The Christmas Tree

featured in the poetry forum December 24, 2016  :: 0 comments

center of volatile calm
stoic devotion to enliven the embalmed
transient equivocal exuberance
foreplay of distraction
branches heavy with unsustainable serenity

yet carefully
I wrap around it
stringed laughter of my children
tinseled dreams
glittered wishes
memories of kisses in shiny glass balls
toasts of friendships tied in neat bows

refuge on green altar
from who ?
from where ?
a tree in my living room
shooting roots in dread
till I drag its corpse
through my heart’s chambers
dried hopes still clung to its stiff needles
and drop it at life’s curb
I look at the empty space a tree had been placed
already envision a new one there
was that boredom that sparkled
on its new fresh scent ?

editors note:

It’s not the space it occupies in our home, it’s just a tree after all; but, the space in our hearts… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 1, 2016  :: 0 comments

In the year of the monkey
you will write elegies
on dark windowpanes with shuttered ears
and cobblestones in dark narrow streets
will catch rain’s grievance in puddles lit

in the year of the monkey
acuity of exiled heels
will erase bolstered mockery on chapped lips

they think you don’t know
who lurks in your sleep paralysis
as rats in corner bars gnaw spun memories
toasting a New Year refurbished

this city sprawls on thin skin
this city slurps remorse in straws rolled green
dreams drool from its carnal pierced and jeweled chin

red poppies will again kiss
blades of fresh grass on highways’ edge
and on a billboard your name
once flicked like scream of insects on city’s shin
will hang loosely from a nail

yet under your eyelids you will let them breathe
as they refill your veins with ink

editors note:

This New Year will be Happy if we make it so! Reverse those fortunes; when in with the bad air, (go) out with the good. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 29, 2014  :: 0 comments

In rind of wishes sticky on lips
and sermons’ echo on facepsalms slipping
in envies squirted on spruce and cedar
whims twirling, spiraled, speckled
gossamer visions of friendships withered
in crevices of an upbeat mien
Your name hidden in prayer embers
I mend among buds of poems
flying on a trapeze
with no one at the other end

editors note:

Holiday nostalgia; bittersweet images of friendships come and gone. In the end we express for ourselves; no expectations of someone to catch us “at the other end.” – mh

Stiletto Elegy

featured in the poetry forum June 20, 2014  :: 0 comments

A tear abased, a finch dead mid-air, berated in haste
xxxis it too late?
xxxxxxis it too late, now that I wear black on black
no ink to scribble your name
in margins of a summer night’s air

a poet’s muse, love sprayed from one ounce flacons
in careful measures in open –air
a name half whispered half screamed
on lips bitten in crinkled dreams

vituperations on owl’s spit
tangential cloying fervor, credulous eyes
xxxbroken heels
xxxxxxbroken spirits in verbose lines

is it too late
to leave a sororal kiss
on throbbing pulse on your forehead
and rest barefoot
in midnight cello jazz jams

editors note:

No, not too late; so long as you keep your hands to yourself and your feet on the floor. – mh

Poets in a Pub

January 12, 2014  :: 0 comments

Pints of beer link our troubles in broken chain
lips on brims speckled with words we chase asleep
cigarette-breaks coil conversations around a floating spool
ever dripping with rain caught as stylus in a groove

and a river turns in its sleep and mutters a song

he keeps his promise to take you to Rock Forest Bar
names drag and drop but life’s rhymes and meter thrive
the bartender shakes your hand with a look in his eye
and you can tell he knows
he knows you think of what you lost, every night.

a river turns in its sleep and mutters your song


featured in the poetry forum January 12, 2014  :: 0 comments

November calms restless swallows
as they leave me,
blue mise en scène in air

night’s cool breath, jazz purling
fogging closed windows
eases panic of empty beds

scent of serein
cradles memories
I had wrapped in kisses
dried between poems

November morning, notes on lips
lyrics lost in blue feathers
I dip a biscotto in my coffee
raise my hand with élan
and wait

editors note:

A poet’s idle mind invokes image from ennui – not a bad day’s laze. – mh


August 24, 2013  :: 0 comments

He watched them dance in a haze
last of his wine in his hand
frayed life remnants in his pen
they danced for him
those who bled him
those he drained

fingers quivered on tattooed names
’till he found their arched backs
felt their teeth on his lower lip
tasted his name on their tongues
they danced for him at 4 am

his eyes narrowed for their faces
but all he saw was a poem in each curve
confabulate a shriveled night
uttering sans pudeur
dance my loves dance
rip this estranged night


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

I die at dusk every day
on a rooftop in a city with no name
daughters unborn to me mourn
in bruised nights’ wombs
voices I do not recognize
utter prayers to deaf trees
shaking my limbs of their leaves

a city breathing heavy with its sins
buries me in its alleys
smell of jasmine and urine on its walls
where once I cut a vein and emptied
time’s venom under blinking neon lights
there’s no distance to my pain

I’m born at dawn every day
in a sac of daylight
with an appetite to eat moments in slow bites
roll them on a dry tongue
linger on the sweet and bitter
oozing from each tick tock shortening my life

I can’t remember where I loved you in between

It is dusk again
I look for the rooftop
I hung my fresh laundry on

editors note:

The night draws close, no vistas, so dark. Remember your love in the daylight as you take down the linens. – mh


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

She had a glimpse
drip from corner of a sudden smile
she caught it
as she would the rain in her mouth

a glimpse
like shadow of a bird that flew by
her eyes tracing wing prints against a cloudless sky

a moment curled its toes on a ledge
splattered over cracked soil of her path

raising dust of oozing wounds under crusted scabs
lips no longer apart

somewhere the sparrows wept

July 2012

editors note:

It’s a sand grit blink, a wind whispered wash at the edge of sight. Did you catch it? – mh