Autumn Porch Days
Some days, all we can do to see a wider world is lie quietly in the sun, faces curved to sky, watching leaves drop color and die, as clouds paint a bleached collage of our other places. All this radiance and warmth must surely reach something deeper than skin, higher than your mountains and stars, less broken than my in-between lovers. Yet, why does the wind winter swiftly? If I fade to sleep, dreams will pull me to body tired Autumn nights in Boone; Perseus chasing Pegasus across a dingy lens. Do you remember? Somewhere, far to the south of my dreams, you climb toward a circumpolar view, where your lens is robbed of my brightest star. I envision your weary form in these clouds as you drag a trail across that uncertain heaven. If you are seeking peace, come home. Our days apart are beyond the stack of peaks. All that is left is a calming stroke of hands, the sharing of pictures in winter clouds. That is enough for me, if I am with you. If you are seeking redemption, come home. You will discover the best of it here, in my heart. Years become mountains. We both know the trail. When will you remember me?
Shirley Alexander © 2011
Category Archives: life
The Waiting Game
My Windstream Official Telephone Directory
contains no listing for Soul Mate,
business or residential.
A broader search on Google Maps informs
there exists an error of insufficient information;
Destination entered cannot be displayed.
People Search dot com wants cold cash,
but they are certain you do exist…somewhere.
Meanwhile, expectations dwindle
down this lonely country road.
What My Father Planted
He was a short man,
but there was a certain way he stood;
his silhouette strong and familiar
like a steeple in times of worry.
It was a determined stance,
glance to sun, hand shading frown,
tongue moisture over dry lips.
He timed breaths by till of hard soil.
If he chanced to catch me watching,
he was quick to harvest a smile.
We’ll be okay when it rains.
God watches over farmers and fools.
He was a short man,
but there was a certain way he stood,
tall and strong like a church steeple
towering toward heaven.
Walk softly, the old woman said.
Leave nothing disturbed.
Children and warriors knelt near campfires
to be warmed by the wisdom of her life.
They left no path through green woods;
thanked Mother Earth when they hunted;
prayed the good soil of their bones
would replenish what was taken.
I think of my ancestors when I walk in forests.
I think how this land must have been graceful,
accepting the music of soft footprints on ground,
leaving nothing disturbed.
I think of them, too, when I walk here,
where wisdom of elders is locked in antiseptic halls,
and grey city streets are paved
with deep prints in stone.
I have been doing a bit of quick editing on some of my un-posted poetry from the past, with the mind that I am ready to share some of them. Still trying to find time to write new, happier ones. In the meantime…here’s this.
What I Kept
One last glimpse of sun filters through opal clouds.
For a moment, the world is tipped with transient gold.
Then, time is ink bled from heaven to drown all light.
I measure steps, and walk into an endless dream.
Is it you, or some fanciful resemblance?
Reassurance? Whatever the reason, it is desperate.
But my hand trembles, becomes a fist, as I recoil
from the frozen indifference in your eyes.
Morning offers no gentle awakening,
save an intangible memory of movement,
of firelight licking across liquid skin.
Some dreams cannot survive sunshine.
An ardent hunger rides the winter wind,
borne from these dreams, sorrow, and guilt
of a young girl grown fragile too quickly;
of memories that never were, or will be.
You gave me a love I can never breathe to life;
a dream reckoned to angry reason by time.
You left me. You left me when I needed you.
My heart grows small, and I am much afraid.
I have recently been reading through some of my older poems. This was written with the intention of keeping it to myself, as I often do these past few years with more personal poetry. I have been short on time for writing lately, so I decided to tweak this one a bit, and share it here.
Maybe you ask
Why do I carry the dream of us in my heart?
I think of your skin,
moist and heated under the glide of my fingers,
and the way your name is a salty sweet kiss
across my searching tongue.
Still, I cannot shape words into an answer.
Why does a traveler take a flask
into the desert?
Without A Proper Eulogy
I am as a miner on his mountain of grey,
calculating the loss of sweat for profit.
The land I hold writ to name my own
will choose to remember nothing of me,
save plastic scars and scent of dusty bones.
And when I am gone, mourners will rush
to add insult on the careless print that was me.
They will stack weak stone tall in my honor
where wild flowers should forever be free to grow.
And I will sigh into the dirt, and mourn all losses.