ALLIGATOR, MISSISSIPPI

featured in the poetry forum January 28, 2017  :: 0 comments

On that night of snake hiss
and cicada click,

beyond the bristlecones
and the blackjack pines,

ghosts with no faces
and whiskey-soaked souls

came to this place.
Chains and whips

and veins of fire
staining the black earth red.

Can you feel it?
The way the air still thrashes

from the man’s struggling feet,
the hickory tree weeping

its burn of rope,
its blood-soaked bark.

The wind is a saw-blade,
a talon, a fang.

Leaves hold his last scream,
cry his final prayer,

drink sorrow
dripping from the moon.

editors note:

No justice in this court. These judges, guilty to judge the guiltless. – mh clay

HOUSE OF SOULS

featured in the poetry forum November 10, 2015  :: 1 comment

I wake one morning in a smoke-scented room
of windows and sparkling mirrors. Questions prism

through me in tangerine and rose while
people weave through my vision like fish. I ask

if anyone will burn a dream for me.
A woman with a stained bandage over her head

says, Our thoughts are right where we left them,
ready to melt into the mind of some passerby.

She plucks a translucent orchid from the vase.
The hanged man says, We never recognize

our own evils. Passion is the devil’s eye
and the source of life. No one can know

the difference. I ask him why my bones
have walked away from my body, why time

is moving sideways, but the moon slips
into his mouth and lights its candle.

editors note:

In the mirror world, answers come to the reflection of questions. (Read another mad missive by Patty on her page; a light in the darkness – check it out.) – mh clay

A SONG TO THE NIGHT

November 10, 2015  :: 0 comments

Sing your death song and die
like a hero going home.

— Chief Tecumseh

I will miss the moon’s silver touch,
its exquisite sorrows
shimmering the sky like tears.

I have listened to the voices of trees,
the double-edged language of men,
sounds buried deep in the night

where I planted a dozen loved ones,
held cold winter wind in my arms,
kissed lips of ice.

Lessons slipped among canticles
of coin, pill and scalpel. I’ve walked
into fire, danced with snakes,

praised the hunger moon
and the weeping black river,
faced the lies I’ve told myself.

When summer fell, I carried the sun
on my back, its warm hands
on my shoulders, my breasts.

I let its heat caress
my body with life
but never bore its child.

Lift me to your dark silken wing;
show me what lies beyond sleep,
behind your hidden gate.

editors note:

See this love for the dark; fills this soul with light. – mh clay

ON ADVICE

featured in the poetry forum April 7, 2015  :: 0 comments

She sent him away——
back into the clouds
on his indigo horse.

She tries not to recall
how he made mornings laugh
down narrow Spanish streets

and markets in Morocco
in his accents of every country,

how they camped like gypsies,
connected the stars
to make candles and dragons,

threw wishes into fountains,
money into wells.

She tries not to listen
as his voice pours down the roof,

fills the rain gutters
and flows into the street

away from their house
built of music
and dreams.

editors note:

Refuse the dream weaver as he rains wishes back on you; you never refused the dream. – mh

WHISPERS OF EARTH AND WIND

featured in the poetry forum February 25, 2014  :: 0 comments

She inhales the forest
and holds it in, lets
vines curl around

her heart. Musky scents
of log moss and lichen drift
through her hair.

She eats wild thimbleberries
and stains her tongue, reads
the past in faces of stones.

She becomes soft dirt,
shrugs off each footprint
that has moved across

the path of her skin,
learns to shift
with the wind.

She lifts a finch’s feather
and becomes weightless,
floats to the crown

of a hickory and finds
that her hollow bones
can whistle like flutes.

Her voice echoes
through the valley
as a rustle of leaves.

editors note:

And she’ll gentle the spirit of any who give her an ear. Listen… – mh

AT NINETY-TWO

featured in the poetry forum August 29, 2013  :: 0 comments

Overcast days sip
the palette of youth
until hair and skin
turn into clouds.
His eyes shine inward

now, glimpse past
the curve of hollow nights
to soft drifts
of colors slipping
in and out of sunlight,

memory to slate,
world to shifting world.
Moments pulse
through his veins,
pulling him further

toward the deeper shadows.
The departed ones return
their calla lilies to him,
holding light and time
in their hands.

editors note:

All’s chalked up, board’s wiped clean; but, don’t move on ’til the lily’s passed… – mh

DRINKING THE MOON

featured in the poetry forum May 24, 2013  :: 0 comments

How the moon lengthens
and quivers, startles
into a thousand
shattered stars
that slowly swim back

into a crystal ball
as it floats in this
wineglass. Silver liquid
opens its crater-deep
heart to reveal

a silhouette of lovers
beneath the cherrybark oak.
She traces the hollow
of his throat, as though
her fingertips

might discern truth
in his words. The shift
of an eye, a downward
curve of lip raise
a breeze that sways

frost-slender fronds
and wavers the wine.
Shadows lace the moonlight
between leaves to veil
her in darkness.

As his footprints
dust through diamonds,
she reaches toward him
and gathers back
a handful of night.

editors note:

I’d drink this!! Such intoxication would be 12 step program and addiction, both. May the moon ever be full. – mh

A PRAYER IN WHITE

featured in the poetry forum February 18, 2013  :: 0 comments

Snow has whirled its ghosts
all this long winter, chilled
my dreams, drift after drift,

and grieved its ripples
across mirrored pools
of sleep.

The moon’s breath covers the field
with crystal threads that crunch
beneath my boots with each step.

I send a prayer for hardness
to release me, finger to arm,
for ice to crack and the prisms

within its soul to drop
to earth and bloom into
colors only water can bring,

for the voice
of warmth to whisper
into the valley’s opened hand.

editors note:

Sweet! On this downward slope o’ the solstice, we can almost touch that thaw. Soon… soon! – mh