My poem ‘Another Me‘ has been published on Visual Verse (Chapter 2 of Vol 5, Nov 2017).
There is another me
made of plastic and sunset glow,
how long has it been since we paid
that price at the river bank, things like
innocence and a wedge of forever after,
waves leaping up for a lick of molten
light, then falling into the nameless
dark of their own creation,
when it was over, when redemption was
washed away by the summer rain, we built
a new me from plastic and sunset glow,
with twilight darkened eyes
and a smile painted with a rain-touched dawn,
a soul stitched from words that should
never have been said, and we taught her,
oh how we taught her, that the river
was the same as love and love was the
same as a sinking moon and the moon
was always the same as inconstant hurt.
No, keep that soft rain that reminisces against the window
pane like the tinkling of wine glasses, keep that sky, sparkling
in the froth of kinetic light, that wind slipping through the trees
in timeless laughter, keep your dazzling festivity, that universe
dancing slowly to the rhythm of your faithlessness, what can I
say about a firmament in which even an implosion of celestial
inconsequence is a ballad of colour and sound? I will grow your
absence in the silent darkness of my grief, you know that too is
a petri dish of amorphous life. Pain is a patient lover who begs
celebration in solitude, long after the histrionics have paled,
when the masks hang from a silver hook, when the memories
stain open lips and the black curtain has uncurled in a whisper.
Describe the painting, you whisper in my ear, without
using the words for colour. This is your game. The way
you stood with me in Figueres looking at Dali, daring me
to describe the persistence of memory without alluding to
time. I tell you about the way blood thickens when breath is
stolen from it, the way an empty evening coagulates into a
lonely night, the way a bruise heals until a faraway memory
picks at its scab again. Your eyes become the charcoal residue
of a long forgotten passion. This is your game. The way you
can bring me a cloud from a burning sky to sing the song of
dormant thunder and then shrug. Tell me why you’re happy,
you whisper in my ear, tell me without asking about love.
Published at The Ekphrastic Review on 6th Dec 2017. Many thanks to the editor, Lorette C. Luzajic.
Two of my poems, The Hands of the Wind and The Unbelonging are in Issue Thirteen (Dec 2017) of the Calamus Journal.
Many thanks to the editor, Eric Cline.
My Tanka Prose was published in Haibun Today’s December 2017 Journal. Many thanks to the editor, Janet Lynn Davis.
I love the way Haibun and Tanka Prose allow the combination of prose and poetry. My haibun series – Conversations with Marcus -is available on my other blog Phantom Road.
Thanks again to the editor, Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing my poem at The Ekphrastic Review.
The Day After by Edvard Munch, 1894 – 1895
She casts her best shadows on naked skin, her unformed before
patterning the afterward with stories from the empty dark, her
angst dissolving in the comfort of her own transience. But the
moon is vulnerable in my bed. Let’s sit at the table, she says,
this wine turns to viscous ebony at a touch, untethering stories
too harsh for the afternoon sun. Remembering is a game of faded
horizons and soft lips, slaughtering hearts on chequered silver
and night. We hold love softly, in the palm of our regrets, gravity
gyrating against the rising wind, breath still heaving through the
twisted loop of infinity, dreams travelling to the seams of impossible
want. The morning found her, my answers still trapped like stars
behind her sleeping eyes. They say where she had lain alone, the
air still smells of watered rosebuds, the blemished light still pools
on the floor where it dripped slowly from her outstretched hand.
On this last day of the first edition of Micropoetry Month, I thought we’d take a look at the Jisei, the Japanese Death Poem. The Jisei, written about death in general or about one’s own imminent death, reflects the poet’s contemplation of his mortality, of what was and what comes next both in the context of self and universe.
One translation of Basho’s famous Jisei goes like this:
On a journey, ill—
And my dreams on withered fields
Are wandering still.
I attempted a jisei a couple of years ago, here’s another shot at it. Share your micropoem, about death or maybe about life, using comments or Mister Linky.
And when I realize
there was no now,
that life, like time, was a linear illusion.
A cherita as well in the same tone:
she wrote her jisei in six lines
one line about
the fickle, waning moon
two about a persistent mist,
and three about a hobbled dream
waiting for a perfect night
A very warm note of thanks to everyone who was part of Micropoetry Month – as reader, participant, inspiration or supporter. Thank you for your poems, your likes, your comments. I enjoyed writing. I enjoyed reading. And I hope we can do this, or something like this, again soon. Meanwhile, I will continue to post micropoetry and other poems on this blog and haibun on my other blog Phantom Road. You can find me on twitter @tp_poetry. See you on the trail!