Jack O’ Lantern

A Halloween poem for Open Link Night over at dVerse.

 

In the black, black night

Heavy with memories

Chill wind and rotting leaves

Carry the voices of the dead

Jack grins

Sentinel

With pulpy gums

And geometric eyes

He smiles on the darkness

Sputtering light

An orangey glow

Of fluttering flame

Peers from between Jack’s teeth

As if afraid to come out

This night

Jack smiles beneath the cloudy moon

Only he

And the spirits know

Whether his light

Wards them off

Or guides them

Buddy

I never got to know you

As well as I would have liked

Most of my memories of you

Are like something viewed

Through a distant window

You

The quiet rebel

The pot smoking hippy

Who could have told me

Some great stories

 

I did hear the story

Growing up

Of the clean cut kid

In Buddy Holly glasses

Joining the Navy

Off to see the world

Though, as a child, I didn’t really understand

All the words:

AWOL

MP’s at my grandparents door

Disappeared?

How my mother said she’d prayed

Every night of those months

For her younger brother’s safe return

 

You returned

A new man

Independent

Free

Bearded and long haired

With John Lennon glasses

Having traded the uniform of war

For a uniform of peace

 

My memories of you maybe few

But no less bright

Me, a little boy

Being spun around ’til I was dizzy and giggling

Me, a young man

In need of a ride to work

And a place to spend the night

You were there

Never knowing

How you made me into a fan of The Doors that night

And changed my poetry forever

 

Yes, I write this for you

Because of you

Uncle Buddy

The pot smoking hippy a generation away

Who could still teach the young punk rocker

A thing or two

And now that you’ve broke on through

To the other side

I won’t say rest in peace

I know you will

Because you lived in peace

Free

Possibly the most free man

I’ve ever known

 

(For my uncle Henry “Buddy” Miles Dec. 7, 1954- Oct. 27, 2012.  Keep rockin’ on the other side, Uncle Bud!)

 

Down in the Hollow

A little something for Halloween- my favorite holiday 😉

 

Down in the hollow

In the whispering breeze

Dark branches grip and grasp

Their knobby hands naked of leaves

Reaching and scratching

At the white stones below

The silent stones standing

Down in the hollow

 

Their cold, weathered faces

Peer out through the weeds

The brambles grown wild

Where paths no longer lead

Once names where there graven

But wind and rain leave few traces

Of the identities carved on

Their cold, weathered faces

 

No one now knows

Who beneath those stones lie

No flowery tokens are left

No tear in a remembering eye

Down in the hollow

Where the whispering breeze blows

Lie bones that once walked, who

No one now knows

Control

Control

Is a silent smoke

An anesthetizing ether

Wrapping its wisps around your neck

Oh so gently

While from behind

The beast bares his fangs in a hateful grin

 

This was something I wrote last winter and then lost track of until now.  There’s just something about it that I never forgot a word of it once it was written.

Time

This is for Mary’s prompt over at dVerse about time.  Fittingly for the topic, I’ve taken an old poem about time I wrote when I was younger and re-written it from my current perspective. 

Every day must end

Every day will end

Taking with it more

Than you are willing to let go

Time

The destroyer

The absolute

Pauses for nothing in its path

Stops for nothing

Turns for no one

Constantly sweeping away

The collected dust of our experience

 

Every day will end

Events will be gone

Lost

Erased

Remembered

Yet even memories fade

The facts of history become altered

And time destroys truth

 

Evil comes, and the day ends

Good is done, and the day ends

The battles of love and war are fought

And the day ends

This day and this day and this day

Faster than you can think

“I should have remembered more”

A month becomes as a day

A year becomes as a month

Another day ends

And time

Is not on your side

Waiting for the sun

Waiting for the sun to rise

Cold wet night seeps into my bones

The wind moans under its own chill breath

Carrying away the smoke of my cigarette

The sound of strings and woodwinds from my window

Carrying away my thoughts

Scattering them across the world

In a hazy, spiraling swirl

 

Waiting for the sun to rise

Chase the faceless nothingness away

Bring something new

Begin something

Throw open the doors of perception

The doors of possibility

Let the hinges of my mind unfold

Like a book dropped

Falling open to a new page

 

Waiting for the sun to rise

Watching the minutes flicker by

Hours disappear like drying puddles

‘Til I can rush towards freedom

Brief and sweet

Home again, where I work

To fill no other man’s pockets

Only the coffers of my soul

Waiting

Waiting

For the sun to rise

Digging for Dreams

In the light of night

In the shadow of the day

Stars and sun extinguished

By the chill wind of a thousand questions

I walk

Head down and jacket pulled close

Whistling past a graveyard

Full of answers

 

The truth lies buried

Brittle bones

Stark in their ancient colors

In a box of memories and dreams

Waiting

Daring me to open

To lift each one with delicate fingers

Look them over

And say

Yes, I remember now

Why they are important

Alone, not lonely

Alone, but not lonely

I enjoy my own company

The solitude

Time to think

To imagine

To create

This bubble of time spent

In self-isolation

Insulation

I am unfettered

Free

 

But there are times

Moments like lightning making night into day

For the briefest of seconds

When I try to remember

The taste of lips

The warm press of another against me

Arms wrapped

Lying in the glistening dark

Out of breath and filled with passion

What was that like?

That half remembered closeness

Breaths mixed

Sharing something

A feeling

A sensation

Beyond the physical

Mirrored in another’s eyes

 

Feline thoughts

Slinking through my mind

Puzzles and riddles

I don’t want to complete

A stubborn weakness to need nothing

No one

But cold and barren time

Stretches ever farther

A rubberband

Waiting to see how far it can go

Before it snaps

How long it takes

Before I no longer wish

To be alone anymore

 

Alone, but not lonely

Except in those fleeting moments

When I wonder

Am I missing something?

Speak Softly

I thought I’d go ahead and re-post this one for Open Link Night over at dVerse since it is one of my personal favorites. 🙂

Speak softly

Gentle child

And tell me what you’ve seen

What you’ve heard

What’s been done

Where you’ve been

Who are you?

I knew you

Or someone like you

In pastel colored days

When the sky was always a haze

And the foul minded

Sheet metal world didn’t exist

 

That was love

Obliviousness

Sweet pale blindness

A youthful ecstasy

So that the gods sighed with nostalgia

Time took away my blindfold

As well as you

And when I opened my eyes

The world was black

 

Speak softly

Gentle girl

And tell me

Is the world still as it seemed?

Can I still look through rose colored glasses?

Or will it look like fire?

Engulfing a civilization

On the brink of discovery

Can I still look through rose colored glasses

And see you?

 

Reality has no lover

Time knows no shame

And fate has no fear

Of crushing a love

Of murdering feeling

Like a firing squad of the damned

 

Speak softly

Gentle lady

My mind is sore

And I am scream sick

Tortured by reality’s half-sung chorus

Speak of your highway

And those who have toured there

Like a documentary

Filling my head with new mysteries

I can only pretend to understand

 

Ruin comes quickly

As a new fad sweeping the nation

And passes just as muddled and confused

Resurrection comes at a high price

 

Your words, dear lady,

Are the words of god

On a clear night

On the open plain

Speak softly