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

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

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.

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

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