Notice Me, Little Things

“Notice me,”
Little things say,
“Fit me,

“You will fot
I whisper,
“Notice me.”

Tiny fragments of sea shells
Once perfect for collectors
Now inhabit the sand
The Sea’s metamorphosis
Perfection for this moment
Not needing to be picked
Not needing to be paraded
Alongside perfect conches
Needing to be seen
Needing to be known
If only for this moment.

Smooth purple rings exposed
Underneath the surface
Show a structure strong,
Endured, now on the surface
Stating their presence.

I know where
You will fit:
Beside me
On the sand

Among friends
Ground down
Not to nothing
But into earth

Hold us up
“You do,”
“I do.”

A Love Song

Why should we not touch our souls
With one bow and hear
Separate strings sing one melody,
One voice to dive into
An echo
Between hills carved by Masters
Who could not have known of us?

They began our song
Before words stirred our tongues
Like a kiss
Born inside
A flower pushing up through dirt
To follow the path of Apollo

Its pedals,
Dripping with dew,
Swallow one ray of light.
Lips trembling,
At last,
Strong enough
For Love.  

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When You Lap My Feet

When you lap my feet
With your soothing song
I want to dive into your wetness
To see how deep inside our souls
I can swim.

I walk towards you step by step
Until your song drowns the noises
Life makes of other people’s living.

I could stand on your sand
A foundation slips away
And never fear a thing
Then watch the gull fly
Over your shimmering skin
Aloft in freedom
Finding inside a sustenance
That brings life
Only your deepest flesh knows.

I am briefly jealous.
Until I hear your song again
Singing for me
Alone in the surf where you end
Always giving me a loving caress
That froths as it fades
And surges up, again and again.

You deposit gifts on my earth
Broken shells and drifting weeds
Only I can see as my treasure.
Here, the smoothed rock…
There, a flattened stone
For me to return to you in skips
Like a man remembering his boyhood
Or a boy still dreaming of what story
He will tell when I return inside you
A love as persistent as the moon
That pulls you rising
Across the quiet of a solitude
That together we understand
As a language spoken
Throughout time for this moment
Awaiting us since the beginning.

Teak Arms

Come and nestle into the nook you chose
Along my gunwale. Rest. I wrap my teak
Arms around you to fend off night. Trace your
Legend between stars, twinkling as they do.

Today, you sacrificed ashes of life
To the Father tormenting your journey
Home. The dust will not heal your wounds or His,
But appeasement will blind him long enough –

His people invite you to the Phaeacian
Feast to hear the substance of your toils.
They lift you up on deck of their swift ship
Sail you home to the Faithful and Longing.

The planks of my own arms, softened by tears:
A bee sting, a disturbed nest on the path
Where you, child, excavated tiny stones
The earliest memory of journey

Are strong tonight – we have no place to be.
Our journey awaits the rose-red fingers
Of Dawn to wrap around your heart again
Teasing tiny sparks from dark, inspiring

Another stop, another mile of miles
To go before you sleep again in this
Nook of my gunwale where I will wrap
You, once again, safe in my soft teak arms.

This Cup

I offer this cup to you
refill it with the blood
of imagination and immortality
offered like a gift from the gods.

I let it slip from my fingers
into the desert of adulthood.

She offers this cup to me
filled with blood shed
to resurrect the gift of love
piercing the limits of imagination.

In her hands it throbs
with a longing for childhood.

We offer this cup
a dry vessel filled with blood
to rediscover life in red
more vivid than imagined.

In our arms lips shiver
and restores our innocence.

We fill this cup
with truths lost in the desert,
the blood of mortal life
and love immortal.

Your gentle hand
fills my cup.

Image: Breakfast Still Life with Chalice by Willem Claesz Heda 1634


She would walk the beach, her footprints, palimpsests
of journeys week after week in Sunday best –
fine lace and white silk from Victorian boutiques.
A bystander looked askance at this woman in wedding gown
a lonely widow or abandoned bride, clinging to hope.
Yellow shawl defeated by the overcast day
gives up its purpose, and slips off her shoulders.

In the sun-hardened mud, his name carved with parasol,
she feared in marble relief what the sea would soon erase –
sand offers little comfort to a heart fighting grief.
Hands weak and numb, sun’s power swallowed by winter
– she closed her eyes and saw waves batter him
on the rock jetty stealing from lungs, air that gently
whispered her name and washed it and flesh out to sea.

To spite the chill,
she willed an embrace and the last kiss of soft lips.

Image: Waiting for William, John George Brown

When Do I Stop Writing This Poem?

I feel like bread and wine in sepulcher
The Priest will soon bless…
Body and blood
One soul
Stitched back together.

Drunk Aristophanes
Joked with Socrates:
“Love is a Mighty God!
Dear friends… Gather…
Describe for us… How…
Two become… One…!”
One soul
Wandering the earth
As halfs.

When did I begin
Writing an endless poem?
Socrates and Aristophanes,
Drunk on ouzo,
Laugh with the Priest.

Swim Inside My Words

“I want to swim in your words,”
She says and
An ocean opens inside me.
I have to pause,
As one should,
Just before testing the surf
To look with awe at the horizon.

But I will get to those words,
The depths of which takes time to expose.
Let us linger here in the echo
Of waves powerful enough to move
The rocks that make up our earth.
How do these waters hold us with such force?

“I want to swim in your words,”
She says.
At the waters edge I dig a hole
To make a pool.
My bucket filled with sand
To reclaim land elsewhere
On the island.

Speaking of pools,
Walk with me
On broken granite slabs
To where the tide collects
Life we can name
From depths now exposed
To the sun:

Sea anemone
Sea cucumber
Swim inside my words
Past the horizon.

Photo: Me, San Diego, Ocean Beach

By Night’s Dark Embrace

Night’s dark embrace of these candles of petition

Speaks to a soul on its knees in the moonlight. It
Hears a mere cricket in the chorale: “Rejoice!” across
This fallow field. The shadow casted seeking Love.

This journey took so long. Too long it seems.
The day sets its weight down upon shoulders
Digging a grave to bury the soul of Ophelia
A chant pleads: “She still Lives! She still Lives!”

A voice reaches the blackened heart to wash away
Impurities, “one more day, one more day, one more…”
Hear me, Moonlight, speak petition to the soul,
A candle that flickers by night’s dark embrace.

With a Glass of Milk, Please

Last week while travelling, I didn’t have a chance to revisit or revise any poems, so I am taking the time this week. Please enjoy this one revisited from one of last week’s posts.

She reads the history of butter,
Believing in chemistry.
If her eyes lift up to mine,
Will the happy accident
Inspire smoothness?

Retreat inside the coffee mug.

Hide behind ear buds.

Bury me in Kundera.

How bearable can lightness be,

This moment being so heavy?

Butterflies find my heart
Risen from the coal pit
Mined to warm the night.
They flit and float to the flower
Sitting like an invitation by her ear.

Two sticks
A cup of sugar
Brown and white, one each.
Stir the lumps out.
Flour and vanilla,
Soda and salt.
Cracked like me,
My yoke in the bowl
I am nuts.
Bake me,
Until sweet.

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Image: Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies by Debra Alouise