Creating the Past [Poem]

There is no contradiction more stark than time,
which points its arrow along a single axis,
bearing us, helpless, into the future
while its timelines are mired with multitudes,
contradictions,
fateful encounters and chance happenings
that abandon axes all together,
operating in the vast expanse between coherence and truth.

How can I explain time without explaining its in-explicability?
Time, in all its linearity, constantly rewrites itself,
for in each moment,
we overwrite the truths of the past
with the truths of the present,
re-crafting the world in our memory
into something inexplicably new.

Memory knows nothing of the past.
It is an invention of the present,
a clever liar,
a wraith passing by our window in the dead of night,
bringing beautiful falsehoods
disguised in the veil of truth,
truths that smile at us with familiar faces
we have never seen before.

We look backward
to look forward,
our necks bending to the past,
straining against the moment,
our eyes inventing the images
that we will share with our children
when we have finally
shaped them into truths.

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

Witchcraft [Poem]

Those fingers in my hair,
that sly come hither stare
that strips my conscience bare –
it’s Witchcraft

– Frank Sinatra, Witchcraft

She must have seen me first
through a thousand years of history,
for when she came to my door
she wore the exact name of my future.

She gazed through me
with eyes a thousand years long,
until I felt I belonged there,
trapped behind her pupils.

Her fingers passed the universe
through my callused palms
while she read my fate
in a calm voice I could not understand.

With molten lead
she cleansed my eyes of all evil
until she became my sight
and I could see nothing but her.

With a thousand spells, she reversed the moon
and became my night sky
and when I tried to question her and I,
she made me forget all of my why’s.

Written based on Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Magic – May 20, 2021:

the night glows lively

I feel the magic don’t you

moments to cherish

Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash

Frost // Kennedy [Poem]

By destiny bound,
two men stood side by side,
surrounded by sound
pouring from cheering human tides.

The day was set
for future to dawn,
there on the White House lawn,
under a noon-time sun.

The light was blinding,
the old man finding it hard,
to read the words he wrote,
forced to speak from his heart

a truth at once
brighter, stronger, surer,
than when last he spoke it
when his intentions were purer.

For he came this day,
to join hand in hand,
with the political future
of a much younger man.

They stood and smiled and waved,
til the crowd had gone home,
neither knowing that before long,
they both would be gone.

At DVerse, the prompt today calls for us to write about a famous poet. Your title must include the poet’s name and you should try and employ something of the poet’s style.

Mirror’s Image [Poem]

I, in my mirror’s image,
am inverted
and yet to my
imperfect eyes
I see myself whole
in that reflection.

I, in time,
refine my methods of seeing
to find only what
that false reflection
already
so cruelly defined.

Who am I
to read my mind?
All I do is think thoughts
others have already rhymed
and internalize the false reflections
I see mimed in other’s eyes.

Under those eyes, mine,
the lines stretch long
as I try to re-invert
that mirror image
to show myself a reflection
that is truly mine.

Photo by ali syaaban on Unsplash

For Eugi’s Weekly Prompt, we are asked to craft a poem from the following prompt:

viewpoint from within

heightened thoughts emerging soon

beyond perspective

Blue Tuesday Heart-String Blues [Poem]

My heart is overgrown with vines

that glow green-radiant
in unkempt spring breezes
and rustle
across the un-tuned strings
of my weary heart
in the most sweet-melancholic melody

Like the ghost of a memory,
that melody stirs something
somewhere in the deep recesses amid the vines,
the phantom limbs of the breeze
hugging my heart
in the wailing and whistling vocals
of my ancestors.

The vines wrap around my heart
tightly against the dusk
and the promise of cold,
their old and reborn roots anchoring me
as the blue-frost edges of sunset
take hold.

Blanketed by ghosts and memories,
my heart aches
as I recall
amid the piercing notes
of my Blue Tuesday heart-string blues
how many vines I tore up,
expecting to remain rooted.

Photo by Pete Walls on Unsplash

On DVerse, the prompt today is to write a poem about the word blue, whether the color, the feeling, or the musical style.

A Kind of Library [Poem]

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library”

– Jorge Luis Borges


Shards of light
through dust particles
flicker like fireflies
dancing through dim-lit rooms
in unpredictable flight patterns.

The yellow sun of noontime
shakes off its rays
across the spines
of yellowed and crackling books,
abandoned to time’s hands.

The air is stale-sweet,
the musty heaviness of sweating books
mixing with the scents of vanilla
and tobacco
that linger among the pages like memories.

Shelves born mahogany
have washed themselves
pale-brown
with the soft-bleaching sunshine
of many forgotten years

and lines of paleness have been etched
across shelf and book alike
at the angle of sunlight
through windows
to mark time’s passing.

My fingers trace this discoloration
from book to book
towards the small window
as my eyes slow-adjust to the dim light
and the ghosts that float around me.

I must be the first visitor
in ages,
my mere presence mixing up the dust
as I crack open a random book
to its first page.

There is no one here but me
and all of human history,
bound in fraying spines and crackling covers.
The solitude feels almost like how
I would imagine paradise.

Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

For Eugi’s Weekly Prompt, we are asked to craft a poem from the following prompt:

sun kissed paradise

ours is a world of our own

serendipity

The Lighthouse Keeper [Poem]

Dusk
like a blanket
stretched over the sky
making heavy
the world’s eyes
and drawing the lighthouse keeper
from the comfort
of his bed.

Though
it was said
that he never slept,
in truth, the lighthouse keeper
laid in darkness
through sunshine days
so that he was accustomed
at all times
to the night
and its horrors.

