Peaking Through Chrysalis (with Spoken Word)

The butterfly lives
Just
The right
Length
Of time.

(Don’t we all?)

Now we are two butterflies,
Peaking through chrysalis
At a world we once ate
Now we are to pollinate.
Our eyes see God in flowers.
Our flesh carries seeds.
We stick to one another.
We have become:

A world
I cannot imagine
Without you.

Two butterflies
Dancing on air
As was
Certain.

With a nod to Tom Robbins’ Another Roadside Attraction

Stars, Memories, and Stories

Asked to describe the night sky
He recognized his deficiency
Not knowing summer’s stars
As he knew winter’s,
As if as a child,
Busy playing,
He failed to look up
At gifts awaiting him:
Myths and legends,
History of the universe
Slowly told by fading giants
Sending their stories
Through vast space
To his imagination awaiting them
On this verdant planet alone
Needing to tell tales
Nowhere else told.

Now they are clues for him
To be alone in the telling,
Truly alone,
An alone he once feared,
An alone he now embraces
Like that child embraced play
So inside the moment it forgot
To be remembered
And was better for the forgetting.

Venus shines brightest,
As always,
Gently reminding him of the sun
Now lighting the play of children
Forgetting to save memories
In other hemispheres
Happy,
As only children know.

The city is close enough
Its vast and arrogant lights
Hide the full story,
Though hints remain:
Like treasure hunts,
A glitter here,
A twinkle there.

He thought of Odysseus
Navigating the turbulent rage of Poseidon
By their lights
To return home to Penelope
Faithful weaver and unweaver of cloth
She’d only finish when his ship’s mast
Pointed to the sky that awaited them
Two old souls
At the end of their journey
Meant to sit together
Counting stars to measure love
Limitless, like the journey of a life
Lived inside the safety of hearts
That only know a story children can tell
Playing together
Memories forgotten
And better off for it.

Some nights fireflies
Are more than enough
Like tonight
Walking alone
His way finally lit.

Image: John William Waterhouse – Ulysses and the Sirens (1891)

Setting the Perfect Fire (IBMC 1/10)

The perfect match strikes the perfect fire,
But what does it burn so perfectly?
Wait, did I miss my cue?
You meant, the other kind of match,
Like the one made In Heaven?
Silly me,
I like to set fire to things,
Burn them,
Raze them to the Ground.
So strike the perfect match,
See if we can set ourselves on fire.
We can.
I will hold the flint
If you will hold the stick
And strike!

Strike!

STRIKE!

YES!

You did an amazing job.

Now,
Will we burn heaven to the ground
Or wait for the smoldering embers’
Death?

https://itsphblog.wordpress.com/ibmc/ibmc-01-phrase-a-paragraph-challenge/

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.

Meet Again Where the Boardwalk Begins

This moment twists in on itself
A cruel freak show contortionist
Who stares agape, tear-carved
Deltas from his made up eyes.

If only it would twist into a pretzel
With lots of salt
That we’d eat with mustard.
Two kids on a boardwalk,

Gulls stalk,
Their fingers’ taffy sticky
Stuck together,
The sweetness like glue.

“Tell me everything,”
They do not see people
Beside them, counter them,
Bump them, watch them.

The ocean inside their hearts
At once calm, at once stormed.
They find their turtle shell
And build a home inside.

This moment twists
Like a contortionist:
The boardwalk ends,
Taffy shops close,

Kids depart, apart
Long enough to make up
New ocean creatures,
Aloe their sun burns.

Image: Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, Dolles, painting by Ray Sokolowski
Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, Dolles, prints in 3 sizes, painting by Ray Sokolowski