a dverse poets prompt; image (c) Walter Smith (click to go to his website)

it’s like i’m stroking air

when the last muses sing faintly
a Christian hymn; their music sways
as waves swallow the trembling

it’s like i’m molding winds

when the whispering sprites (Ariel?)
concoct sorrowful weeping of magic
the ocean brings to mind reincarnation

it’s like i’m with you still

and even Caliban’s eyes have strained
his brick of a face to withhold the burning tear
as wise shamans look from beyond the bush

it’s never like your absence

like loss that pyre seemed eternally aflame,
but the only thing that lasts longer
than the heartbeat of attachment
is the ocean

and to it i won’t pray

wrinkled fingertips
canyons carved by droplets and droplets
forehead sighs with cracks

mist in the mirror
joyous splash of water
from luxuriant tap, made to look antique

like this face
only god forgot
to make it also dignified

face the bark of oak
when looked at closely
only no one wants to

mist in the eyes
white shadows, black shadows
at night, when the bed creaks sympathetically

for it is solid, it knows
that the night will pass, every one does
every one passes

no it’s not reassuring
because at night, you’re face to face
with shadowy prophets

shadows gather to celebrate jazz hour
smokes rise to celebrate jazz hour
sparks jump off cigarette ends
bubbles flock to the surface
despite the tension, climb up
fogs begin to dance

cats give out advice on how to get the best seats
some, of course, lie, the trick
is to know which
you can tell novice liars by whiskers
whiskers say, ‘I lie,” presto the paradox.

wise dogs sleep already; the magic steps over them
in the form of the rustle in the oak trees,
you know what I’m talking about, the sound-movement
the chiasm

like the very first keystrokes and the inevitable rain
as if this were some newyorker establishment only
it’s feb and it’s 65 degrees
at night.

yes, have a cigar
they’re cheap here,
have these notes too
there is nothing better life can offer
between 2 and 3 in the morning

A wintry day has sat upon the throne,

Its reign short and bloodless, and grey

Timed departure ensured by the old and bony guards of leafless trees

Ushered him away, another concretized tyrant welcomed

In their cemetery, a little drawer in the kitchen where we put the pages of the calendar

And bound them with a rubber band and then throw in the fire.

The incineration of forgettable past, of paper thin hours

To layers of ash, slipping through the fingers as you pick them

To show them to your parents and say: hey!, this is my life’s story

Take it and spread over the ocean and enjoy its scratching between your teeth

This is the taste of too much undeserved love

Of the snigger of timely demons, masquerading as the tick-tocking of your veins.

May not all our days be wintry days.