The Collector

featured in the poetry forum December 3, 2011  :: 0 comments

The sun sets
Shivers on the evening.
The dog inhales weaknesses
These woods bring
To his cold muzzle.
I unclip a steel ring from its chain.
Half beagle, pure dog,
He measures to no one –
For an hour he’ll worry creatures who alone
Store the earth’s few treasures.
‘That’s enough!’
Only his tail and paws stop as I call out
In rough Old English.
Tongue-tied by my small mind,
He pees in a buttercup.
The trees suddenly give up.
Alone in the clearing,
He nuzzles the tall sky.
I am brought to my knees
As fingers twirl in tufts above his heart
Where quiet strands unwind my nerves,
His eyes clear and guiltless, destroy
My collection of fear.

editors note:

Yes, let’s exchange our cowardly contraband for the canine collection. They’re the gods and we the domesticated pets. Give your god a rump-scratch; store up treasures in heaven. – mh

One Day

featured in the poetry forum October 16, 2011  :: 0 comments

I’ll slip into the driving seat,
Steering the world out
Of this long dark tunnel,
Friends following me
Shouting directions
Their voices raking me
Like sullen bullets.
Our first glimpse of the new planet
Will be a skyline fringed with whispering trees,
A crown of hills with emerald lakes,
And beings lining the roads
With offerings of hot tea
Fresh bread and new ideas
For our hunger –
We are starving,
Yes, they know it,
It’s been so long
Since the dawn
Was so generous
To people like us.

editors note:

I’ll crawl into the back seat of that car and let the driver take us to that day. Let’s go! – mh

OPEN DAY OF A STRANGER

featured in the poetry forum August 31, 2011  :: 0 comments

Dawn
Breaks a year
Of delicate mornings. Untouched,
You remain a statuette. You turn
Pages, fragments of a magazine;
Your eyes, reflecting cosmetic ads,
Deceptively wear me out;
Turn me down to a fading star.
You shrug; indifferent gestures, becoming
A different person: a chrysalis
Sealed from within. Surrounding you
Earthly words are frozen, holding
No surprise.

Burning-up
In rarefied air, I become
Unattached from your being.
Even passing you chair:
An acquired skill,
An estrangement of hands
Devoid of feeling.

Already having
Thrown clothes in a bag,
There remains
The simple act of opening a door;
Hoping my exit
Is without your thunderous applause.

I would prefer your tears
Or some of your old magic.
Those ancient ways you had,
Of arranging
A mid-morning falling of stars
For special celebrations.

Perhaps our precious days
Could be words in a magazine,
The legend would tell
Of ecstasy and the moon,
In the night your white throat
Arching, yearning for that sigh –
The sign of perfection.
Untouched.
Hung like a star.

WORRIES ME

featured in the poetry forum July 17, 2011  :: 0 comments

Up there,
The acrobat who always keeps
His balance on the wire;
The pirouette, the dancing feet,
A secret glance towards the ground.
An earth that looks so soft, so far below:
The sweetness of a kiss, a gentle touch
Of sawdust in the spine.
The restfulness of sleep
Is all he needs.

And now,
The audience applauds and children squeal,
Their ice-creams held… and lovers feel,
Hands interwoven in a secret dark
Outside the spotlight beam.
They cannot sense his tired mind,
A body sick of perfect pace.

The peace,
The earth that looks so soft,
The sweetness of a kiss,
It only needs one step, one miss.
His final trick: he gathers in a ball
Above their heads. A triple somersault,
So easily it’s done.

Screams that fill his ears
Are music in a dream.
His mind so still
Like earth;
The acrobat, no longer

Worries me.

ONLY OF WORDS

featured in the poetry forum May 24, 2011  :: 0 comments

Seven times you brush your hair
Lying on your pillow
Your hands above your head, you hear
Of tides that wind the sea,
Of knowledge and delusion.
To say goodbye, seven times I lie
That truth keeps to its own time,
That loneliness is real.
I take you by the hand and tell
Of leaves already turning pale,
Tell you of the tears of men
And you say, show me. Or do not show me
And your poems are nothing.
You say you do not wish to live,
So I talk, and talk. The room absorbs me.
I encourage your beauty, compare you
To a slender tree… like yellow leaves
Above your head your hands cast shadows…
Three times I write the poem.
Your fingers scurry
Like children late for school.
Your eyes burn like empty stars.