SHADOW PAINTING

featured in the poetry forum January 20, 2024  :: 0 comments

From the light of the lantern
I paint with shadows

A young woman from Kunming
A model from Tokyo

Loose and not dense
I do not need the details

Their flickering strokes
Open out into worlds

Dreams from a wild youth
They pull at the heart

These roads never taken
Can lead an old fool astray

editors note:

At this age, astray is OK. – mh clay

DAY SHIFT

featured in the poetry forum June 3, 2023  :: 0 comments

I roll
I smoke
I put on a new coat

This world can get weary
If the screen stays the same

This cool pine tree shade
This touch of the breeze

It will not end wars
And it will not pick sides

Forever changing
And forever here

It needs no division
And asks for no name

In silence
I smoke
I walk I listen

Not to this noise
But to the sound of spring

editors note:

What springs to mind when the white noise overwhelms. – mh clay

WITHDRAWAL

featured in the poetry forum March 2, 2022  :: 0 comments

V

I stand
I sit

On the verge
On the cusp

No commitment
Not sure

I tell myself
These days are like that

The truth is not clear
The way is not open

The roads
They do not lead home

Detached from
Direction
Blind-sided by
Form

It is easy to lose sight of
The mountain heart

Covered by clouds
And far from this place

I sometimes forget
Its bright emptiness

Looking up now
At your
White flowing robes

I tell myself

I don’t need to go back

To climb the steps again

editors note:

Cycling seeking a sage. (This is one of the poems from JH’s recent release of “Three Steps.” You can get your copy here. Congrats, JH!) – mh clay

ONE STAR

featured in the poetry forum October 25, 2021  :: 0 comments

Such a small bed
Such a bad hotel

Flashback

Neon sign
Flashing

Fifteen dollars
No breakfast

Cheap rate

One dollar
Twenty minutes

And not a minute more

Not pretty
Not cool
Not quiet

The only pictures –
My private collection

A black and white trail
Of late-night prints

Hard lines
And soft curves

High contrast
Monotone

Baby
Baby

I move your arm
And look down at the bottle

I need to breathe

After all of this time

I still want to
Recognise this reflection

editors note:

Where Michelin is just a tire. – mh clay

FROST BLOSSOM

featured in the poetry forum July 11, 2021  :: 1 comment

In the field
There are crops

Maize
Barley
Corn

While in the city
There are whispers

Old tales
Of new beasts

Given flight
By their shadow

I bring my breath back

To the food
To the breeze

This April brought frost
And cherry blossom

editors note:

Reap riot and ruin or bring back breeze. – mh clay

KYOTO

featured in the poetry forum March 19, 2021  :: 0 comments

I walk with no target
No aim and no gun

For what I see here
Will always be here

All of the
Alleged incidents
and nights without sleep –

They are my lighter
My papers
My rolled cigarette

The rumours of iniquity
The bad reputation

They may burn
But they do not kill
The repeating regret
The compounded trauma
This life after life

Whatever that means

I do not know

I never had a track
I never had a path
I do not lace my dreams
With those things

For once
Believe me

It will never change

The mind and its machinery
The trick of the light

I stare into darkness
And see only stars

editors note:

After the start, comes the finish; whatever the path between. Check out those stars! – mh clay

A VIEW CONCRETE

featured in the poetry forum September 5, 2020  :: 0 comments

I press the bell
Check out my reflection
And throw the key upon reception

It’s now time
To forget about the time
To strip myself of clothes
And to wreath these bones
In plumes of opiated smoke
And bathe them in the cheapest whiskey

It’s time to drain another glass
To stroke the disconnection wider
To lie back upon the unmade bed
And watch the door open

Of course she doesn’t need to knock
How many times
Have we been here before?

My full pair of parting lips
My paid for company

“Come here, darling…”

Come join me in this loneliness
Come watch it bend and buck

See our shadows join and writhe now
Across the heavy breathing walls

“So big…”
This lie we pay to procreate

“So hard…’
These low-lit nights
We burn away
With pornographic repetition

“Baby…”
The money is all there
No more need
To keep up the act or pretense

“Tomorrow?”
“Maybe…”

But for now – I think not
As the door closes on her figure

Stood alone
Naked fried
I think only of the dawn

As it comes in – creeping uninvited
Through the cracks
In the pale-skinned curtains

Its too loud cars and turned up rays
Lay bare
The alcoholic sweat and blackened sheets
Of this tin foil mind

Yes
The outside world may be waking now
But I am still inside a dream

A concrete view
A red-eyed reflection

Neither here nor there

editors note:

Alone, with or without company. Sheltered in place, but never from self. – mh clay

Les Papillons Noirs

September 1, 2020  :: 0 comments

‘ …La nuit, tous les chagrins se grisent; de tout son cœur on aimerait, que disparaissent à jamais, les papillons noirs, les papillons noirs, les papillons noirs…’ From inside his black pea-coat, Jacques took out his phone and looked at its cracked screen. Why he hadn’t changed the ring tone, he had no idea. It had been over seven years …

NATURE FLOWERS

featured in the poetry forum June 9, 2020  :: 0 comments

It’s raining today
And yesterday was fine

The Masters
Know the way of heaven

The green jade melody

Strung between moments
Flushed with the dawn

The sun comes and the stars go
That is the way of things

To look out of my window
To burn paper with the doubt

That is the dew of clouds I lead

Back through midnight
Back through worlds

The rain falls harder on the morning pass

I will not proceed

editors note:

When moving is not being, and being is not moving. (J H says, This poem is “very much in line with a digital pamphlet of poetry I have made available for free through my own page here.” Check it out!) – mh clay

Standing Here

April 4, 2020  :: 0 comments

Jack didn’t know why, but over the last year he’d been thinking about that day a lot. It wasn’t a day that had been out of the ordinary. And it wasn’t a day that he could recall that he’d really thought about for more than thirty years. But there it was anyway. Just as it had been for the last …