Oh, Great Healer of Hearts, Please Guide My Pen

A soulful tickling of piano keys
resounds in my mind as I meditate,
Monet waves his brush at bothersome bees
as the words appear and do animate.

And a starry night is where I oft land
as visions of, Poe and Shelly drift-by,
for Elysian Fields is where I do stand,
mesmerized again by a brush-swirled sky.

I also have stood on vast surreal plains,
where bizarre creatures with long legs did stride,
where holy men sang in solemn refrains
with Dante himself, as my spirit guide.

Oh, great healer of hearts, please guide my pen,
as I end my prayer with wishful, amen.

Nuestra luna: Our Moon

Our moon is rising, my love
the loons on the lake
are crying
but I shall not, no
because you asked me, begging
with tears
to simply smile
to live

you loved my smile

but I am halved and tarnished
as a peach left
in sun, shriveled with
pit of my heart
bared

our moon is high
with, cricket symphony
the loons are entwined, nightingales
are serenading, the Valencia roses
kissed by dew, glisten
as I shudder with
a smile, fighting
tears.

Zarathustra Choked and Rolled in His Grave

The heavens flashed and the earth it did shake
as winged beneficent beings appeared,
their countenance shown brighter than the sun
as they blew trumpets announcing The Lord.“Oh, people of earth your judgment is nigh!
For the time of reckoning has arrived,
your recompense will be justly given
and His faithful pure of heart He will take!”

As cinders ascending from a great fire,
in a flash the justified souls were gone,
the earth was enveloped by a black cloud
as blood-red moon cast a macabre glow.

There was gnashing of teeth preceding war,
which ravaged the earth like great locust plague
and as great unseen gates of Hell swung wide,
from the darkest of dark the horrors leapt.

Hieronymus Bosch had no such nightmare
and nor did Dante conceive of such woe,
for chaos did reign as day became night,
as cries of the wicked made demons laugh.

“Oh, sorrow of sorrows comfort we’ve not?
For we cannot die, and death is but dream.”

Richer Than the Ants

The anguish in mother’s eyes still haunts me.
It was a miracle, her making food
stretch so far. We were
a humming brood; her smile
hid more than we’ll ever know.

Childhood was a whirlwind of hand-me-downs, government
cheese, bread, powdered milk and
whispered ridicule

from chubbier faces, wearing brighter colors,
that never appreciated tire swings
hung from trees or a jar of lightning bugs
that commanded stares from
wishful young minds.

We didn’t mind circumnavigating
my father’s beer can gauntlet some mornings, knowing
our apron clad savior with Doris Day
countenance, was waiting for us
in the kitchen.

A Whisper in The Womb

I first heard it as a whisper
in the womb

the spirit that followed
Creator’s voice at greater than
the speed of light when,
He spoke the universe
into existence.

There is no sheltering sky, no magical parlance,
no tubular bells, groaning chants or
ringing bowls that will save us, just His voice,
soft as spring’s yawn.

I caught it as a child midst summer Cicada’s cry,
in the silence after my mother’s tears, in the background
of my own stumbling through life, it was direction
murmured from the wilderness as I walked a
narrow path to eventually face eternal winds and
I took a deep breath.

He came in flesh, walked roads, cried,
suffered, bled, died to atone
and ascended. Creator became man, His Spirit is
the ageless echo beckoning through storms, rage of war,
to the drunkard cursing, to the haughty rich
who cannot buy another
day of life.

I Warn You, Tarry Not Here, Friend

I once sank into fitful sleep
And into shadowed realm did creep,
Perhaps it was the absinthe blend.
I warn you, tarry not here, friend.
From darkness there came hiss and moans,
Macabre sound of breaking bones,
To a foul place I did descend.
I warn you, tarry not here, friend.

I felt the tendrilled touch of wraith!
Who ruled this land of pain and skaith,
I sensed my heart they sought to rend.
I warn you, tarry not here, friend.
And through dim landscape I did run!
As reasoning in chaos spun,
‘twas, Hell I knew this did portend;
I warn you, tarry not here, friend.

And the Radio Played On

In my nail-bitten teen years I
was the proverbial fly tangled in
many a web

I know I ground several layers of enamel
from my teeth, which tastes of; heart’s iron and
soul’s amalgam

those rainy Saturday nights mocked me, waiting,
trying to picture wantonness in her eyes

in any lover’s eyes

my mother used to shake her head at me slowly
not in a mocking way, but more like, ‘my son, my son,
reel-in your heart, and let it
mend.’

The house was my detention, a monk’s
forced vow of silence, a lustful fast, a
muted radio singalong
with one hand on the phone and
the other, writing her name
on a breath-fogged
window.

A Perceived Prison

Veiled, though sunlight pervades
to dance in eking, dusted
paisley patterns

some withdraw, in anguish
like
a vampire
they
cringe

there is a drought within

their soul, is
a stretch of desert road
nearly erased

depression can be
four walls with cloth shutters
that might as well be
granite ramparts

Card Tricks

The dearth of joy is;
black as licorice drool, spittoon
gloom

a bastard spirit retching in
burnt shadows,
stop-motion dancing,
macabre flailing

failing, the curdled, wrung soul crawls
like a stone across crackled ground, prostrate
before obscure magicians,
peering-up with
one eye
at the Devil’s
sleight-of-hand.

A Drunken Old German Who Liked to Sing Songs

Grandpa liked his Pall-Mall straights
ripped in half, stuck one half
in his shirt pocket, smoked the other
down to a roach, with leather-
tough fingers

a second-generation German from
Minnesota, transplanted
to Iowa

had a house painting business,
barked orders at hired help, then
left them unsupervised
most of the day while he drank
at the tavern

he always came back smelling
of cheap beer and pickled eggs, yelling
with that strangled, raspy throat bellow,
“Jesus-Christ, I thought you fellas would’ve
had this shit wrapped up by now!”

He’d then smoke a Pall-Mall shorty,
grumble to himself and
blow his nose like
a farmer

when he drank Mad Dog,
only at home, he waxed philosophical
asking me, “Boy, do you know why you should
stay away from red-heads?”

I knew the answer, heard it
a hundred times
but entertained him anyway,
“Why grandpa?”

“Cuz they’ll give ya the shits and
steal yer soul!”

He always laughed like a drunken pirate
after, until he coughed, spitting
on newspapers laid-out
on the floor.

Oracle

Wine of muses bleeds from my veins,
past dry palate
to intoxicate my soul lest
I spasm in grief

atop diamond sarsens I’ve been
at the shores of Heaven
where seraphim tilt winsome heads
captivated

I have crawled in Hell’s wasteland
on bloodied hands and knees,
silent, biting my lip till
warm, copper taste
sickened

I am a sower of cryptic messages
filtered through dreamt desires, screaming in the night
or splayed in crackled crevices like
abandoned spider webs
in fallowed forest.

Fingers channel something ancient, drawn in dust,
once illuminated by fires, embers drift
to the stars with reverence.

To Till and reap: a writer’s dilemma

Fallowness must taunt
as withered wraiths scratch at your door
hungrily moaning
as blown dust
slips through cracks

until prayer for light and restorative rain
pervades, figuratively
hands must get dirty as
surreal seeds
are sown
from grittiness of character,
somewhere beneath
calloused fingers, ragged cuticles
suffuse an ancient
chelation.