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The Winter Grass1
The winter grass
continually more grey than green
cries out against my calloused feet and palms.
The distant singing of those who pray to gods
still echoes in my ears.
I recall, it's the same stunned feeling
as the moment after the heavy blow
to the unsuspecting soft part of the gut.
They are chanting hollow words,
pressing them with desperation
into the air
like scraps of paper into wailing walls.
I press my own small prayers
into the heaviness
is this place a home
or a cage?
There are no walls
if I wish to escape
doesn't that mean
HairWalking behind her on the stairs, they could see the bald patches, the shiny pale skin stretched tight over the skull. She wasn't wearing a hat yet, or a scarf, or a wig, but she must have known. Putting down her comb, she must have fingered the lost hair, must have held it and stared at it for a long time, sitting alone in her room on the edge of her bed. She must have swept the bathroom floor as a barber sweeps his shop, a ritual ended as the tangles slid from the dustbin to the wastebasket. She perhaps threw a few papers in on top. Sometimes other people came in her room. They would see.
Now she walked bareheaded up the stairs. They all stared, and later denied to one another that they'd stared.
The next day her desk was empty. She arrived near noon, just in time for lunch, and told her friends she'd slept in—broken alarm clock. And now that she was here, she needed to study. No time for lunch, but it was okay, she wasn't that hungry anyway. She slipped into the library and didn't c
Portrait in October, East CoastHe has a sea-washed voice
and when he sings he keeps his hands in his pockets
where the map of the East Coast is,
soft as cotton and double folded:
plateaus and lakes
and islands too small to name
make watercolors across his skin.
He's the kind who walks alone on grey sand beaches
where the logs with sprawling roots
loom like monuments
He has breath like barest autumn snow,
hands like steaming coffee,
eyes like a Polaroid of the mountaintop,
of winter birds and grass
and the ache of the absent forest.
He speaks the language
of broken seashells
and of the bicycle on its side
in the unmowed field
He tried love once
and now prefers guitar
and long drives along the highways at dusk.
Over his turtleneck he has a coat with four buttons
and in October the wind
to the marrows.
Transtromer in SeptemberI tuck my worn copy of Tranströmer's The Deleted World under my arm
and head out, lungs embracing
the air still swirling with a rain so fine and light it could be first snow.
My shoes squelch on the path across the sodden sedge field
and my dark hair curls and flutters in soft pockets of breeze.
It is the time of rowanberries, and
in with the withered grass, there's liriope and velvety henbit,
bur clover and Indian strawberry blooming yellow,
and, where the damp earth is rich in the shade
of the distant dripping hollies, spineless chamberbitter
stretching willowy yearling arms dewed a deep, dusty purple.
The sky promises neither sun nor storm;
the light is shadowless, colored like the stone-green walls of the sea.
The stream is choked with tumbled granite and pinkweed
yet sings to the sky.
Here in the piedmont comes the faint perfume of the fog,
a kiss from a Swedish sea, almost
a presence from another world.
GeeseWhen the frost was still hard on the ground
on the bitter-fallen skeletons of the leaves,
we woke to the cry of passing geese.
I started to stand, but
with one flash of your hand you stopped me.
In silence we watched them pass
through the mammoth shadows of the pines.
They traveled with nothing to hold them up but air
and their own small strength.
There was religion in the motion of their wings,
faith in their movement across the sky,
a prayer nurtured among
the cluster of their bodies.
They're not anything grand, I thought then,
not like these trees or even like this mist.
They're just birds.
But, too, they have wings, and even though
they knew they'd be okay if they stayed,
even though they knew it'd be a hard journey,
they found a way to fly, and now
they're leaving for places I'll never go.
Perhaps in that way they're grander than us all,
than anything else I've ever known.
I curl my body, a flower growing
backwards into a bud again;
I relax my grip
and drift in the night womb
where I am insulated in the muted dark of
where strange, smiling apparitions
with turquoise eyes and shimmering hair
touch my cheek, trace the path
of tears I thought were invisible
and leave smooth skin in the place of scars.
I lose all sense of myself;
I am endless, my soul expanding and breathing and
seeking the edges of all I thought I knew.
The morning screeches at my senses—
sharp and restless—
with one yank of the blinds, with
the bland, insistent alarm clock
red and pounding against
the delicate membrane of the ear, with
winter hands creeping over my skin
(tightening around my fragile paper wrists,
pulling my soul back into my body
with no thought for slow acclimation).
