Post-poetry

Have we moved past the age of poetry?
The verse that speaks most to us
is from an age gone by,
and as our language escapes us,
it seems less likely for us
to make use of the words
in the ways that the poets had.

We speak now in limited vocabularies,
forever adding words
To our dictionaries
but removing so many others
from our usage.
We stagger through life hindered
By our shrinking lexicons,
so suddenly incapable of
conveyance and appreciation
of language.

That it would be Gutenberg’s folly
To propel us in the ages of technology
While the actual inventions of his genius
Wither and rot to our consciousness.

Books no longer bound by conventions,
Electronic, delivered to illumined screens
and forgotten.
Words, too, sit unused, unheard,
Save for ramblings of intellectuals and
Essays, long-formed and mostly unread.

Where do unspoken words go?
What graves guard the deceased syllables
of prose and poetry?
When the world reduces its collective rhetoric
to mere utterances, what remains?

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The Crazy Ones

How do we say, oh crazy ones,
That the world is not ready?
Your time has either passed,
Or has yet to come.

You burn with unquenchable fire,
A flame none of us can comprehend.
Then we witness your struggle
To control your madness, your blaze.

The dying embers leave us empty,
An unsettling quiet in the pit of our soul.
You brought brilliance with you,
Gave us light from your very core.

I watched them die down,
Oh crazy ones. You fire starters.
Each great and mad all at once.

Better than most, yet misunderstood.
For how could we understand you,
We without the fire of madness?

A silent hearth, unsure of itself,
Whimpering in our complacency, waiting.

In some simple presence
Was enough to ignite passion,
Buried deep, long held silent
And at bay. The rules

No longer applied, for you,
The crazy ones, We who,
Like you and so many others
Before, after, and all time

In between: You called out to us;
Not knowing you were doing it,
Giving us the strength of your fire,
A spark that by itself could
Ignite the world.

Mere contagion will have to suffice,
As I and those like me bare the truth –
Since you are gone, Oh you,
Who were one of the crazy ones.

You have given us laughter, fear,
Compassion, understanding, fire… Hope.
We hope that we brandish your fire well.

Without fear, or hesitation. The way you did.

Icarus

Cuckolded and cropped,
A shadow with no self.
Beaten, bruised, broken, bloody,
Footsteps falter beneath me.
Capped at this height,
Stunted; wingless.
Flightless Icarus
When once the sky.
Cleaved from the aether,
Dirt I reside.
In dirt I live.
In dirt I hide.
It is in the dirt
That I will die.
Countless words drawn from my lips
as looking above, I lie.
Bitter feeling enfolds my breast
Remembering the sky.

Hallows

As the night wind blows

Making haunted howls,

The moon looking down

Illumined in vicious scowl,

The Day has died,

Departed or fled.

All that remains,

Or what lies ahead,

Is dark and wide,

Mysterious, changed, new.

Yet what is missed,

Thought dead or slew,

Returns aflame, bright,

Boldly breaking through the Night.

Last remnants flee,

Afraid of thee,

So should you brandish the light.

Moving Forward

I burned a few bridges
As I walked these paths
Made forward the only
Way to go

Where I’ll end up
And who I’ll be
I guess that
God only knows

I’ve seen cities in Europe
And rode ships on the sea
Found love in the arms
Of another

I gave up on dreams
As new dreams took shape
And went off
To search for wonder

I went off to school
And I had me a time
I learned more than
I needed to know

There are joys and sorrows
In what we call life
And I savored
The highs and the lows

The journey’s begun
There’s no turning back
There are mistakes
I’d rather undo

Quite a few dreams
I wish I had held
A bit longer
Then I held onto

I’ve hiked through the mountains
Surfed in the oceans
Found myself while
Searching for more

And now what I see
Is only before me
As I step outside
My door

A Golden Apple

I’ve reached it, as high as I could,
A Golden Apple, far in the branches.
(They will get that wrong.
No matter. In my mouth
The meat is the same. Juices.)
A juice. Sweeter than any in the Garden.
I open my eyes, closed involuntarily.
Ecstasy in that taste.
Not realizing, I chew my lower lip,
Longing for more.

The air is crisp and I nearly shiver,
Water molecules licking my skin.
Another bite.

My tongue rolls over my lip, 
Capturing some escaping nectar.
Laughing, hugging myself, I spin where I stand.
My heart races and an unusual feeling
Rises in my stomach. A flutter.
I shudder,
Knowing my need.

My husband lies in the grass.
He is naked.
My stomach flutters again, and it is good.
I offer him my apple.
He takes it. He eats it.
I do not have to offer him
     What else I have.
     He takes it.
It is good.

Disturbances

The phone rings. Who? Why? 

I look at the screen.

UNKNOWN

I wouldn’t have answered anyway.

They call too much.

UNKNOWN

Or otherwise.
In this darkness,
The glowing face of the phone is unwelcome.

In this silence,

The rat-a-tat-tat of some digital ring is unwelcome.

In my loneliness, 

The connection with someone else is unwelcome.

The phone rings again.

Who?

Why?