The Shadows and The Fire [Poem]

The longest sunset
pours over the world’s edges
like a waterfall.

The horizon tries in vain to wrap its golden-yellow arms around every inch of the globe, dipping its hands in as many oceans and running its hands along the sides of as many mountains as it can reach. Even on this day, the other side of the mountain remains out of reach and the ocean only gives up some of its depths to horizon hands.

The shadows lengthen
under the spectrum sunset
in contradiction.

The shadows pace further from their homes on that day than on any other, their feet borne beyond the safety of their usual haunts, as if taunting the sunset at its inability to destroy the darkness. Even the shortest, the weakest, the brightest of nights is announced by the darkest of shadows. While the ground melts into nothingness, the sky is on fire.

Look up at the fire
as though there is nothing else –
to know you’re alive.

Photo by Scott Szarapka on Unsplash

At DVerse, we have been asked to write a haibun that alludes to the Solstice.

The Risk of Rain [Poem]

There is in the air
the risk of rain
that makes me second guess
my intentions
and turn over my passions
in the palm of my hand
to see what demons lie hidden
behind them

Rain drops
find my fingertips
and linger
between my umbrella and me
reminding my dry hair
of the way the elements feel
washing over
my exposed shoulders

Rain
wash me clean
and hold me
in a blanket of sorrow
so that I learn
to linger
and not be drowned
by life

Soothe my shoulders so I can risk
raising my lips
to the sky
to drink the rain as it falls
and nourish myself
with the sweetness of the clouds
while they cleanse me
with melancholy

Photo by Matteo Catanese on Unsplash


Tonight on DVerse, we are exploring the theme of risk.

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.

Wounded Words [Poem]

The words bleed through the page like open wounds

sewn shut with scratch-marks,
dried into imitations of themselves.

I had to gouge the falseness
from the spaces between each letter

so when I wound a thick gauze
around my wounded words

they would heal.

Photo by Peter Chiykowski on Unsplash

At DVerse, the prompt today is to write a Quadrille: a poem of exactly 44 words, not including the title, that includes today’s prompt word, “wound” in the body of the poem. We can use the word “wound” or a form of the word – not a synonym for the word.

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.

The Sphinx [Short Story]

She was sitting quietly at roadside with the body of a lion and the wings of an eagle when I chanced upon her.

So silent was her repose that I had no warning of her presence until it was too late to turn back.

Without even a hello she gazed through my eyes and said: “Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?”

I wondered what gods she believed in. I knew that no matter the answer I gave, I would be wrong.

My answer was silence. The space between us echoed with my answer’s absence.

“What a disappointing answer,” she muttered, almost to herself, grabbing and devouring me in one bite.

I never got the chance to gloat when a second later I realized that my answer had been correct.

Photo by Karen Khafagy on Unsplash

At DVerse, the prompt today is to write a piece of flash fiction or other prose up of up to or exactly 144 words, including the given line of poetry:

“Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart
which safely exists in the center of all things?

– Rainer Maria Rilke

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