The rasping voice rakes its nails
down my thoughts,
births me into this world again:
a reality of pushing, pulling, tugging,
I am returned to this small self,
The Mourner's SongMy hands miss yours—
I'm still overwhelmed
by the phantom touch.
In dreams my feet still feel
the stones and leaps
and snow-muddied plunges
of the paths we used to walk
on the summer mountains with
their thousands of leaves singing of the sun.
My mind still resonates with
the tragic nostalgic waltzes of Beirut.
My hair still sparks red in the sun.
But your gaze is gone from me;
I am no longer aflame.
After a Painting by Edward HopperFour trees stolen from a Tuscan landscape
curl their tips in the salt wind
as I reach them at the far end of the arched marble bridge.
My red skirt laps at my legs;
my hair is a whirlwind of sooty snow
until I pull on my green cotton cap.
I keep walking. From here, I can see the café
by the water's edge. Our table is still there
in the shade of the awning. On Friday afternoons
you were always there first, leaning your elbows
on the table, condensation beading on your beer bottle
with the brown glass neck. The sun was cruel.
Your wore this soft green cap like a crown.
You glanced over your shoulder every few minutes
until you saw me approach in my beach clothes,
in my sandals and this thin red skirt
the sun sees through.
As I walked down the riverbank
through broad hoops of shade,
you rolled your shirt sleeves up, knowing
that now we would eat sandwiches, and that
shredded lettuce and sauce would drip
onto our plates with every bite.
To cross the long empty stretch of stone today
Forest SeaI step down into the shallows,
the plumes of gentle mud stirring to caress
the bold-bared skin of my ankles.
With the slowness of one who knows
there is all the time in the world for the taking,
I feel my way in deeper, and the water
comes alive at my touch.
I glimpse a thousand faces
wavering in the shards of moonlight,
glaring and fading and shifting.
Curled leaves, those last traces of autumn,
are borne away, like stark, storm-tossed ships,
from my questing fingers.
At last I stop, my toes sinking
into silken slippers of soft weeds.
The last hesitant ripples
rouge my cheeks with kisses,
and my heartbeat throbs, brought alive
under skin turned translucent in the moonlight.
Wherever I look I see stars and a shimmering moon;
even when I close my eyes, they are there,
beacons glowing beyond sight.
The winter air digs its merciless claws
into my tender lungs,
and I spread my arms wide and breathe in,
deeply, deeply, embracing that which brings me alive.
And then the forest sea has all of
It's NotIt's not the lipstick gloss
that makes a kiss
the warm pulse beating through
It's not their size
but the words they whisper,
It's not the color
nor the length
nor the glint
of her hair
that makes her special
it is her smile
in the falling rain
reflecting the joy
of yet another Spring,
It's not the time
she spent getting beautiful
that makes her so
but in fact
it is the hours
she was besides my bed
when I was sick
and in fact
it is the minutes
I could hear her breathe
in my embrace
AND in fact
it is the seconds
I saw her cry
(out of happiness)
Because she's beautiful.
It's not the clothes,
nor the jewellery,
nor the colored nails,
nor the drawn-in brows,
nor the words she says
to other people,
and neither it is
It is her mind
that entertains my poems,
it is her charm
that paints my cheeks
and averts my shy eyes from her
It is her soul,
that I love.
You Were Not An Aquarium BoySea-glass became your bones,
brine your blood, and seashells
melded into your skin.
You were not quite an ocean
when you said "This is your sign to love me."
My body was like a building;
tall, cold, almost unbreakable.
I was metallic and sharp,
towering over your waters.
I remember taking your hand in mine,
conch and coral shells scrubbing
my skyscraper wrists, and laughing
about how one day you would
submerge every last bit of me.
Your lips, riddled with argonauts,
found my cheek and I cringed
at the coarseness.
You asked if they bothered me
and I finally told you "I
think I love you."
The Heavenly DanceThe stars fell around us
And settled on our shoulders
As we stared into one another's eyes
And in that moment
We understood eachother
The stars then swirled anew
Creating a magnificent dress for you
And you took my hand
And led the dance
Weaving in and out of time
Like the threads connecting our minds
You told me we could never
And I believe you
SIRENNeath the woe of Ulysses' blood and toil,
A sea of heavenly-fury once awaken'd
Her gaze clad in honey’d delirium ablaze
Of such beauteous prize, he shall yield;
For her tongue hath seized mortal desire
And lo the Moons’ glory shall weep in vain!
Journey’s of madness sung with promise;
— A rising tempest hurl'd to Hades reign
Oceanic rhythms untwine love forbidden,
Breaking the mists of insatiable dreams
The Sirens call ebbed like darkness falling;
Her lust bleeding into the mythic abyss ..
