Poetry!

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Yes, I know I’m moving slowly, but I have finished the first piece of the great remodel. The Poetry page is ready! So far, everything in it is work that I’ve published previously in this blog, although most of it was in late 2014 and the most recent was a year ago. So, unless you’re dedicated enough to drill through the category links, those pieces would be a little hard to find now, except for this reorganization.

So, if you haven’t seen them before, head on over and have a look, and hopefully you’ll like what you see. If you have read them already… well, head over anyway! Most, though not all, have some sort of romantic angle to them, whether it’s finding love or it’s heartbreak and loss. Looking back, I can see that I have a bit of a fascination with color and light, as well as mountains and travel. Two have a bit of a science-fiction feel to them, and one is a little bit steampunk, so maybe there’s something for every poetry lover out there?

See for yourself: Poetry

Coming soon, another page to gather up my flash fiction, serial short fiction, and excerpts.

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The Open Road

Open Road

 

Drifting snow snakes across the highway,
Steaming like a young woman’s dreams
Of the life she left behind her,
In the rear-view mirror, no more to be seen.

Far ahead stretches the long and lonesome road,
Curving over hill and dale,
Reaching ever forward to horizons,
No arrival, always on the trail.

Mountains yet stand sentinel,
Sheathed all in white,
Passes to be crossed between
Today and endless night,
That which came before her, and
Ahead still out of sight.

Precarious to navigate,
Downgrade in low gear,
Long-haul truckers keeping
Company with her fear,
But the tires keep their traction
And she puts them to her rear.

The tires sing out their lonely
One note melody,
The white line draws a promise of
A brighter future yet to be,
If she can but follow and
Open eyes to see;
He is far behind her and
Now she’s finally free.

Go Far

Ama Dablam and Kangtega in the Solukhumbu range of the Himalaya

Ama Dablam and Kangtega in the Solukhumbu range of the Himalaya

A thousand miles and more
Beyond the Bosphorus and the Levant,
Far along the Karakoram Way,
Past the ancient city of Tashkent.

Dusty Kathmandu beckons,
With Thamel’s every trackless street,
Spin the wheels at Boudhanath,
And the temple monkeys to greet.

Looming distant beyond the valley,
Rising above the smoke and haze,
Gleaming, jagged, white with summer snow,
The Solukhumbu commands your gaze.

From Lukla’s first tilted landing,
And the winding paths of Namche Bazar,
Along narrow depths of the Dudh Kosi valley,
Steep trails promise to take you far.

The welcoming arms of Ama Dablam
Smiling over the milk river below,
Guarding over the school in Khumjung,
Tengboche’s chanting, yet still far to go.

The Pheriche valley is a welcome path,
Stone homesteads and herds of yak;
A sombre memorial at Thokla Pass
For those who didn’t make it back.

Wild horses roam Lobuche;
Gorak Shep, last chance for tea;
The Khumbu Glacier is now the road,
High Himal everywhere to see.

Nuptse looms, Pumori beckons,
Kala Patthar provides the view,
Yet still you press on farther,
Unsure of what you came to do.

The Khumbu continues upward
Beyond the grim and frozen fall,
Inexorable, rising, air ever thinning
Beneath high Lhotse’s mighty wall.

Steeply ascending, jumars on the rope,
South Col will be your final rest,
A camp too high for long to stay,
So press on to the final test.

Lamplight climbing, past Hillary Step,
Sunrise on the last ridge line,
Gleaming on all the peaks below,
You stand now there in bright sunshine.

Sagarmatha holds you in her arms,
Upon her grace you now depend;
The Roof of the World, Peak Fifteen,
Look quick, it’s time to descend.

The world all lies below you,
Nothing now stands as high;
Yet you cannot stay, it’s not your realm,
If you linger you will die.

A fast descent, a steady walk,
Back down the valleys below,
The villages and teahouses greet you,
Another traveler, with their welcome glow.

Of the high places of the world,
Stories you now have to tell,
Yet what you will remember best
Are the people who helped you well.

Tsering, Pemba, Pasang, Phurba,
Without them you would surely fall,
Lhakpa, Dawa, Mingma, Dorje,
There beside you, and sturdy all.

In your armchair by the fire,
You still see their faces clear,
The Sherpa of the Solukhumbu,
To your heart remain forever near.

Clockwork Love

[Inspired by and in response to Willow Snow‘s “Clockwork Heart“]

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This clockwork love,
Winding down the gears,
Imperishable, perpetual,
Through time immemorial
Winding down the years.

