When Love is Gone

A world abandoned,  nature now attends.

She grows her roving vines; surrounds the door.

The sound of children’s play is heard no more.

Around the gnarled roots that grow and stray

she grabs at windows once held curtain’s sway.

No human voices echo through her halls

No more the roaming Jasmine odor calls.

What mystery escapes her stucco walls?

What place is this once held such loveliness?

Mad roots now rave and overrun her past.

They strangle unknown cause so long forgot.

When love is gone, then covered is the heart.

overgrown house

Remember Us

“Remember Us”

Like pictures on a screen in seconds, lost

or blips upon a monitor turn long

old memories are flown with deadly cost:

as quarks may separate eternal song.

The picture caught though words may flutter by

though hole is in my net and so I sigh.

A set of words surround my broken thought

say: “You and I” when, clearly, love is sought.

Before our memory may grab stale air

Before time takes the brain and makes a mush

Before the hurt that makes us want to share

Before the mind’s become a muddy lush;

inscribe upon some stone where century

from now our love survives for all to see.

Haiku for Lovers (photo by Robert Doisneau)

“Bang, Bang”

 

She stood outside the window looking in;

Her parents and the colored lights recall

a celebration known as Christmas when

all hearts are light and people’s cares are small.

She stood outside the window looking in

but dare not leave the shadows. There’s a pause;

her hair entwined with twigs; her knee is skinned.

Her lips are bruised ; new boots are scraped with claws.

Four schoolboys offer her a ride that night.

Her devastation comes from shame within; 

she cannot face their laughter and her fright

has frozen her emotions with her sin.

Age fourteen, her naivete now dead;

her girlhood’s over; older life now led.

(Age of this true story: many years.  Yes, she remembers every detail.  Reason for not reporting:  “they would never have believed me against the 4 of them.”  Remembering that time in history, she was probably correct.  Damned if you tell and damned if you don’t.  Is a new age coming? We need to teach our daughters how to better fight back against abuse.  There is an old Nancy Sinatra song, “Bang, Bang” that is so poignant (1966).  Women have been victims too long.  Maybe we can start teaching our young how to fight back and survive without being murdered in a cornfield in the future.)

“Starlight”

Van-Gogh.-Starry-Night-469x376

Starlight

Stars curl across the evening sky:
soulful, spinning out of sight.
So Van Gogh wants all to know
starry, vivid, glowing night.
Still, his canvas sings to us:
Shouts out to shining faithful
Swirling starlight with his brush.


Above called the “Pleiades” form.

Form invented in 1999 by Craig Tigerman, Sol Magazine’s Lead Editor. Only one word is allowed in title followed by a single seven-line stanza. The first word in each line begins with the same letter as the title. Hortensia Anderson, a popular haiku and tanka poet, added her own requirement of restricting the line length to six syllables. (I have restricted mine to 7 in honor of the seven sisters).

Background of the Pleiades: The Pleiades is a star cluster in the constellation Taurus. It is a cluster of stars identified by the ancients, mentioned by Homer in about 750 B.C and Hesiod in about 700 B.C. Six of the stars are readily visible to the naked eye.  Depending on visibility conditions,  between nine and twelve stars can be seen. Modern astronomers note that the cluster contains over 500 stars. The ancients named these stars the seven sisters: Alcyone, Asterope, Celaeno, Electra, Maia, Merope, and Tygeta; nearby are the clearly visible parents, Atlas and Pleione.

A Dose of Castor Oil”

A Dose of Castor Oil

A dose of castor oil was once the trick

our fathers often said we must imbibe.

Then gagging does embrace the mucous thick

as down it goes so foulness may not thrive.

A stuttering, red evil here is strewn

as AR Fifteens shatter all the love.

We need an antidote from heaven-hewn

yet no such medic issues from above.

Oh, world of endless joy and ruthless pain,

we’re crying out ; please send a cure for us

before dead children drive us all insane;

before this globe and hope is turned to dust.

Yet, comes no answer for our sickened sighs

or family of man. Cold blood defies.munch_edvard_3

“Men in Orange Jumpsuits”

 

She wanted the attention and the wealth.
Bold disrespect she shows Memorial Day
for Christians dressed in orange to their death;
be-headings all the rage is Griffin’s way.

I weep for Man whose lost all sense of shame
I shudder for her stupid, bloody hands
I feel the filth just mentioning her name
A comedy of sorts lost to her fans.

Catastrophe to those who clap and grin.
There will be sorrow for the rest of us.
A lost humanity attuned to sin,
we’ll view our part , if any, with disgust.

The heart has withered once the head is lost
and so Man’s spirit where there is no trust.

“Two Sisters”

two sisters 001Lithograph: Miguel Martinez

But we are strangers, always. Two sisters, so close in age. Time separates like two wet leaves cling, dry, then snap away with the wind. What causes human partings? Does there need to be a cause?  Like sleepwalkers holding hands, we slowly wander off to opposite lives. No need to look back or try to fathom what happened. Nothing at all. Once, a call to share with me her medical. I listen with empathy; apparently unable to offer the sympathy she needs. Once I post a letter_ loaded with spousal problems. She responds with feelings of disgust for a sister that is nothing but a “poor me” cry baby. Neither of us able to give what the other needs or wants. Time forms a lost, hurtful relationship.  Strangers, we answer with numbness until the scab finally leaches off and leaves a clean, clear perfect skin beneath. But somewhere in that perfection, just beneath the skin;  a bloody, mysterious half-forgotten longing.

“Contemplating My Future”

“On Contemplating the Future”

There is no Future; there is only Now.
The Past is but a memory of flings;
my days have flown with many hopeful vows,
but Now is all that’s left for me it seems.

The locket that he gave has turned to rust.
The promise ring, a momentary pearl.
And each forgotten tryst has turned to dust;
to somber-gray my silken, lovely curls.

I grab my current cup, gulp greedily;
see brimming bubbles winking at its edge.
I drink its dredges; bottom of its sea
for life is but a moment with a pledge.

The future’s only held within my eye;
imagined worlds that may come, by and by.

 

 

The Gift

lovebirds4-best-2(photo by J.Casey)

My snowy visitors have brought to me
a bright and beautiful December day
I offer them my Chinaberry tree.
I perch and stare before they’re on their way.

They pause and groom each other for awhile;
soft talk they share with cooing , cheek to cheek.
They stare at me and, sure I see a smile
upon the face of one who wants to speak:

“Coo-coo, it is the human heart we seek.
His sacrificial love was made by choice.
That splendid gift God gave us makes us meek.
As we are poets, we will be your voice.

On wings of care,  Nativity,  they sing.
His birth’s a gift  forever echoing.”

These doves were perched outside my 3rd floor balcony in Florida; Dec 11, 2012 (my mom’s birthday). They stayed; grooming themselves for a good fifteen minutes before they flew away and did not seem to mind my photographing them from only a few feet away.  In the many years I have lived here, before and after that date, those birds have never been seen again.  I have always considered them a gift and message from my mom,  gone since January, 2000.