His anguish bestow'd the folding tides,
Unto their lips would perish in mystery
Deeper jewel'd the haunting of his soul,
Forsaken to the ink of Orpheus' muse.
And ghostly twilight shone low and pale,
O’er the hum of those ethereal seas
Long wherest his heart shall forever sail
— Arthur Crow © 2014
You Are My AngelYou came to me in my dreams
When I was below the surface looking up at the sunlight filtering through water molecules
Your hand took mine
And you let me pull you down to lay beside me, where we looked up at everything floating by together
You came to me in my dreams
When I thought about how not worth it this life was and convinced me of otherwise
Your heart sat down beside mine
And I realized I felt alive.
FiveWhen the wind blows,
It speaks your name to me.
When I stare at the clouds,
I see your smiling face.
I watch the people passing by,
I see them wave and say hello,
And I think of you all the while.
At night I look up towards the milky way,
And I see the glowing stars,
And my eyes meet your gaze.
The grass beneath my feet
Is soft like you are to me.
The sunshine on my head
Is warm like your heart.
Everything I do
Makes me think of you.
In everything I see,
You're looking back at me.
In all that I say and feel,
I know you'll always love me still.
For you are my everything,
And my everything is you.
SixI am weak
And I am cold.
You are strong
And you are warm.
I am incomplete,
But with you
I'm made whole.
I am dirty
And covered in mud.
You are clean
And your heart is pure.
What is my world
If it doesn't include you?
I am harsh
And I am rough.
You are gentle
And you are smooth.
Without your love
I am nothing,
And life has no worth.
I am broken
And I am bent.
You are right
And you are true.
And this is why I'm loving you:
You're the beautiful one
Between us two.
The Origins Of The Ice Queen (Story)
As the Duke slammed into the cold, hard ground, Elsa knew that she had only made the accusations worse. As the fear began to consume her she ran out of the castle's huge, wooden gates, her breath increasing in speed and intensity the whole time. She heard a familiar voice shout after her. "Elsa! Wait!" It was her sister Anna. She was 2 years younger than Elsa and had a beautiful young face with a rosy complexion and had strawberry blonde hair with a white highlight in it. She wore a green and black royal gown with a flowery pattern over the torso. It was perfect for the coronation that had taken place that day. However, it was not so perfect for chasing the new Queen. "Elsa please! Stop!" Anna shouted at her terrified sister. Elsa started to sprint even faster now, she flicked her wrist and created an icy path in an attempt to slow down her ever worrying sister. Anna slipped and fell onto her behind. She let out a small yelp as she sat, stunned for a moment. She looked up and saw Elsa
Ambiguous GreyMy heart snaps the first time, as frail as a fish bone,
under the weight, not of your words, but of your silence,
your long silence stretching
in innocent pretense over the days.
I go on, perfectly well,
without the quiet song of a pulse to guide me.
I simply retreat into myself.
And I try a pretense of my own: I play music,
the songs I used to live for,
and I try to remember the subtle risings and fallings of feeling
the notes are supposed to stir in me;
I learn that feelings are impossible to force;
I learn that it's better not to lie to oneself;
there's no crime in becoming better friends with silence.
I sit for long hours by a window in the afternoon,
forcing myself into the sun-bright pages of a book,
even on the days when the heroine's true love
presses his mouth boldly to hers for the first time
and no emotions sweep me away, and all I see
are their hesitant kisses reduced to merciless strings of letters,
and I plod along to the next sentence and the next,
and my eyes do not lin
All Here For A ReasonI turned onto a shady, well-manicured driveway that, for all intents and purposes, looked harmless enough. Maple trees lined both sides of the street, and a parade of Canadian geese marched across the road to a wide duck pond with a flamboyant fountain. There were blooming crepe myrtles and rose-of-sharons, and as I grew closer to my destination, neatly trimmed gardens with neatly trimmed bushes.
I stopped to let the geese pass. They looked at me; one hissed. I honked my horn and moved around them.
At the end of the road sat a collection of grayish buildings and a number of signs directing me to the appropriate parking lot. "Welcome to Ten Creeks Hospital," said one of them. "Please enjoy your stay." I parked in the visitor's lot. Surely I wouldn't be staying.
I was shaking when I got out of my car. I had spent the morning getting high. One foot in front of the other, flip-flop noises, hot sidewalk. Mulberry and magnolia trees, freshly shaved grass. A bench and pan for smokers. A set o
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