Wines of Power

featured in the poetry forum October 5, 2016  :: 1 comment

Finally, the gods were reduced to the odd bit of glare,
to silhouettes and shadows, to a few fading and distant jeers.
And so light, a single pharaoh ant could lift or shift them.

They’ve lain down with the hay, becoming golden stalks.
They reside in funnel webs. In a convergence of ditches.
They are self-detained, a light-beam their prison.
Now when the gods are angry only the crickets may listen.

The ages forge new paths, the gods senile and forgetting.
They think in hallucinations, the old idylls in tatters.
They dress in the camouflage of stillborn human emotions,
shod in slippers sewn from centuries of unforgiving debasement,
a patina of lichen and moss substituting for a god’s skin,
chimera-dust chirping in their hair-pieces.

Of course they pine for the occasional phantasmagoria.
Of course they miss the black wines of power.
That’s what their despair is, this winter chill in the air.
Time is playing their god-bones like broken instruments.
No longer are we at the whim of the gods’ laughter.
The stars blow through them like poems made of wind.

editors note:

We wish! Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Military Industrial Complex moguls; gods still laughing. – mh clay

Looking Up

featured in the poetry forum January 14, 2016  :: 0 comments

Diffident starshine marred by cloudware,
Orion testing his bow, bull’s-eye Earth
adrift in its own juices, time’s cauldron
on a low simmer, Luna fretting offstage,
not usually one for fluffing her lines,
Sirius below the horizon, madly impatient,
barking up the wrong tree, in so many words,
our race drunk-walking the astrophysical gulch
we passengers nicknamed Spaceship Earth,
regardless of the anthropomorphic slant,
never mind the fact we’re only human,
know-it-all know-nothings in the unknowable,
the span of a life a cosmic instant,
our allotted time just another dark matter.

editors note:

Astronomy 101; pious platitudes muddled by big-bang ideas. (We welcome Bruce to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of Bruce’s madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

One Day

June 26, 2015  :: 0 comments

One day nothing remarkable occurred.
No rivers ran red or economies collapsed.
Not a single sparrow seemed out of place,
the sky still blatantly apparent,
some rather ordinary clouds banking in ranks,
the black-eyed mouse in its usual kitchen.

People prayed for a good harvest, naturally,
or for salvation, or for Jenny’s sore to heal –
as they had since time first began
its long slide towards oblivion.
Women still looked at their men and wondered
whatever had become of them,
entropy’s sleeve continuing to unravel.

And then one day even that didn’t happen.

editors note:

The day when absolutely nothing happens; ’twill be a truly remarkable day. – mh clay

Moth To A Light

June 24, 2014  :: 0 comments

Suppose angels drift like salt
or gracile jellyfish.
That at the core of an infant’s cry
armies of angels reside.
That angels are a peculiar lot,
flitting like moths around a candlewick
or trap of warm cinders.

Suppose they pour kisses over your eyes
or tickle your palms with a feather.
That one, who stands away from the rest,
has invented a new weather –
both improbable and comic.

Consider angels exploiting
your predilection toward sin,
taunting your hunkered-down mind,
goading you to slouch lower,
gloating by the graveside.
That they’re not angels at all,
but the reflection of men
in a bucket of black water.

You wouldn’t go back on your promises then,
would you old friend?
You wouldn’t regret living?

editors note:

It’s new weather for me. Those black water men are all wet; tired o’ them. – mh