My Secret

featured in the poetry forum May 5, 2023  :: 0 comments

There’s a secret I let hide
somewhere in the back
right before my left ear
a truth I don’t quite know
or trust

I have a loss I can’t quite name
a missing that I never find
a me I have never yet met
a coming together that never fits
like a warped book seam
where chapters can’t ever really close

I turn the pages searching
to find me inside
and alone

editors note:

What will we be when that secret is revealed? – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 7, 2023  :: 0 comments

How beautiful it is
when the me of us
of beauty
in you

How short sighted
when what I see
the them of me
as another lodged
only within

editors note:

Can’t take sides with them in sight. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum October 1, 2021  :: 0 comments

When I spit damnably into the wind
my words split, smack
and smear across my face.
If I could turn myself around
no longer facing
and somehow change
is there any release?
I am crinkled autumn leaves
caught along this fence.
Nothing but grass blades and prison bars.
We are meant to be free.
And I ache to be dislodged.
This hardened yellow plaque
disfiguring my smile,
Today I had a mammogram,
first time touched.
You were precise in monthly checks,
careful to explore diligently,
delightfully each inch.
Today, smashed, smoothed, and flattened out,
like old oak leaves pressed
or yesterday’s angry words lost.
The hospital room was sterile,
wiped and cold.
No wedding ring clicks on metal hold protection
from a fall.
I now support myself.
She tells me,
do not move, hold my breath,
and I am paused.
Saliva gradually pooling in my mouth.
I am so tired of all of this

editors note:

A crushed leaf leaves a sad impression. Spit! – mh clay

Guarded Lips

featured in the poetry forum June 4, 2020  :: 0 comments

Guarded lips tremble
pinched tight
you’ve smothered them in jump-suited orange
where all can see
those tiny hairs
uniformly lined up
your mouth
serving time

I see you shake

editors note:

Express some; don’t keep mum. – mh clay

Angel Flight

featured in the poetry forum March 29, 2020  :: 0 comments

Flying halfway to Heaven,
ribboning together earth and sky,
layers of here and there crumble,
landing upon the tongue.

There is wonder in double-decker,
the frosting pressed between sight and sound,
scattering like daydreams caught,
for a moment in your eye or
popping through a cloud.

Magic is interwoven
and jet streams interlace like lifelines
or lifetimes carried somewhere far.
Halos reflect the light.

And wishes always come
with wind.

editors note:

Better than cotton candy! Something to linger, long after sugar’s sweetness fades. – mh clay

My Grizzled Poem

featured in the poetry forum June 21, 2019  :: 1 comment

Scratching pencil stub
Words fractured in lead
Not the grit I need
Scraping marks
Crevices and cracks
The page is bruised
And words abuse
Galvanized gray and smear

I strip them of discontent voice
Erasing legacies
I wipe away the crumbs
Letting each syllable
Every silenced sound fall
Landing just above ground
Whisper or scream

editors note:

Creative carnage; the mess we make to dis away from enchantment. – mh clay

He Smokes Her Home

featured in the poetry forum March 24, 2018  :: 0 comments

He likes the sound, the scrape
Wooden match scratching worn leather boot
The dent in his thumb and pointer finger
That groove left long after
Her last point

He always lights his cigarette, crooked pinky lifted
With an air, a curve of class married
With his country
She was the classy one
And he draws in deep smoky curls, rolling greys and white
Tugging that old familiar sting, the burn upon his lonely lips
Dragging, long and low, needing to be filled
But smoke doesn’t stay, it doesn’t take up holes
It disappears, gone

His lips only touch Marlboro’s now
Styrofoam coffee cups, a plastic fork now and then
He’s slowly fading, evaporating
Exhaling her wedding veil, filmy and light
The soft flow of her dress, pearl beads puffs down her back
Walking that long aisle to take his side
Ribbons of smoke, gossamer, tying back her auburn hair
He can almost see her eyes
Watching ashes fall
Landing gently, snowflakes out the window on their wedding night
Dropping to the carpet, just like his wife, long ago

editors note:

Adds sad depth to “smoke’em if you got’em.” (This poem is included in Heather’s recently released collection, Altar Call of Trumpets, published by Red Dashboard. Congratulations, Heather! Read more about it and get your copy here.) – mh clay

Bruised Skins

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

Sometimes apples do fall far
Bruised skins
Splitting with that smack
Ground a hard place to fall

Open hands aren’t always welcome, wanted
You said you were strong stock
Deep roots
The salt of the earth

Too much is deadly
And you, an expert at slicing things thin
Not one to waste
You can always chop off bruising

editors note:

Pie baking? Concession making (only a pinch of salt). – mh clay

Morning Wrapped Herself in Negligee

featured in the poetry forum February 19, 2017  :: 0 comments

Morning wrapped herself in negligee
Hazy silk and stars
Embroidered flowers stitched
On satin strings

As evening’s final breath lingers
Kissing moonlight tendrils morning dew
His haloed cloud and misty veil
Curtaining his demise

Heat always rises
Equally curling toes or hair

editors note:

Cohabit the curl; the having which comes from heat. – mh clay

Detained Trees

featured in the poetry forum December 20, 2016  :: 0 comments

I think of forests
massively filled
air swaddled
with pine and snow
needles crisp, sharp
to bind

But here, a squeezed corner
of penned trees
Douglas, Noble Fir
captive, owned until
the agreed passing of coins
this chain-link Christmas

Piled high
no more room at the inn
yet blooming prolifically
behind this fake snow
and out of reach from the flock
a bird of paradise blooms
Son of God

Nobility comes

at a murderous price

editors note:

Which is noble? Tree for a season? Or, Bird, to bloom always? – mh clay