Parts Unread [Poem]

That quiver at the corners of her lips,
that nervous tick, quickly covered,
that first hint of an expression
only squinting eyes can see,
spends as much time simply being
as considering
what its purpose might be.

That uneasy moment once begun,
so quickly undone – but never truly undone –
is enough for me to know that with every word she speaks,
her silences grow,
filling in the sound with silence,
our conversations with ghosts,
our intimate moments so quickly coated in dust and comments unsaid
that it is quickly becoming impossible
to read the parts of us still unread.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A Taste Like Regret [Poem]

Her lips taste like cigarette smoke

even from a thousand miles away.

Her eyes smolder whistfully in my memory like tobacco ashes,

ashes that her eyelids would flick deftly from her cheeks

to the pavement at random intervals

under both cloudy or clear skies.

Her soul burning slowly down to the filter

until there is nothing left

and whether cloudy or clear

the ash-touched sky

tastes like regret.

Photo by Peri Stojnic on Unsplash

On DVerse the prompt is to write about an emotion or abstract concept. What does it taste like?

Map Maker [Poem]

The world could not be ever as it began
untouched by the hands of man
once humanity began

long before she bit the apple
the snake had taken up its residence
behind her ribcage
though she did not know it

when the ark was built
human hands
counted two of each animal as they passed
gate-keeping the future from the past

The man in the clouds
with the fierce hawk-eyes
saw all of this and more
long before he bent his back to this most recent chore

With sure hands
unshaken by the sands of time
he draws lines across dunes and deserts
and low valleys
over high mountains
and along rivers
and sometimes through them

When his time was done
the world had become many from one
and he gave no thought to what man would see as signs
that these lines were drawn sacred and divine

Photo by Marjan Blan | @marjanblan on Unsplash

World’s End Pt. 2 [Poem]

I return to the beginning
at the end of it all

before the fires burned
and put themselves out
out of spite

before the sea spit
on the shores in disgust
and swallowed the sun whole

before the future
laughed at me
as though it knew something I didn’t

before the past
sang a sweet lament
for what I would become

before the present
devoured itself
and the whole universe collapsed inward

There is no precipice
no ledge rising up over the darkness

and I do not even remember how I arrived here
at the doorway to world’s end

The doormat reads: Break in case of fire
and the past present and future laugh with me for a moment

Two pale arms reach through the door to greet me
embracing me as their own

at the end of it all
i return to the beginning

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

My soul is a sunflower. [Poem]

My soul is a sunflower
blossoming yellow petals
and bittersweet seeds
that crackle under the tongue
or the heat of the sun,
its withering leaves brushing together mindlessly,
like lost memories.

My body is a green stem
that holds my sunflower soul
skyward
despite the presence of birds and the danger of breezes
that might pull loose some crackly seeds at any moment,
casting them to the dirt below.

maybe to grow
maybe to grow

maybe to rest for a time in my hollow shadows
we may never know

but maybe to grow

Photo by Sean Quillen on Unsplash


This week, Eugi asks us to respond to the following prompt:

“petals

tree tokens

fine art”

‘The soul has words as petals’ – Edmond Jabes

A Word Once Spoken [Poem]

“The swiftest horse cannot overtake a word once spoken”

– Chinese Proverb

Be wary what leaves your lips in anger or in passion,
for by fractions those words fashion your reality –
for better or for worse,
for worse or for better.
Not a thing can be unaffected that is touched
by these words once spoken.

Once silence is irreparably broken
it can never be repaired without scars
and you can never unmake words,
Not with the swiftest or surest hand,
Nor the tightest fist,
Nor with the softest kisses
laid across ears that cannot un-hear your words.

The heart heals itself like skin,
suturing along its frayed lines,
each stitch creating new scars
so that even in health there remain traces of brokenness,
faceless faces,
stitched together smiles,
a hollow reflection of what was once beautiful
with eyes that will never look at you the same again.

A word once spoken
does not collapse in the desert,
bone tired and sweat drowned,
nor does it cry out,
legs mangled under the weight of racing the universe,
chest heaving.
It rises like hot air,
borne from the earth into the clouds
to rain a harsh and toxic rain
over unsuspecting heads
while you sit watching the rain in the distance,
knowing what you have done.

Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

On DVerse, the prompt today is to write a poem that incorporates a proverb in some way. Make certain you state the proverb.

The Time of Night That is Quietest [Poem]

There is always a time of night that is quietest,
whether you are awake to hear sounds absence
or whether you rest tucked beneath a comforting blanket of dreams.
That is the moment when thoughts seem to linger longer
in the spaces between dreams or nightmares or fantasies.

Though when the seas of sound part, for that one moment,
my mind, whether awake or dreaming,
cannot help but drift to you, to us,
to those visions of the future that are too far away to seem real and too close for comfort,
those visions that pause in the space between dreams and memory,
forming a perfect future from the fragments of you, of us,
of the walls we tore down
to let each other in,
and the shadows that stretch from the walls
we are still working to climb.

The quiet is so deafening is that moment
that I cannot help but to seek solace…
but you are my solace and you are not beside me tonight.
When I turn over in bed,
my hands feel empty air
and my eyes see nothing but a blinking green light
at bedside
with no late night context.

I check my phone and see you wished me a good night four hours ago,
before the quiet and the tossing and turning.
Before I woke,
temples sweating
and temple crumbled.
I smile,
hearing whispers in my ear in the tune of your voice
and I roll over into a deep sleep,
the subtle sounds of summer returning
with the chirp of crickets
and the soft hum of streetlight bulbs.

Photo by Josh Marshall on Unsplash

Growing Pains [Poem]

We are born
with legs
unequipped to ferry us
through life
and eyes drawn everywhere
and nowhere
taking in nothing
and everything –
lost in wonder
and the joys of forgetting.

There were no beginnings and endings then
and yet when
we grow
we cannot help but remark at how time
flew by
in a flurry of endings
as our legs grew long,
aching under the strain
of pulling us skyward
against the pull of the dirt
we were born from
crawled over
walked on
and will eventually return to.

Our backs slowly cave through our chest cavities
under a gravity
that 10 million years of history
could not grow our spines
strong enough to overcome.

We are born dying
seeking whys
and wondering at meanings,
giving words to feelings
and puzzling at the space between words,
the emptiness between syllables
growing within our chests
until it becomes infinite,
leaving us gasping for breaths,
our backs bending through the soil
and all our willows weeping.

Cherish each step
on your unsteady legs
and love your endings and beginnings,
until you forget them completely
and dwell in the woes and joys
that exist beyond meaning
in the spaces where forgetting and remembering merge,
in the spaces where age and youth lose all meaning,
in the spaces between your toes
where the gravity
presses the dirt against your bare skin,
and you remember everything
you once forgot.

Photo by meriç tuna on Unsplash