Hermit and the Magic Blue Marble

aab33b40de44ffeea246e0190f5ecbee(Arthur Rackham, Comus.)

Part One

Beyond the pictured rocks

where lichen licks the ground,

beneath the cursed moon

where even wolves no longer howl,

within the hills and valleys

of the darkest forest floor,

lived a man named Hermit

from the gold archaic shores.

He was made of leaves and branches

and the soil he traversed,

he wore the wisest lifetimes

that have dwelled upon the Earth.

From the clearest turquoise waters

in the deep, subconscious blue,

the old time-traveler came upon

humanity’s noblest truth.

It was just a small, blue marble

that washed up on lucid shores,

when he found, next day, within his hand

which wasn’t there before.

He had heard of magical objects

like this marble, often in jest,

still, he wondered how it came to him

and what powers it possessed.

Hermit roamed the Earth with just

this treasure and his past,

his mind was free to wander upon

existence, at long last.

He witnessed wondrous miracles

that most others never see,

felt the depths of empathy

where the mind is truly free.

Part Two

By no means was Hermit a holy man,

yet, he’d seen a time or two,

occurrences lit unexplained,

no words to proffer proof.

He had seen some bearing torches

with their axes and their rage,

half-formed judgments, hunting witches

to their burning, exiled fate.

In a forest clearing where shooting stars

collect like dust,

survivors of the witch trials

piece their very own Sirius.

The walls of cavernous comets

climb the sky in shimmering gold,

each irreparable disaster,

like lotus petals, are told.

Behind tearful, dimming eyes,

they try with all their might

to break free of the hopelessness,

spread broken wings and fly.

Though his marble had gotten heavy

and his feet were swollen and sore,

he couldn’t bring himself to ask them

to bear half a burden more.

As he began to leave, to make certain

he did no harm,

one of the brightest dying ones

took the marble from his arms.

Suddenly something strange arose

like terror in her eyes,

a scorching, empathic realization,

a connection both were inscribed.

The powers this magical object held

suddenly became apparent;

it seemed to absorb the life experiences

of the person who possessed it.

The moment it was passed into

the hands of someone else,

the marble made it possible to feel

what the previous holder felt.

After offering Hermit a place to rest,

the outcasts chimed their goodbyes

as he set out alone, once again,

beneath dying, existential skies.

Part Three

Through the Hawthorne and Clover, the prairies and hymns,

over each disbelieving trespass,

Hermit collected each chaos like a quantum scar,

and with his marble he continued his path.

He was looking for a Queen by the name of Wretch,

for, this Queen Wretch had it all,

she had riches gold, she had tubs without mold,

she even had a dog named Raul.

Queen Wretch’s reputation was luminous,

her tantrums as known as her greed,

though it seemed lately Queen got a bit out of hand

so perhaps she’d need learn to take heed.

On his journey, Hermit saw over-turned tables,

he saw Redwoods and Elms snapped in half,

he saw wolves with three tails, peeped green, slimeless snails,

could have sworn he’d seen a motherless calf.

All the gnomes and elves who guarded the Queen

spoke in strange little symbols and codes,

they had much stranger methods to silence all creatures,

strike fear right straight down to the bone.

The Queen and her minions built castles and bridges,

they sent waves crashing down through the sky,

they trenched one’s worst fears, redirected wind shears,

made sure there was nowhere to hide.

A war-torn world the city became

under the evil Queen’s rule,

friends became foes, so tragic how most

intellectuals were mocked as mere fools.

A practical nature, Hermit possessed,

yet, a seeker of spirit and height,

he knew no one could grow under Queen’s reign,

as there seemed never an end to the night.

 

Find Me

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Promise me

that in your next life,

you’ll find me.

 

When you’re safe,

when you’ve healed,

when you’ve stopped hurting me

and yourself.

And it matters

right now

what we do,

because even if we get

another life,

I may come back as

starlight

seven light years from Earth.

And you may wonder why

this one star,

of all the billions of stars,

holds relics of

something familiar,

something almost painful

that makes you grasp

how far away

seven light years really are.

 

And if the starlight

finds you

in your next life,

remember when we took for granted

the time we shared,

and how many times

we crossed paths,

never considering that,

just maybe,

space and time

were trying to tell us something.

 

That, of all the possibilities,

of all the people or things

we could have been,

of all the eras

we could have lived in,

of all the particles or forms

we could have taken,

we had this life

on this Earth,

and, still,

we disregarded the fate

and the destiny of it all,

never considering that,

just maybe,

space and time

were trying to tell us something.

 

 

(This poems appears in my soon-to-be published book, “Piecing Shards:  Poems on Loss and Redemption,” out in June.)

Parallax

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(Photograph by Donata Wenders, The Prayer)

What concerned me most
was the fervor
of pirouettes.

“Aren’t the crocuses lovely
this time of year?”
There was a rift
in your tone.

All I remember is
being pulled away
from you,
from the shore
as we listened
to blackbirds.

A new strain,
another feigned bridge.
Still,
I am feeling less
vaulted lately.

Long ago,
I stopped underestimating
the power of environment
upon the
fragile human psyche.

A nocturnal bloom
more than you
could ever know.

Andromeda petals reflect
a light year’s longing.

In these
darkest of hours,
it is less about poetry
than it is
the poem.

(Parts of this were inspired by prompts from Poets United, Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads, and The Sunday Whirl.)

Sacred and Profane

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(Gordon Parks.  Ingrid Bergman, Stromboli, Italy, 1949)

 

In the dark,

I become like the

priest

repressed far too long,

liberating

atop

ayahuasca clouds.

 

Skewed contours

shifting,

fluid,

I watch

illimitable relief.

 

Look at her face;

the ecstasy,

irriverenza

unrestrained.

 

Existentially,

a sliver

divides

reverie and pain.

 

I want to tear

the shadows

from all who

haunt and hollow the

alto-releivo

of your being.

 

Waiting for impact,

I scale

Rome’s horizon,

fast approaching

the moment

I left

light’s womb.

 

I am reminded of a quote that said, “Not saints, not whores, just women.”   So often, I have known instances where shame is used to disempower and silence women, especially in reference to their sexuality.  I explored this, as well as some of my own personal expressions of it in this poem.  Issues of sex, society, feminism, and violence against women have been on my mind for a while, and I hope to create more poetry and ponderings soon about these topics.

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Unabridged

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I won’t be found there.
Ever.
Supple and ready
like an O’Keefe,
I am face down,
liquid,
petals,
clawing from human,
my own true nature,
like orgasming through tears,
hardly seeing
shame and retribution
twirl
in the visceral gravity
of it all.

I don’t know
how to respond
anymore.

Swollen, moist,
age nineteen,
I wanted to drown in the
curve of her hip,
to trace an insatiable
spark.
At thirty-four,
I let it be known.

Two men
in thirty-five years.
I am called a whore.

I do not know how
to respond.

There is something behind
my eyes,
tethered,
unreachable,
freedom rocking her child
to sleep
in a burning cathedral.

I return
wearing scripture
each time
I die.