent.  Lethargy

and fear within my muggy heart resides.

No compass; no direction do I see.

My stern into a darker water glides.

Oh, save us from that whore; my soul set free,

or else this landlubber; this poet, bleed.

 

Sonnet For Siyah

Siyah 13012839_1259927520702259_4055680267965955538_nSonnet For Siyah

The song that springs from your sweet innocence;
The petal of your lips an open grin.
A flower is my Siyah; no pretense;
Her baby eyes remind us love must win.

Oh, stay, my little bud! It is your day!
Remind us that our moments with you now
will never come again in this same way;
far richer than King Solomon’s gold bough.

The mystery and magic of your smile
like precious water could a thirst allay.
The richness of our earth is in your guile.
I will remember all your balmy ways.

Whenever I am feeling down and low
I will remember Siyah’s golden glow.

Fish Fantasy

Fish Fantasy

Upon this beach, the people saunter by.
Idyllic children play at water’s edge.
The warm wind blows its foam into my eyes.
My heavy heart sinks silent from this ledge.

But, lo! my body; buoyed by the salt,
forgets. My mind now slips its bony cage.
Free floating, spiny blob.  I’m fish, default
as once defined me in some ancient age.

I’m orca, splashing through his innocence.
Suspended, I am Pisces lost to shore.
Steered by my fins, I search with rounded lens.
I’m free…no more aerobic carnivore!

But suddenly… old Triton blows his hornorca
and I am banished; back to shoreline borne.