featured in the poetry forum May 28, 2023  :: 0 comments

for Cheryl De Caintus

For your hands, love borrows
everything unexpected from dreams,
when moonlight tunes the spiderwebs
and sleep leaves all the doors ajar.

Still your hands approach
paper or canvas curious as mirrors
hovering over aroused flesh.

And through all the trembling particulars
of the world, your hands inexplicably
disappear into the work like feet
sinking gradually under a sandbar’s
dark warm silk.

Still with the persistence of dust,
your hands slowly trace whatever
desire dares to demand.

And out of all the trembling particulars
of the world, only the work remains dazzling
where your eager hands seek incessantly
shapes that cherish most the body’s
fleeting pathway of kisses.

For your hands, love returns
everything unexpected from dreams,
when shadows tune the spiderwebs
and wishing leaves all the doors ajar.

editors note:

Happily handled, our wishes and dreams. Keep your doors ajar. – mh clay

Like A Kiss Drawn to Pearls

featured in the poetry forum March 14, 2022  :: 0 comments

Unless you’re naked
as the last sigh of ashes,
light never returns
to where the mirror
is dreaming
through your eyes
like a kiss
drawn to pearls
in the ripped silk
of moonlight.

editors note:

So, let’s get naked! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 10, 2021  :: 0 comments

Wherever I look, stinging nettles shoot up. —Clare Goll

A frayed, untied shoelace
trailing between dreams.

A skeleton key buried in a desk drawer
lost as a compass in a shipwreck.

A cigar box filled with
the towpath’s flashcards.

A poisoned hand mirror tucked
inside its black velvet carrying case.

A doll with sand seeping
out of its cracked eye.

A rusted anchor tossed
into a snowbound dumpster.

A lifetime of moonless nights trapped
inside my grandmother’s silver thimble.

editors note:

Wherever your stitch in time, list mine. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 11, 2021  :: 0 comments

May you always arrive in Paris
wearing nighttime like eyeliner
and a gossamer blouse fluttering
like a spiderweb stretched
across a sundial’s shadow,
and may you roam the cafes
with your irresistible wink
of clinking wine glasses.

May you always arrive in Paris
carrying a lilting bouquet
and may you wander
through the downpour
to Cimetière du Montparnasse
visiting graves of poets
leaving a trail of red roses
with your swirling hair
damp as a book left out
all night in the rain.

editors note:

Yes! Wherever you find it… – mh clay

Shared Ecstasy

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

The ancient Greeks relied on
the many uses of ecstasy.
It brought lovers together
erasing boundaries of bodies
fostering intimacy and trust.
It brought the gods closer.
It brought flashing-thighed
Aphrodite, Eros, the persuader,
and the trickster Dionysos
inside a lover’s body
possessing the will
forcing every lover to yearn
for desires beyond reason.
Also, the ancient Greeks believed
that ecstasy could cure
the most pathological madness.
For such a case, the Corybantes,
a troop of fierce fighters,
would be called to dance
frenetically in a circle for hours
around the suffering patient
to the haunting flute’s melody.
The menacing Corybantes
would dance in full armor
leaping wildly through the air in a trance
clashing their shields with spears
making threatening gestures
with their razor-sharp swords
and screaming invectives
as if they were berserk
for the blood of the enemy
until with all their rhythmic swaying
and with all their frenzied whirling
madness was healed
through a shared ecstasy.

editors note:

Instead of a singing telegram, send the Corybantes to your troubled friends or family members. Madness healed. – mh clay

Variations of a Straight Line

featured in the poetry forum August 13, 2019  :: 0 comments

after a photograph by John Santerineross

Night is a wine that always
tastes of kisses.

Night is a promise
that only nakedness sustains.

Night is a cormorant diving deeper
into a turbulent river.

Night is the seventh tarot card
still wavering in your hand.

Night is the incomprehensible
solitude of lightning.

Night is an evanescent smile
passing like a streaking spark.

Night is a mirror of shadows
only breathing your hair.

editors note:

A fickle femme to sustain you through to sunrise, if you’re lucky. (See the pic which inspired this bit of ekphrasis here.) – mh clay

Tree of Eros

featured in the poetry forum May 19, 2018  :: 0 comments

after a painting by Skaii de Vega

One kiss was trying to catch another
as every pore of your skin
opened like a threaded needle.

One leg was twisting upward
to where dawn still sang
through your swirling hair.

Whatever the thunder healed,
lightning suddenly
split asunder again.

Whatever nakedness promised,
your body offered
with the startling
persistence of silk.

Each leaf first perceived
the blending of dreams
from the intimate waves
of your flexing thighs.

Each branch first sensed
the sap’s slow arousal
from your quivering flesh.

Each root first tasted the deep earth
from the shadow’s sleek pathway
between your steep breasts.

One kiss was trying to catch another
across your body’s anchor
of moonlight.

editors note:

A fantastic (erotic) ekphrastic, inspired by The Tree of Eros. See it here. – mh clay

Magnetized by Nakedness

featured in the poetry forum April 1, 2017  :: 0 comments

I dreamed the daylight
back into your hair
during those frenzied hours
when our bodies
were magnetized
by nakedness.

Restless as the turning tide’s
balance of wonder and uncertainty,
just for a moment again
my life drifted aimlessly
like a slippery kiss gliding
between your sunburnt shoulders.

While I dreamed the daylight
back into your hair
stunned as lake water staring
into the moon’s luminous oarlock,
I remembered only
that lingering goodbye
like a kite of sand
dissolving into the wind.

editors note:

If that’s goodbye, I’d love to see hello. – mh clay

The Smile in Light

featured in the poetry forum January 17, 2017  :: 0 comments

When sleep floats your body
to the surface of the well,
you must follow wherever
silk leads your hands.
Tenderness spills against you
again like jars of tiny beads
pouring over your skin.
And your flesh welcomes
the quickening pleasures
with a hammock’s open embrace.
And the smile in light
at last returns to your eyes,
as you drift closer and closer
to the wind chimes of a name.

editors note:

So sweet; the moment before sleeping, the moment before waking. – mh clay

Fleeting Things

June 16, 2014  :: 0 comments

Something you lost
along the way
keeps you wandering
these back roads aimlessly.
Now only traveling
evokes that giddy feeling
of constant expectation
during those days long gone
before fleeting things
moved you more
than nakedness.