Category Archives: Love

Lovesick

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                       Lovesick

Memories of her
stretch out like a voluptuous lover
over the couch of his mind.
He takes refuge in them in his loneliness,
gathering a sequelae
of the aftereffects of her loss
around him
like a scratchy woolen blanket
drawn by habit,
offering little comfort.

The prompts today are sequelae, stretch, voluptuous and refuge.  Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/rdp-sundaysequelae/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/10/07/fowc-with-fandango-stretch/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/voluptuous/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/daily-addictions-2018-week-40/refuge

Dappled

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Dappled

Shadows of leaves stipple the ground
in swirling patterns, all around,
like footsteps left by tiny feet
dancing to the wind’s wild beat.
They lessen as the sun goes down
and the forest floor turns brown.

The sunlight that all day has made
each leaf stand out as dappled shade
sinks into some other sky,
but soon enough, the moon comes by
with shadows of its own to cast.
With wind died down, their patterns last,
sure and steady, through the night,
each ringed by the moon’s soft light.

Staunch resident of the heavens, the moon—
your constancy our guide and boon—
the pathway that your light lays down
brings my lover from the town
to stand beneath my bedroom pane,
handsome, gentle and urbane,
to nightly plead my hand and troth.
Soft call of bird and wing of moth
likewise beat against the glass,
supporting what will come to pass.

Our passion, soon to come to light,
was birthed in shadows of the night
whereas the light that without fail
will fall upon my wedding veil
will be the dappled light of sun,
revealing what the moon has won.

 

The Ragtag prompt is Dappled.
Fandango‘s prompt is Lessen.
Daily Addiction‘s prompt is Resident.

 

Unraveled

“Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”—Wm. Shakespeare

Ravel can mean either to combine thread or to separate it (in linguistics, a word like this is called an auto-antonym). In the sense that it means to combine, unravel developed as a true antonym.reddit.com

Unraveled

The pain of love unraveling? No one knows it better,
for she wears her heart upon her sleeve, knit into her sweater.
Each day her heart unravels and lies tangled down her arm.
They say it cannot harm her. Loosened hearts cannot do harm.
But she’s a prisoner of these tendrils of love that’s come undone—
the truth of it revealed to her each day by a new sun,
while each night in her dreams, sleep knits it up again
and the ardor of her lost love once more draws her in.
She forgets the present and relives what she once had—
what she imagines in her slumber cancelling out the bad.
This unknitting and reknitting can’t be what life is for.
She must search for her dream’s exit. She must try to find the door.
Cast her old garment on the flames. Burn up that raveled sleeve.
Real love stays firmly knitted. A true love doesn’t leave.

The prompt today is sleeve.

Footnote to the Revolution

Footnote to the Revolution

The red clay from the cane field in your hair,
leaves pressed into my neck from lying in the tall stalks,
we heard in the trees
the movements of the shepherd
who had watched.
Later, at the Filowaha baths,
we washed ourselves from each other
and slept in a room
rattled
by the eucalyptus.
I would have wanted you more in that room
if I’d known about the bullet
already starting its trajectory through the minds
of men spending youth fresher than ours
in revolution.
I remember watching your shave
in the lobby barber shop,
your face mummied by the steaming towels.
I tasted bay rum afterwards
as we shared cappuccino.
Parked at the roadside near enough to hear our parting,
I imagine they drank katikala,
its bite sealing brotherhood
your blood would buy in the street
outside the Filowaha baths.

 

 

 

 

In 1973-74, I journeyed to and lived in Ethiopia. It was not my original intention to do any more than visit and pass through, but fate had a different plan in mind. I was first detained by violence, then by love. The Filowaha baths in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, were probably the equivalent of the “No Tell Motels” in Mexico, but for Andy and me, they were a place to be alone, to soak in hot water together and to make love with no listening ears. I guess that is what they were to everyone who visited, but there was nothing illicit in our relationship. We were both single and in what at the beginning we thought was a committed relationship that would end in marriage. His family had accepted this. My parents, thousands of miles away, had long ago given me the message that they did not want to know anything that, as my mother had stated, “would make them feel bad.” My sister knew, but they never did.

This poem actually chronicles two different visits to the Filowaha baths–one near the beginning of our relationship and the other our last night before I departed to fly back to the United States. On this second visit, we both knew we would probably never see each other again. Once again, we had figured out that the relationship wasn’t going to work, and our own feelings were complicated by the revolution that was already raging around us. We had both just spent a month in the hospital–Andu Alem recovering from the bullet that had gone all the way through his body as he defended me from a man whose intention was to kill me. Not able to return to my house, I had stayed in the hospital with him so we could both be guarded by his father’s soldiers.

Years later, when I made my first assemblage boxes, I made this music box that told the story I’d already told in the poem years before. The song it plays is “The Way We Were.” I’m now trying to tell the story a third time in a book. Now that I know the true ending to our story, I might have changed the poem, but I leave it as I once thought it was. There are many truths in our lives, according to which vantage point we are telling them from.  This story is as true as the very different story I will eventually tell, if I have the courage to face up to it. Please enlarge the photos go see the details which should be self-explanatory. The hand I sculpted out of clay. I photographed the assemblage box on the table where I had been rereading letters I’d written home from Ethiopia as well as letters Andu Alem and other friends living in Ethiopia had written me once I returned to the states.

Shine

Shine

Your smile is luminescent. It has no warmth behind it.
But for these long years with you I’ve come to barely mind it.
All day long I bask in the sunshine of another.
How can he be so different from one who is his brother?
Like the sun and moon are you, two different sorts of light.
Both bright enough to read by —one by day and one by night.
I recall the heat and passion and humor in his eyes,
as I lie with you in moonlight, waiting for the sun to rise. 

Luminescent is the prompt word today.

Jar of Hearts

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Jar of Hearts

When I came into the room
the bookcase, too heavily laden by far,
had tipped and spilled our picture to the floor.

Its glass gathered with a broom,
the torn remains of us now saved here in a jar
I have neatly filed between fantasy and lore.

 

The “assignment” is to write a poem depicting a certain emotion or feeling without naming the emotion. And for the readers to say what emotion or feeling is being depicted in their comments. I have done my part, now you do yours!!! For dVerse poets pub

Broken Hearted

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Broken Hearted

My heart’s not fully functioning. Its working parts are rusted.
With all life’s empty promises it has become encrusted.
Friends tell me it’s been out-of-use and just needs to be dusted,
but so far no one’s come along that I feel can be trusted.
The truth is, it has been too long since I have truly lusted,
and so although they say that my heart’s just unadjusted,
I’m pretty sure the truth of it is that it must be busted.

Fiction, folks.  Really. The prompt word today was encrusted.