The ticking tocks,
Spinning round the face,
Inexorable, inescapable,
A life not quite immortal,
Counting down the race.

The machine slows,
Gears are wearing out,
Inevitable, predictable,
All is breaking down yet
We are breaking out.

Our forms fade and
Functions fail, but then
Enduring, everlasting,
Love incorporeal survives
Timeless beyond our ken.

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Starshine

Credit: NASA, Jeff Hester, and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University)

Image Credit: NASA, Jeff Hester, and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University)

Brightness falling,
Ancient light of distant galaxies
Crashing relentlessly,
A catastrophe aeons to unfurl;
Worlds bathed in brilliance
Cast by a thousand suns
Racing to their doom;
Millions of years, billions,
A cosmic blink while
Crawling from the murk,
Lifting eyes to the heavens,
Civilizations rise, empires fall,
Whole species fade away;
Still the novae explode,
Spinning gas and dust into
The shadow of the nebula
So the lovers may park and kiss
And hold each other under
A clear, starry night.

Mountain Light

Early morning rush to work
Through the city by the bay,
Gleaming arches, shining towers,
Azure skies light the way.

Yet farther off and over all,
Stone ramparts rising high,
Icy shoulders, majestic peak
Glowing gold against the sky.

Falling glaciers, crumbling cliffs,
Sheer walls stark against the blue,
Slopes of white are lit afire by
The coming dawn’s pearly hue.

Mighty mountain, gazing down,
In her shadow have we dwelt,
Heedless of her awful strength,
Beauty, terror, presence felt.

Yet one morning glance upon
Her mist enshrouded face,
City problems drop away,
Forget about the race.

A breathless pause, a moment’s rest,
A pause in time and traffic slow,
Great Tahoma, mighty mother,
Resplendent in her alpenglow.

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Blue

Is blue the warmest color,
Or just the coolest flame?
Expression of emotion,
Or well-known writer‘s name?

Red shift stars race away
Recede to darkest night,
While that cooler, deeper hue
Shifts approaching light.

Azure sky deceives,
Rays scattered by the air;
Indigo we should see,
But not for our eyes fair.

Cobalt lies the sea,
Emerald each heaving wave,
But when grey the fiercest storm,
There’s nary a hue to save.

Green eyes we do love,
And grey the keenest sight,
Warm are those in brown,
While blue is our delight.

Why are you blue?
He asked her on that day.
Well, I’m not with you,
She replied and looked away.

Or perhaps I’m just born that way.

<In response to a challenge from Naima>

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Umber Dawn

I wake early, without the alarm,
You still slumber between satin sheets.
I slip from the room,
Look out to a still-dark world,
City towers but a shadow;
A hint of light grows beyond.
Purple tones outline distant peaks,
Far pavilions of Kaye’s wonder,
Deep blues fading to star-specked black,
Cold, at peace, not yet disturbed.
The bay fluoresces, brighter than
The sky it reflects, yet darker still.
Captured, rooted to my window,
Helplessly gazing, heart expanding
With slow breaths to take it in.
Burnt orange spreads, a slender line
Whose limits cannot be discerned,
Yet whose end is within my sight.
No division, no visible change,
Yet colors shift before my eyes,
Sea and sky turning bright,
Though above all is dark.
Gulls call out, challenge the day;
I long to join them,
Their raucous company,
But I stay silent,
As you are silent,
Speaking not a word
Of any weight or meaning.
Helios awaits, the day arrives,
Peaks and towers reveal their mystery.
I am greeted, as you never greet me,
By the umber dawn.

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Since You Went Away

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Since you went away,
Nothing feels the same;
The house is always dark,
The sky is always gray,
Since you went away.

I miss your easy laugh,
The twinkle in your eye,
The sureness of your step,
The creases of your smile,
Since you went away.

It would only be a while,
You said to calm my fears,
Back before I knew,
And kissed to stop my tears,
Before you went away.

You took the only key
For the lock around my heart,
To hold it close and tight,
As long as we’re apart,
When you went away.

You wrote me every day,
Let me know you’re fine,
Plans for your return,
Told me you were mine,
While you were away.

Then one day you stopped,
Wrote me nothing more;
The somber men in dark
Dress Blues at my door;
My love, you went away.

You still hold the key,
It’s buried with my heart;
A promise made to me,
You swore we’d never part,
Then you went away.