If you ever chanced upon him
by day
he might say
what he said to me
on that otherwise unremarkable
midsummer day:

“My
eyes
can see beyond the horizon
in those first minutes
of the night –
In the air
I can smell danger
and
see ships
devoured by the rocks.

I can feel the souls
of sailors
scattered all along this shore.



The more I see
of the night the more I fear.
Nowhere is how little
we truly are
more clear.
Let it be said that
fear
was
my first friend here
and she shall be
my last.
She will have my back
to my dying day.”

He spoke no more
and was gone
and though I saw him no more,
I have heard it said that
though his light
was never extinguished
and no ship perished on his shores
he died young
with grey hair
and skin-spots
and the same weary eyes
I saw all those years before
because that fear
and the ghosts
only he could see
slowly
consumed his life
out in that lonely lighthouse.

Photo by Danish Prakash on Unsplash

On DVerse today, the challenge is to write a poem in the voice of a fictional character. It can be any character you like, and you can introduce it in your own voice if you choose (à la Coleridge, though I certainly wouldn’t insist on this) but the main body of the poem must be in the voice of your character.

My Hotel Heart [Poem]

My heart has always been a hotel –

a passing through point
on the road to somewhere else

or else a place to drop off bags
and lighten the load for a short time
during one night stays and brief layovers.

The only signs
there was every anything there
at all
are
ruffled sheets, indented pillows,
the odd forgotten sock or sweater,
a short letter,
scrawled on hotel stationary,
hidden
in the drawer
of my mind.

My arteries are clogged
with the mass
of small trinkets and memories
left behind by people
who have
long-since forgotten
staying
the weekend
within my walls.

When I met you,
my hotel heart
did not know what it felt like
to feel like home,
which may be why
we began in stops and starts,
departures and returns,
each return uncertain.

When we would fall
into a comfortable silence,
each on our own phones, in our own worlds,
connected by nothing
but your head on my shoulder,
I would fear
we were falling apart
and wait for the comfortable feeling to leave,

but it never did.

In those silences,
we no longer felt
the distance of being two people,
no longer needed words
to convey
our thoughts –

just being together was enough.

In those silences that we shared
my hotel heart
began to feel
more like a home.


Photo by Dominique APPIETTO on Unsplash

A Plant Growing in Wintertime [Poem]

The small, jagged seed
lies silently in the dirt,
swept there by the soft caress
of a summer breeze
which welcomed it
into this unfamiliar home…
in a neighborhood
of ancient and calming trees.

No sooner is the warm seed sown
than he blossoms,
birthed by the bright light
of a brilliant summer sun
and cast forward into the palms
of an old world,
which held him with care
so he was not overrun.

He grows strong in the comfort
of those light dripped days,
limbs sprawling out
across the whole expanse of sky,
longing to breathe in every ray
through tender skin –
never imagining those days
would one day die.

As he grows stronger,
the days begin to shorten,
each imperceptible second
of daylight lost
adding on to a steady stream
of misplaced time,
the breeze hinting the coming
of a killing frost.

The wide-spread, high-stretched arms
of the reverent plant
are first to catch the harsh rays
of frigid sunlight
and he cannot help
but recoil uncertainly,
afraid of the creeping winter wind’s
vicious bite.

His ancient companions
arise dispassionate
at the dawning
of each shivering winter day,
old eyes watching him near death
in cold dirt below,
knowing that to save him
is naught but death delayed.

His outer skin grows strong
under freezing wind and rain,
callused by fierce elements
that cut to the root,
drawing him closer
to his elderly neighbors,
who despite shared time
held him in such low repute.

Rising from the dirt
in steady contradiction,
his soft heart and harsh skin
resonate with the land.
His roots mingle with thousand year roots
of the trees
and his swift bloomed mind
slowly starts to understand.

The summer sun returns
to find him different,
his seed born world shattered
and reformed at the seams
so that when his tempered skin
feels warmth once again,
his young heart will begin
to fathom ancient dreams.

Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

The Readers [Poem]

By low lamp light and long after
the sun has said its goodbyes
Our weary and tired eyes
run across unfolding pages
Seeking all the knowledge
that by the light of day passed us by
And losing daylight hours
in the process

We lean drowsily in reading chairs
against bookshelf backdrops
Watching raindrop reflections
roll thoughtfully down window panes
Borne along their whimsical way
by subtle midnight breezes
That dance strands of hair
from our eyes like ballet

Our split screen symmetry
is separated by mere miles
Filling our solitary spaces
with a shared energy
So that each time my absent eyes
turn to scattering raindrops
I expect them to return
to find you here

Each page I turn is soft marked
with traces of your fingers
And your scent lingers
among allusions and allegories
I hear each word sing out
as though sprung from your alluring lips
And I find myself smiling
not knowing why

There is passion amid these worn out pages
and bookmarked thoughts
And the way your fingers
traced each word is almost erotic
Feeling my palms soft folded
against the small of your book’s spine
Makes me want to lose sleep
between its covers

The silence between phrases
pulses with such heated tension
That I cannot help but lose myself
in that silence so that
I might grasp the pieces
you let me see of your history
And warm them tenderly
in ardorous hands

The tired longing
of the early hours of the nighttime
Draws us both – at length –
to the comfort of our separate beds
Our internal rhymes slowly syncing
through shared breath and heartbeats
Dreaming of morning
reading between soft sheets

Photo by Natalie Grainger on Unsplash